Manufacturing organization launches digital channel dedicated to connecting team members and improving communications
Frontline, “deskless” workers, mostly found in the manufacturing, construction, transportation, hospitality, food service, and retail industries, make up 80% (about 2.7 billion people) of the global workforce. These workers are often on the road, store floors, factories, or construction sites. The deskless nature of their jobs usually means that they have limited access to work technology for communicating and engaging with members of their organization. In other words, they may not have work computers, intranet, or emails to help them interact or keep up with company-wide updates.
A study shows that 84% of deskless workers do no receive enough communication from the top management and direct managers. Consequently, these workers may feel left behind, disengaged, and they often turn to non-sanctioned tools like WhatsApp or Facebook for communication. It’s also important to know that industries with deskless workers experience very high turnover – which is inevitable when employees are disengaged and do not feel connected to their company. To improve frontline employee engagement, companies need to invest in engaging and user-friendly platforms that help deskless employees feel supported.
In 2020, one of our clients in the manufacturing industry leveraged Bonfyre to connect their entire 550-person organization. Having teams of deskless workers made it challenging for managers to keep employees engaged, communicate with their teams, or gather employee input. Why is the manufacturing employee experience so critical for business outcomes? Research has shown that “manufacturing plants with higher levels of engagement have 75 percent fewer quality defects and 26 percent fewer safety-related workers’ comp claims.”
So, here’s how Bonfyre’s platform helped meet this client’s goals:
- Improve communication and connectivity across the entire organization
- Create feedback loops to enhance productivity and the manufacturing employee experience
- Drive employee retention through quality engagement
To achieve these goals, Bonfyre helped the client with the following:
- Launched a mobile-first channel to engage deskless workers: Frontline employees may not have access to computers, but most have a mobile device. Bonfyre’s mobile channel enabled workers to interact with their managers and peers and receive timely updates. This approach helped connect every member of the organization and improve their communication.
- Developed valuable team connections: Through Bonfyre, employees could easily participate in lightweight team-building activities tied to company events and seasonal holidays/observances. Team members also recognized peer accomplishments via a recognition program that reinforced core company values, like teamwork, innovation, and positive energy.
- Gathered critical employee input: Our client used Bonfyre’s surveys and polls to collect employee input on satisfaction, resources, scheduling, and policies, which helped to improve employee productivity. For example, employees were asked, “which shifts can you help out with?” to help manage schedule changes, fill open slots, and build alignment within teams. The client also gained insights that improved communications as Bonfyre’s usage data could identify the optimal times to engage employees.
Sample Bonfyre interactions:
Our client achieved the following:
25% improvement in employee retention
Low employee engagement often leads to high employee turnover. It’s costly to hire and train a new employee – the cost of replacing one employee can range from one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary.
In an industry with deskless employees, like manufacturing, where low employee engagement could also lead to quality defects and high turnover, Bonfyre has successfully helped save costs and minimize these issues via a 25% improvement in employee retention. Our client achieved this through strategic use of team interactions, leader communications, and feedback channels within the Bonfyre platform.