How to Leverage Mobile Technology to Engage the Deskless Workforce Effectively

A massive exodus of non-desk employees has forced employers to focus and understand the needs of their workforce. While many companies have begun to understand the needs of workers, employees continue to leave. To understand where employers are going wrong with deskless employees, Workforce Software recently conducted a study. Check out the key points here.

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

To understand the perception gap between employers and employees about 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 shift workers on how organizations work, engage, retain and attract talent.

The following are some key points in detail.

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

A new gap is emerging between education and performance

Compared to the last year, this year’s study showed that a new gap is emerging, between education and performance. While organizations are more aware of the needs of employees, they are slow to take action.

When it comes to job training, despite the growing number of digital natives in the workforce, companies are underutilizing mobile technology to engage employees. Compared to last year, more employees agreed this year that their companies provide adequate training and information to help them do their jobs. However, there is a disconnect between how companies circulate information and employee preferences for mobile training options.

When it comes to scheduling, many deskless workers prefer a flexible, predictable, and accessible schedule as it brings stability to their lives. Outdated and unreliable scheduling methods create a huge barrier between managers and their reports.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.

Since deskless workers vary across a wide range of knowledge and skill sets, a one-size-fits-all pay approach cannot be considered. Organizations may consider task-based pay to engage and motivate employees. Employers who recognize this will likely recognize the benefits of scheduling shifts based on employee ability, knowledge, and equipment gaps, rather than traditional compensation practices.

Frontline workers have long had significant pressure on them to run operations smoothly. Recognizing and celebrating the efforts is crucial to support these workers and reduce the risks of burnout.

Gaps are visible in employee feedback and communication

Companies cannot communicate the value of an employee solely through recognition. Employees want their voices to be heard, especially when making key decisions. About 74% of employees said they would work for a company that regularly asked for feedback than those who did not. Some 74% of employees also said it’s important to ask for feedback on a regular basis, while 61% of employers agreed.

When it comes to communication, smartphones are essential for most employees to manage their daily lives. Companies are increasingly incorporating mobile devices to connect with workers in the field, on assembly lines or in other areas. According to the study, employers and employees are more or less aligned when it comes to communication methods (60% of employers vs. 65% of employees). That said, many employees still feel they don’t have the right tools to communicate and collaborate with managers and coworkers.

Communicate smarter, not harder

One way to effectively bridge this gap is to communicate smarter. Traditional communication structures can be complicated for desktopless employees, who typically don’t have access to a desktop or company email. In addition to being vulnerable to miscommunication, these systems cannot ensure that shift workers receive, understand, and act on messages.

Intelligent communications enable meaningful interactions between employees and their colleagues that are integrated into the workflow. In today’s workplace landscape, companies need solutions that go beyond hierarchies and engage frontline employees.

A single mobile app can be designed to intelligently communicate in real time, leveraging data, analytics, and automation. You can provide personalized experiences throughout the workflow while giving managers deeper insight into the workplace. By bridging the gap between business objectives and employee needs, intelligent communications enable the creation of an interconnected 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.

key takeaways

The following are key points for organizations to reduce the experience gaps of the deskless workforce.

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

according to a citrix studio, 75% of the workforce will be digital natives by 2025. Furthermore, managing your personal life is almost unthinkable for today’s workforce. They need mobile apps to communicate, shop, and be entertained. Why should your job management be any different? The workplace-related mobile app can help employees stay up-to-date on critical 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 flexible, predictive scheduling

Today’s workforce wants to feel that their organizations are committed to 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, improved job satisfaction, and increased engagement, leading to happy, productive, and loyal employees. Organizations can take advantage of modern workforce management software, especially mobile apps, to achieve the goal of flexible and predictive scheduling.

See more: 3 Communication Strategies to Engage Your Deskless Workforce

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

While the pandemic has brought deskless and frontline workers into the mainstream conversation, they shouldn’t have to wait for their organizations to prioritize another crisis. Looking at previous and this year’s studies, it is clear that employees and managers mutually benefit when channels of knowledge, communication and understanding are opened. To keep pace with workforce evolution, reduce the time between feedback and change implementation, and improve business performance, companies need channels to effectively connect with employees and understand their needs.

Modern workforce technology can connect employees and managers on a human level. Real-time data and analytics provide insight into employee performance and opportunities for managers to connect, support and celebrate their workforce. These platforms can take advantage of real-time employee feedback and help companies adapt to the changing workforce landscape.

Organizations have listened: 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 worker. Companies have finally started paying attention to what employees need to be engaged. While managers are more aligned with their employees today, gaps still exist when it comes to implementing processes. Since implementing the right workforce management processes and technology leads to a more productive, engaged, and happy workforce, now is the time to act.

What steps have you taken to improve the engagement and retention of your deskless workforce? Share with us on Facebook, TwitterY LinkedIn.

Image Source: Shutterstock


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