Manufacturing employees make up a huge percentage of the global deskless workforce. Of the estimated 2.7 billion frontline and non-desk employees worldwide, about 427 million of those work in the manufacturing industry.
And 91% of manufacturing companies in 2018 were committed to spending money on technology for their dispersed workforces, with many focusing on mobile technology. Why? Because these employees have been historically hard to reach, and that has big repercussions on the organization’s bottom line.
In manufacturing, safety goes beyond being a priority–it’s deeply ingrained in the culture. And communication is the first and most essential part of building a site safety culture. In a world without a communication solution that reaches every individual employee in a facility, you rely on the cascade of information from the corporate office to management in the field–hoping that it gets shared with all employees. This game of telephone can have serious impacts if the right messaging doesn’t get passed down. And with over 40% of communicators citing poor line manager communication skills as a major barrier (State of the Sector, 2020), this can result in an increase in safety incidents.
We also see dispersed employees feeling disconnected from the folks at corporate. If line employees even know who their CEO is, they likely experience distrust of the “corporate agenda” if they never feel like they are communicated to. When change is announced and these employees don’t get to see messages directly from the leadership team, it feels isolating. Employee engagement plummets. Retention suffers. And the culture you so desperately want to create at your organization, likely won’t reach the manufacturing floor.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Waupaca Foundry’s Marketing Communications Manager Sara Timm said, “For the very first time in our organization’s history, we were able to ensure that every employee that chooses to have the app on their phone receives a piece of information at the same time that their peer does. We have leveled the playing field. Everyone has access. And we couldn’t have done that without the app.”
By investing in mobile technologies that meet employees where they are–out in your facilities–you create a direct line of communication. The game of telephone goes away, which gives you a chance to level the playing field.