Clever use of technology can radically transform a company’s ability to reach its entire workforce

“Corporates are typically good at communicating with connected employees, but frontline employees are often left out of this communications loop,” says Gys Kappers, CEO of Wyzetalk. “And yet, they are the engine. Supermarket chains need the commitment of thousands of workers in their outlets and warehouses; mining companies are utterly dependent on those who work beneath the surface.”

The real crux is employee engagement. Research shows that engaged employees buy into their company’s vision and work hard to make it a reality. Gallup polls show that, compared with bottom-quartile engagement companies, the top quartile has a 25% to 65% lower staff turnover, 48% fewer safety accidents, 10% higher customer metrics, 21% higher employee productivity and – the cherry on the top for shareholders and executives alike – 22% higher profitability.

“Employee engagement is highly desirable, but hard to achieve,” says Kappers. “Traditional communication methods like e-mails are impractical and expensive for frontline employees who aren’t stationed behind desktops.” High data costs would seem to rule out the use of private mobile devices, and yet a key success factor for Wyzetalk is the ability to connect with employees at no cost to them, as well as feature phone reach via USSD – a unique and innovative South African solution.

Solving the engagement challenge

Wyzetalk creates an open and direct channel of communication between head office and the entire workforce, enabling organisations to be more productive and responsive. Employees receive information relevant to their function, and management teams have a view of whether tasks have been completed and understood. In an emergency or crisis, an immediate response can be actioned. But more than just information sharing, we’re improving operational efficiency by digitalising organisational processes like payslip and leave processing and many other paper-based systems that take time away from more productive activities. Everybody wins when employees feel appreciated, when they have more time to spend with their families and when they can focus and work harder to achieve results that translate into financial gains and growth.

Kappers and his partner Gerhard Pretorius developed Wyzetalk to solve these challenges. Seven years since being founded, Wyzetalk, has received numerous awards for excellence and innovation, with more than 25 blue-chip clients choosing to work with Wyzetalk, including Anglo American, De Beers Group, RCL, Sun International, Shoprite and Woolworths. In the last year Wyzetalk has expanded its footprint to four continents and launched a European operation.

Kappers notes that content is as important as the channel of employee communication. “Our Professional Services team has great insight into different sectors, employee demographics and best practice. We walk a journey with clients, leveraging the capability of our technology to communicate effectively, increase engagement and improve the overall employee experience and organisational wellness.”

“By delivering the right message to the right person at the right time, and giving a voice to frontline workers, we are radically improving the employee experience and influencing a more engaged workforce,” Kappers concludes. “And a more engaged workforce is the basis for a more successful company.”