Deskless workers make up a huge part of the economy, around 2.7 billion professionals or 80% of the global workforce to be exact! Whenever employers ignore their deskless workers, they’re faced with huge losses in productivity share and all the additional costs incurred when replacing disengaged workers who leave the company.
What, and who, are deskless workers?
Deskless workers are the employees working out in the field and typically cannot use a computer to efficiently perform their job duties. From construction sites to restaurants and hotels, to retail, manufacturing, education, truck drivers and more. Usually, they don’t even have an internal company email.
Deskless employees often represent the company as they’re in front of the clients and the suppliers, therefore their actions have a direct impact on the company image.
What are the challenges of communications for deskless workers?
Deskless employees just aren’t as connected as the rest of the staff.
In fact, 85% of deskless workers say that the communication they receive on the job isn’t enough. Why is that?
- They don’t work in the office
- They’re usually on the road
- They barely visit the company office, if at all
- They have limited or no access to a computer
- They don’t receive the same training, if at all
- They don’t have a corporate email
- They struggle to connect and communicate with their peers
- They can’t easily access company news and updates
- They feel out of the loop and aren’t engaged
- They can’t access key documents or information on-the-go.
“Most remote workers feel totally disconnected from their corporate overlords,” says Henry Albrecht, CEO of Limeade.
Why is it a MUST to have good communication with your deskless workers?
Prevent harmful turnover
If you’re looking for that one answer to prevent harmful turnover then you need to look no further than effectively communicating with your deskless workforce. Ongoing, consistent communication is essential so use whatever means necessary to deliver.
Don’t just tell your team what to do, instead give them clear goals by letting them know how they’re doing, the steps needed to achieve the goal, be there to lend a hand and let them know how they’re affecting the bottom line.
Address concerns promptly, keep your team in the loop about all company matters, share in successes, discuss mistakes and so on. And most of all, remember that communication is a two-way street. Never assume anything. Let your employees share their opinions and ideas, let their voice be heard.
Most turnover is preventable.
So hammer down the points above know that everything is within your reach – a study found that most employees leave a company because of a lack in career development, a poor work-life balance, poor manager relationships, and low compensation.
All of this can be avoided if your employees feel connected to the company. Ensure that communications for deskless workers are streamlined to avoid the negative scenarios above.
Empower middle management
When it comes to sharing information, most companies follow the top-down method. However, this leads to a trickle of information instead of streamlined communication. Trickle down communication only leads to the following: employees are faced with limited opportunities for feedback, delays in announcements, and are far too dependent on a single person to share information.
Therefore, in order to have effective communication with deskless workers, you need to empower middle management.
“Middle managers can be powerful facilitators of change bridging the gap between the macro level focus of change proponents (designing structures, administrative processes, missions, cultures, strategies and protocols) and micro level implementation (knowledge, needs, skills, experience, communication, learning, values, practices) that shape process changes.
A central research finding is that empowering middle managers is the key to effective change implementation.”
Middle managers are the key to:
- Effectively communicating company goals and initiatives
- Leading the success of change management
- Leading company strategy being properly implemented
- Have a direct hand in how quickly change can happen within the company
- Have a direct hand in the trust amongst team members.
“The stronger the bond of middle managers to front-line workers is, the more economically viable and financially sound the organization will be.”
Deskless employees are the face of the company
People buy people. It might be an age-old saying but it is very much relevant, especially in 2021. Rather than spending millions on brand recognition, commercials, and product development, companies must invest in their employees. Especially if your frontline, deskless employees are critical to your customer experience.
According to Gallup, more than two-thirds of all employees are disengaged or actively disengaged. And that’s worrying when good employee engagement leads to a better relationship between the company and the customer, more ideas, frequently showing up to work and on time, higher productivity, better morale, a healthy work-life balance, and are more likely to recommend their company to others.
In order to really drive employee engagement, communication is a must. “Companies must communicate to better understand and internalize the value proposition of their own company and to represent it with the customer in a convincing manner.”
With a solid internal communication plan and transparency, employers can meet the growing demands of the modern customer because they invest in their employees on a regular and permanent basis.
Fostering a positive work environment
There is no doubt that a positive work environment helps companies two-fold: to avoid high turnover and to better attract new talent. Many companies focus on executing a healthy company culture to better their work environment in a positive manner.
In November 2019, the average turnover rate in the United States was 3.7%. As a whole, that’s a pretty impressive rate, however when you know that turnover costs the American economy around $3 billion annually, it puts things into perspective.
“Good internal communication provides constant feedback and purpose which increases employee engagement which in turn decreases turnover rates, ultimately saving the company money.”
When you’re looking to attract top talent and retain them then your employees need to know their employers and they need a positive work environment. This means having a great internal communications system, listening to your employees, showing appreciation, having opportunities to grow and develop skills, and having fun. All of these combine to create a healthy work environment which gives your company an edge in today’s very competitive market.
Higher productivity and efficiency
“A business cannot generate sustainable value and growth without employees understanding where it’s headed, why, what it’s going to take to get there, and why each employee matters,” said Steve Soltis, the group director of employee and leadership communications for The Coca Cola Company.
Soltis hit the nail on the head. Especially as the costs of miscommunication today are dramatically growing. Large enterprises with 100,000 employees or more experience an average loss of $62.4 million per year because of mismanaged communications. Smaller organizations with less than 100 employees incur costs of $420,000 per year. And here’s the kicker, deskless employees are directly caught in the middle of this disconnect.
When your deskless workers receive a constant and steady flow of information, they are easily more productive and efficient. Why? Simply put, they’re in the loop. They know what’s going at headquarters, what their co-workers are up to, how sales are growing, when new team members join or retire, etc. Your deskless workforce wants to know it all. Just like your in-office staff.
So what’s the communication solution for deskless workers?
To properly reach your entire deskless employees, you need effective and modern communication solutions for deskless workers. What do we mean by that? We don’t mean emails, bulletin board printouts, or phone calls. Those are outdated methods of communication.
Think about it. Everyone has a smartphone so use this to your advantage. Especially when you have employees who are constantly on the move. Today, we see that more and more companies are making the digital switch with employee apps and with amazing results.
Employee apps remove hierarchical barriers and location issues by efficiently facilitating a direct two-way communication channel. Therefore, the gap is bridged between management and employees, especially deskless employees.
Connecteam: the best tool for deskless workers
With Connecteam, you have multiple ways to communicate and engage with your deskless employees. From group chat or private chat to feedback surveys to a suggestion box and so much more. Take communication with your deskless workers to the next level with Connecteam’s chat app.
With Connecteam, employee engagement and strong internal communication is easy to build as you have a more connected company that allows your whole workforce to become empowered to interact, share, and collaborate with one another, no matter their job role or location.
Why Connecteam is the best solution for deskless workers:
Easy to use
Connecteam is super simple to use that even the not so tech-savvy employees on your team can get started in seconds. There’s no need to train anyone either, once you’ve set the app up, just send the company code to your employees. With the code, employees download the app and plug-in their email – it doesn’t need to be a company email either and since Connecteam is accessible on their mobile phone, your team can do this while on-the-go.
Communication is simplified
When sharing company news, announcements or updates, it’s easy to do so in real-time with private or group chats. Your employees don’t need to wait for the next meeting or email to get key news, instead, updates are sent straight to their smartphone. Additionally, admin can enable comment and like features to boost engagement or disable the features to avoid unnecessary notifications.
Sharing is easy
In the tap of a button, share and send information in the best way to engage your staff: share pictures, videos, voice notes, GIFs, files and even, GPS location.
Work contacts are easier to navigate
There is no need to manually add or remove work contacts, instead, everything is available on the Connecteam app. Quickly and easily search for the relevant employee or manager by name, department, location, or job role.
Check-in with your employees on a regular basis, waiting around for an annual review only hampers productivity and engagement. Send surveys after events, meetings, company gatherings and more – this allows you to gauge how your team is feeling and where their satisfaction levels lie. As a result, you can catch problems before they get out of control and can keep your team developing more productively and effectively.
Enable the suggestion box so your staff can share their ideas and opinions with you. After all, they’re on the front lines at all times so they may have bright ideas you can implement to boost the bottom line.
If the situation arises when you need to let an employee go, any sensitive company information cannot be exported from the app. With Connecteam, media is not saved on an employee’s mobile device and conversations cannot be shared outside the app.
The need to write anything and everything is totally irrelevant as all data is stored and you can access it any time. Via the admin dashboard, you can add features to your employee app, create content, run and export reports, modify access and control, and manage your entire team from one place.
In addition, the dashboard automatically tracks and measures everything that happens in your employee app in real-time and makes all the data clearly visible and actionable.
Listen to how a field service company with 200+ employees utilizes Connecteam for daily internal communication & engagement!
Lastly, let’s talk about cost. It’s so good that we turned it into its own paragraph! Connecteam is the only employee communication app that offers fixed monthly plans that don’t hurt the back pocket. Pricing starts at just $39 a month for up to 50 users. And if you need more than 200 users, there’s an Enterprise plan available. And let’s not forget the “free for life plan!”
Connecteam is made for deskless employees
Connecteam is your tool to manage your deskless employees by streamlining employee engagement, development, and relationship. You can optimize communication, give your employees a platform to be heard, boost engagement, strengthen the company culture, align employees with company policies, streamline daily operations, build professional skills and so much more.