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A look behind the scenes at a book retailer can help shed light on what HR should know about what a difference mobile technology can make when it comes to everything from employee development to improving customer service and workplace culture. World of Books is one of the largest online sellers of used books in the world, selling millions of books worldwide each year, and it has a dispersed workforce—from the warehouse to sales to distribution.
Like many companies, World of Books is also a mission-based organization focused on making a positive impact on the planet by recycling and the reuse of nearly 80 million books a year—the equivalent of approximately 500,000 trees. It is also committed to exemplary customer service by keeping prices low and providing free delivery. Because of the size of the enterprise, its mission-focused work, and the fact that three-quarters of its employee base is deskless, the business faced a few common challenges that many retailers may relate to.
World of Books needed a way to:
|• Stay agile even amidst rapid growth and global expansion A
• Achieve strong internal communication across its dispersed workforce |
• Give deskless workers a voice to be able to contribute to the views of the overall organization rather than communication only occurring top-down
• Share information about the company’s mission and progress toward it with everyone who works for the company, regardless of role or location
• Keep everyone well connected and up-to-speed to achieve the company’s vision and ensure high employee engagement Previously, World of Books had relied on email as its primary communication tool for internal communications.
Previously, World of Books had relied on email as its primary communication tool for internal communications. Yet this format had many limitations, one of the biggest of which was the ineffectiveness of gathering feedback from employees who worked remotely—in other words, most of the company’s workforce.
So, how could the retailer achieve their goals, and keep employees informed and engaged from the front office to the warehouse? The answer lies in mobile technology.
The book retailer integrated a mobile, two-way communication platform to boost its communication effectiveness across the board, allowing management to share the company’s important “do good” mission and vision, as well as critical business news and best practices. Just as important, the platform also offered the built-in ability to gather employee feedback and opinions, which fueled key analytics to improve customer service, productivity, and engagement levels.
Part of the value that World of Books got from a mobile engagement solution was that it allowed HR to consolidate all internal communication into one digital platform, moving away from using multiple tools such as email and intranet that prevented a seamless and cohesive approach. This was particularly important because many workers out in the field didn’t have the same easy access to either a laptop or desktop computer as the desk workers.
Using a mobile engagement platform as their new comprehensive, single-point solution for internal communications, management was now able to easily share key company news and status updates, as well as receive opinions and feedback from team members throughout the company in all locations, including deskless workers. This critical feedback from the field helped with the implementation of new training and employee development initiatives and gave valuable insights into cultural change.
Another significant benefit of the mobile engagement platform was that it greatly simplified keeping everyone in the loop—at every level and location in the organization. This was a true game-changer for World of Books, as it would be for any retail organization looking for a communication tool capable of reaching and connecting their entire workforce. World of Books reports that staff in all roles and locations feel more valued now based on the fact that the platform solicits their feedback, which plays a role in the company’s decision-making process. The mobile platform thus succeeds in continuously boosting engagement by enhancing the employee experience. In a virtuous cycle, it also contributes to better customer service, simultaneously elevating the customer experience.
StaffConnect is a provider of mobile employee engagement solutions for the deskless workforce. The StaffConnect platform transforms the employee experience by enabling enterprises to connect, communicate and engage their entire workforce, especially remote, deskless employees. The customer-branded mobile app gives employees ‘a voice’ – with access to company and user-generated content to increase loyalty and productivity. The cloud-hosted platform empowers employers to target that content, with analytics, to deepen engagement with everyone.
For more information, visit staffconnectapp.com