How to Stay Connected with Field and Frontline Workers
New technologies have become essential for companies looking to communicate with their disconnected workers, whether they’re white collar, blue collar or technicians. Workers of all types have the same need to stay informed and connected inside their organization. In an unusual situation, how can we facilitate and respect each employee’s work time?
When the disconnect becomes critical during a crisis
What about disconnected employees? Without a company identity, without a company email address and without a professional phone, efficient solutions become more scarce. “Should we come to work tomorrow? Our company isn’t saying anything but some of the people close to me are already taking precautions.”
Short-term unemployment and isolation
And yet, the company has a key role to play for disconnected workers, by reassuring and relaying official information, sharing security measures and anticipating the return to normal activity, etc. Isolation is not inevitable, solutions do exist and are more than justified in times of crisis.
“Should we come to work tomorrow? Our company isn’t saying anything but some of the people close to me are already taking precautions.”
The key role of field managers
1. Official information through personal email addresses
2. Sharing best practices in discussion groups
3. A targeted access to the company intranet
In case it isn’t possible to give full access to each employee, a few more solutions can be considered:
Access for multiple employees, by business unit or team, with certain restrictions as appropriate for shared accounts,
An access for each employee during a limited time.
4. Match the right channels to the right use cases
Email, while offering clear lines of communication for top-down information, leaves little room for horizontal communication. Discussion groups make it possible to share information in a more conversational way, but can also lead to information loss in the constant flow, and can create confidentiality problems when sending secured data.
A company intranet lets leaders publish and organize the right knowledge, while sharing the most important information to the right people. However it is not an ideal platform for instant messaging – which is often necessary in a crisis situation.
Managers must then use all three channels to obtain the best possible results. Emails can be used to share HR information and official company news, or “top-down” information. Chat groups are a way to stay in contact with the entire team and to share instant information and quick advice. And finally the company intranet can be used as the central knowledge base and for organized discussion by the entire team.
5. Using a corporate intranet in a crisis situation
The usage of mobile intranet applications lets leaders immediately send notifications and information in real time to employees. Applications are best to share sensible and more accurate information directly, rather than through non official channels like email.
The intranet can host a database for important documents so that employees access the best possible information, as long as it’s maintained and up-to-date.
The intranet is a great platform to identify experts and give them access to specific spaces, so the right people share the right information.
Communities can be created in a multi-team approach – letting departments and business or geographical units, etc. communicate on issues that concern them directly, thus avoiding confusion and information loss in the email feed.
The intranet lets leaders easily highlight news, as well as surface the most relevant and crucial information to the foreground – ready for consumption.
The platform can also provide a space for experience and knowledge sharing, in order to combat isolation in these uncertain times.
What about security data in this context?
ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
April 2, 2020
Internal Communication, Employee Engagement, Intranet, Tips and Tricks
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