How to Engage Your Deskless Workers With Internal Communications

04 June 2020

Internal communications

What's the link between internal communications and employee engagement?

Engaged employees have high levels of job satisfaction, care about company success and feel an emotional connection to their organization.

Effective internal communication is how employers tell their employees why they should be engaged.

With mobile technology at our fingertips and a plethora of enterprise communication platforms, disseminating information to your employees - wherever they are - should be easier than ever.

The problem is that deskless workers  - whether they're in stores, physical sites, warehouses, trucks or out in the field - have been left out. 

An ineffective internal communications strategy is a prime reason why industries employing deskless workers tend to have such high turnover and low levels of engagement. 

Here are 3 ways to master internal communications with your deskless workers - and boost their engagement levels while you're at it.  

Inform

Nobody likes feeling like they’re out of the loop, especially in the workplace.

Unfortunately, that’s often exactly how deskless workers feel.

Maybe it’s the fact that they’re on their feet all day instead of sitting in front of a computer, or that the rest of the company doesn't see what they're up to day-to-day. 

Whatever the cause, employees who don’t feel like they’re part of the conversation are unlikely to be engaged in their work.

And as we've seen recently, real-time connection with all employees during a crisis is no longer just a nice-to-have. 

That’s why providing them with all the information they need is so crucial.

Implementing new daily sanitation protocols? Send out an announcement to employees ASAP coupled with the checklists they need to get started. 

Got a new product line coming out? Send out a little training session to help boost employee knowledge of the new items.

Altering your hours of operation? Send out a quick brief explaining why. 

Don’t take it too far, though - information overload is just as useless as not giving employees any information at all.

In fact, one study has indicated that in young adults (i.e. the demographic that will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025), a central memory store can only hold 3-5 meaningful items at a time.

So to make sure employees aren’t getting notification fatigue, you should be able to tailor updates according to their relevance to the user.

And while you’re at it - make it interesting! Use a mixture of written posts, videos, photos, gifs… have fun with it. Because let’s be honest, nobody can resist a good cat gif.

Actual footage of the YOOBIC content team at work, via GIPHY

Motivate

Ok, so you’ve got the “boring” part down. And you’ve even managed to get creative with it.

Now for something a little more fun - motivating your staff.

It’s all about creating a positive atmosphere for your team. Sharing motivational quotes and fun, lighthearted words of encouragement will make checking their messages enjoyable and give them a little boost on a difficult shift.

You can also use your comms system to organize fun contests. It could be as trivial as the best team selfie, the best Halloween decorations, or the cutest pet.

Alongside those, include more “serious” competitions like which store makes the most sales in a month, or which team had the highest productivity metrics.

Offer a reward to the winner - perhaps a small bonus, or even an extra day off - and see how the friendly competition drives performance.

And to spur on your teams even more, why not share a leaderboard where people can see their progress?

Gamified elements like these are far more effective at getting a user’s attention than just a dense block of text announcing the latest boring update.

Polls are another great way to motivate your teams. What’s so great about including this kind of feature is that it goes a step beyond the one-way, top-down communication deskless workers are used to.

Instead, it creates a dialogue. Asking for employees’ opinions - and displaying the answers in a transparent format - shows your staff that their involvement is valued, that they’re not just a cog in the machine.

Celebrate

This goes hand in hand with motivation. A motivated team is spurred on to do a good job, and teams that do a good job deserve to be praised.

Sharing positive feedback and data - for example, a great Yelp review or impressive sales figures from a particular field team - is a great way to champion your employees and show them that their achievements don’t go unnoticed.

The same can be done with a variety of other communications, such as:

  • Celebrating employees being promoted or reaching other career milestones
  • Welcoming new joiners to the team
  • Marking new openings of stores and physical sites
  • Highlighting positive attention in the press
  • Announcing new partnerships with other brands or influencers
  • Wishing your employees well on national holidays

Engaging and nurturing your employees with these 3 strategies will encourage a sense of loyalty to your organization, resulting in a highly motivated workforce and better-performing employees.

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