Business owners and management teams that rely on front-line and hourly workforces face unique challenges. Maximizing performance and efficiency is always top of mind, but often the tools to achieve improvements in these areas is slightly less apparent. Healthcare, construction, staffing, retail, hospitality, manufacturing and more require effective collaboration although that might not be the word many managers tend to use. It is however the truth.
With diverse teams, often representing the brand and dynamic situations involving both the employee to employer relationship, as well as customer demands, maintaining operational excellence is something many businesses give up on. Amidst the array of tools at their disposal, management often goes for the simplest and most direct approach, but a one size fits all tool often has the least benefit when the requirements are ever-changing. One lever organization have that is often under utilized is communication.
Not just “communication” in a soft-skills sense, but tech-enabled communication. In this article we will dive into the benefits of tech-enable communication, how it scales, how it can solve problems and drive valuable improvements to the bottom-line at a low cost. We’ll also take a look at some example that both management and employees will be familiar with to make the effects obvious and tangible. Ultimately, By recognizing the pivotal role communication plays in driving success, we can tap into the potential of any workforce, identify opportunities quicker and achieve extraordinary results.
First lets use some examples to drive the point home. Here at TeamBridge customer support is a priority. We realize that when an organization relies on a platform, like TeamBridge, for 24/7 operations they are putting a great amount of trust in us. If they get stuck, or needs help we take it as our responsibility to make sure they are successful. I’m sure we’ve all be frustrated and had a negative experience with a customer support phone line, or chat. Hopefully you’ve also had the opposite experience, where a customer support agent created a really pleasant experience out of a negative one. This is a great example of how communication is a power tool, one capable of driving customer to or away from your business.
The same is true for your staff. When you staff interacts with your management team, be it payroll, HR, scheduling, or even your initial recruiting and onboarding team they are forming opinions about the organization and their place on the team. Negative experiences at any of these junctures could result in a resentment that ultimately leads to churn, or sustained poor performance. Our instinct tells us to find a tool or give our team a resource to solve the problem themselves, and often times that is a solid instinct. The problem with this instinct is that it fails to leverage the collective knowledge of those who need the solution. Through communication and first solving the problem in a more personalized and direct way your team can learn the steps that lead to the most positive outcome, you can then use that experience to pick the right tool, or give your team the right resources at scale.
Lets take a look at some of the ways that communication can foster a better working environment, but also improve the bottom line.
- Fostering Trust and Boosting Engagement:
Communication is the bedrock upon which trust and engagement are nurtured. Our front-line and hourly workers often grapple with limited visibility into organizational strategies and decision-making processes. Transparent and consistent communication channels allow leaders to bridge this gap, empowering employees to feel connected and engaged. By openly sharing information, goals, and progress updates, we cultivate a culture of trust, ensuring that each team member understands their contribution to our collective success.
- Streamlining Operations and Workflow:
Efficient communication channels facilitate the smooth flow of information, ensuring tasks and responsibilities are effectively conveyed throughout the entire workforce. Clear directives, prompt feedback, and streamlined workflows minimize confusion and prevent costly errors. Embracing technology-driven communication platforms, such as mobile apps or intranet portals, enables real-time information exchange, empowering employees to make swift and well-informed decisions. By reducing communication barriers, we unlock productivity gains and respond swiftly to evolving customer needs.
- Empowering Front-Line Problem Solving:
Our front-line and hourly employees possess a wealth of insights and expertise derived from their proximity to customer interactions and operational processes. Encouraging an environment of open communication empowers these individuals to share their ideas, suggestions, and concerns. Actively seeking and incorporating their input into decision-making processes enables us to harness their collective wisdom, identify bottlenecks, develop innovative solutions, and refine operational practices. This inclusive approach instills a sense of ownership and empowerment, leading to heightened motivation and commitment throughout the workforce.
- Enhancing Employee Satisfaction and Retention:
Communication serves as a vital tool in cultivating a positive employee experience. Regular and meaningful communication not only keeps employees informed but also demonstrates that their contributions are valued. Engaging employees in open dialogue and soliciting their feedback strengthens their sense of belonging while enabling management to address concerns promptly. By recognizing and rewarding employee achievements through transparent communication channels, we elevate job satisfaction and bolster retention rates. Prioritizing effective communication creates a supportive and fulfilling work environment, reducing turnover and associated costs.
- Leveraging Data for Continuous Improvement:
In the era of big data, communication tools offer valuable insights into workforce performance and efficiency metrics. Real-time data analytics help identify patterns, trends, and areas for improvement. Monitoring communication platforms enables us to track message response times, identify information gaps, and evaluate the efficacy of our communication strategies. By harnessing these insights, we refine our communication processes, tailor messages to specific teams or individuals, and implement targeted interventions to enhance overall performance.=
Just because hourly workers may garner a lower wage than desk workers, does not make them any less valuable. Most managers know that the landscape is fiercely competitive for front-line and hourly workers. Effective communication serves as a strategic differentiator. By embracing communication as a valuable tool, we can transform operational efficiency, elevate employee engagement, and achieve remarkable results. Doing so at scale requires a tool or platform that understands the structure of your organization, and meets your team wherever they are.
TeamBridge’s Team Chat platform allows you to create departments within your organizations, broadcast out messages, and reply individually to any responses. With front lone workers often time app or email engagement is low, so we also made our Team Chat omni channel, meaning it will deliver the message wherever it will be most effective, and even send a text message if the recipient hasn’t see or read it in their TeamBridge app. Schedule a demo today to see the Team Chat platform in action.