Frontline Worker ~ 5 min

Using Frontline Communication to Foster Inclusivity & Give Everyone a Voice

HR Team, People Experts, Sociabble
HR Team People Experts

Communicating with the frontlines is more than just important. It’s necessary. Retail employees, sales reps, delivery staff, production specialists—they’re at the forefront of your business activity, dealing directly with production and logistics, and interacting with clients. Communication is a two-way street, however, and listening is a critical component.

How can you ensure that frontline workers feel included, appreciated, and that their voice is actually heard? In this article, we’ll cover challenges to inclusivity and diversity, and share ways that the right strategy can help.

Problems a company can face when communicating with frontline workers

Frontline workers obviously need a safe, secure environment for them to thrive. But they also need to feel a sense of belonging, that their voice matters and is appreciated by the company. Organizations often consist of a diverse and dispersed workforce—but failing to recognize its diverse needs can have negative consequences. For example:

Disconnection from the rest of the company

The frontliner workforce may have strong connections with their local teams but may not feel aligned with the rest of the company, particularly office workers. Frontline workers may not have access to the same communication channels as office workers, such as company emails or newsletters, which can limit their ability to stay informed and provide feedback. For example, for years, within the Seris group, there was a significant gap between the brand and its employees, due to rare and outdated communication. Find out what they did to meet this challenge.

Feelings of voice not being heard and thus undervalued

This may be due to the hierarchical nature of their work environment, unconscious biases of managers and supervisors, and fear of retaliation. They may also lack access to communication channels and face challenges to expressing their opinions.

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Fear of retaliation

Frontline workers may fear retaliation if they speak up about issues related to diversity and inclusion, such as discrimination or harassment. This fear can lead to a culture of silence, where issues are not addressed and resolved. When surveys or questionnaires are presented for feedback, some frontline workers may not feel comfortable answering honestly.

Lack of inclusion and diversity

Experiences of marginalized groups of frontline workers, such as women, people of color, and immigrants may lead to feelings of not being included fully in company life. This also pertains to offices where a language is spoken that is not represented by the general communications of the company.

Decreased morale

A result of all of the above can be disengagement, a lack of belonging, and a feeling that their voice is not heard. Morale directly affects engagement levels, and unengaged employees are not as productive or consistent as workers who feel good about their relationship to their company.

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Solutions for promoting two-way communication with the frontlines

When frontline employees are properly informed, and properly listened to, they feel properly valued. Morale is directly connected to engagement—and engaged workers are generally more productive, and loyal in the long run.

These steps can help to foster exactly the kind of work environment where employees on the frontlines feel included and appreciated:

  • Encourage teamwork and shared goals through a branded mobile app that facilitates communication and collaboration between teams. With Sociabble, frontline workers can access the same platform as their office-based co-workers via their mobile devices, on an app that matches their company’s colors and fonts.
  • Foster a culture of recognition and appreciation with easy-to-use features such as API, badges, and alerts to celebrate employee accomplishments. For example, Sociabble offers the ability to create custom badges to celebrate and recognize work-related achievements.
  • Enable peer-to-peer recognition at scale so employees can congratulate and thank one another for a job well done. Sociabble’s “Praises” feature does precisely this, making recognition fair and more accessible to all employees. 

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  • Promote an engaging and collaborative environment where leadership, corporate employees, and field employees can participate in the same level of challenges and contests. Access to company life should be given to all employees, not just the ones who have desks in the main office. Town halls, for example, can be broadcast live with Sociabble, with the possibility for all employees to participate and respond with questions and comments.
  • Ensure that every employee’s voice is heard by encouraging top-down and bottom-up communication. Sociabble’s 2-way communication channel accomplishes this by allowing user-generated content, comments, likes, and mentions. Frontline workers can post their own original content, sharing their voice and contributing to the conversation.

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Sociabble: The communication solution that gives frontline workers a voice

Sociabble is the total communication solution that’s specifically designed to keep frontline workers connected, informed, and engaged with company life. With Sociabble, they’ll receive the updates and notifications they need, regardless of if they’re at a desk station, or on the frontlines, relying on a mobile device. Sociabble has already teamed up with industry leaders like Coca-Cola CCEP, Primark, and L’Occitane en Provence to enhance their employee communications, and we’d love to discuss ways we can partner with your company as well.

Schedule your demo

Want to see Sociabble in action?

Our experts will answer your questions and guide you through a platform demo.