How An Internal Communications App Benefits Frontline Workers
Last updated on May 24, 2022 at 04:15 pm
Connecting With Frontline Workers Through Internal Communications
There’s never been a more critical time for organizations to engage and communicate with their frontline workers. Changes in scheduling, policies and safety procedures have increased as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, requiring a greater level of support and connection. Although the current state of the workplace presents greater challenges for communications and HR professionals that didn’t exist years ago, it also offers an opportunity for companies to incorporate new modernized digital workplace strategies like an internal communications app.
As HR and communications executives update their internal communication processes to adapt to these changes, they should also re-evaluate their tools to deliver and receive critical information.
The Challenges of Communicating With Frontline Employees
Most people driving an organization’s operations have information at their fingertips (e.g. the intranet, employee portals, workplace systems). But frontline workers aren’t sitting at a desk and don’t have the same access. Professionals like nurses are on their feet caring for patients in hospitals, technicians on manufacturing lines build the machines we rely on, and factory or warehouse workers ensure that our packages arrive on time. They aren’t able to easily access company communications, benefits, and tools.
How Does An Internal Communications App Benefit Frontline Teams?
What is the best way to communicate with and empower those who aren’t in the office? Employee apps have risen to the top of preferred communication channels for frontline and deskless employees. Going mobile provides many benefits, including:
- The ability to deploy rapidly to your entire workforce
- Reaching all employees regardless of where they work through their smartphones, so everyone has equal access to information and resources
- Targeting content and information to the right audience, increasing relevancy, and saving employees time
- The ability to deploy high-visibility push notifications to avoid communication overload and cut through the noise with critical messages
Examples of Companies Who Have Implemented an Employee Communications App:
- Waupaca Foundry: With a primarily deskless workforce, 50% of Waupaca’s employees had no computer or email access during working hours. This meant urgent information wasn’t reaching their frontline teams. They needed a strategy that would allow them to reach employees where they were and measure success.
- UHS: With more than 60 locations serving a population of over 600,000 people, the ability for UHS to get the most updated information to their clinical teams is critical. But when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the U.S., the app became a core source of truth as UHS rapidly updated policies and procedures. Communications manager for UHS Steven Perlin said, “the app became one of the most important ways we were able to communicate with all of our 6,000 plus employees to keep them up to date, whether they were at home in quarantine, on the frontlines, or in an office.”
- NFI: A huge benefit of a mobile strategy means that you can localize content, which is exactly what NFI, a leading logistics company with over 300 facilities across North America did. After launching the app, NFI quickly saw high adoption and partnered with leaders to deliver content at the local level. This boosted not only the relevancy of content but also employee engagement and allowed the corporate internal comms team to focus on high-level, top-down messaging.
Companies that invest in company-wide mobile communications will reap the benefits of a more engaged and motivated deskless workforce. Furthermore, increased connection these workers experience will cascade to how they interact with customers and coworkers in the future.
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