Employee Communications ~ 10 min

Boosting Frontline Employee Engagement: Internal Communication Makes the Difference

Marketing Team, Experts in Employee Advocacy, Sociabble
Marketing Team Experts in Employee Advocacy

Improving frontline employee engagement can be a challenge for many companies, with a workforce that’s dispersed and often without a company email address or workstation. But the right internal communication strategy and tools can keep them connected to company life.

Frontline employee engagement is elusive for so many businesses because of the very nature of frontline work. Employees in retail locations, in production facilities, and engaged in transport or sales are not only physically disconnected from the corporate office—they’re separated by a barrier of communication, as many don’t have a convenient desktop workstation or company email they can use to receive updates and information.

However, with the right approach, not to mention the right digital tools, it is possible to keep frontline employees informed, engaged, and feeling like they’re part of the team. In this article, we’ll explain how frontline employee engagement is within your reach.

Frontline Workers: How Do You Empower and Engage Them?

As your organization grows and expands, frontline workers who interact with customers, produce goods, or provide services in the field, can sometimes become disconnected from the organization’s central operations. As a result, it can be challenging to keep these workers informed about important news or updates, and engage them in the company’s culture, values, and mission.

They are just as crucial as the workers who spend their days in the office behind a desk, but when it comes to keeping them informed and engaged, they are often neglected. And frequently, when companies do try to connect, they simply fail—frontline workers don’t understand the sudden efforts and are unresponsive.

Effective and clear communication is crucial in today’s rapidly evolving business world. The old-fashioned methods of sending paper memos or placing notices on a bulletin board no longer suffice in keeping a company’s entire workforce informed and invested in their mission.

At Sociabble, we’ve had extensive experience working with retailers and traditional industries that struggled with these issues—and we’ve been able to help them achieve frontline success. Engaging the frontline workforce is possible, but it takes some adjustment in terms of how companies share information. Here are some insights that can help you to improve internal communication with frontline staff.

frontline worker

Use a Mobile-First Communication Strategy

Frontline workers are often on-the-go and may not have easy access to a desktop computer, resulting in few connection opportunities. By embracing a mobile-first communication strategy complete with mobile employee apps, organizations can deliver critical messages directly to workers’ smartphones or tablets, making it faster and easier for frontline workers to receive relevant updates and notifications.

Because many frontline workers don’t have professional email addresses or desktops handy, it’s crucial to reach them wherever they are. This means that mobile is key.

That’s why we have worked extra hard to make the Sociabble employee app user-friendly, visually appealing, intuitive, and adaptable to any mobile device.

A retail employee on their feet at an outlet should be able to check and respond to the latest company sales report just as easily as someone seated at their desk in the marketing department.

And without an effective internal communication mobile app that employees are accessing on a daily basis, you’re simply not going to reach frontline staff, and employee engagement will suffer as a result.

employee engagement app for frontline worker

Explain That Their Voice Matters with Two-Way Communication

One-way communication can become tedious and ineffective over time, resulting in overall disengagement. In order to foster engagement and create a sense of community, it’s important to have an employee engagement platform that permits feedback, interaction, and collaboration.

By empowering frontline workers to participate in conversations, answer surveys, and provide employee feedback on a regular basis, organizations can improve the quality of their internal communication and increase the level of engagement with their workers.

However, all the mobile technology in the world won’t make a difference if employees don’t feel compelled to use it. It’s important to communicate from the get-go that their voice matters, and that sharing it is important for stimulating frontline employee engagement.

This is why the Sociabble platform comes with built-in survey features for collecting feedback, as well as the ability to comment and react to posted content.

A quiz or survey can be created and sent to the entire – or a part of – frontline workforce via their mobile device with just a few clicks. Feedback can be anonymous in order to encourage open and honest responses from frontline staff as well.

frontline worker survey

Use Personalized and Targeted Messages

Too much of the communication that frontline workers receive is irrelevant and unnecessary, which leads to information overload and hurts frontline employee engagement. And over the course of the busy day, they won’t bother to interrupt their workflow to read information that doesn’t help them—which means that the messages that do matter will often fall through the cracks.

This is why generic, one-size-fits-all communication can lead to missed or ignored messages; they simply won’t be read. By personalizing your communication, you make the message more relevant and engaging for the individual.

You can create targeted campaigns, segment your audience by frontline teams or locations, and use multimedia content to make the communication more appealing and interactive.

With Sociabble, admins can easily accomplish this through a host of targeting and segmentation options.

Communications can be sent to a specific audience determined by location, role, department—ensuring that the information frontline workers receive is relevant and useful to them, and that frontline employee engagement remains robust.

Transforming Frontline Communications

Are your frontline workers connected?

Discover practical strategies to enhance communication, keep your frontline employees engaged, and drive measurable results!

Use Multimedia to Enhance Messaging

Communications are more likely to be read if they actually stand out. Using visuals, such as images or videos, can help to make your messages more memorable and engaging for frontline workers. Studies have shown that people remember 80% of what they see and do, versus just 20% when they simply hear the message.

Visual elements can also be used to explain complex concepts or processes more quickly and effectively, saving busy frontline workers time. You want to make the content engaging and interesting, and a multimedia format can help.

A retail employee rushing around to serve customers may not have time to read a five-page memo about a new safety protocol; but watching a 30-second video might be easier and more compelling. Frontline employee engagement increases dramatically with this kind of content.

This is why Sociabble supports a variety of visual formats: videos, gifs, images, audio—admins and users alike can post content that’s enriched with compelling visual elements, making it more interesting and interactive.

Start with Concrete User Generated Content

User-generated content is an essential aspect of internal communication with frontline workers. Employees who feel heard, valued, and recognized by management are more likely to become brand ambassadors and can play a key role in driving the overall success of an organization.

User-generated content can involve employee feedback polls, employee-generated videos, photos, and case studies. It creates a sense of community and fosters a positive relationship between employees and management.

Enabling employees to share their employee experiences, and give feedback on their working environment, is the foundation of a successful internal communication strategy, and essential for meaningful employee engagement.

With Sociabble, it’s easy to incorporate user-generated content to ensure that frontline workers are always heard and valued.

Posting original content is one of the easiest ways for employees on the frontline to connect with their peers, and share their own tips and experiences.

It also allows them to give employee feedback to the corporate office, which can help to enhance procedures and correct problems, which in turn will boost employee morale as well as employee retention.

Engage the Frontlines with Gamification

Who doesn’t like to engage in a little friendly competition? Adding an element of gamification is an effective lever to improve communication with frontline workers.

Incorporating elements of play can create a sense of excitement and autonomy, and promote healthy competition among employees. Quizzes, badges, and motivational rewards can encourage participation, particularly for training and educational content.

By giving frontline workers a fun and engaging reason to participate, organizations can increase the level of engagement with their workers, even with content that may not be directly contest-related.

With Sociabble, you can incorporate gamification elements into your internal communication plans, and thereby improve frontline employee engagement and satisfaction.

Built-in gamification features allow you to develop badges, challenges, contests and employee recognition programs, with Sociabble Trees even adding a CSR element into the mix!

employee app reward

To summarize :

What are the best ways to improve frontline employee engagement?
  • Use a Mobile-First Communication Strategy
  • Explain That Their Voice Matters with Two-Way Communication
  • Use Personalized and Targeted Messages
  • Use Multimedia to Enhance Messaging
  • Start with Concrete User Generated Content
  • Engage the Frontlines with Gamification

L’OCCITANE Group: How Sociabble Helped Connect Their Frontline Workforce

Founded by Olivier Baussan in 1976, right in the Provence region of France, the L’OCCITANE Group is a leader in the field of natural and organic cosmetics. The company is present today in more than 90 different countries, via 3,285 unique points of sale.

The challenge? The organization needed to involve all of the dispersed employees of the L’OCCITANE Group around the new brand strategy, led by the top management, in a very short amount of time. The brand only had two months to implement the entire initiative, with no pre-existing internal communication tool at the global level.

The main objectives were to deploy a new platform, to engage the employees, and to make them enthusiastic about the new strategy.

Together with Sociabble, the L’OCCITANE Group created a new internal communication platform that connected all employees, including the frontline workers deployed around the world, in the 3,285 global points of sale.

Employees were engaged with the new brand strategy, and connected to company news via a single digital hub that made them truly feel that they were part of the overall L’Occitane team, thanks to information that they could readily access from their mobile devices.

Learn How Sociabble Can Empower & Engage Your Frontline Workers

Internal communication with frontline workers is essential to achieving your business goals and increasing your bottom line. With the right tools and strategies, you can engage your workers and improve your overall organizational performance.

At Sociabble, we have a proven track record of success in helping organizations bring their frontline workers into the fold of their company culture, values, and mission.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your organization improve its internal communication and engagement.

If you’d like to learn more about how Sociabble can help you engage with your company’s frontline workforce, our free demo is available here. We’d love to chat!

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