Companies that have hourly or exempt employees, decentralized work forces and high employee turnover have some of the most difficult challenges with providing effective internal communications to their people. Particularly companies in specific vertical markets such as retail, manufacturing and others see this challenge on a daily basis. How can you effectively communicate to these employees that have a high rate of disengagement and turn over? Using an employee mobile app for communications and engagement can help solve this problem of communicating to hourly employees.
When you have a decentralized work force with lots of locations, that is primarily part time or hourly based, training, learning, career development and providing motivational tools can be very difficult. Thankfully, there are employee mobile app communication and engagement tools such as hubEngage, that provide employers with an opportunity to provide their hourly employees with a fast, convenient, rewarding, fun and engaging channel to help them be the best at their jobs. Typically, hourly and exempt workers do not have access to computers and are not sitting at desks or inside offices. Foe example, they may be in the retail space, where they are out on the customer floor doing very various tasks in order to keep a store going. This is where an employee mobile app platform can provide tremendous value to communicate to hourly employees.
Imagine being able to communicate to hourly employees with all sorts of engaging content such as:
- Streaming news
- Push notifications of messages and content based on their exact location
- Multi-format feedback surveys
- Gamification with quizzes and trivia
- Instant messaging between peers/groups
- Important information and product or service updates
- Storytelling and best practice collection
- Rewards and recognition with points, badges, and even giveaways
- Segmentation based on employee role and position
These are just some of the handful of tactics that you can deploy inside of an employee mobile app platform to communicate to hourly employees.
Take the example of a decentralized workforce in manufacturing, for example. These employees are always on the go. They might be building something or moving a product from one location to another. In this case, an employee mobile app works very well because you can target employees with relevant content based on the type of task they are performing, their exact location and give them information when it matters the most. Imagine being able to push notify different groups of individuals with different content based on their exact location, responsibility, job role and rank inside of the company? You cannot do that with your every day computer-based intranet to communicate to hourly employees.
Here are 10 ways you can quickly increase engagement to communicate hourly employees using a comprehensive employee mobile app platform for communications and engagement such as hubEngage:
- Format matters! Provide critical information delivered in an easy to digest format, such as important events, policy updates, industry changes and company performance using an employee mobile app platform. Hourly workers do not have time to sit around and be briefed by their managers, nor do they typically have the bandwidth to listen and engage in policy mandated training. The paradigm of learning, training and development has shifted from traditional LMS structured systems to fun and engaging, bite-sized, relevant, content shareable, push notified employee mobile apps. (See this recent blog post to learn how companies are embracing employee mobile app platforms over traditional structured learning environments such as LMS systems).
- Push notify them when it counts. Imagine being able to target your hourly employees as they arrive to work and are walking inside of to their work location, from say a parking lot. Increase engagement and tactics such as pulse surveys and solicit two-way feedback when you know they have the time and interest level to respond.
- Allow them to be a part of the conversation with storytelling and instant feedback solicitation. When you have the ability to quickly submit a story along with a piece of digital content--say attaching a photo or a video to your submission, you create a channel for the voice of the employee.
- Make the experience fun and rewarding with gamification. Take ordinary mundane training and learning, that is essential for hourly and exempt workers, and make it fun by providing intrinsic motivation such as points, badges, recognition from leadership and even tangible rewards such as free/discounted products and services. Use quizzes and knowledge sessions with trivia, "What Am I" interactive question sets that will help them understand the products and services that you are selling, to that they can be a better steward of your corporate brand to the customer. Create interactive scavenger hunts using augmented reality scanning of objects, posters and QR/bar codes. (See how AR scanning is changing the employee engagement game).
- Allow your hourly and exempt workers to access information on the go, whenever and wherever they need it. By promoting a and employee mobile app, you will give them instant access to information when it counts, in many cases when dealing with a customer.
- Use your employee mobile app platform to connect your other legacy systems that may have content which hourly and exempt workers may not ordinarily have access to. For example, instantly direct your employees from a central employee mobile app to other web based programs, sites and links that have useful content and tools.
- Instantly push feedback mechanisms such as surveys so that you keep your finger on the employee pulse. Have you ever created a web-based survey with a survey provider such as Survey Monkey, but gotten very little participation? Disengagement in surveys is a very common problem and can be solved with an employee mobile app for communications and engagement. Target hourly workers during their scheduled breaks using geolocation technology to push notify them when they enter places such as a cafeteria or a break room, so you know they are not doing anything critical and have the time to quickly answer a three-question pulse survey.
- Let your hourly and exempt workers help promote your employer brand with social tools such as content liking, sharing and promotion to other networks. You can even motivate them by rewarding them with points every time they share a piece of content or like something. Brand advocacy can increase a very fast when you have these social mechanisms in place inside of an employee mobile app for communications and engagement.
- Provide a direct communication channel for leadership to engage whom ordinarily would not have the time or ability to communicate to an hourly or exempt workforce in hundreds maybe even thousands of locations. Take retail for example--the executive leadership of a retailer can have a direct one-on-one conversations with distributed and decentralized workforces on a secure, private platform with their hourly part-time employees by using employee mobile app platforms such as hubEngage. Today, you will see CEOs try to spark conversations with hourly workers using social channels such as Facebook and Twitter. This may work in the short term just to show a connection to the world from leadership to hourly employees, but when that leader wants to engage the hourly employee with content and suggestions for improvement and also solicit feedback from that employee, it helps to have a private secure employee accessible only mobile app (Watch the CEO of Smartwool talk about this with their Insider App here.)
- Lastly, make your content searchable inside of your employee app. Once you have an employee mobile app platform in place for your hourly and exempt workforce, in no time you will have amassed a large database of digital content and an information in a one-stop portal that can be very powerful for employee communications. Having the ability to make all of the content you have collected in this platform searchable, makes it easier when you have high turnover and new employees constantly entering your workforce ecosystem. Help them to instantly have access to the same employee communications that your full-time and other veteran hourly workers have had access to all along.
These are just a handful of the many tactics that can be deployed inside of an employee mobile app strategy to increase engagement so you can communicate to hourly employees better. To see a robust employee mobile app platform such as hubEngage, click here and view best practices, case studies and much more. See how companies of all shapes and sizes communicate to hourly employees better with employee mobile app platforms such as hubEngage.