No matter what message or policy you want to communicate, unless your deskless workers are engaged, it’s effectiveness will be limited. With 80% of the world’s workforce consisting of deskless employees, and traditional methods of communicating no longer cutting the mustard, it is time we addressed how we communicate with these people and introduced new employee engagement ideas.
Traditionally, frontline employees have either relied on their line managers to disseminate a message, perused a noticeboard or logged into a shared computer. While once upon a time these were the only options, today we have technology that can make communication equal, no matter where your employees work.
Whether you have already identified the employee engagement channels you need to deploy or are still researching your internal communication and staff engagement options, below is a checklist that will help you create an effective internal comms strategy for your hard to reach employees.
Before you embark on an all guns blazing communication strategy that focuses on granular details it’s important to remember, when your deskless workers have been working remotely with limited communications, they may lack some of the basics around the purpose of their role. Ensure you include company strategy communications into your plan so that everyone understands what they are doing and why are they doing it. That way, everyone will be able to see how their role fits into the bigger picture and they are more likely to engage with your new employee engagement ideas.
Digital capabilities mean we no longer have to push the same comms to everyone. By taking time to understand what is relevant to an individual and what they would like to hear about, you can instantly improve engagement. A starting point is to create segmented groups for email sends or you could paint a more accurate picture by using an internal comms app that has the capability to report on engagement with each piece of content.
This would enable you to build up an ‘engagement profile’ of each of your employees, not only enabling you to send them communications they want to hear, but also helping you to identify brand and communication advocates who you can recruit to further improve your internal communication strategies.
Traditionally, many deskless employees have to communicate their opinions or ideas through their line manager but this no longer needs to be the case. An employee engagement app will give your hard-to-reach employees a voice. In a structured way, they can feedback their thoughts and ideas directly to those who want to hear, giving them the empowerment needed to motivate and encourage innovation.
While it is often harder to recognise frontline employees because they often work alone or in silos, it is important to find effective methods to recognise your remote teams. Whether that is setting time aside in schedules to engage in conversations that aren’t directly linked to day-to-day work, highlighting the purpose of a team and their performance in a company briefing, or providing a channel for colleagues to recognise one another.
Whatever the right approach for your organisation, make the necessary changes, promote the reason for the changes, onboard champions to push your message out and ensure you recognise employees equally and consistently.
One of the greatest challenges for a workforce constantly on the move is having access to the right information at the right time. You cannot expect an operative to memorise your policies, but if you give them direct access through an internal comms app or file storage facility, they are far more likely to reference it. Likewise, without direct access to forms, it is highly likely that some of your employees will cut corners or ‘wing it’. The same applies with communication. If your deskless employees don’t know who to speak to, they may just not bother.
With immediate access to a searchable people directory, you can connect your frontline team with colleagues across the organisation and encourage collaboration.
No one person is the same, everyone will have their own preferences for how they consume information and how they communicate. It’s important to give your deskless teams options, none more so than during a period of change. As you introduce something new, such as employee engagement software, ensure your existing channels run in tandem. Overtime you may be able to decommission certain channels but you need to ensure everyone is familiar with their options first.
With an effective two-way communication strategy in place you will have the insight you need to inform and confirm your strategies for years to come. Whether it is the results of a satisfaction survey, the comments on an article, or a month-on-month content comparison, feedback is invaluable. For optimum efficiencies it would be beneficial to have all this information within one employee engagement platform but whatever information you collate, ensure you do so in a structured manner so that you can utilise your data as effectively as possible.
With the seven employee engagement ideas above in place you will engrain a culture of inclusivity and empowerment. Your deskless employees will want to familiarize themselves with and engage with the communications you send and you will have an effective employee communication and engagement strategy that works for everyone.
If you are ready to change how you engage, get in touch with VRAMP today and we will show you how our employee engagement software can improve the effectiveness of your frontline employee communications.
I have over 15 years marketing experience in the B2B sector and have always been heavily involved in internal communication and employee engagement. I firmly believe that with the right engagement strategy in place, an organisation can achieve so much more.