Four winning workplace communication strategies for deskless workers

four winning workplace communication strategies for deskless workers
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If you work in internal communications, one group presents a unique challenge for you: The deskless worker.

According to an estimate by Google, about 80% of the global workforce is deskless, and that includes major industries like retail, hospitality, manufacturing, and science. Too often these employees—from truck drivers, to warehouse staff, to nurses—don’t have easy access to important information and often feel disconnected from their company’s policies and procedures. Even workers who aren’t fully deskless still work remotely for at least part of our workday or week (1 in 4 Americans will work remotely in 2021, according to CNBC).

All workers deserve to be connected so they can access their PTO balance, safety videos, or store-opening procedures. At Firstup, we make workplace communication as easy and as intuitive as possible. Here are a few of our success stories.

Dow Chemical Company: Manufacturing communications

Dow employs about 54,000 workers around the globe, and 60% of its workforce is deskless. Email and intranet are not always accessible and digital signage or posters in break rooms couldn’t be personalized.

To engage employees, the Dow HR and communications team realized they needed a new approach—one that incorporated mobile and was targeted to drive desired actions. Partnering with Firstup, they launched a workforce communications platform that was easy to use and allowed multiple groups to create and publish content in one place. It provided them with the opportunity to bring a higher volume of personalized and relevant information to employees and offered the reassurance their workforce needed during times of change.

According to Jenn Holzinger, head of global HR and employee communications at Dow: “What the Firstup platform—and our Dow Connect employee app does—is it brings the story to employees in one singular place. They’re able to customize the news feeds. They’re able to customize the information that’s coming to them based on what’s important to them and then we can share the information from a company perspective that they need to know to do their job on the platform.” (Hear more from Jenn in this video.)

Love’s Travel Stops: Frontline and transportation communications

Love’s Travel Stops is a family-owned chain of 450 truck stops in 41 states, and the bulk of the company’s employees are on the frontlines. The team of truck drivers, who deliver fuel to all  Love’s locations, were the hardest to reach. While the drivers felt connected to their divisions, they lacked connection to the Love’s brand.

It was clear the traditional intranet model was not working for workplace communication at Love’s. Their communications team needed an employee app so they could get information directly onto their employees’ smartphone, exactly like consumer apps. 

And they needed a solution quickly—the company’s annual conference was just three weeks away when we partnered with them. After helping them quickly launch the Love’s Now mobile app,  they were able to get immediate buy-in from executive-level leaders and managers.

“For Love’s, it has really changed in that we’re more than just communicators now,” says Kyla Turner, communications manager at Love’s Travel Stops. “Our goal is not just to connect every employee with what we need them to know or to be able to connect them to each other; it’s really about building culture. And our Love’s Now app helps us do that.” (Hear more from Kyla in this video.)

Sound Physicians: Healthcare communications

Making sure patients get the best care is a big job—and it requires Sound Physicians to effectively connect to more than 3,000 of its colleagues.

When the company partnered with Firstup, the communications team made it clear they needed to get important information to its physicians, who were busy treating patients in hospitals and emergency rooms. Sound Physicians’  employees didn’t want to be stuck downloading lots of emails or reading through long content. And, as new and younger physicians join the ranks, more of them preferred using a mobile app to get snippets of information quickly throughout the day.

Using our workforce communications platform, Sound Physicians successfully launched an internal communications app and were excited by the opportunity to provide their team new and engaging content.   

“Sound Physicians uses Firstup to get information into the hands of physicians who are moving around a hospital all day long,” says Lynn Purdy, the company’s vice president of communications and marketing  “And getting them more informed in a way that is easy, quick, and engaging.” (Watch Lynn discuss more in this video.)

Southern Company Gas: Energy innovator

With over 60% employees out in the field, and a growing millennial and Gen Z workforce, receiving content through email and the intranet wasn’t working.

Using the FirstUp platform, Southern Company Gas was able to keep their frontline workforce safe during the pandemic, digitize key business processes and ultimately provide a better customer experience to natural gas users. Critically, the utility was also able to boost productivity, saving 91K hours of employee time—a productivity gain worth approximately $3.9 million.

“As part of an initiative to improve information for frontline workers, Southern Company Gas invested in SocialChorus’ FirstUp platform, enabling it to deliver task-critical information to employees wherever they’re located and driving a 45% increase in employee engagement.”

— Best Practices: Technology Experience Management, Forrester report by Andrew Hewitt and Jonathan Roberts

We’re proud of what our customers have accomplished. Read more customer stories from AB InBev, Newell, PVH Corp., and others.

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