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 on the line in manufacturing facilities and working in our hospitals. More and 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. Our company was built by communications professionals, and we saw the growing gaps in communication with non-computer based 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.
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 ultimately increased earnings for your business (Holmes Report).
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.
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 the employee voice, opinions, and 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.
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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