3 Examples of Outstanding Internal Communications for Frontline Employees

16 November 2020

Internal communications

If you've ever gone white water rafting, you'll understand the importance of having everyone paddling at the same speed and in the same direction. 

An effective internal communications strategy is a lot like the rafting guide who tells you when and how fast to paddle. 

Because if everyone is doing their own thing, you're going to have a really hard time steering the boat. And you definitely won't make it over the first rapid. 

The internal communications strategy, methods, channels and tools you choose determine whether your employees are engaged and collaboratively working towards the same goal - even when the water gets rough. 

But for companies with a frontline workforce, including every employee in your internal communications network is integral to success.

That's because the work done by frontline employees - like serving customers, manufacturing and selling products - is the lifeblood of a company. 

 

Why are effective internal communications so critical for frontline employees?

When done in the right way, internal comms: 

  • Boost employee engagement 

  • Increase productivity - by as much as 25%, according to McKinsey

  • Keep employees informed, and create a knowledge-sharing culture

  • Save busy employees time. Using social internal communications tools cuts the time employees spend looking for information by 35%

But without the right strategy and methods, your internal communications might not be reaching your frontline employees at all, which means they're not reaping any of the benefits listed above. 

 

Why don't internal communications reach most frontline employees? 

  • Distance. Frontline employees work in stores, restaurants, factories, warehouses and out in the field - completely separate from corporate or head office employees

  •  Activity. Frontline employees spend all day on their feet. Since they don't have more than a few minutes to sit behind a desk, they're usually the last to know things

  • Lack of investment in mobile tech. Just like the rest of us, frontline employees are never far from a mobile device. So mobile tech is the best way to reach, engage with and empower frontline workers. Despite the fact that frontline employees make up 80% of the global workforce, their needs for internal communications aren't properly understood and invested in - until now

What are the best ways to use internal communications to engage, inform and boost productivity for frontline employees? 

Here are 3 outstanding ways we've seen internal communications used, with real life examples from our amazing customers! 

 

Example #1: To unify during a crisis

During a crisis, internal communications is the glue holding your company together.

And over the last 6 months, there hasn't been a single company that hasn't had to plan out their crisis communications with employees. 

In their April 2020 leader's guide to crisis communications, McKinsey recommends tailoring  content and style depending on how employees are feeling - whether that's anxious, worn down or sad about the loss of their pre-COVID lifestyle. 

When employees are  frontline workers - especially in hard-hit industries like hospitality - finding the right strategy to engage, inform and reassure is even more critical to business continuity.  

Real life example:

BurgerFi, a fast-casual restaurant chain that's among the fastest growing burger concepts in the US, used YOOBIC's internal communications platform to keep frontline employees engaged and informed - even as locations were forced to close during COVID-19. 

Keeping employees in the loop was a key pillar of BurgerFi's people-first strategy as local, county, state and federal guidelines were rapidly shifting.

When frontline employees returned to work, they were informed, engaged and even more knowledgeable thanks to the trainings they completed during their time off. 

 

"We have been able to rapidly deploy enhanced safety protocols to our teams and, most importantly, maintain constant communication with our BurgerFi family during these uncertain times" 

- Nick Raucci, Chief Operations Officer @BurgerFi

 

Read more about how BurgerFi informs, engaged and trains their frontline teams with YOOBIC

 

Example #2: To boost performance in a fun way

Employees who feel they have a voice within the company are 4.6 times more likely to perform their best work. 

Frontline employees might not feel like their voice matters when they never meet many of their peers, or even supervisors, in-person. That's a lot of knowledge and connections they're missing out on.

To overcome this divide, internal communications should connect and engage in the same way social media does. 

Considering the large chunk of frontline employees in the Gen Z and millennial demographics, choose engaging, concise and fun formats for internal comms content, taking inspiration from social media.

Real life example:

Online-only lingerie retailer Adore Me knew they needed an internal communications and employee engagement strategy that matched their brand values as they expanded into the brick and mortar world.

Now, with the help of the YOOBIC employee communication platform, Adore Me's store teams post photos, comment and give their feedback. Stores compete against each other in mini challenges and even fun contests like the cutest pet photo or best Halloween costume. 

 

"I think it [the YOOBIC newsfeed] really brings alignment and a feeling of one-ness that really helps to boost sales when we have everyone engaged and going after the same goal."

- Paula Angelucci, District Manager @ Adore Me

 

Watch how Adore Me keeps store teams engaged, aligned and motivated with YOOBIC: 

 

 

Related: 3 Ways to Use the YOOBIC Newsfeed to Drive Engagement Across Your Network

 

Example #3: To share best practices and inspire when connecting in-person isn't possible

What's the best way for employees to get better at their jobs, on the job? 

Learn from other employees.

That's because knowledge learned informally sticks better than knowledge learned formally.

But for frontline employees spread across stores, restaurants and physical sites, this knowledge stays hidden - without the right internal comms strategy, that is.

Back in B.C. (Before Coronavirus), field managers (area, regional, district managers, etc.) shared knowledge and best practices during their in-person visits and audits. 

But now, in-person visits and audits aren't feasible anymore, and probably won't be for a while. 

So what can employers of frontline workforces do? 

Use the right internal communications tool to actively involve employees in sharing their tips, tricks and best practices - without having to see each other in-person. 

Real life example:

For French gas station operator Picoty, communicating with their points of sale became a real challenge when field teams could no longer make their visits during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Picoty deployed the YOOBIC platform as a channel to link headquarters, points of sale and field teams.

In particular, they reworked their internal communications strategy so sector managers could share the tips, tricks and best practices from their teams, to inspire employees in every location. 

 

"We update the news feed of our [YOOBIC] social network on a weekly basis, in particular, thanks to the the heads of sectors, who provide us with the best practices of their managers and share them with the entire network, thus bringing together all the players in our network  in order to offer the best experience to our customers and boost our sales."

-David Ruaud, Retail Network Manager @ Picoty

 

Read more about how Picoty is boosting employee engagement with YOOBIC 

What do each of these examples have in common? 

An in-depth understanding of the reality of being a frontline employee, and a strategy that gives every worker a voice. 

A successful internal communications strategy reaches every employee, no matter where they are, and makes them want to actively participate in communicating with the rest of the organization. 

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74% of employees feel like they're missing out on company news. Keep your frontline employees in the loop and give them a voice with YOOBIC's internal communications and employee engagement platform. It's as fun and easy to use as social media! 

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