Operating a business with a distributed workforce brings a set of complex issues in the best of times, but during a crisis, communicating with your employees and addressing their needs is your top priority. Keeping your employees informed is the best way to create a supportive work environment and a united company.
We know that many teams are not sitting in front of computers all day and recognize the challenge of getting a hold of employees that are constantly on the move. So we’re sharing strategies for effective employee communication specifically for blue-collar companies through text messaging, why it’s so effective for solving these challenges, and how to use it to your advantage.
Why Does Communicating with Your Employees Matter?
Employee engagement and communication are always important, but they can prove essential to your business success during times of change. You are creating a responsive, supportive, leadership system each and every day. Communicating with and supporting your workforce will foster the kind of positive work environment that keeps your best employees longer and raises overall productivity.
To return to one of your biggest challenges, your teams aren’t hanging around the office all day, so how do you foster this positive, productive work environment when physical distancing is just a part of your every day? Large and small blue-collar businesses around the country are turning to the tools that are already in the hands (and pockets) of their workforce: text messaging.
Read on for tips for using text messaging to increase employee engagement.
Ways you can utilize employee text messaging:
Tip No.1: Send Company-Wide Announcements
In today’s fast-paced world, it is becoming more and more important to have a way to get messages out to all of your employees quickly. When regulations or guidelines can change at a moment’s notice, making sure you can keep your frontline workforce up-to-date is critical.
Sharing crucial policies or requirements via text messaging also allows you to keep a record of who has received which message, creating a “paper trail” when you need it.
Example: Each morning, send out a reminder to your employees listing the requirements for reporting to work and where they can find more information.
Stay safe and be vigilant. Complete this self-assessment each morning to know if you can report to work: bit.ly/C19-Self-Assessment
For any essential company such as transportation or food production, it is important that employees are aware of the measures they need to take to ensure not only their safety but the safety of their coworkers and customers. Providing support and resources via text messaging lets you get critical information to your workforce before they ever come on site.
Tip No.2: Conduct a Quick Poll
Text messaging can be a powerful tool for employee feedback. If you have a question or need feedback fast, it is a way to get responses in a timely manner. Whether you are asking for ways to improve operations or morale or simply asking what uniform size everyone needs, texting is a great way to ensure you get a response from every employee.
Using a software tool like Team Engine, you can send out a survey question to the entire company or select groups without creating a giant, messy group text. Replies go directly back to the sender, creating a one-on-one conversation for any necessary follow-ups.
Example: Each month, send out a simple survey to every employee to ask for ways to improve.
We are matching all donations to the Red Cross this month. If you are willing and able, please respond to this text with the amount you would like to donate. Have a great week, and stay safe!
Texting your employees to gather feedback lets them know they are valued. Even if only a few people respond, by conducting regular surveys, you are communicating that you care about their well-being.
Tip No.3: Confidential Conversations and Accessible Communication
Communication isn’t only about announcements from the boss. Providing a way for your distributed workforce and frontline employees to connect with you is equally important to building a positive and productive work environment.
Because text messaging is a part of every person’s cell phone, it is the most accessible communication platform available when teams are working at different locations or not at a typical desk job. Texting provides a unique opportunity to employees to share confidential concerns and be promptly answered in a private environment, even when they are out in the field.
Example: You send out a message to a team that forgot to log their hours on a job.
Hi, team! Looks like you didn’t log your hours for the Park Place job. Please reply to this text with your in and out times so I can prepare payroll tomorrow. Your responses will go directly to me (not the whole group).
Using texting for frontline workers allows you to gather potentially sensitive information such as uniform sizes, compensation details, and dietary restrictions while being respectful of their privacy and time.
The Big Picture
We understand that not all employees sit at a computer all day. We recognize the challenges that come with properly communicating and offer text messaging as a solution. Whether you are doing it on a large scale with software or simply with your own phone, communicating in this way ensures that more people get your message. Text messaging is an effective solution for deskless employees because it puts the information directly into their hands.
Ready to start using text messaging to increase employee engagement, job satisfaction, and retention? Schedule a free consultation, and we'll be happy to show you how Team Engine is helping hundreds of blue-collar companies do just that.