News

Connecting the unconnected – let the voice of your workforce be heard

Author

Lee Ellams

Date

28 Jan, 2020

Category

Blog

Love it or hate it, social media has been pretty awesome at helping us stay connected and in close contact with friends and family, wherever they are in the world. It has transformed the way we communicate, making it easier than ever to share ideas and information with as wide an audience as we desire.

Social media has helped us to create multiple communities, where everyone can contribute and provide valuable input whenever they want and wherever they are.

Remote but not forgotten

The workplace can learn a lot from this. Currently, it’s estimated that 80% of the global working population work away from a desk1. These people are the front-line staff that the world interacts with on a daily basis. Shop assistants, hotel receptionists, hospital staff, factory workers, public transport staff and beyond; these employees are at the coalface every day. They deal with customers, they provide services and they handle products; yet too many of them feel completely disconnected from management and the organisation they work for as they do not have access to the required tools to enable regular and easy communication. This is backed up by results shown in a report recently published by Workplace from Facebook, which revealed that only 14% of frontline workers sampled feel connected to the organisation they work for2.

The obvious repercussions from this disconnect are people feeling undervalued and underappreciated, which in turn results in a loss of productivity, high turnover of staff and rising recruitment costs. Bad news for your bottom line. The biggest crime from this however, is business leaders failing to utilise the valuable insight and ideas that only their front-line staff can provide.

By not providing all of your staff access to the tools which allow communication to flow freely across your business, you’re preventing valuable ideas from being easily shared, limiting innovation and stopping key talent from being recognised .

Tool up

Creating a network which incorporates 100% of your employees is not an easy task, particularly for businesses where the majority of the staff are desk-free. To do so, you need technology which connects everyone, including remote and desk-free workers, in a secure and scalable way.

All employees, no matter where they work or what they do, should have access to the same easy-to-use communication tools which allow people to chat one-on-one or in a group; similar to how they would in their personal lives with friends and family. These tools should allow people to communicate using familiar methods such as instant messaging, voice, or video, and they should enable easy collaboration through secure screen and file sharing. Thankfully, businesses now have a choice of enterprise-grade technologies which enable this, including Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex Teams and Zoom, all intuitively designed to make communication and collaboration simple.

The benefits of connecting the unconnected are huge. You can remove the silos which prevent news and ideas from flowing freely and make better, more informed business decisions- faster. This helps to drive competitive advantage, by enabling your business to be more agile and reactive to the needs of your employees and customers.

By bringing your workforce together, you also increase employee sentiment, engagement and retention. Employees are able to work to their full potential and have the opportunity to demonstrate the value their contributions provide.

Good communication has always been key to success; and a happier, more productive workforce which feels connected and empowered can only help your business achieve great things. It’s time to connect the unconnected and allow the voices of your entire workforce to be heard.

1 https://venturebeat.com/2018/09/08/the-deskless-workforce-a-massive-opportunity-for-entrepreneurs/

2 https://www.uctoday.com/collaboration/team-collaboration/workplace-by-facebook-reveals-employee-hq-disconnect/

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