Employee engagement is critical in driving business success, resulting in increased profitability, higher productivity, and improved customer satisfaction. However, many organisations still need help to develop and implement effective strategies for fostering engagement, particularly among frontline, deskless workers. This post explores some proven methods for facilitating communication and collaboration among deskless employees, aiming to boost engagement levels and, ultimately, enhance overall business performance.
The Importance of Employee Engagement
Research has consistently demonstrated that employee engagement contributes to increased profitability and business success. Engaged teams not only have lower turnover but 21% greater profitability, 17% higher productivity, and 10% higher customer ratings than disengaged teams. Despite these clear benefits, many organisations still need a formal engagement strategy, and two-thirds of employees still need to be engaged. To address this, businesses need to develop targeted strategies that cater to the unique needs of their workforce, particularly frontline deskless employees who are often the face of the organisation.
The Frontline Challenge
Frontline workers, such as retail sales assistants, customer service and hospitality staff, are often the first point of contact between a company and its customers. As such, their engagement levels can have a direct impact on customer spending, satisfaction and loyalty. However, frontline employees often face unique challenges when it comes to engagement, including:
- A lack of direct communication with senior management and Head Office
- Fragmented and inconsistent communication channels
- Limited opportunities for input and feedback
- Inadequate recognition for their contributions
Given these challenges, it is crucial for organisations to adopt innovative strategies for fostering engagement among frontline employees.
Strategies for Enhancing Frontline Engagement
To create a more inclusive and collaborative work environment, companies should strive to democratise communication channels and empower frontline employees to share their insights and ideas. This can be achieved by implementing digital tools that support top-down, bottom-up, and peer-to-peer communication. By encouraging open discussions and facilitating the exchange of ideas and information, organisations can tap into their frontline staff’s valuable knowledge and expertise.
Using Newsfeeds and social media-like Features
One way to democratise communication is to leverage newsfeed-style tools that enable teams to share their thoughts and ideas through news items, comments and reactions. Platforms like Metro can be designed to simulate social media tools, making them more engaging and accessible for frontline employees who are already familiar with these tools in their personal lives. By allowing employees to like, comment on, and react to posts, companies can create a more connected and collaborative workplace community.
Assessing and Measuring Engagement
In order to develop effective engagement strategies, businesses need to assess and measure engagement levels regularly. This can be achieved through a variety of methods, such as:
- Conducting Employee Satisfaction Surveys – Regular surveys can help organisations gather valuable feedback and insights into the factors influencing frontline staff engagement. By asking targeted questions and analysing the data, companies can identify areas for improvement and implement strategies to address specific issues more effectively.
- Monitoring Engagement Metrics – Companies can also track engagement levels by monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs), such as employee turnover, comments and reactions, productivity, and customer satisfaction. By analysing these metrics, businesses can better understand the impact of their engagement efforts and adjust their strategies accordingly.
Learning from social media
Frontline employees are often already accustomed to using social media platforms in their personal lives, making it an ideal source of inspiration for workplace communication tools. Metro has adopted features from popular social networks, such as comments and reactions, to create a more engaging communication platform for its employees.
Amplifying Company Culture and Fostering a Sense of Belonging
A strong company culture and a sense of belonging are vital components of employee engagement. To foster these qualities among frontline staff, businesses can:
- Create Designated Homepages catering to specific interests, topics, lifestyles, or employee groups. This can help employees connect with and support their peers on a personal level, even if they don’t work the same shifts or in the same locations.
- Ensure that the company’s mission, values and principles are clearly communicated and consistently reinforced across all levels of the organisation. Businesses can create a more cohesive and engaged workforce by helping employees understand and align with the company’s objectives.
Streamlining and Targeting Communication
To prevent information overload and ensure that employees only receive relevant, actionable information, companies should:
- Use mobile-ready communication platforms that allow employees to easily access essential documents and information on-the-go. This can help staff spend more time with customers and less time searching for information in back offices and away from where they need to be.
- Tailor communications to be relevant and targeted based on an employee’s role and location. This can help prevent information overload and ensure that employees only receive the information they need to perform their jobs effectively.
Feedback: The Key to Successful Engagement Strategies
It’s no secret that engaged employees are more productive and likely to provide excellent customer service. But how can businesses ensure that their employees are truly engaged?
The answer is simple: listen to them!
By soliciting and acting on feedback from frontline employees, organisations can gain invaluable insights into what drives engagement and what hinders it. Employee feedback provides organisations with a direct line to the morale and pulse of their workforce. By gathering and analysing feedback, businesses can identify areas where they excel and areas where they need to improve. They can then use this information to develop engagement strategies targeted and tailored to their employees’ unique needs and preferences. The benefits of using employee feedback to drive engagement efforts are clear, so if you’re looking to improve employee engagement, talk to RMS and start listening to your employees!