Five ways to engage with frontline workers

Did you know four fifths of the global workforce could be considered deskless? 

If your workforce includes frontline, deskless or mobile employees, having a mobile-first employee app is essential.

In industries like retail, manufacturing, hospitality, travel, and health, your employee app will be the main digital channel for staff engagement and business processes.

Our Digital Workplace Trends 2021 eBook includes six articles that explain the impact of employee communications on the deskless workforce and gives you clear insights into improving your own digital employee experience.

Below we explore five ways a mobile-first solution revolutionizes frontline engagement.

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1. Connecting frontline workers (at last!)

In the past, logistical barriers and high costs have made it difficult for frontline staff to access the digital workplace. Licensing issues have meant few deskless employees have digital identities, and even fewer have corporate mobile devices. However, robust authentication processes and BYOD (bring your own device) policies now mean that frontline staff have increased access to the digital workplace via a dedicated app. An employee app connects all your employees, removing the constraints relating to devices and digital identities.

The importance of connecting frontline workers should not be underestimated. Creating equal access to information and workplace culture transforms engagement for staff who may have felt disconnected previously.

The overall impact can be significant. Research suggests that organizations who connect frontline workers can achieve significantly faster growth, improved productivity and reduced costs.

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2. Engaging frontline staff in fast turnover industries

Disengagement at work is a general problem, but frontline employees can feel even more disengaged than most. In industry sectors where there is a large proportion of frontline workers, employee turnover can be among the very highest rates – as high as 300%. This is expensive, and harms operations and service delivery.

With a digitally connected frontline, organizations have an opportunity to address engagement issues and reduce employee turnover. Access to leadership communications, being properly informed, creating a level playing field, and reducing employee frustration through improved processes are all important. The research cited above found that 64% of organizations with digitally connected frontline workers reported lower employee turnover.

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3. Helping frontline workers improve their customer service

Organizations have spent millions to try and help knowledge workers be more effective in their roles. An employee app gives frontline workers easy access to information, fast communication, and helpful tools. 

One area where apps play a significant role is in improving customer service. When customer-facing staff in retail, leisure, and transport can access reliable and accurate product and service information, they can give quick, accurate answers to customers on the ground. They can also ask their co-workers questions and get quick responses.

In manufacturing and engineering sectors, employees working on-site in manufacturing and engineering roles can use an app to access how-to videos on their mobile or send images and videos to get feedback from co-workers to help solve complex technical issues.

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4. Increasing productivity

Frontline staff haven’t always had easy access to digital services. That means they may still be stuck using manual forms and hard copy material. There are lots of opportunities to make processes easier by digitizing them.

Here’s some typical frontline processes that can be made more efficient using employee apps:

  • Accessing shift information and swapping rosters
  • Receiving key operational information and alerts
  • Requesting annual leave, equipment, uniforms and more
  • Reporting incidents immediately
  • Inputting data when on-site or out in the field.

When a mobile communications app enables these new capabilities through integration with elements of your digital workplace, it raises productivity and collaboration, and reduces errors while increasing morale.

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5. Driving innovation

In the challenging economic times ahead, innovation is going to play a significant role. Involving frontline staff in these innovation processes by encouraging their ideas and seeking their feedback is a huge opportunity to tap into their collective wisdom. Frontline workers are often the people who know your customers the best and are closest to your operational processes.

If you want input into the best way to streamline processes, improve customer service and create new products and services, an employee app is a great way to gather ideas and feedback.

More information

LiveTiles Reach – our employee communications app – is opening up the digital workplace and communications to frontline workers. Get in touch to arrange a demo.

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