How to Keep Your Mobile Workforce Engaged
The 9-5 office environment is becoming a thing of the past. With technological developments changing the workforce, approximately 70% of workers are now mobile. Mobile technology offers incredible tools for optimizing performance for field workers in a wide variety of sectors.
However, lone workers lack the frequent face-to-face contact offered in regular jobs, which can lead to a feeling of disconnect. How do you keep the mobile workforce engaged?
Organizations need to define a clear strategy, with long-term goals around successfully going mobile.
Internal communicators have a key role in delivering the message to the workforce, making the long-term vision known to employees. Especially with mobile workers, highlighting the company goals and having a clear company culture is vital.
Communication is one of the most important aspects of engaging a mobile workforce. Create an internal communications strategy, taking several aspects into consideration:
- keep employees informed and updated with any relevant news & goals, making them feel more connected to the company
- make sure employees know what is expected of them in the wider context of the company vision
- provide the space for workers to discuss anything work and task-related
There are many communications platforms and tools to use, depending on your organization’s requirements.
Employees should also have the space to communicate any issues they might have with their role. As an internal communicator, you can encourage feedback and suggestions. Simply knowing that their organization cares can be a huge contribution to workers’ satisfaction and engagement.
Office chatter increases bonding between colleagues, and the relationships further reinforce the company culture. Without that environment, mobile workers can feel isolated and disconnected. Even with adequate work-related communication platforms in place, sometimes they just need to socialize with colleagues.
As an internal communicator, you have the opportunity to find ways of creating meaningful connections.
If relevant to your role, arrange virtual meetings, where people can have an opportunity to just chat. Simple Skype or Hangouts conference calls would do. Create some hobby-related channels on Slack, where people can discuss personal interests. Arrange a face-to-face get together every quarter, 6 months or annually. Help the company provide the opportunity to have fun with the team.
Tools & Tech
Empowering a mobile workforce to perform well through the use of technology raises satisfaction and motivation. There’s nothing more frustrating than being held back by inadequate technology. For example, the Netherlands’ postal service switched to a mobile-based system from a paper system, increasing functionality, cutting costs, and ultimately raising employee satisfaction.
We’ve already touched on communication technology. However, digital tools for raising employee engagement can extend further.
Lone Worker Protection
Offering lone worker protection solutions ensures not only workers’ safety but also demonstrates interest. There are many software solutions for deploying lone worker protection directly on their smartphone. You can request employee’s feedback on the existing solution, or send information about potential future options.
Mobile Workforce Management Software
Workforce management software providers offer a large number of integrated mobile apps for enabling field workers to do their job more effectively.
The apps can support countless functions, such as job/task allocation, incident reporting, HR functionalities, mobile payments etc. Offering the right tools can do wonders to employee engagement.
Internal communicators can send information on various functionalities and find out what workers’ priorities are. Send the feedback to the management team.
Without the right skills, technology won’t do much. It’s important to train employees on how to use and make the most out of the technology provided, highlighting relevant features for different roles. You can check whether employees are confident using the technology solutions, offering valuable info to the management team.
Managers can overlook the power of positive feedback and sometimes wait until there’s an issue in order to let employees know how they’re doing.
Organizations should make it a point to offer recognition and tell the workforce when they’re performing well. Feeling like a valued and appreciated member of an organization can really improve engagement and commitment.
As an internal communicator, you can take recognition one step further by making it public. Share people’s accomplishments either on your collaboration platform, the internal company newsletter, or even a simple email.
When you pull together these tools and strategies together, you’ll be fully equipped to tackle the challenge of engaging mobile workers!