80% of the global workforce consists of frontline workers. They work in stores, construction sites, and factories, or drive to customers’ residential and commercial areas to solve problems.
The point is, they are everywhere, and companies can’t run without them. They’re the backbone of your business. Yet many frontline workers aren’t as engaged as desk-based employees.
According to Frost & Sullivan’s research, nearly 33% of organizations say their frontline workers aren’t fully empowered and digitally equipped.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Most frontline workers may not have a personal desk or even an email, but they have mobile phones. So let’s see how you can use an employee app to engage frontline workers.
- Tips and tricks to engage frontline workers
- Internal communication do’s and don’ts for frontline managers
- Conclusion: engage frontline workers with an employee app
We’ll begin with some of the best ways to use an employee app to strengthen the connection between corporate headquarters and frontline employees.
Frontline Employee Engagement in 2023
After working with hundreds of frontline organizations, Blink has created this guide to help leaders prepare for a year that promises both challenge and opportunity.
Download to learn: The top 8 frontline engagement trends to watch out for and the 6 key strategies for success
Video is one of the most popular formats that people prefer for content consumption. And frontline workers are no different.
Plus, the popularity of video communication has only grown since the pandemic. For example, as per an estimate, daily video conferencing traffic rose by 535% in 2020.
A video connects better than plain text because it allows frontline workers to see and listen to other people in the company. So before you share a written message via your employee app, see if it would be better to turn it into a video instead.
From briefings and toolbox talks to employee recognition and updates from the CEO, a video can bring many types of messages to life and engage frontline workers.
Both HR and IC departments communicate with workers regularly. And if you deploy an employee app at work, it’s likely that both teams will use it to engage frontline workers.
So it’s only natural that they work together and get aligned on the messages to be posted, along with the tone, style, and frequency of communication.
For example, you can schedule a weekly meeting with the HR department to brief the team on relevant topics from both parties. This way, IC will stay informed on what’s happening in HR and vice versa.
Plus, if there are any problems or doubts, both teams can collaborate to come up with solutions.
You want an employee app to make a meaningful contribution to business outcomes. And to do that, it’s essential to first have clear goals and a concrete strategy to meet those goals.
For example, planning your messages in advance helps you eliminate last-minute panic situations about what to share and how to share it.
A strong internal communication plan also helps get everyone in the IC and other teams on the same page and make adjustments collectively. For more information, check out our complete guide on creating an internal communication strategy.
Onboarding and training frontline workers properly are crucial to their progress and performance. But they may not have the time to carry or read sheets of paper, or a personal computer or desk to view PDFs or webinars.
An employee app helps you reach and engage them through a device they all have access to. So use the app to provide them with on-the-job training and other information at their fingertips.
With Blink’s Content Management Hub, for example, you can let workers quickly access procedures, guides, and policies in one convenient place.
Recognize and appreciate your employees
72% of leaders agree that recognition has a big impact on employee engagement. When workers are recognized publicly, it motivates everyone to perform better.
An employee app can help you give workers public recognition for the whole organization to see. Blink offer’s a personalized feed for every frontline worker. Its social-media-style interface is familiar to most people, and it fits around busy frontline schedules. So your recognition can be as simple as a social media post on the feed.
Internal communication do’s and don’ts for frontline managers
Next, let’s see some best practices to keep in mind when sharing information via an employee app to engage frontline workers.
You may already have some communication channels at work, such as email and video conferencing. And when you adopt an employee app, you get access to more channels like instant messaging and social media feed.
But every communication is different. And for best results, you should use only the right channels. Plus, you can combine them in multiple ways to engage frontline workers.
Let’s say you want to run a campaign about making your organization more sustainable. So you can conduct an interactive town hall session to outline the campaign goals, and later use your employee app’s newsfeed to launch a contest that encourages workers to participate in sustainability initiatives.
Many companies follow a top-down approach where information flows in one direction, from top management to all the employees.
With this type of communication, frontline employees hardly ever have a say. This is a huge missed opportunity because these people work with customers directly and know the ground reality. So they often have great insights to improve business.
With an employee app, you have the option to change this outdated system and boost employee engagement. For example, you can conduct anonymous polls and invite comments on your posts.
Plus, channels like instant messaging and social feed give workers ample chances to share their thoughts. So use them strategically to encourage two-way communication and boost overall engagement.
When it comes to communication via a mobile app, less is more. Everyone’s busier than ever, and people don’t have time to read lengthy messages, especially on a mobile device.
If you want your messages to be noticed by workers, write for clarity, and keep them short and sweet. You can also create a style guide to help everyone in your communications team do the same. Here’s an example of an internal alert:
We are facing a problem with our server network. [time] All the systems are down until further notice.
Please see your manager for any additional questions. More information to follow. Thank you!”
Break down long messages into biteable chunks, and share them at the right times based on when and where employees will need the information.
Also, consider converting the message into a more engaging or interactive format like a video, graphic, or poll.
Over-communication is often essential for critical messages to reach your workers. But if you overload employees with several messages not relevant to them, they’ll start tuning out from everything.
For example, if you want to share safety procedures that apply to warehouse workers, there is no need to send them to everyone else in the company.
Two-way communication goes beyond letting workers share their thoughts. It’s just as important to listen and, if possible, to act on those concerns.
For example, if an employee shares an issue that ends up getting many likes and comments, you’ll know that it’s important to all workers. And when you solve the problem, they’ll feel valued, and engage more as a result.
84% of frontline employees say that they’re not kept properly informed by their organization. And obviously, if frontline workers feel that way, it’ll impact how engaged they are.
But as you can see, an employee app lets you keep frontline employees in the loop. Instead of hearing company news from the grapevine, frontline workers get updates straight from the source.
So with these tips and tricks in hand, it’s time to start making adjustments to your content sharing process. And if you haven’t started using an employee app yet, consider Blink. Get a free demo today.