How A Mobile Workforce Management App Connects A Dispersed Workforce

The modern workforce is diverse. In-office employees now work from home more than ever before. And companies can extend their reach and become global businesses. But there is this underserved part of the workforce: the deskless worker. These are your frontline staff, and they’ve always been there in manufacturing facilities and working in our hospitals. More employees no longer work in a traditional office, and that can pose a problem for how to manage the mobile workforce.

theEMPLOYEEapp team saw this problem years ago. And we saw the growing gaps in communication with deskless employees who don’t typically have access to Intranets or company email. This creates a massive need for organizations to have mobile workforce management (MWM) tools that enable communication, provide access to tools and resources, and connect employees wherever they are.

Benefits of Mobile Workforce Management Apps:

Boosts Engagement: 

When you have the right workforce management strategy and communication tool in place, you engage all your employees. Employee engagement is a critical part of retention, job satisfaction, job performance, and increased earnings for your business (Holmes Report). 

Strengthens Communication: 

Ever play the game of telephone? Communication for frontline employees can often be a lot like this game. Communication comes from corporate, gets shared through internal comms to field leadership, cascades down to field managers, and is (hopefully) shared with employees. If you’re familiar with this game, you know that the message that you start with often is very different from what you end with. The same is true here.

At every stage, along with the communication transmission, the message changes in tone and intent. The what and the why might be very different by role and seniority, and a lot can get lost in translation. Anyone along the chain might leave out the “why” behind a change, and they might not share the inspirational messaging, they might not share the recognition piece or the story that was shared in tandem with an operational change. But internal comms pros are very strategic about how they share information and know that the “so what” behind a message is critical to getting buy-in, understanding, and ultimately trust.

Gives Access: 

We are big believers in giving all employees, regardless of their title or where they work, access to information. This includes the operational information they need to do their jobs and stay safe in the workplace and the information they need for their personal lives, like benefits and wellness info. Historically, frontline employees who aren’t managers haven’t had this kind of access. And we want to change that. And it can all be managed—from benefits, to scheduling, to sharing safety protocols and getting signatures—through theEMPLOYEEapp.

Enables Two-Way Communication:

You’ve heard it many times that communication is and should be two-way. We completely agree, but we also think that there should be a priority placed on top-down communication. Unfortunately at most companies, deskless employees may not be able to receive communications directly with your existing channels. That said, we also know that that top-down messaging and internal communication strategy needs to be informed by employee feedback. This makes the use of surveys critical through this platform, so you can get real-time feedback from your staff to ensure messages resonate and stick. But we also know that not all messages need to come from Internal Comms or the C-Suite. Mid-level managers in the trenches with your employees should be empowered to communicate with their teams.

Improves Manager Comms and the Localization of Content:

We know that manager communication skills are often lacking (HBR) and are becoming a priority for many internal communications professionals (State of the Sector, 2020). A mobile workforce solution (like an app) can enable you to train your managers on communication best practices, provide talking points for significant changes or announcements, and give them a feedback loop to ask for help and submit questions. When your managers are confident communicators, you can then empower them to share content with their employee groups. When you can localize content, this dramatically increases its relevance and authenticity, and also allows IC pros to focus on top-down messaging, leadership communication strategy, and management.

Mobile Workforce Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is a mobile workforce? This is when your employees are not bound by a central location. This would include factory workers, hospital staff, hotel employees, truckers, etc. They may also be called a deskless, frontline, or dispersed workforce. They may be those displaced and working remotely due to COVID-19. 
  2. What are some best practices for communicating with a mobile workforce? You have to meet your employees where they are, which for this workforce isn’t behind a desk. Mobile phones and mobile apps have become a great tool for the mobile workforce because we are already so accustomed to getting information on our smartphones. We always recommend crafting communication best suited to the medium, which includes shorter pieces of written copy, more video and audio messages, localizing of messaging by enabling executive and field or line manager communications.
  3. How is mobile technology altering workplace communication? Historically, deskless or mobile workers have not had the same access to communication and resources that deskbound workers do. Mobile technology has enabled companies to reach these employees through their mobile phones and BYOD (bring your own device) structures. Mobile technology is also enabling a different way of communicating than traditional internal communication platforms like Intranets and Email. Mobile-based messaging is more accessible, appeals to Millennials and Gen Zers, and is optimized for multimedia content, suiting more learning styles.

Learn more about how theEMPLOYEEapp might be right for your communication and mobile workplace management needs and request a demo today.

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