Firstline Worker: Your most valuable employees

How many Firstline Workers did you interact with today? For me, I count around a dozen or so that range from the barista at the coffee shop, gas station attendant, waitress at the restaurant I ate lunch at, the gate agent when I boarded my plane to fly home, when the cable repair technician came to repair my home internet, and so on. These workers represent the companies they work for, and essentially represent that company’s brand. They sit on the “firstline” and are the first employees to interact with those company’s customers – and they play an important part in the customer experience lifecycle. It’s vital these employees are empowered to do their best work, and are connected with the rest of the company so they receive the same information, share best practices and can thrive in the digital age.

In this blog post, I have three video recordings where I discuss the Microsoft Firstline Worker vision, a demonstration of Firstline Worker, and an overview of the Firstline Worker application StaffHub. I hope this will inspire you to learn more about how you can empower these employees within your organizations and perhaps reuse these decks with your customers or within your organization to evangelize the importance of including Firstline Workers in your digital transformation.

If you are a Microsoft Partner, you can download the decks I used in the videos at under the “Engage with your customers” section.


Firstline Worker Vision (15 minutes):

Firstline Worker Demonstration (16 minutes):

StaffHub Overview (10 minutes):

In addition to the StaffHub video above, I invite you to browse the other StaffHub blog posts I have written on how to set it up and use it. Please refer to the StaffHub section of my blog using the drop down menu at the top of this page.

StaffHub: Instant Message Using the StaffHub Mobile App


Using the StaffHub mobile app, firstline workers can send instant messages to not only each other to accomplish tasks such as check the stock level of a particular item, but also to the entire team (in my example below, the retail store).

The purpose of this blog post is to demonstrate this instant message capability. If you have feedback, or would like to see more please let me know in the comment section below.


Access Instant Messaging:

From within the StaffHub app, at the bottom tab Messages

This will display a list of messages that are occurring. Currently I am only participating in a group chat with the entire team (retail store). Tab the name of the team, in this case San Diego Retail Store Chat:

Send a Message to the Team:

Within the chat, type a message. This will be sent to everyone on the team:


Let’s examine what this looks like from another team member’s app, in this example we will view Adele’s app. Within Adele’s StaffHub app she has 2 new message notifications. Tap Messages:

It appears she has new unread messages in the San Diego Retail Store Chat group (with a preview of the latest unread message) tap this group:

She sees that Megan, the store manager has sent a new message asking about stock levels:

In response, Adele was able to check the stock levels and will relay information on her findings back to Megan:

Send a direct instant message to another team member (peer to peer):

The store manager (Megan) received a call from a team member (Matt) indicating he will be sick today. Megan needs to ask Adele if she can cover Matt’s shift. From within the main Messages screen in the StaffHub app, tap the compose icon in the upper right corner:

In the To: field type in the name of the user, in this case Adele. Tap Adele’s name then click Next:

Important: This can become a group message to multiple individuals by adding another name in the To: field.

Type the message you would like to send:

In Adele’s smartphone app, she will have a new message notification (and will also receive a new message notification toast on the smartphone itself). Tap Messages:

In her list of messages, she will see a new message. Tap the message:


Type a response to the message:


Firstline workers can quickly message eachother, a group of their peers, or their entire team to collaborate, ask and share information – all through the StaffHub app.

StaffHub: How Employees can Swap Shifts (and how Managers can approve/deny)

Introduction: This blog article will describe how firstline employees can swap shifts with their peers, how managers can approve/deny the swap requests and show how seamless this process can be.

From within the StaffHub app, tap the shift you would like to swap:

In the upper right corner, click the two arrows:

On the Swap or Offer Shift screen, in the field For this shift enter a team member and select that team member:

You will not be returned to the Swap or Offer screen after tapping the team member you want to swap with (in the example above, Adele). When ready to send the request tap Send Request

Important: In the Swap Request status screen, notice the request is awaiting a response from the team member, in this case Adele:

In Adele’s StaffHub smartphone app, on the home screen you will notice a new request is pending, tap Requests:

Here’s the new request in detail, tap the new request to approve/decline:

After reviewing the details, tap Accept:

In the dialog box, enter any notes and click Send Approval:

The status of the swap request will be updated to reflect it is awaiting Manager Response:

Back on the StaffHub manager’s smartphone app, notice there is a new request, tap Requests at the bottom. Notice there is a swap request. Tap the request:

You will be presented with the details of the request, tap Approve:

Add any notes and tap Send Approval:

The details of the request will be displayed, and the manager approval and schedule update will be reflected:



StaffHub: Request Time Off and Add to Shift Schedule


Introduction: After creating a shift schedule you may want to add time off to the schedule, and your firstline employees may want to request time off. The purpose of this blog post is to describe how team members can request time off thru the StaffHub app, how the manager can approve, and how to enter time off in the shift schedule.

Request Time Off:

Employees can request time off directly thru the StaffHub app. To do this, from within the StaffHub app at the bottom tap Requests

This will bring up the New Time Off Request screen. On this screen under I’m Requesting I will select Vacation. In the field I’m Out On and Ending I will choose the date(s) I am requesting off (this will bring up a calendar and allow me to choose the dates). Notice I can also enter a reason (optional). When finished I will tap Send Request

After I have sent the time off request, the next screen will show me the status of the request:

In the StaffHub web application (, notice there is a new time off request for Monday August 14th for the team member Matt Soseman.

Important: The manager can perform the deny/approve actions from both the StaffHub web application, and the StaffHub smartphone app.

By hovering the mouse cursor over
yellow square TIME OFF REQUEST click the down arrow and it will display a pop up to Deny or Approve the request. I will click Approve

This will now change the square to Vacation All Day:


Back on my smartphone, I have received a notification that my time off request has been approved:

When I open up the StaffHub app, I can see in detail the status of my request and that it has indeed been approved:

StaffHub: Creating a Shift Schedule

Introduction: After you create a team in StaffHub, the manager of the team can now start to build out the team’s schedule. The purpose of this blog article is to provide an overview of how to build a schedule in StaffHub that is easily accessible by firstline employees.

Login to StaffHub by browsing to and clicking the Sign In button in the upper right corner of the screen.

Once signed in to StaffHub, you will be presented with the schedule page:

Next, click Add Member and add a team member:

To better organize the shift schedule, I will click Add group name and create a group called “Cashiers”

Now I will start to populate the schedule by clicking in the square on the row for Matt Soseman and selecting Add Shift…

In the dialog box Assign shift to Matt Soseman I will start to populate the shift start and end time, any unpaid breaks, and any notes perhaps tasks or duties I would like the employee to perform while on shift. I will also assign a color of blue so that employees can easily differentiate the groups of team members on the shift schedule. Click Save when finished.

I will repeat this step to populate the rest of the week:

I will also repeat the above steps to add a manager to the shift schedule, and create a new group titled Managers and add additional staff to the schedule

At this point, I would like to go ahead and make this schedule visible to employees. In the upper right corner I will click Publish to publish it out to the StaffHub app.

Next, I will be presented with a dialog box prompting me to specify which schedule and date period I would like to publish. I will assume the defaults to publish Aug 6-12 and click Publish

A toast notification will appear in the center of the screen below the toolbar: “Successfully published and notified team!”

Note: The schedule will not be visible to staff until it has been published by clicking the Publish button.

Once the schedule has been published, all team members who are signed into the StaffHub app will receive a notification on their smart phones indicating the schedule has been published:

From within the StaffHub app, team members can see more detail about their shift schedule:

By tapping Thu 10 I am presented with details of that shift:

As you can see it is extremely easy to create a shift schedule for firstline employees using StaffHub! In the next post I will discuss how to add time off, swap schedules with employees, and more!

StaffHub: How to Provide Files and Training Material via the Mobile App to Firstline Workers

Introduction: The average firstline worker (doctor, nurse, barista ,retail employee, manufacturing worker, etc) will often not have access to enterprise IT services such as SharePoint, and other Office 365 services. This can be challenging especially when a new employee is onboarded and needs to take required training, or when important documents need to be distributed to employees. The Microsoft StaffHub app can help provide the connectivity and access to these resources for that firstline worker to use – right through the mobile application.

The purpose of this blog post will show how a manager can upload files to Staffhub and how an employee can access those files via the mobile app.

Login to StaffHub as a Manager:

As a manager, log into the StaffHub web application by browsing to

Once logged in, in the upper right corner click Files:

Upload a file:


Click Add a file:

In the Open dialog box, browse to the location of the file you would like to upload, select that file and click Open:

In the fly-out on the right side, click Add:





















The file will be uploaded, and displayed in the Team Files repository:

Add a Link (URL) to Team Files:

A link to a website can also be added to the Team Files repository, for example let’s add for quick access to Human Resources SharePoint site. In the upper left corner click Add URL:

In the fly-out on the right side, type in the URL of the website in the Website URL field, type a title in the Title field and add any comments in the Comments field (optional) and click Add:

The new link will be added to the Team Files repository:


Access the uploaded files via the StaffHub Mobile App:

On the firstline worker’s mobile phone, launch the StaffHub app. Within the app, on the bottom menu tap Files:




On the Files screen, notice the link and file that were previously uploaded are listed. Tap the item Onboarding Package:

The PowerPoint presentation will launch in a viewer and the employee can now read the onboarding/orientation package:


As indicated in the above process, StaffHub provides a simple way to upload files and distribute them to employees across the team in a fast and efficient manner. Stay tuned for future posts on StaffHub!

StaffHub: Create a Team


In the last post StaffHub: Overview, Initial Setup & Configuration, I discussed how to setup StaffHub. This is part of a multi-part blog on how getting started with StaffHub.

In this post we will explore how to do the following:

  • Login to the StaffHub web application
  • Create a team
  • Configure the team
  • Add members to the team


Login to the StaffHub Web Application:

Open a new web browser, and browse to In the upper right corner of the page, click the button Sign On

Once signed in, on the welcome screen click Begin Setup:

Create your Team

On the Name your team page, in the Team Name field, give the team a name and click Create Team

On Confirm your team’s time zone page select the appropriate time zone your team operates in and closest city. Then read the disclaimer on future time zone changes check the confirm box. Then click Continue

Optional: On the get the mobile app page, type in your mobile telephone number and click Send Link to get a SMS message of the link to the StaffHub app to download. If you would like to download the app later, you can always search for it in your mobile application store, click Skip for now to proceed to the next page.

On the Who’s on your team page, type in the name of an employee on the team. For example purposes I will enter myself. If the user has a work email address, add it here, otherwise type in their mobile phone number. This will send them an SMS to download the app, and they will use the phone number later at their first logon. Click Add & Invite after you enter your first employee. When finished click the Finish setup button.

You will now be taken to the team page for StaffHub. I recommend starting the tour to become familiar with the interface. Otherwise click Skip tour

Add Additional Team Members

In the upper right corner of the screen click Team:

From here you can add additional team members:

Configure Additional Team Settings:

In the upper right corner click Settings:

On the Team Settings page is where you can configure additional settings about the team such as the length of the schedule and custom requests:

Summary: You have now successfully created and configured a team in Staff Hub. Proceed to Step 3: Using the App as a firstline employee



StaffHub: First Logon Experience for Firstline Employee

Introduction: This blog post is part of the StaffHub blog series. In this post, we will look at the first logon experience to StaffHub from the perspective of a firstline employee.


Downloading and Installing the App:

After creating your team in StaffHub, and adding members to the team, it’s now time for the firstline employees to start using the StaffHub app. When the team members were added to the team, the manager can enter their mobile phone number and send an invite. This will send an SMS message to the employee’s mobile device with a link to download the app. Below is an example of this SMS message on an Apple iPhone:

Create an Account:

Once the user has installed the app, launch the app. On the Home screen press Need an account?

Note: If the user has an identity in Azure Active Directory, they can login with their account by pressing I have an account. However, for purposes of this blog we have configured StaffHub to dynamically create new user accounts in Azure AD and automatically assign the appropriate license for StaffHub use in Office365. For more information, see StaffHub: Automatically Assign Licenses to New Users

On the next screen, type in your mobile phone number and press Next:

A verification SMS will be sent to the mobile device. Enter the code from the SMS and then press Next:

On the Create Your Work Account screen, fill out the name and password fields and press Next

On the Success! Page, verify the information is correct and take note of the work account address (i.e. and press Next:

You will now be prompted to login, enter your credentials and click Sign In:

A new SMS message will be sent to the user’s mobile device with a verification code. Type in the verification code and click Next:

You will now be signed into the app, and presented with the main MyShifts screen.

At this point the user can start using StaffHub. Refer back to my blog (Staff Hub section) for next steps on configuring the team’s schedule, using the different features within the app,etc).

StaffHub: Overview, Initial Setup & Configuration

Introduction: StaffHub is a remarkable new tool from Microsoft that enables organizations to effectively manage their firstline workers and enable them to have a collaborative experience to achieve more in their jobs. A firstline worker can be a nurse, barista, retail worker, manufacturing worker, hospitality worker, service technician, etc. The purpose of this blog post is to walk you through initial setup and configuration of StaffHub in your Office 365 tenant to get started using the service. For a great overview of StaffHub, I recommend watching the below video:

Step 1: Enable StaffHub on the Office 365 Tenant:

Browse to and click on the Admin button.

On the left side, expand Settings and click Services & Add-ins:

Scroll the page, and click StaffHub:

On the flyout on the right side click Update StaffHub settings for your organization:

Ensure Enable Microsoft StaffHub is set to On. Optional: Check the box Apply License Check to force StaffHub users to have a license before using it. More information can be found here: Assign Microsoft StaffHub licenses.

Note: Settings will automatically be saved.

Optional: Self Provision Accounts is useful if your firstline employees that will use StaffHub do not have identities in Azure Active Directory. Enabling this option, will automatically create an identity in Azure Active Directory for the employee when they are added to StaffHub, and, it will also add them to a security group titled DesklessWorkers. For purposes of this blog, I will enable this option.

Click here to proceed to Step 2, Create a Team.