Survey: Companies struggling to engage and communicate with ‘deskless’ workers

Just 56 percent of employees surveyed say they feel ‘connected and engaged’ by their employers.

Remote staff engagement

Is it possible for the “deskless” workforce to truly be a part of the team?

APPrise Mobile recently surveyed more than 1,000 deskless workers to glean insight into the communication challenges facing these employees — and the struggle employers face in making them feel valued, appreciated and motivated.

The survey reveals a major gap of communication and trust between workers and companies. The lack of engagement or recognition of deskless staffers can lead to feelings of isolation and apathy, which poses a direct threat to productivity and profitability.

Key findings from the APPrise survey include:

  • Email still rules, and mobile is still underutilized. At a time when smartphones are ubiquitous and used by both desk-bound and deskless workers alike, email remains the most common method of employee communication (47 percent), with staff meetings a near second (40 percent). In contrast, just 9 percent of companies are using mobile and mobile apps as a channel to reach their employees, even though nearly all deskless workers have one.
  • Workers feel underappreciated. Forty percent of the workers surveyed “do not value performance feedback,” which highlights a major engagement challenge. One reason might be a lack of encouragement or regular positive reinforcement. Twenty-seven percent of respondents say they receive “no appreciation whatsoever” for the work they do.
  • Inadequate training is a problem. According to the survey, 12 percent were not fully satisfied with the amount of training they receive, and 11 percent say they have received “no training at all.” This could affect your turnover, as lack of training is a common reason why workers quit.

APPRise Mobile CEO Jeff Corbin shared this statement with Ragan Communications:

We’re in an age [when] new technology has truly affected the way people communicate in their personal and professional lives as well as the way they consume content. These shifts have in turn transformed the ways companies need to keep up with changing preferences and behaviors and adopt their own new solutions in order to cater to their employees.

When it comes to the “deskless” workforce in particular, these employees don’t always have access to a corporate email, work phone, computer or intranet. Just look at workers in the retail, hospitality, manufacturing and health care industries—most of those professionals don’t work in the traditional office setting behind a desk, so old-school tactics such as breakroom posters and emailed memos that predominantly rely on the “trickle-down” or cascading system to communicate with front-line employees just aren’t going to cut it.

Amid labor shortages and some of the highest rates of voluntary employee turnover in years, to find that only 56 percent of respondents feel connected and engaged by their employers—it’s not enough. We still have more work to do to avoid creating an apathetic workforce, and it’s clear now more than ever that the current methods just aren’t working, and the content being pushed out is lackluster.

Click here to access the rest of the survey’s findings.

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