If there is one thing employers have learned over the past few years, it's the critical role frontline staff play in the economy's stability. Frontline workers came to realize their value, as well.
Because of this, the frontline workforce left jobs in droves that treated them poorly. Be that poor pay, lack of communication, expectations to perform their job without regard for their personal and emotional well-being, or never being asked for their input on work-related issues.
Frontline workers decided they no longer had to put up with a job where they were undervalued and appreciated. If they were unhappy, they quit and went to work for companies where intentional and authentic engagement is part of the company culture.
Now, businesses realize the importance of engaging their frontline employees. It shows you care about your workers, and it's also proven to reduce employee turnover and lower absenteeism while increasing productivity and profitability.
Knowing how to boost employee engagement is an excellent first step. But just as important as how you engage staff is how your communications are received.
Before you invest in a communications platform for frontline engagement, take the time to learn how your employees want to receive company news, announcements, personal messages, and other company-wide communication.
Mobile Devices Improve Employee Communication
Office and hybrid workers have an advantage when it comes to staying in touch with their company. Access to a company intranet and easy access to collaboration tools like Zoom, Asana, and Microsoft Teams means they are almost always connected.
But, frontline employees are in the field, rarely in front of a computer, and without access to company communication tools. Because of this, they often rely on word or mouth, notes in the breakroom, or daily huddles. None of which work at a large scale. The good news is that just about everyone has a mobile device.
In fact, texting is the most-used form of communication for adults under 50. Since 81% of Americans text regularly, it makes the most sense to use a mobile tool to send messages to your frontline workers.
App-Based Vs. App-Free Communications
Now that we've established that mobile communication makes the most sense based on research, it's important to note there are two types of tools available — app-based and app-free.
Most mobile communication platforms on the market are app-based, which requires employees to download an app onto their phones.
While app-based tools can offer some robust solutions, the downside is the average adoption rate by frontline employees for app-based solutions is 40% at best. And many of those who do opt-in typically don't keep their notifications turned on.
Another thing to consider with an app-based solution is that it can exclude employees who don't have a smartphone. According to a Pew study, 19% of the phones used by adults who earn less than $30,000 per year are basic phones, not smartphones.
If your company culture is inclusive, an app-based solution might not suit you.
An app-free communications tool can offer similar capabilities to an app-based tool, but doesn’t require any downloading. goHappy is an excellent example of an app-free tool with many features.
goHappy is a solution that has many useful features like the ability to send out frontline messaging via bulk text. And if you have employees who work in different plants, regions, or do shift work, you can even segment your workers so they only receive relevant messages.
The best part is that an app-free solution expands accessibility to all employees with a mobile phone, whether they have the latest iPhone or a classic flip phone.
Plus, statistics show that texts have a 99% open rate and 95% chance of being read within three minutes of being received.
Tips for Choosing the Right Platform for Your Employees
There are five ITEMS to consider when deciding between an app-based or app-free communications solution.
- Inclusive – How many of your frontline workers have a smartphone and the ability to download an app or receive push notifications?
- Targeted – Does the system you're considering allow you to target your communication to the right audience?
- Employee voice – Are you able to get direct feedback from your frontline in an organized, digestible, and actionable way?
- Measurable – How are you measuring the effectiveness of the communications process?
- Simple – How simple is the platform to use for both your organizational leader and frontline workers?
When choosing the right avenue for communicating to your frontline staff, remember to learn what your employees prefer and to do your research when selecting a solution.
How goHappy Can Help With Frontline Engagement
Since goHappy is a text-based communication tool, it falls under the umbrella of inclusive. And if frontline engagement is your goal (hint: it should be!), choosing a tool that doesn't leave anyone out is the best option.
App-based tools cost employees money, whether that's a phone upgrade or increased data so they can actually use it. Plus, there's a learning curve to using apps.
Texting is easy, and it's instant. Your frontline staff will never feel left out of the conversation with a tool like goHappy. If you're ready to feel confident knowing your staff will never miss a company-wide message again, book a demo today.