Deskless workers comprise 80 percent of the global workforce, making it essential to engage them via internal communication.
Here are 5 Challenges Organizations Face with Deskless Workforce
#1 They have high turnover rates
These employees tend to be less loyal and they change their jobs more often compared to office employees. Moreover, many deskless employees see their jobs as temporary, and they don’t see themselves with their current employer long-term.
#2 They are hard to reach
A recent study found that over 83% of frontline workers don’t even have a corporate email address, and 45% don’t even have access to the company intranet when at work.
Deskless workers are often at the frontline of your business. This makes it extremely hard for employers and managers to reach their people in a timely manner. While other workers may be using email, intranets, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and other communication channels, many deskless employees don’t have access to such technology or it’s too complicated for them to use it.
#3 They don’t have a sense of belongingness
Because of poor workplace communication, deskless employees tend to feel left out, they are not aligned with the company’s strategy, and they often don’t feel like a part of the group.
#4 They are disconnected and disengaged
in most cases, office workers use more communication and engagement tools than most frontline employees. These tools enable them to always stay connected with their peers and superiors. On the other hand, many frontline employees feel disconnected and out of the loop from the rest of the company.
#5 They are voiceless and don’t feel empowered
Because deskless employees are hard to reach and they are not well connected, they are often voiceless, and feel like their ideas are not heard.
Internal communications in labor-intensive industries is a one-way street. Announcements and updates go from top to bottom, and that’s where the conversation ends. Today’s blue-collar workers demand more transparency. Keep your staff in the loop and ask for their opinions often, it will make them feel valued and become more engaged.
With a mobile in everyone’s hands, the management has an opportunity to seed conversation amongst the dispersed workforce, help them collaborate, and watch out for ground-level insights. Thanks to mobile phones, organisations are realizing that there are different ways to give a voice to the workers who’re mostly offline, without a desk and are remote.
Communication should be personal. But unfortunately, verbal communication and/or emails are inefficiente in this demografic structure. It is important to remember, that for non-desk workers, internal communication does more than just communication: it is the glue that holds your large distributed and disparate teams together.
When you decide on a tool in this sector to train, manage and engage your employees, remember that it goes beyond just installing an app on your device. The tool goes out to 1000s of your deskless workers, necessitating an awareness exercise, a change in their current habits of accessing information, and also a change of processes at your end. So it’s important to choose your tool wisely.
The tool should enable you to push out only relevant updates to your workforce of blue collar workers. They often operate alone. So, it’s important that you should be able to bring your entire workforce online, no matter the size. With this, you can build a peer network that includes employees across locations, foster a spirit of community as well as build some healthy competition.
Communicate their progress, and identify their knowledge gaps. The realisation that employers are interested in their growth, helps build loyalty immensely. Only in the last couple of years, has the industry started taking recognising the needs of these workers and designing appropriate internal communications tools for them.