How do you communicate with a decentralized team that’s rarely online?
The trucking industry in the U.S. has over 902,000 drivers on the road, and the demand continues to grow. One of the biggest challenges in this industry is sharing safety and security updates with teams that are, by definition, spread across the country.
What’s more, this workforce is rarely behind the computer. Asking them to read updates via email or check in on the road is challenging, if not, at times, downright dangerous. But, the distributed employees need regular updates.
What if you could reach the audience where they are and with a medium that they can safely engage with on the job?
What is a deskless workforce?
Trucking isn’t the only industry where teams are decentralized and not behind a desk. In fact, the deskless workforce accounts for close to 2.7 billion of the global population.
The deskless workforce includes the trucking industry and other lines of work, like construction or travel. Engaging and communicating with this workforce can be challenging, as traditional means of contact, like email, may not reach their intended audience.
Some employees may not even have company email addresses, to begin with. Not only does this make communicating with the workforce a challenge, but it can also make the workforce feel powerless.
Leaders in the deskless workforce have a challenge on their hands when it comes to workplace engagement and empowerment:
- 33% of deskless workers don’t feel valued by their employer
- 37% think their employer doesn’t listen to them
- 48% have considered quitting their job in the last year
So how can leaders in deskless industries connect with their workforce (and vice versa)?
In an episode of our “Behind the Mic: The Creator Series,” Kyle Wiesen, Recruiter at Grand Island Express, discusses how her team found private podcasting as a tool to share important information, share feedback, and foster deeper connections across the organization.
Click here to listen to the full episode: https://www.buzzsprout.com/881431/11190851
The communication challenge in trucking
Grand Island Express is a recognized and respected small carrier in the U.S. The company’s drivers are spread over 38 states, spanning the eastern two-thirds of the country. The team specializes in irregular routes, temperature-controlled transport, and time-sensitive performance.
A family-owned and operated business since the 60s, “we do a lot of things the same way they’ve always been done, and a lot of that is good because we maintain a close-knit organization,” explained Wiesen.
Despite the tradition, the team felt drivers weren’t connecting with the company. Sensing disengagement, Grand Island Express started looking for solutions.
However, it wasn’t just disengagement that had Grand Island Express concerned about improving communication. The company shares frequent safety and company updates using biweekly email newsletters that weren’t getting much engagement.
Drivers were at their terminals maybe once a week or less — emails weren’t cutting it.
That’s where private podcasting and Storyboard came in.
Private podcasting promotes engagement and conversation
Grand Island Express began using Storyboard to share its monthly company meeting. Before Storyboard, drivers could only meet in person at the company’s terminal.
While they provided lunch and a financial incentive to attend the meeting, not everybody could attend because of schedules, lanes, routes, and conflicts.
Storyboard gave the team the means to keep everyone in the loop, even if they couldn’t be there in person.
Soon after starting Storyboard, Grand Island Express not only saw an uptick in listening, the team noticed increased engagement from the deskless employees. The tool made it easier and less intimidating for employees to share feedback.
With their monthly podcast a success, the team at Grand Island Express is adding more audio content to its communications.
“We’re going to enhance that podcast and just make it a little bit more fun. Give the driver something that’s just fun to listen to,” Wiesen said. “So we want to make sure that we can give them a little bit of variety and give them that too and not purely just informational.”
When engaging with a desk-free workforce, private podcasting can be an essential tool in any team’s communications kit.
Start a private podcast on Storyboard today. Creating a free account and launching a channel for up to 50 listeners. Interested in an enterprise plan? Contact the sales team for more information or to receive a free platform demo.
“Behind the Mic: The Creator Series” is Storyboard’s own podcast featuring users who share why they brought podcasting to their organization, what makes audio a distinct communication tool for deskless and remote workers, and much more.