There’s nothing like a global pandemic to highlight poor employee communication. Especially in industries where workers need to physically show up for work.
Frontline and hourly workers make up 80% of our global workforce, and for industries like restaurant, retail, and manufacturing, they represent the largest percentage of the workforce.
Yet, they are the most excluded group of workers from company-wide communication.
If you want to create a more inclusive culture – which, hopefully, you do! – discovering quick easy ways to help your hourly staff feel like part of the larger team is vital.
How can you develop greater inclusion in your frontline employee communication strategy? It starts with understanding the why and how. Keep reading to learn more.
Inclusion Is Critical To The Well-Being Of Frontline Workers
Well-being is the state of feeling happy and healthy and is associated with positive emotions. And over the last few years, the workforce has shown us that frontline staff is no longer willing to work in environments that don’t nurture these feelings.
Because frontline staff isn’t part of office culture they miss out on team building and opportunities to share their thoughts and ideas. This often leads to feeling disconnected from the organization they work for. With no direct line to managers or the larger team they often feel undervalued and left out.
Putting strategies in place that prioritize the well-being of your staff will pay off.
Greater Employee Retention
The pandemic showed us that time is precious. And employees, especially frontline workers, realized they don’t need to invest their time and energy in a company that doesn’t value them as a team members.
In fact, a ten-year study conducted by Tanner Learning Group showed that 79% of employees leave jobs where they don’t feel appreciated. And over the last few years, hourly workers have left jobs in droves where they were expected to just ‘do their job’ while continuously being excluded from company-wide employee communication.
Without access to internal company communication tools like Slack or email, or ‘water cooler chats, frontline staff realized they could seek employment with organizations that valued their contribution to the company and made an effort to include them despite being out in the field.
Losing these valuable workers is costly to your business. Not only does it hurt company morale, it decreases productivity, and impacts the bottom line. It’s reported that employee turnover costs U.S businesses 1.8 trillion dollars every year.
Bottom line, if you want to improve employee retention, you need a plan to address their well-being. This often comes down to creating an inclusive work environment with better employee communication.
Better Customer Experience
Your frontline workers are the face of your company and have incredible influence over how they make your customers feel, especially those who have direct contact with customers.
There’s nothing worse for patrons of an establishment than coming face-to-face with a disgruntled worker. Unhappy staff can indicate to customers that the organization doesn’t prioritize their workers which can lead to lost customers and revenue loss.
It’s in your company’s best interest to have happy and engaged frontline workers. And investing in their well-being through better employee communication can help them feel like they’re contributing to something greater than themselves.
Putting your employees' well-being at the forefront of your business will lead to more satisfied workers. And happy, satisfied staff tend to work harder. This will lead to a better customer experience and increased profits for your organization.
But your commitment to creating an inclusive work environment must be visible. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.
Technology Can Improve Employee Inclusion
Because frontline employees have made it clear they want to be seen and heard, there’s been a surge in frontline communication tools in the last few years. This is a good thing!
Organizations that say they want a more inclusive work culture but don’t prioritize employee communication will struggle to retain valuable workers. And with options out there like goHappy, there’s no excuse.
But how can technology improve your employee communication strategy?
Sending Regular Messages
Sending your frontline staff a quarterly newsletter with company updates is not sufficient if you truly want to create a more inclusive employee communication strategy.
Frontline employees want, and deserve, more than that. They want to know they’re valuable team members who are worth the effort to keep in the loop when it comes to the company as a whole.
Updating them with changes in organizational leadership, company wins, and other relevant updates like shift changes, weather warnings, or menu updates will make them feel like they’re part of a team.
An inclusive employee communication strategy needs to feel inclusive to everyone. If you’ve got a large percentage of staff whose first language isn’t English, they’ll feel cared for if they receive messages in their native language.
A texting tool like goHappy offers the ability to easily send translated text messages in their preferred language. And there’s no need for multiple tools as it is an on-demand translation built right into the goHappy dashboard.
Asking your frontline staff for feedback on company-related issues will show them you value their ideas and insights. Since they are the ones out working in the field and have the greatest first-hand experience, giving them the opportunity to share will strengthen their loyalty to your company as their ideas are validated
With a tool like goHappy you can send frontline feedback surveys directly to frontline workers via text. It’s intuitive and works on any type of mobile device – including flip phones!
Use A Text-Based Communication Tool
Although there's been a flood of new frontline communications tools released on the market in the last few years, the majority of them are app-based
Unfortunately, app-based communication solutions are a challenge for large hourly employers, citing adoption as the number one problem.
Companies who opt for an app-based solution report seeing 40% of their workers download the apps, and even fewer actually turn the notifications on. While The latest research from Pew tells us that 97% of Americans own a cellphone of some kind, that doesn’t mean all of those phones are created equal.
In fact, for those with a high school degree (or less), and for those that make less than $30,000/ year, 19% of those phones are not smartphones.
When you consider the typical profile of a restaurant and retail employee, over half of that employee population fits both of those categories. This means you are immediately excluding 20% of your workforce from being able to download an app to take part in company communication.
Achieve Inclusive Employee Communications With goHappy
Leveraging text message communication ensures you reach all employees, whether they have a smartphone, a flip phone, or a prepaid phone.
The biggest bonus? No app to download means no learning curve, which is crucial for any employee population, but even more so in a high turnover environment. 18-34 year-olds, who make up the largest percentage of hourly employees, are already sending an average of 101 texts every single day.
Bottom line, having your employees receive communication via text is the easiest and most inclusive way to reach all of your employees, from day one.
Check out how goHappy can help your company achieve a truly inclusive employee communication strategy. Schedule your free demo today!