Deskless workers comprise 80 percent of the workforce, making it essential to engage them via internal communication. They cannot be ignored as they could result in drawbacks like low productivity, high turnover, and reduced workforce safety.
Whether you’re in retail, food service, manufacturing, hospitality, or any other predominantly deskless industry, you need to create an effective employee communication strategy for your frontline and deskless workforce.
One-size-fits-all does not work
It is proven that the one-size-fits-all model for communication hardly works. As an enterprise, you should be aware of communicating with your deskless workforce in the same way as you communicate with your deskbound team.
There are several reasons for that and is because deskless workers often:
- Have limited access to office communication platforms — like emails and intranets that they can’t use during work hours.
- Receive news and alerts analogically — such as postings on bulletin boards and verbal updates from management, which makes it difficult for the employees to feel part of the larger community.
- Have difficulties accessing company information — like operating procedures, guidelines, and handbooks, which are often hidden as heavy documents in ring binders and unmanageable folders on desktops.
- Use outdated information — hence it can be hard for them to react to sudden changes and be responsive in unexpected situations.
Ways to engage the deskless workforce
To meaningfully leverage communication for employee engagement in deskless situations, the ideal approach is to:
- Implement a mobile employee engagement app that can reach every employee with news/alerts, which gives them the ability to communicate and collaborate and their managers on the same platform.
- Give the employees easy access to company information like instructions, product catalogs, standard operating procedures, personal handbooks, contacts, and FAQs via the engagement app.
- Create feedback options in the app such as surveys, ideation, and service desk features to encourage dialogue and collect actionable input.
- Avoid social media for internal communication, since it is difficult to control that personal data and classified company information do not fall into the wrong hands in fragmented and unstructured environments.
Once you put in place a solid plan to create an effective employee communication strategy for your frontline and deskless workforce, it will be easier to leverage the engagement you need and potentially avoid drawbacks like low productivity, high turnover, and reduced workforce safety.
The solution that brings it all together
The way to attain this leverage is with the Empact solution, which organizations have used to bring all their business communications and collaboration into a single, secure, and compliant mobile app that helps managers and employees to collaborate, access information, as well as share knowledge — without an excuse for using social media.
As our clients in retail, manufacturing, service, and defense say, the employees love it. The app is easy, intuitive, and self-explanatory because there is so much that can be done with it to not only bring day-to-day business processes into one safe and controlled place — helping you streamline processes, manage tasks and drive governance, but to also engage, empower, and retain people.
If you wish to learn more about our efforts in strategically designing an employee engagement app that adapts perfectly to your industry, feel free to contact us. We will happily assist you in creating a business case and provide a solution that fits your organization.