Foe to Friend: Turning Employees’ Phones into Tools for Workplace Excellence
Hourly workers are the heart and soul of every service industry brand. From working with customers to resolving challenges at the work location, shift-based workers are a company’s strongest advocates of their brand reputation. But when companies undergo a major change, they often exclude hourly workers from the conversations taking place at the top. Whether brands are rolling out seasonal marketing campaigns, preparing a new product launch, or making a corporate strategy change, every employee within an organization needs the relevant information in real time to deliver a unified customer experience across all customer touchpoints.
Shift-based workers might not be calling the shots, but consistent branding depends on each employee’s ability to execute changes dictated by upper management on a regular basis. Consistency is vital for any brand: the reliable delivery of a brand promise and consistent customer service is what draws customers back to you (rather than defecting to your competitors). With a comprehensive digital workplace platform, companies can ensure uniformity across the entire brand and avoid sending mixed messages to customers.
Uniform Messaging Starts with an Informed Workforce
Executives may determine a brand’s messaging, but store associates are a critical function of the delivery of that message directly to customers. As the face of the company, hourly workers need to be in the loop about any internal changes that could affect how they publicly represent the brand.
In the retail industry, for example, information has to be disseminated to store associates so they can make the necessary adjustments within stores to support new promotional campaigns and explain product changes or operational initiatives. Failure to inform employees of big-picture goals can result in associates who deviate from campaign expectations, and customer experiences that don’t align with a brand’s overall image.
Streamlined, direct communication between corporate teams and hourly workers is the first step toward guaranteeing a steady brand message. In turn, this cultivates higher employee engagement, which leads to greater customer loyalty, increased productivity, and long-term business growth. With a unified front of knowledgeable and highly engaged employees, brands can accommodate the increased demand for superior customer service and implement company-wide changes more quickly and effectively.
Achieving Brand Consistency with a Digital Workplace Platform
Brand consistency can only be achieved when all levels of an organization are provided with unified information. Armed with a centralized, digital workplace platform, service industry employers can foster cohesion in these three key ways:
1. Forge effective communication between corporate teams and the frontline
When marketing teams only share new product or campaign information with regional and store managers, they lose control over how (or if) those details are conveyed to hourly associates. A platform that enables messaging and push notifications between the head office and frontline lets employers distribute content in real time straight to employees’ mobile devices. This not only takes the burden off managers to communicate announcements and special assignments to individual associates, but also ensures that subsequent tasks (e.g., creating in-store promotional displays) are executed consistently across locations.
2. Improve manager visibility
Digital workplace platforms give both head office and store leaders additional insight into each location’s daily operations. With a solution that instantly captures employee tasks, training, and feedback, managers can more effectively monitor individual employee performance and campaign results. This also helps managers recognize and reward store associates for their respective achievements, boosting employee engagement, productivity and making sure there is a cohesive brand message. At the corporate level, these details can be used to instantly compare performance across the organization, optimize future campaigns, and identify new growth opportunities.
3. Revitalize employee training
For most hourly associates, “training” is synonymous with bland manuals, antiquated binders, and the occasional shadowing session. Unfortunately for employers, these channels do little to ensure employees learn or retain the same information across locations. With digital workplace tools, employers can create uniform, engaging training programs associates can access from their own devices. Rather than offer static, campaign-specific packets for managers to train staff with, organizations can architect interactive training modules with surveys, videos, and quizzes that consistently communicate key messages in a compelling, effective way.
To enable cohesive change, brands with distributed workforces need to encourage better communication between headquarters and hourly employees. A digital workplace platform ensures workers remain engaged and updated on company-wide initiatives, while improving transparency for managers. With the right tools in place, brands can seamlessly launch consistent campaigns across all of their locations regardless of zip code or time zone, delivering a memorable experience for their customers time and time again.