Emergence Capital estimates they unwired or non-wired employees account for a staggering 80% of the world’s total staff. That’s huge. Numbers like this demonstrate just how important these kind of workers are in today’s businesses, but what exactly is an “unwired or non-wired employee”?

The specifics

Simply put, an unwired/non-wired employee (also known as a “non-desk or deskless employee”) is typically someone that’s not tethered to the business by a desktop computer or laptop. They’re your on-the-ground, on-their-feet and often on-the-go workers that usually interact with customers on a daily basis. Some examples of unwired employees are:

· Hospitality workers
· Shop floor workers
· Healthcare professionals
· Factory workers

As they’re the ones your customers grow to know and communicate with, these workers are more often than not the face of your business.

Modern challenges of an unwired employee

Even though the unwired employee community makes up such a large portion of the global workforce, they still face a surprising number of challenges. According to Tribe Inc., around 84% of non-desk employees don’t receive enough communication to effectively perform their jobs.

This is down to a number of factors – because unwired employees often have limited access to a computer, much less a company intranet – and are typically based in various non-office based locations, it can be difficult to communicate company objectives, news, updates and changes to them. This can often result in a disconnect between employees and the business, as well as between peers.

If unwired employees are the ones representing your business and interacting with your customers on a daily basis, it’s vital that they’re kept in the loop with company news and updates and feel part of your organisation. Plus, they’re the ones likely to see issues your company faces up close, so receiving their feedback can be mutually beneficial. They feel heard, you get the information required to improve. So, how do you engage and connect with your unwired employees?

The solution

When it comes to keeping unwired employees feeling connected to your company and part of the team, communication is key – communicating between employees, as well as from the top down.

Limited reach communications channels such as printed newsletters and company intranets are no longer fit for purpose for the modern workforce with a large number of unwired employees. If you messages are not being received by every employee – then those employees are at risk of feeling left out of the loop and disengaged, which can have a negative impact on your company culture, productivity and profit.

The benefits of an engagement app

· Your unwired employees don’t have the ability to go and ask their colleague at the next desk a question, so communication channels like those offered by an engagement app enable your team to quickly get answers or ask for support, which is invaluable to keeping the work flow moving and ensuring no time is wasted.
· Face-to-face meetings are not always possible when you have a dispersed workforce. With an engagement app, managers can improve communication and feedback between themselves and employees, helping them feel supported and up to date on best practice.
· When you employees are not office-based, it can be difficult to recognise issues. An engagement app that offers the ability to gain valuable insights into how your employees feel means you can nip any problems in the bud before they escalate.
· Many unwired workers work remotely and may feel isolated and lonely at times. An employee engagement app that lets them post, share and comment content, just like your own social media channel, helps them stay connected to their office-based colleagues and helps reduce the silos that can exist between deskless and office-based staff.

Just remember, to really improve communication between wired and unwired employees and help them feel connected, it’s going to take a cultural shift within your company. It might sound like a large task initially, but it’s one with a potentially major financial impact.

Reach unwired employees with StaffConnect

Instead of relying on traditional business communication methods such as email, StaffConnect brings employees together through an easy-to-use mobile app. It unites your entire workforce, connecting unwired and wired employees so that they can not only communicate vital news to one another, but feel part of their wider business community.

With StaffConnect, you can connect with your unwired employees by:

· Using direct two-way communication
· Sending instant company updates and news
· Providing access to important documents
· Requesting feedback from on-the-ground employees
· Opening communication between communities

Ultimately, StaffConnect gives your unwired employees a voice, a proven way to increase employee engagement and ensure your staff stay loyal to your business and committed to helping your organisation meet its objectives. When you invest in your employees by offering them a fit for purpose employee engagement app, your business will reap benefits such as reduced attrition rates, increased productivity and happy customers. Win win!

To see how StaffConnect has helped other businesses with a vast community of unwired workers stay connected, check out our success stories.

Sign up for the latest insights