by Jeff Corbin | January 17, 2017

Connecting with Frontline Employees through Mobile Communications

Most executives in corporate America take it for granted that the vast majority of workers, like themselves, have information at their fingertips. This makes sense since most executives spend the majority of their day at a desk in front of a computer where they can access their corporate intranet, benefit portals and other workplace tools and systems. But what about those frontline workers who aren’t sitting behind a desk? What about professionals like nurses who are on their feet caring for patients in hospitals; or technicians on manufacturing lines who also stand all day building the cars that allow us to get around? What about factory and warehouse workers who ensure that our Amazon packages arrive correctly; or retail and restaurant personnel who feed us and sell us “stuff” on a daily basis? Are these frontline workers easily able to access company communications, benefits, and tools?

Believe it or not, these front-line workers comprise 80% of the global workforce. So shouldn’t more attention be paid to making sure they too are able to easily and conveniently access the information that is important to them and that helps them do their jobs better? Shouldn’t more thought be put into keeping frontline workers engaged with what’s going on in their company since they are scattered around the world and don’t have the benefit of necessarily being located in a corporate headquarters with daily access to their CEO and other senior management?

How Mobile Communication Benefits Frontline Employees & Entire Companies

This is the current state of the workplace in the 21st Century. While not a bad thing, the current workforce presents challenges for communications and HR professionals that didn’t exist years ago. At the same, it also presents opportunities for companies to incorporate new digital workplace strategies. Here are a few examples of companies who already are doing so.

  • Northwell Health, New York State’s largest private employer with more than 60,000 employees. The vast majority of their frontline healthcare employees are on their feet for incredibly long shifts caring for patients. Their staff are in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings. Most are not located in a centralized office environment. As part of a proactive CEO outreach effort, the company pushes regular videos of its CEO through theEMPLOYEEapp. In these videos, CEO Michael Dowling is able to extend greetings and thanks to his dedicated employees as well as keep them informed of the many great things and successes taking place every day in their organization. Frontline employees who were once left out of the loop are now able to receive mobile communications from their CEO and stay connected.
  • Caesars Entertainment uses theEMPLOYEEapp in a slightly different way. With numerous hotels and casinos located throughout the United States, the company has unified its communications to all employees through mobile technology while localizing relevant information to their personal employment and hotel property. For many of its employees, theEMPLOYEEapp has become their mobile hub for business communication through which they are able to easily access workplace tools and information like their schedules, benefits, and pay. Frontline workers no longer need to visit computer kiosks during their breaks to retrieve this information, as it is now available at their fingertips on their mobile devices.
  • rue21, the retail chain with more than 2,000 stores, employs predominantly Millennials and GenZers. They are visual learners who desire fast, simple and easy communications. They want information an communications available at their fingertips at any time. Mobile technology allows rue21 to meet the technology needs of their employees. As part of a new communications strategy that began in 2016, the company is using theEMPLOYEEapp to deliver important content and information to its fontline workforce via their mobile device rather than through store registers and “Mailpacks” on paper. They also use it as a way to engage with their employees. Through the Facebook-like newsfeed, they push videos, store photos and other visuals to everyone demonstrating the many great and fun activities taking place throughout their enterprise.

Companies that invest in companywide mobile communications will reap the benefits of a more engaged and motivated frontline staff. Furthermore, the connections these workers experience will determine how they interact with customers and fellow employees in the future.

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