How to use mobile technology to effectively engage deskless workers

A mass exodus of non-desk workers has forced employers to focus on and understand the needs of their workforce. While many companies have begun to understand workers’ needs, employees continue to leave. To understand where employers fall short when it comes to deskless workers, Workforce Software recently conducted a study. Check the main takeaways here.

As many desk and non-desk workers began leaving in the last year, companies around the world began taking various measures to improve the employee experience and retention. Many assess the often-overlooked needs of employees, especially deskless shift workers. Yet employees continue to quit their jobs in search of better opportunities, leaving employers without the talent to support their operations. So where are employers failing?

To understand the different perceptions between employers and employees of what the latter need, Workforce Software recently conducted a study. A key finding of the study was that there is a significant gap between the perspectives of managers and shiftworkers on how organizations operate, engage, retain and attract talent.

Below are some key insights in detail.

See more: 63% of deskless workers feel more connected with access to additional training

A new divide is emerging between education and execution

Compared to the previous year, this year’s study showed that a new divide is emerging, one between education and execution. While organizations are more aware of employee needs, they lag behind in taking action.

When it comes to professional training, despite the increasing number of digital natives in the workforce, companies are underusing mobile technology to motivate employees. Compared to last year, more employees this year agreed that their companies provide adequate training and information to help them carry out their duties. However, there is a disconnect between how companies disseminate information and employee preferences for mobile training options.

When it comes to scheduling, many deskless people prefer a flexible, predictable, and accessible schedule because it brings stability to their lives. Outdated and unreliable planning methods create a huge barrier between managers and their reports. To achieve a better work-life balance, employees prefer processes that can be accessed from any device.

Because deskless employees have a wide range of expertise and skills, a one-size-fits-all approach to compensation cannot be considered. Organizations can consider task-based pay to engage and motivate employees. Employers who recognize this are likely to see the benefits of scheduling shifts based on employees’ skills, knowledge and equipment gaps rather than traditional compensation practices.

Frontline workers have long been under significant pressure to keep operations running smoothly. Recognizing and recognizing efforts is critical to supporting these workers while reducing the risk of burnout.

Gaps in employee feedback and communication are visible

Companies cannot communicate the value of an employee through recognition alone. Employees want their voice to be heard, especially when making important decisions. About 74% of employees said they would work for a company that regularly asks for feedback than those who don’t. About 74% of employees also said it is important to ask for feedback regularly, while 61% of employers agreed.

When it comes to communication, smartphones are essential for most employees to go about their day-to-day lives. Businesses are increasingly integrating mobile devices to connect with workers in the field, on assembly lines, or elsewhere. According to the study, there is more or less agreement between employers and employees when it comes to communication methods (60% of employers vs. 65% of employees). Despite this, many employees still feel they don’t have the right tools to communicate and collaborate with managers and colleagues.

Communicate smarter, not harder

One way to effectively bridge this gap is to communicate smarter. Traditional communication structures can be difficult for deskless employees who typically do not have access to a desktop or corporate e-mail. Not only are these systems prone to miscommunication, but they also fail to ensure that shift workers receive, understand, and act on the messages.

Intelligent communication enables meaningful interactions between employees and their colleagues, integrated into the workflow. In today’s work landscape, organizations need solutions that go beyond hierarchies and engage front-line workers.

A single mobile app can be designed to communicate intelligently in real time, leveraging data, analytics and automation. It can provide personalized experiences throughout the workflow and provide managers with deeper insights into the workplace. By bridging the gap between business goals and employee needs, intelligent communications enables the creation of a connected workplace that can anticipate, adapt and implement change.

According to the study, 45% of employees prefer to use a single mobile app to communicate and collaborate with their managers and team members, while only 14% use a company-approved app.

The central theses

Below are key insights for organizations to fill the gaps in the deskless workforce experience.

  • Use mobile technology to actively manage and engage today’s digitally native workforce

according to a Study by Citrix, 75% of the workforce will be digital natives by 2025. Also, managing their private lives is almost unthinkable for today’s workforce. They need mobile apps to communicate, shop and entertain. Why should managing their work be any different? The workplace-focused mobile app can help employees stay up to date with important information, collaborate with colleagues, access training, manage schedules, and provide feedback. At the same time, these apps can help managers better understand their team’s needs and take action in real time.

  • Promote work-life balance with forward-thinking and flexible planning

Today’s workers want to feel that their companies are invested in their work and their physical and mental well-being. This requires processes that are responsive, collaborative and adaptable to change. Predictable and flexible scheduling offers benefits such as improved productivity, reduced absenteeism, higher job satisfaction, and better engagement, resulting in happier, more productive, and more loyal employees. Companies can use modern workforce management software, especially mobile apps, to achieve the goal of forward-thinking and flexible planning.

See more: 3 communication strategies to engage your deskless workforce

  • Use real-time data and feedback loops to drive operational improvements

While the pandemic brought deskless and frontline workers into the mainstream discussion, they shouldn’t have to wait for another crisis to be prioritized by their organizations. A look at the past and this year’s studies shows that employees and managers mutually benefit when channels of awareness, communication and understanding are open. To keep up with the evolving workforce, reduce the time between feedback and implementation of change, and improve business performance, organizations need channels to effectively engage with employees and understand their needs.

Modern workforce technology can connect employees and managers on a human level. Real-time data and analytics provide insights into employee performance and opportunities for managers to connect, empower and celebrate their people. These platforms can leverage real-time employee feedback and help organizations adapt to the changing workforce landscape.

Organizations have been listening – now is the time to act

The Great Resignation and the War for Talent have forced companies to focus on the needs of the deskless. Organizations have finally started paying attention to what employees need to include. While managers today are more focused on their employees, there are still gaps in the implementation of the processes. Knowing that implementing the right workforce management processes and technologies will result in more productive, engaged and happier employees, now is the time to act.

What steps have you taken to improve the engagement and retention of your deskless employees? let us know Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn.

Image source: Shutterstock

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