Apr 04, 2019

Foe to Friend: Turning Employees’ Phones into Tools for Workplace Excellence

Smartphones have transformed so much about the way we live our lives. They’ve changed everything from how we interact with our friends to how we order takeout, and just about everything in between.

It makes sense that they can have a similar impact on the work we do. People who work in offices or similar kinds of jobs have been using phones for years to do work, like replying to emails or communicating with co-workers, so why not give frontline employees the opportunity to do the same?

Businesses struggle with the idea of allowing their frontline staff to use their personal phones on the floor. There’s a fear that these employees will spend their time “goofing off” on their phones, instead of using them like the amazing tools they are.

But there is another side to having personal phones in the hands of frontline staff. When you stop focusing on the aspects that are considered negative and think about what a phone is actually capable of, they can be turned into tools of the job.

You just need the right platform.

Going digital has no limits

digital workplace experience (DWEX) gives employees tools that enhance their ability to do their jobs—provided through a platform available on their personal mobile device.

According to Andrew Myers, winner of the 2018 National Retail Association of Australia’s “Innovator of the Year” award, frontline employees crave knowledge about the business they work for and the products they sell.

“These employees want to be empowered, engaged, and educated (E3) on how to sell more product and drive sales,” says Myers, WorkJam VP APAC & Global Digital Strategy.

By providing your workforce with a digital workplace that embraces the ability for head office and managers to communicate with their employees on their own devices when and where they want, employees are able to peruse content and get training without the constraints of traditional communication methods.

In fact, a DWEX opens a business up to the kind of operational efficiencies that managers and head office may not have thought possible. It also helps frontline staff connect to each other better, fostering a sense of truly being a part of a team.

In fact, having a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy for your frontline employees could be a game-changing experience.

Turning phones into tools for workplace excellence

When you embrace the DWEX, phones suddenly become very powerful tools in the hands of your frontline employees.

WorkJam recently surveyed hourly workers and explored employee sentiment around Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies and we found that implementing the right technology can lead to a significant reduction of costs through operational excellence. Having a mobile-first digital workplace helps align employees with business goals, leads to lower absenteeism, and allows for the optimization of labor while winning the hearts of employees. The bottom line: Everybody wins.

Phones become a way for managers and head office staff to distribute tasks to the frontline. Not only can they let frontline staff know what needs to be done, but instructions can also be provided, eliminating the need for a lot of back and forth between frontline employees and managers.

Frontline employees become more self-directing this way. Everything they need to excel at their jobs is in the palm of their hands, from the training they need to earn promotions to the tasks they need to complete on their shift. This self-direction is particularly noticeable when frontline staff has more control over their schedules. In fact, 69% of those we surveyed said that with the right application they’d have an easier time picking up shifts that accommodate their schedules. This puts them in a position to increase their income and feel more satisfied in their roles.

The digital workplace also provides an easy method for two-way communication. Frontline employees can quickly ask management for clarification or to see if a task has been done properly. Chat messages, photos, and videos can all be exchanged with a few taps on a screen.

It also opens up the ability for team members to communicate with each other. This gives them the ability to grow as a team and cultivate a culture that encourages excellence. The ability to foster that kind of culture is very important to frontline staff.

We found that 56% of employees looking for jobs say they are prevented from maximizing their potential at work. When employees are encouraged to grow, they feel like their contributions matter and they do better work as a result.

Furthermore, adopting a BYOD policy and deploying a mobile-first digital workplace can lead to greater operational efficiencies. In fact, our customers tell us that they have seen an outsized ROI in these areas:

  • Operations saw a reduction in absenteeism and time spent by managers on filling shifts, lower vacancies, fewer customer complaints, and proper task execution.
  • HR got faster onboarding, reduced recruiting costs, and increased scores on employee satisfaction surveys.
  • Trainers were able to ensure that employees got ongoing training with higher and faster completion rates, and 100% delivery and verification of training.
  • Finance and Administration got a dramatic reduction in printing and mailing costs.
  • Cost savings by consolidating and sunsetting multiple IT systems. One of our customers is sunsetting 18 systems as a result of implementing WorkJam.

Is BYOD is right for you?

Our study found that today’s hourly workforce has little pushback when it comes to the idea of implementing a BYOD policy at work. The study also cites scheduling and communication pain points as reasons for leaving jobs—pain points that can be mitigated with a mobile-first digital workplace platform.

In fact, 57% of those surveyed said they would prefer to use their personal mobile devices to access information such as schedules and training materials.

Our findings call to attention the impact that implementing a BYOD workplace policy could have in building a more engaged and productive workforce. In our white paper, Embracing a Bring Your Own Device Policy in the Workplace, we take you through the transition a manager experiences when her employer implements a BYOD policy and deploys a digital workplace platform.

A BYOD policy can help drive a more engaged and productive employee experience by helping them engage with your brand on a deeper level, get the training they need to thrive in their jobs, and cultivate a legendary workplace culture that enables employees to be more self-directing.

To learn more, download our white paper.

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