From Field to Desk: How Do Intranets Help Team Collaboration?

Engaging Deskless Workers With Employee Intranet

Engaging Deskless Workers With Employee Intranet

Last updated on March 7, 2024 at 10:33 am

In today’s fast-paced work environment, keeping employees engaged and well-informed is more important than ever before. However, many companies struggle to effectively connect with their deskless workforce – those employees who don’t spend their days in front of a computer. Whether they’re on the factory floor, in a warehouse, or in the field, these valuable frontline workers can often feel disconnected from what’s happening within the organization. 

But what if there was a simple solution that could help break down barriers and bring every employee into the fold, regardless of their roles or responsibilities? What if every worker had access to the same timely company updates, announcements, instructions, and resources as their office-based colleagues – all from the devices they already use on the job each day? 

That’s the power of an employee intranet designed specifically for deskless audiences. When optimized for mobile and accessible anytime, anywhere, an intranet can transform how your whole workforce collaborates and stays in the know. In this blog post, we’ll explore how engaging deskless workers with the right intranet platform can boost communication, collaboration, productivity, and morale across your company.

The Challenges of Engaging Deskless Workers

Physical Disconnection

Deskless workers who operate in non-traditional environments or on the field might encounter feelings of isolation, in contrast to their office-based counterparts. This physical separation can obstruct effective communication, impede information flow, and contribute to a gap in company culture.

Information Silos

Deskless workers commonly face challenges with information silos, which restrict important data within specific departments or locations. This limitation hinders their access to timely and relevant information, impeding their ability to make informed decisions and respond promptly to changes. As a result, the presence of information silos negatively impacts individual productivity and overall organizational efficiency and agility.

Also Read: 5 Tips for Improving Internal Communication on a Budget

Feeling Unseen and Unheard

The lack of regular face-to-face interactions with management or colleagues can lead to disconnection and undervaluation, ultimately impacting morale, job satisfaction, and employee engagement.

Limited Collaboration

Collaboration is the cornerstone of innovation and productivity in the workplace. However, deskless workers often face obstacles to fostering collaboration due to physical distance and the absence of dedicated tools or platforms for seamless communication. The limitations of collaborative efforts can impede problem-solving, hinder idea generation, and prevent knowledge exchange among team members. Enhanced communication and collaboration facilitated by the by intranet can increase the efficiency of interaction-oriented workers by 20-25%, as stated by McKinsey.

The Power of Employee Intranets for Deskless Workers

Employee intranets have become powerful tools with a range of features that aim to improve connectivity and engagement among dispersed teams. However, the question remains: How can employee engagement be achieved on the intranet?

Centralized Communication Hub

These platforms act as digital spaces for efficient information dissemination. They ensure that all employees, regardless of location, can access the latest updates, announcements, and company news. This centralized hub fosters unity among deskless workers and helps align them with organizational goals. According to Emergence, 77% of deskless workers express a desire for enhanced intranet technology to support communication, operations, logistics, onboarding, and training.

Also Read: Intranet Platforms: How to Choose Intranet Software

Mobile-First Design

The workers can access the intranet from their smartphones or tablets, ensuring connectivity on the go. The mobile-friendly interface enhances accessibility and convenience for deskless employees, enabling seamless engagement with the platform in various settings, such as the field, shop floor, or during transit.

Personalized Content and Features

By recognizing the diverse needs and roles within a company, these platforms enable employees to personalize their intranet experience. This ensures that they receive relevant information based on their job functions, enhancing engagement. Additionally, personalization allows deskless workers to quickly access the resources and tools that are most pertinent to their daily tasks.

Interactive and Collaborative Tools

Features such as instant messaging, discussion forums, and collaborative document sharing empower deskless workers to communicate effectively with their peers and supervisors. This cultivates a culture of teamwork, even for employees who don’t share a physical workspace, resulting in heightened productivity and efficiency. To overcome challenges, workers must harness the collective knowledge within the organization through user-friendly, interconnected, and seamless collaboration tools.

Community Building and Recognition

Dedicated sections for employee profiles, achievements, and recognition on these platforms celebrate both individual and team accomplishments. By recognizing and appreciating the contributions of deskless workers, it boosts morale and strengthens the overall company culture, fostering a positive and supportive work environment.

Also Read: The State of Frontline Worker Communication

Strategies for Engaging Deskless Workers with the Intranet

Engaging deskless workers with the intranet requires a thoughtful and targeted approach that acknowledges employees’ unique challenges. Here are some effective strategies that organizations can employ to engage deskless workers:

Targeted Content and Communication

Deskless workers have unique information needs that differ from those of desk-bound employees. To effectively engage them, organizations should tailor content to meet these specific requirements. This includes creating relevant and easily digestible materials that address their concerns, challenges, and responsibilities. It is crucial to employ multimedia formats, such as videos and infographics, to enhance engagement and deliver information in a more accessible and engaging manner. Recognizing the critical role of effective communication is paramount, as subpar communication practices can result in a significant financial impact, translating to a loss of $4,200 per employee annually.

Leverage Internal Champions

Identify and empower internal champions within the deskless workforce who can advocate for using the intranet. These individuals can act as liaisons between deskless employees and the organization, helping to communicate the intranet’s value, address concerns, facilitate training, provide feedback on its effectiveness, and suggest improvements based on the unique needs of deskless workers.

Utilize Push Notifications and Alerts

Utilizing push notifications and alerts is vital for keeping deskless employees informed in real time as they may not always have consistent computer access. By implementing a system that sends crucial updates, announcements, and reminders directly to mobile devices, deskless employees can stay connected and up-to-date, even when on the go or away from their workstations. This is essential for maintaining effective communication and productivity.

Promote Gamification and Incentives

Gamification involves implementing challenges, competitions, and reward systems to promote engagement and participation. By recognizing and rewarding accomplishments through badges, points, or other incentives, deskless employees can find motivation to actively utilize the intranet and contribute to fostering a positive workplace culture. In fact, a staggering 85% of workers reported feeling motivated when they had regular access to company news updates through the intranet.

Focus on User Interface and Design

Having an intuitive and user-friendly interface is crucial for effectively engaging deskless workers. The design of the intranet should be optimized for mobile use, featuring a responsive layout that adapts to various screen sizes. Additionally, clear navigation, simple menu structures, and easily accessible features contribute to a positive user experience. It is essential to prioritize functionality that enables deskless workers to find information swiftly, as this enhances overall usability and encourages regular intranet use.

Also Read: Reach Deskless Workforce With This Communications Primer

Summing Up

Engaging deskless workers with an employee intranet is crucial in today’s workplace. It helps bridge the gap between office-based and deskless employees, fostering a more inclusive and connected workforce. Benefits include enhanced communication, streamlined information sharing, improved accessibility, and increased productivity. Intranet solutions also cultivate a sense of belonging and empowerment among deskless workers. As businesses evolve, recognizing the value of engaging deskless workers through a well-designed employee intranet becomes pivotal for maintaining a dynamic and cohesive workplace culture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can an employee intranet be customized to cater to different organizational departments or teams?

Yes, most modern employee intranets offer customization options. Organizations can tailor the content and features based on different departments or teams’ unique needs and preferences, ensuring each group receives relevant and targeted information.

Q2: How can an employee intranet contribute to employee training and development for deskless workers?

An employee intranet can host training materials, resources, and interactive modules, providing deskless workers with convenient access to continuous learning opportunities. This helps in upskilling and ensures that employees stay updated with industry trends and company policies.

Q3: How can organizations measure the success and impact of an employee intranet on deskless worker engagement?

Key performance indicators (KPIs), such as user activity, feedback, and participation rates, can be monitored. Surveys and feedback mechanisms can also provide valuable insights. Regular assessments can help organizations refine their strategies and continuously improve the effectiveness of employee intranets in engaging deskless workers.

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