Employee engagement is vital in any workplace; but as many companies are beginning to learn, having an engaged frontline and deskless workforce is especially critical.
The consequences of poor workplace engagement often lead to high turnover, lost revenue, and burned-out employees.
Here’s the good news: there are many strategies that companies can implement to kickstart engagement and ensure that their frontline workers are informed, connected, and satisfied.
The current state of frontline engagement
According to a recent study by McKinsey experts, workplace engagement is rapidly declining on the frontline. 55% of U.S. frontline workers feel dissatisfied with the quality and number of relationships they have in the workplace.
This increasing lack of solid connection leads to disengagement and general disinterest in employees. With an evident disconnect between teams, it’s unsurprising that 45% of frontline workers plan to leave their job in six months or sooner.
Disengagement isn’t just a drag on company morale; it also results in employees leaving, costing you training to keep up with turnover in the long run. Not to mention the damaging effects that a disengaged environment has on the culture and future of the company as a whole.
With engagement declining, it’s crucial to implement strategies across your organization to help your teams feel seen and connected.
How to boost employee engagement for frontline workers
Ready to reverse your employee engagement trends? Here are 5 easy strategies you can use to help you get started.
Listen to your teams
Your employees will be your best resource. Start your engagement strategy by getting a baseline from teams in your organization.
Listening to your employees gives you direct, meaningful feedback and suggestions to bolster your engagement strategy. An easy way to get feedback is to create a survey allowing frontline employees to answer questions and provide suggestions anonymously.
Launching regular feedback sessions for your team is another great way to gather ideas, identify pain points, and decide what to prioritize moving forward.
Meet employees where they are
If you want to connect and engage your team, you need to meet them where they are. This means acknowledging that the bulk of your workplace is on the go, with limited access to a computer, varying work schedules, and limited ways of accommodating traditional means of workplace communication.
Connecting with your frontline team via email or live meetings won’t be the key to increasing employee engagement. These tools may serve desk-bound employees well, but they are disruptive and inconvenient to the frontline workplace.
Instead, try finding your team where they are, offering tools to connect that don’t take employees out of their habits or ask for their time off the clock.
Create learning opportunities on the go
Regardless of industry, frontline employees are craving opportunities for learning and growth on the job.
Building education opportunities in the workplace can increase engagement across teams by providing employees with an idea of what growth looks like in the company at large. These opportunities can take form in many ways — such as mentorship sessions with leadership, an informative newsletter, or even a company podcast with various guest speakers.
This educational component can help build a relationship between frontline employees and the company, highlighting areas where they can grow within the team.
Implementing these educational components can help foster stronger relationships between frontline employees and teams, highlighting areas where they can grow within the company.
Provide on-demand updates
When employees feel out of the loop, they often disengage from their role and the company at large. 55% of frontline employees say they participate in town halls or internal communications less than once a month.
While safety briefings and general updates are crucial to communication, most frontline employees don’t participate in these efforts. Although they may want to stay up-to-date on company topics, they simply don’t have time due to the constraints of their work.
What if updating your team or kick-starting a town hall meeting was as simple as hitting record? With an audio communications tool like Storyboard, your employees can receive on-demand updates through the app anytime, anywhere.
Whether you brief your team on the latest security measures or just offer a weekly check-in, rest assured that the flexibility offered by modern frontline technology is a guaranteed way to increase employee engagement
Build culture and encourage recognition
More than half of frontline workers are unhappy with the quality or number of relationships they have in their professional networks. In fact, many employees struggle to create authentic connections across a distributed team without the traditional workplace water cooler.
That’s where the authenticity of audio can be incredibly valuable. Unlike an email or Slack message, voice communications are honest, and your employees are more likely to resonate with this much more genuine approach.
With an audio communications tool like Storyboard, listeners can leave comments and leave ratings while listening to the episodes, creating a space for two-way communication and culture building on the go.
Transform engagement with audio communication
The frontline workforce is facing an engagement crisis, and traditional strategies just won’t do. That’s where audio, as a flexible and accessible tool, can bring value to your deskless team without requiring them to be location-bound or desk-bound.
To connect authentically across distributed teams, understand where you’re starting, and meet your team where they are. Provide easy learning opportunities and a stream of simple, on-demand updates to tune into.
It may sound intimidating, but implementing this engagement overhaul could be as simple as speaking into a microphone. Storyboard’s audio communications platform is a simple solution to connecting with the frontline workforce on their time and terms.
Visit our website to learn more about increasing employee engagement by launching a company podcast for your team.