The Importance of Instant Messaging For Businesses with Deskless Workers

Look around you. Whether you visit a hotel or a coffee shop or a retail store or pass by a construction site or get some delivery at your doorstep, one thing is pretty clear.

A majority of staff at these places are frontline workers.

In other words, they are employees who don’t work out of a typical office setup.

They also, more often than not, don’t use desktops or sit behind a desk at work.

Firstline workers represent the face of most brands.

According to a report, 73% of consumers claim customer service drives their purchasing decision.

The quality of service given by these workers makes or breaks a customer’s relationship with a business.

Now, let’s take a step backwards.

When is the level of service highly impressive?

It is when the frontine staff are well-versed with their jobs, company policy and customer

The only way employees can become good at their jobs is if the channels of training and communication are open to them constantly and consistently.

IGNORING FIRSTLINE WORKERS IS A COSTLY AFFAIR

Since the inception of organized workforces, desk-bound workers have always enjoyed more privileges than their field working counterparts.

They get more benefits, rewards and recognition than firstliners.

This may have been acceptable a decade ago but at present it is not only archaic but also self-destructive for a business to adopt this attitude.

The 2.7-billion frontline, non-desk and offline workers form 80% of the global workforce today.

This number is steadily increasing year on year.

It is evident that organizations should shift their focus and invest more in this set of workers to sustain growth.

However, firstline workers receive just about 1% of the total enterprise software funding!

Aside from the sparse investment in this workforce, firstliners are mostly kept out of the loop of company communications.

This makes them feel excluded and isolated. Most of the office communication is carried out via traditional channels like bulletin boards, emails and intranets.

Most non-desk workers simply don’t have access to these channels.

Around 45% of non-desk workers don’t have intranet access and 83%don’t have corporate email address.

This results in abysmally low levels of engagement leading to poor motivation amongst this workforce.

This in turn leads to increased employee turnover.

The lethal combination of poor communication and staff turnover adversely impacts a businesses’ bottom line.

Lost productivity costs due to disengaged workforce in the US lies between $483bn and $605bn.

Taking a hint, some organizations have taken “corrective measures”.

They have ditched the traditional forms of communication and introduced enterprise communication networks like Slack and Yammer.

This may not be such a welcome move though.

Enterprise tools like Slack and Yammer are primarily built for knowledge workers.

As a result, the non-desk workers still remain disconnected.

EXPANDING THE LOOP WITH BUSINESS MESSAGING APPS

The time is ripe for corporate instant messaging for deskless workers.

So far, the frontline workforce sure has the ‘means’ (smartphones and other digital devices) and the ‘motive’ (need to be informed) but not the ‘message’ (inclusive and instant communication).

Instant messaging is the perfect mode of communication for the deskless workforce because:
• Like others, they have strong access to smart devices. So platform-compatibility is not a problem.
• BYOD is the new norm in businesses. So instant messaging gets an official pat on the back.
• They are always on the go. So communication must be instant.
• They are used to the social media experience. So there’s no training effort or cost involved for instant messaging.

Instant messaging is a win-win.

For non-desk workers
• It is easy and fast.
• It is dependable, relevant and familiar.

• It helps them stay connected with the rest of the organization.

• This boosts employee morale and engagement.

For business leaders
• It results in high engagement scores and greater productivity
• It reduces miscommunication costs
• It reduces turnover rates
• Proper communication also means happier customers.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER BEFORE TAKING THE PLUNGE

However, to ensure the experience does not go the wrong way, enterprises must keep certain factors in mind:

• WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are also instant messaging. However, they are not suitable for corporate instant messaging due to security issues. They are also very distracting as their features are targeted at consumer messaging and entertainment rather than serious, contextual texting.
• Compliance, administration, ownership and metrics – all enterprise channel must-haves – are also limited in such consumer-first apps. According to a Google report, 68% of frontline workers who use WhatsApp or Messenger for work comms say they will stop if given access to internal communication tools.
• An instant messaging platform is nothing if it does not loop in the entire workforce properly. Business instant messaging apps must cut across all levels in an organization, from the CEO to the concierge. Additionally, onboarding should be easy and uncomplicated.
• Instant messaging platforms that don’t go the extra mile won’t make the cut for sure. The perfect platform is one that packs in employee engagement and productivity tools along with communication solutions.

BARRIERS TO INSTANT MESSAGING - AND HOW TO OVERCOME THEM

Despite its pluses, there are businesses averse to instant messaging for business communications even today:

• They still prefer to communicate with non-desk employees through bulletin boards, sticky notes, and sporadic calls — or through just a holler across the room.

• They are worried about security: “What if he quits and takes company data with him?” They are unsure about what to communicate: “Is it essential to inform the delivery guy about a change in company policy?” They are doubtful of the reception: “Will the office janitor read all messages sent to him?”

• Instant messaging platforms that don’t go the extra mile won’t make the cut for sure. The perfect platform is one that packs in employee engagement and productivity tools along with communication solutions.

These businesses are not altogether oblivious to the benefits of instant messaging for firstline workers.

It’s more of a mind-set problem than anything else.

To change a communication channel in enterprises, the work culture has to change first.

Traditional enterprises have to depend on their change-drivers – leaders like CIOs, CXOs, etc. – to effect a paradigm shift in the overall attitude towards these workers.

Unless the CXOs actively participate and lead by example, these barriers will persist.

They need to spread the word about the benefits of enterprise instant messaging and make it the new normal

The C-suite should also bring in stronger compliance and ensure only relevant communication reaches the non-desk workers.

Likewise, the CIOs should see to it that the tool they use is robustly secure and seamlessly compatible with multiple devices.

Instant messaging’s impact on the work-life balance and work culture of knowledge workers has already been proven.

However, frontline workers also benefit immensely from instant messaging tools.

INSTANT MESSAGING FOR NON-DESK WORKERS USING GROUPE.IO

At the end of the day, choosing the right technology for your organization is vital.

Groupe.io  is an internal communications and productivity platform that checks all the boxes when it comes to connecting frontline workers.

It is designed specifically keeping in mind the needs of the non-desk tribe.

Onboarding is super-easy and does not require corporate email addresses.

Frontline workers who do not have an office email address can simply register using their mobile number or QR code.

Its social media like interface makes it relatable and easy to navigate.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feeds-style, peer-to-peer and group-based instant conversations make Groupe.io a hit with the frontline staff.

Groupe.io is highly secure.

It comes with bank-level security with 256-bit AES encryption and TLS 2048-bit SSL certificate.

The enterprise tool also offers biometric security, remote revocation and wipes, and several other security and compliance features.

To offer more than messaging, Groupe.io has built-in engagement tools like surveys, polls, recognition and idea sourcing.

It also comes with productivity enablers like integration with third-party and internal work apps, digital checkliststask manager, and more.

 

LEADING THE WAY

It’s only today that we are talking about employee communication in terms of desk and non-desk workers.

The lines between desk and non-desk are fast blurring.

The future will see seamless communication among all employees, desk or non-desk, and there won’t be any need to write articles like this.

Business instant messaging will soon evolve as a culture within organizations that have a large number of non-desk workers.

Groupe.io is a solid enterprise instant messaging platform that has a number of employee and business benefits on offer.

It’s easy, engaging and productive.

And strongly secure at the same time. The best part is that everyone, and we mean EVERYONE, is looped in.

WANT TO GET THE GROUPE.IO EDGE?

Groupe.io is an internal communications and business messaging app for frontline, deskless and distributed workers.

If you think Groupe.io is a good fit for your business, go ahead and schedule a personalized demo today. Any questions? Drop us a mail at info@groupe.io!

Check out our newly launched process automation capabilities Explore Now