Making up roughly 80% of the workforce, frontline employees have a crucial role in customer experience and it should be particularly worrying for employers if these potential brand ambassadors are the least engaged within the organisation. In fact, if the individuals that make up the face of the company, or work ‘behind the scenes’ to make the engine run smoothly, are disengaged, they’ll be less likely to deliver positive results over the long period.
Let’s pretend you just met Mike from the retail store in the local mall. Mike works for a company that has retail stores throughout the country, with thousands of frontline employees. He started working here a few months ago: he enjoys the job and its perks, but his interest does not extend much further than that. Does he know about all the new promotions, career opportunities, benefits and long-term business goals of the company? Is he breathing the brand values every day? Probably not! But you know what? He really should be.
Mike sounds like a familiar employee, right? If you work in retail, telecommunications, hospitality, manufacturing, or food services, then a large proportion of your workforce will be comprised of frontline – or non-desk employees. They are vital to your company and act as the face of your brand on a daily basis, so they are critical to engage, but often the hardest to reach. These employees are often very busy, work part-time with a tight schedule, are geographically dispersed and do not have access to traditional corporate communication channels. Basically, they are hard to reach in every possible way. Even if you do communicate with them, how can you ensure that information has been received and understood?
Looks like there’s an issue to solve! Right, but how do we do it?
Firstly, we need to consider these things:
- Only a small fraction of frontline employees have access to a company email address. Email is a good channel for internal communications; however, when dealing with frontline employees, high turnover, security, limited access, and expenses can become issues.
- Frontline employees are extremely time constrained during their workday: the total time spent by a retail employee on corporate communications averaged less than 2 minutes per day. Their time is short, so communication has to be quick, accessible, easy to understand, and actionable!
- Frontline employees usually rely on their immediate supervisors to keep them informed. This situation is interesting because we have both corporate and frontline employees relying on supervisors to receive, understand, and pass on the message properly. Depending solely on supervisors to communicate is dangerous, as it can result in issues with inconsistency and timing!
Companies need a way to reach their dispersed workforce in an accessible and efficient way! How should they do it? By choosing an enterprise mobile app!
A mobile app is the perfect answer! First of all, you do not necessarily need a corporate email address to access an enterprise app. Secondly, the combination of an app and push notifications makes for the most time-effective communication solution. Instead of having to check in on the company intranet, newsletter, social media pages, or email, a mobile app will check in on you. Push notifications prompt employees when there is new information for them, meaning they can access it when convenient and will not have to worry about missing anything important. Finally, corporations can use an enterprise app to reach every employee- down to the cashier at one of your retail locations. This means that everyone can be communicated with at the same time and with the same level of accuracy!
Did you know that over 85% of people between the age of 18 and 35 own a smartphone and are spending an average of 162 minutes per day using them?
With Gen Y being the largest generation in today’s workforce, and with incoming Gen Z employees, it is more important than ever to activate a mobile-first communications strategy! At the end of the day, your employees will be using their smartphones no matter what, so you might as well take advantage of it. Using a mobile app to connect with your frontline employees will help all parties involved, by making information more accessible and by providing a channel for two-way communications.
Is your company using an enterprise mobile app? If not, it should! Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment in the section below!