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Internal Communication Strategy for Frontline Workers: Top 3 Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Companies all across the globe depend on their workforce to deliver results and propel their success. But did you know that a major chunk of these workers doesn’t sit on a desk to execute their responsibilities? Various industries all over the world such as retail, hospitality, production, manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and many more require their workers to mostly, or in many cases, completely work from outside of an office cubicle or designated desks. This “Deskless Workforce” constitutes over 2.7 billion people of the global working population!

Despite being over 80% of the global workforce, these employees have very dejectedly been ignored by technological solutions for internal communications. This workforce engages with the company’s assets on the frontline such as customers, vendors, etc. Hence, having a streamlined form of communication channel or mode with this domain becomes imperative for organizations.

The lack of an effective workforce engagement strategy in organizations is leading to dispersed actions, each of which requires separate decision making, which subsequently increases the burden on the managerial level employees. Therefore, each organization needs to address the following concerns for developing an effective internal communications strategy.

Relying on Traditional Communications Channels isn’t Effective for Frontline Workers

Emails have been the main mode of communication for organizations for a long time. But if you just scratch the surface, you’ll find that it isn’t a practical mode of communication for frontline workers. Emails often have the chance of being overlooked or missed, and their effectiveness of relaying updates or information has been proven to be ineffective for the frontline workforce.

Frontline workers cannot rely on a mode of communication that isn’t accessible to them at all times. Moreover, a recent study found that over 83% of frontline workers don’t even have a corporate email address. Organizations often rely heavily on verbal or paper-based communication channels like bulletin boards or newsletters. In hindsight, this is a very unreliable and ineffective way to keep the frontline workforce updated about the ongoings and requirements of the organization due to its lack of reach.

The viable solution to this problem-statement would be to define a mode of communication that could be easily accessed by the frontline workforce at all times. Ringing any bells, or more specifically, ringtones? Mobiles are the most practical solution for this communication gap. BYOD or Bring Your Own Device, which is a growing trend nowadays, is a very effective strategy that can help in the implementation of this solution.

Frontline employees should be able to join the organizations’ communication channels using their mobile numbers, which makes it convenient for the organization to reach and connect with them anytime, anywhere.

Being Careful With Mobile-Based Communication Channels

More often than not, mobile-based communication amongst employees, whether non-desk or desk, happens on various third-party apps like WhatsApp. The main problem that arises out of this approach is that the employers, managers, or the commanding persons heading the team don’t have the visibility they would need to keep track of the work being done and information being shared by the employees.

Additionally, one bigger problem that arises out of the use of third-party apps is that the sensitive or confidential information of the organization might spread out, threatening its functioning's and putting it at a risk amongst the competition. This can be a major threat to the cyber-security of an organization and negatively affect it in many ways.

Having a mobile-first communication channel such as the one provides can be considered as the most effective and viable solution to this. Having an employee communication app that connects the entire frontline workforce with their respective managers and heads of operations can significantly boost their productivity. Managers can not only keep the frontline employees updated in real-time, but they can also monitor their progress, which is a good motivator for the employees to work harder and garner better results out of their work.

Communication Barriers Will Still Be Prevalent

Implementing the aforementioned solutions is still not enough. Some other elements organizations often miss out on factoring in into their internal communications strategy are as follows:

  • Time Zones

  • Employees Speaking A Different Language

  • Multiple Shifts

  • Workforce Distribution

These elements play a major role in determining the productivity of frontline employees. While solutions like Skype, Microsoft Teams, Flock, Slack, etc can garner results for the desk workforce, they aren’t useful for the frontline workforce. Adapting to the different time-zones, language barriers, shifts, etc. can be pestering for an organization.

The solution to this would be integrating an employee communication channel that can take care of these elements seamlessly like the one that offers. With an app that supports in-line translations that can be localized to bridge the multiple language communication barriers, and a peer-to-peer communication option to eradicate the time-zone barriers, the internal communications strategy for your organization can be stern and free of any loopholes.

Wrapping Up

With a major chunk of the working population being millennials, developing a mobile-based internal communications strategy is the best way to go for organizations. But to be thorough and not face any of the major aforementioned issues, organizations can turn to, which provides holistic employee communications solutions for frontline employees, to aid them in achieving optimum productivity.

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