If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that we need to be adaptable, flexible and ready for change. Each of these traits is vital to the success of any business — especially for those focusing on employee engagement.
Leadership teams must revisit and realign their engagement efforts regularly to ensure that team members are actively involved in meeting the challenges that occur within the organization. Without it, dysfunction will set in, productivity will suffer, absenteeism will climb, and turnover will become an increasingly serious problem.
COVID-19 was a game changer for employee engagement, particularly for those working in the supply chain who are considered frontline workers. Organizations had to come up with new solutions for engaging with those individuals. For workers, the pandemic drove home what was important to them. One report found that prolonged job dissatisfaction, pandemic-related safety issues and the desire to work for employers with a sense of unity were strong drivers for what has been termed the Great Resignation.
Turning around this mass exodus will be no small undertaking. Leadership teams will be dealing with myriad personalities, all with different wants, needs and motivations. But while there’s no quick fix for re-engaging workers, technology can help. Employees require the right tools to do their jobs effectively and add value to their day-to-day lives. They also can improve the overall employee experience by promoting communication and connection.
Providing employees with the right technology doesn’t just make their lives easier; it gives them a voice, which, in turn, fosters buy-in and builds relationships between employers and employees. The latter secure greater access to senior leadership, management, team leaders and peers. Feelings of isolation and disconnection subside, improving job satisfaction and supporting greater collaboration within teams.
The supply chain industry, in particular, relies heavily on paper-based processes for those working on the frontline. Technology tools can streamline and automate mundane, repetitive tasks, freeing up time for other responsibilities. Reducing paper usage also has an environmental impact, delivering a one-two punch for operations. Workers feel the company is making a difference while it’s simultaneously meeting their demands.
Companies looking to engage employees with the help of technology often
focus on the wrong initiatives. They choose “Band-Aids” instead of investing in cures. To avoid this trap, they need to explore the following strategies:
Adopt mobile technologies. By putting the power of engagement at the fingertips of frontline workers, companies demonstrate that they value these employees. They’re able to connect with workers in real time, wherever they happen to be.
Offer a single platform. Accessibility is critical, and that’s what a single platform provides. Employees can access everything they need at the touch of a button — and, with mobile devices, in the palms of their hands. Look for an application that caters to desk workers with access to company e-mail or computers, but also one that enables employee engagement on the frontline.
Facilitate top-down, bottom-up communication. Frontline works need a voice. An all-inclusive platform can relay important leadership messages while also facilitating two-way communication between all members of the team. Widely dispersed employees, including those on the road, will feel included and valued.
Innovative employee-engagement tools put the power in the hands of frontline supply chain employees. Not only are those workers aligned with the company’s goals and values, but they’re also more likely to be loyal, invested and motivated in their jobs. It’s all about improving workers’ lives and connecting with them, which impacts employee engagement — and the company’s bottom line.
Gys Kappers is co-founder of Wyzetalk, a digital employee experience platform.
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