• Alexandre LEBEE

Engage your non-desk employees - they are your front line

Updated: Jul 14

The non-desk workforce is an integral part of most businesses, ranging from shop assistants to manufacturing staff. And yet, although employee engagement and feedback is increasingly acknowledged for its importance, this is largely geared towards those who work in an office or behind a screen. Companies sometimes overlook the employees who convey the heart and soul of the business to their customers.

Engagement or feedback is almost always assessed through surveys, which are deployed at set times throughout the year, accessible by computer. This is convenient for those who are in front of one 40 hours a week, but not for the non-desk workforce. Survey questions can also appear a little out-of-touch to all employees, sometimes focusing on high-level issues such as company strategy or mission. This is far from the minds of those who are not sitting in your strategic headquarters or regional hub. But that does not mean they do not know your business. In fact, your non-office staff are at the front line of your business, facing your customers, handling your products. They see firsthand how your customers react to what you are trying to sell. Trust me, you want their feedback. You want them to be engaged with the company. To sell a little harder, to take pride when they speak about the company they work for. They are your ambassadors, your brand, your customer experience. It is worth your while to understand how they are feeling at work.

Thankfully, many companies understand the importance of reaching all of their employees, and this has never been easier than now. Cloud platforms and SAAS tools and applications are now part of the status quo package that companies offer to their employees to accomplish any range of tasks. In the past few years, harnessing technology in the employee engagement space has taken off with pulse mobile surveys embedded with 'algorithms' designed to pick your brain efficiently and relentlessly. The once cringe-worthy annual survey has taken on a sleek, smart & savvy new look sure to hook any 21st century tech-obsessed millennial.

But where to from here? We have taken the first step in this digital revolution and have armed our workforce with the right tools. But it is not just about the tool, it is about how we use it. It is about your enabling employees to communicate what they are feeling in a way that makes sense - organically, instinctively and quickly. The solution is already here.

The vernacular of our age is a string of emojis and a 10 word sentence. It's simple and intuitive and it has permeated every demographic of human society. It is the much-loved manner by which everybody gives the world a piece of our mind.

Emojis are more than just a way for employees to share their feelings. They are the gateway to connecting an entire company through a common cultural denominator, capture important feedback and understand what drives and motivates all employees. This solution doesn't just work for now - it works for the future. The rise of the mobile, decentralized workforce is here, and spreading across countries and disciplines. It is important companies to build the infrastructure and connect the dots now.