There’s a lot that goes into managing deskless workers in a way that keeps them engaged and satisfied.
You’ve got to communicate, sending down directives from management and trying your best to convey the company’s vision to those who rarely hear it directly from leadership. You’ve got to train your employees, making sure they are ready to execute exactly as required, and you’ve got to oversee the timing and quality of their work. You’ve got to deal with scheduling, including shift coverage changes and last-minute call-ins.
Doing each of these jobs manually or via multiple digital solutions can leave your head spinning and put you at risk of letting things fall through the cracks.
But, imagine that you could do all of it seamlessly through a single app, one that your employees could also access. The app — called a digital workplace — can help you do all of these tasks and more without missing a beat.
Let’s look at two scenarios in which a manager, Sarah, is supervising Joe, an employee at a retail chain. In scenario one, Sarah is doing it all by hand, using a few different software programs to juggle her needs. In scenario two, Sarah is using a digital workplace to coordinate everything involved in managing Joe and his colleagues.
Scenario 1: Frazzled Management
On Sunday evening, Sarah receives a text message from Joe asking if it’s all right if he swaps his Tuesday shift with Justine, who’s working Monday. Sarah texts back that it’s fine, and also confirms with Justine via text. Sarah then opens up her calendar app to record the change.
On Monday, Sarah opens her email instructions from operations for a seasonal display that needs to be put up. She relays them to the staff on Joe’s shift, but when they finish with the display, it’s clear something’s gotten lost in translation. The positioning of some pieces seems off. Sarah isn’t sure what’s wrong but then notices that she got the directions backward when she was transmitting the instructions to her employees. She asks them to redo parts of the display.
She then opens up her task management app to ensure that all her employees are on task and nothing’s getting missed, fields a few more texts and emails seeking schedule changes, then fires up her payroll management app to approve the latest time sheets. By the middle of her shift she’s up to her neck in apps, emails, texts, and calendars, juggling it all while simultaneously making sure the cash registers are manned, and the pile of shirts knocked over in the Kids section are re-stacked.
Meanwhile, Joe has a sandwich in the break room mid-shift and reads a flyer on the bulletin board about the company picnic. No one in management has mentioned this to him yet, so he assumes no one’s very interested in whether frontline staff members like him attend. There’s a sign-up sheet to bring food and drink, but nobody’s written anything down.
Scenario 2: Streamlined Management
On Sunday evening, Sarah opens up her digital workplace app and approves a request for Joe and Justine to switch shifts.
Sarah then finds that Operations has put a video of instructions for the seasonal display into the app. On Monday, Sarah instructs her team to watch the video through the app and put up the display accordingly. They all do so and have the display up correctly in no time.
Sarah uses her digital workplace to track that shift’s tasks. She notices that a few more employees have made schedule changes for later in the week. She clicks approvals for timesheets within the app and sees that the CEO has sent a video announcement about the company picnic, inviting everyone in the company to come and bring their families.
Joe checks his digital workplace app as he eats his sandwich and sees the CEO’s video. It feels nice to have a personal invitation to the picnic. He uses the app to sign up to bring lemonade, adding a little note in the social channel that he’s looking forward to it.
Digital Workplace: Streamlined and Low Stress
Scenario 2 makes for a much less stressful and harried day for Sarah, not to mention a more pleasant and engaging work experience for Joe. Using a digital workplace app takes a lot of the confusion, fussiness, and potential mistakes out of the day-to-day management of frontline employees.
It’s a one-stop-shop for everything managers and employees need to collaborate. It’s a way for company leadership to engage directly with employees at all levels. And, it’s a way for workers to take control of their schedules, their training, and their work lives in general.
By offering these capabilities, WorkJam helps workers feel more engaged and more likely to remain at their jobs. Read our white paper “What Is a Digital Workplace…And Why Do You Need One?” to understand how a digital workplace can do wonders for both managers’ and employees’ experience at work.