In Singapore, staff attrition rates are rather high and employee engagement is rather low when compared to our neighboring countries.
According to the Ministry of Manpower, attrition rates are the highest (> 40%) in sectors that are also characterized by a high share of non-desk employees like F&B and hospitality.
These non-desk employees, also referred to as frontline employees, significantly impact a company's success. Especially since they are the people that interact with your customers and guests most frequently.
At many companies, however, these employees are often recognized or prioritized less than their office counterparts. Even if not intentional, non-desk employees can feel out of the loop when not at least somewhat integrated with the rest of the company. Often, they have no corporate email address or no access to a computer.
Luckily, there are ways to efficiently integrate them with the rest of the workforce. Nowadays everybody has a smartphone and with a consumer-grade Digital Workplace App that looks familiar and is intuitive, everybody can get easily connected.
And this is how things should be. Not only is this more respectful for everyone involved, but research has found that integration improves employee productivity, due to improvements in communication, employee satisfaction, and overall efficiency.
Improvements in communication
Communication should encompass more than "email threads" and one-on-one meetings. For one, neither of these forms of communication prove all that useful for people working on-the-go. Often out and about or otherwise distanced from other workers, these employees can be more difficult to reach with traditional forms of workplace communication.
This "distance" between employees in the same company can be significantly reduced with peer-to-peer and group messaging with the proper internal communication platform.
Peer-to-peer communication — which conveniently doesn't require exchanging details or phone number swapping — gives all of your employees the ability to quickly and easily message anyone in the company. In addition to text-based messages, employees can also share links, documents, images, and videos. Quicker response times and increased availability directly translate to improved efficiency and fewer emails (and fewer headaches).
When it comes to group messaging, there is the option to create dedicated channels. This enables leaders to engage and share information with specific groups of employees in a way that is more specific and personal than other forms of communication. Say goodbye to the days of annoying email chains which never fail to include either too many or too few relevant employees. Instead, messages and updates can be shared with only those who need them. You can also engage with the company as a whole and include non-desk employees in the sharing of company updates, news, and events. This isn't only good for keeping everyone on the same page — it's also good for morale.
Improvements in employee satisfaction
Let’s face it, working at a company that doesn't communicate with you very often, or that doesn't communicate on a somewhat personal level, can cause feelings of exclusion. Nothing says "you aren't a vital member of this team" like receiving zero communication from the rest of the organization.
Include all your employees with the utilization of company-wide notifications regarding policy changes, workplace incidents, and anything else that could benefit all employees.
Plus, giving your Non-Desk Employees access to the same sources of information and avenues of communication as other employees can keep them feeling respected and included. Providing all employees with the same platform works towards creating a team atmosphere that leads to a company's success. It goes without saying that most employees also want to have a say. Instant incident reporting and safety feedback give everyone the ability to voice concerns and ask questions effortlessly and at their own convenience.
Naturally, employees that feel like valuable members of a company will be more productive than employees that feel excluded or inferior.
Improvements in efficiency
With improvements to communication and employee satisfaction, an improvement in efficiency will naturally result. Employees will be able to contact anyone they need to instantly, which can, in turn, making all the difference between a satisfied and unsatisfied customer, or between a job done well and a poorly done job.
Improvements to communication and morale reach further than your employees. After all, your employees interact with other employees, as well as customers, in many instances.
A satisfied, well-connected employee is better equipped to positively interact with customers and other employees than an unsatisfied, disconnected employee. Non-desk employees can have a significant impression on others (and especially on customers), so it only makes sense to consider their productivity and well-being as being as important as that of other employees.
Leaders and companies who invest heavily in the experience of working at their companies gain exceptional intensity from their employees. In fact, this may be the only remaining competitive advantage that organizations have.
Competitors can copy your products, your services, your processes, even some of your people (by poaching) them, but they cannot copy your culture and the way you treat and engage your people wherever they are contributing to the success of your organization.
A case where different is better than better.
Doing it differently from others is better than just copying and trying to be better than them in what they are already good at.