By implementing one or more of the strategies listed below, you can empower your employees to work on their own and free up HR resources that can be retasked to other critical challenges.
Are you struggling to ensure that your important messages and communications reach your "non-desk workforce?"
Non-desk employees, like those working in manufacturing, retail, hospitality or healthcare for example, sometimes lack company-issued email addresses or regular access to a computer, smart phone or tablet. This inherently makes delivering communications regarding workplace organizational changes (such as pay frequency change and/or new time off policy messages) challenging and can cause remote workers to rely heavily on HR and managers for information.
Address this major pain point and reach all of your workers by implementing the following strategies.
Have In-Person and/or Virtual Meetings
In-person interactions as well as virtual meetings with your non-desk employees can grant you opportunities to relay your change communication messages clearly. The Meetings Mean Business Coalition reports that 91 percent of business leaders believe face-to-face meetings improve engagement, and 94 percent say that they advance collaboration. Try conducting an in-person meeting for your next project kick-off or brainstorming session to connect with your dispersed teams. As a leader, you can also arm your people managers with talking points to leverage during their huddles before shifts, or handouts/step-by-step instructions to reach their 'hard to reach' audience.
Focus on Impact with Visual Communications
Another way to engage and interact with your workforce is to get creative with imagery.
Research has shown that people remember 80% of what they see and do, 20% of what they read, and 10% of what they hear. Furthermore, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than plain text. Accordingly, visuals can provide some of the most effective communications.
As you produce graphics for displays, presentations and posters, ensure that your message is clear, concise and to the point. First and foremost, always consider your audience in order to maximize effectiveness and reach.
Concentrate on Communications and Engagement Activities
There are many traditional communications and engagement activities that can help you to reach your workforce. These include home mailers, posters, fliers, wallet cards, time-clock signage and table tents. Large conference calls, small-scale phone meetings, interviews, focus groups, Q&A sessions, lunch and learn programs, town hall meetings, and informal hallway conversations can all be engaging ways to interact with employees who are unable to connect by leveraging technology.
Move to Mobile
You may come to a point where the best option is to move to mobile technology or apps to address your communication challenges with remote workers.
Even though 83% of employees who work in the field don't have email addresses, 72% of those employees do use mobile and social. You may, therefore, want to try a mobile app that your employees opt into to help your business connect with dispersed team members.
Another way of using mobile to relay information is to add QR codes or quick reference codes to your printed pieces.
As the non-desk and virtual workforce grows, delivering important information about changes to technology, policy or processes will likely become more challenging. In order to be successful, you'll need a multi-pronged, multi-touch approach that focuses on messaging (clearly) 'what's in it for them?' It's important to note that communications alone are not a silver bullet. Be sure to explore and offer in person interactions, manager support and HR as additional resources to set yourself up for success.
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