Want more engaging comms? Go mobile.

Karen Rayner
Karen Rayner | July 10, 2019
Fairness & Inclusion
Want more engaging comms? Go mobile.

Want to be able to talk to all of your employees? Prepare to go mobile.

Most adults own a cell phone, so it follows that most workers will have a mobile device of some kind. And we always have them close at hand. The average person checks their phone 110 times a day, and frontline workers use messaging apps up to six times a day.

Great news, right? We can just use mobile channels to communicate with workers and get a read on engagement.

Not so fast. Communication in companies isn’t fabulous to begin with: 80% of US employees feel stressed because of ineffective communication, and only 13% think their leadership does a good job of it. Which probably comes down to a combination of not saying the right things, and not saying them in the right way. One of those things we can make better by using the right channels – the other one’s going to require more strategic internal comms work.

And deskless employees feel particularly disconnected. They’re four times more likely to agree that their company communicates more effectively with office staff than with the people who don’t have desks.

Why?

Most employee communication still happens over email or at staff meetings: only 9% of companies are using mobile to connect with employees. But there are more employees with mobile access than there are employees with email access (not to mention 30% of emails are trashed or ignored anyway). And there are more deskless employees than office workers, so meetings aren’t a great fit for the majority of employees.

So shouldn’t we be using mobile more often?

Mobile increases efficiency

When workers have immediate access to the people and information they need, they work more efficiently: however people spend about 20% of their work time looking for this information.

While office-based employees can nip next door to chat with workmates and get direction from leaders, others have to go further to find a helping hand. They might have to wait for the end of a shift, or for the next morning’s team briefing, or for the one person on location with the filing cabinet keys to show up. Mobile closes that gap, making it easier for non-office staff to access information from the rest of the company, reducing time wastage by 15% and potentially increasing revenue per employee by 5%.

Mobile increases engagement

Two store workers having a conversation

Mobile won’t solve every engagement problem, but it’s certainly easier to make people feel like part of the team when they can actually connect with it. By requiring workers to log in to the intranet for induction information or staff updates, or by only sending messages from the CEO via email, you’re excluding workers who don’t have access to those channels.

Sure, line managers with responsibility for deskless workers can hold their own on-site briefings to share that information. But then you’re introducing degrees of separation from the company’s leadership, and that in turn creates a disconnect.

You can leap right in with a mobile app that covers all employee-facing functions, or just make sure your performance, payroll and comms tools are mobile accessible. 73% of companies will be increasing their use of mobile for connecting with employees, so you’ll be in good company. Whatever you do, if any number of your workers are frontline, service or deskless, make mobile a priority.