What is Mobile Workforce Management?

Mobile Workforce Management (MWM) is the process of managing deskless or frontline workers who aren’t bound to an office to complete their work.

Historically, MWM has primarily focused on the frontline worker—healthcare staff, truckers and logistics workers, manufacturing plant employees, and so on. But the workforce is changing. And so has the scope of MWM. 

As more companies embrace remote or hybrid work models, remote employees who work from home offices, coffee shops, and co-working spaces also count as mobile workers. 


Why is Mobile Workforce Management Important?

MWM is such a hot topic right now for a few key reasons:

  1. Employee Engagement. Over the last few years, employee engagement has become one of the most talked about workplace concepts. Specifically, why it’s so low and what happens when you achieve a highly engaged workforce. This metric is so important (but so elusive) that it’s become its own category of MWM tool.
  2. Employee Experience. This is linked to engagement, but isn’t the same. EX is starting to have it’s moment, specifically in HR and Comms circles. And that’s because employee experience is a holistic look at what it’s like to work somewhere. As opposed to engagement, which is a byproduct of the experience. To fix engagement, you have to start with the experience. So, you’ll see a lot of companies focusing on strategies and tools that work on managing EX.
  3. Frontline Workers. Frontline workers make up 80% of the global workforce. That is a huge amount of people that need access to tools and communication who can’t be reached by traditional communication channels. Therefore, MWM often focuses on overcoming challenges that face this group.
  4. Remote Work. It’s no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically shifted the way we work…and where we work. And with the number of companies embracing remote or hybrid work cultures, they’re going to need technology to keep up with the changing needs of these employees. We anticipate that this, in conjunction with better ways to support frontline teams, will be the main focus of workforce management in the next few years


What are Mobile Workforce Management Tools?

MWM tools and systems all revolve around supporting mobile work and the mobile worker. Because office workers have different access to tools and different needs from mobile workers, these technologies accommodate for the challenges specific to working from anywhere or not working at a computer.

But the collecting of tools that fall under the mobile workforce management system are vast. They include scheduling tools, training and development, payroll, employee communication, compliance, and more.


What are Popular MWM Tools?

There are a few main buckets of management tools for the mobile workforce. We’re going to focus on three, but keep in mind that with integrations, there are multiple ways to find the right fit for your company’s needs.

Type 1: Employee Engagement.

If you’ve ever sent out an employee engagement survey, you know how critical they are in terms of driving engagement and performance. Employee engagement tools can help build organizational trust, improve collaboration with peers, and share insight into how team agility is changing. While collecting employee sentiment is a great first step, actually utilizing MWM engagement software to mobilize insights can help promote great company culture. 

Type 2: All About Ops.

When operational aspects of a business are improved, the results can be substantial. Some benefits might include location tracking, real-time capacity tracking for businesses with multiple locations, or increased productivity. If you have a large mobile workforce, you know how important it is to have seamless schedules, and the right field team management tool can help you make decisions based on data. 

Type 3: Communication.

From the corporate office to the frontline, it’s important that organizations communicate company-wide messaging to the entire workforce. Communication is vital to productivity, conflict resolution, onboarding and training, and is a core component of the entire employee experience. And so when it comes to managing a dispersed workforce, establishing lines of communication that can reach those employees when and where they need it, is key. Successful MWM communication apps allow comms teams to segment targeted messaging depending on user groups, provide transparency into analytics so you can measure the value of messages, and send push notifications for high-priority messages that require employee activation. Great MWM tools also feature document repositories so you can ensure your frontline workers always have access to the latest datasheet or company information. 


How Can theEMPLOYEEapp Help Manage a Mobile Workforce?

80% of the global workforce doesn’t sit at a desk or have access to intranets or email. As a result, these dispersed employees often miss important announcements from their employers, causing them to feel disconnected and unimportant, ultimately leading to unengaged dispositions. With theEMPLOYEEapp, your company can reduce that friction by providing a tool that can be used across different types of devices, including mobile, tablet, and desktop. Since 85% of adults in the United States own a smartphone, utilizing a tool like theEMPLOYEEapp is a no-brainer. Employee engagement is a critical part of retention, job satisfaction, job performance, and increased earnings for your business (Holmes Report). When you have the right workforce management strategy and comms tool in place, you engage all your employees. 


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 comms.
  3. How is mobile technology altering workplace communication? Historically, deskless or mobile workers have not had the same access to communication and resources that office workers do. Mobile technology has enabled companies to reach these employees through their mobile phones and BYOD (bring your own device) structures. This technology is also enabling a different way of communicating than traditional internal comms platforms like Intranets and Email. Mobile messaging is more accessible, appeals to all generations, and is optimized for multimedia content, suiting more learning styles.


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