Connecting with Frontline Workers in a Crisis
Nobody could have predicted or prepared for the unprecedented times that we have found ourselves in, not even a clairvoyant. It has been a steep learning curve, where companies have had to make major adjustments and develop on-the-fly strategies to cope with the myriad of issues that have arisen as the result of forced lockdowns, massively reduced production capabilities and social distancing, all of which have equated to significantly depleted numbers of employees being able to carry out their jobs as normal. And then of course there has been the COVID-19 virus itself, and the fear and uncertainty that it has created.
As with any disaster, it is those on the frontline who have been the most affected. It is frontline workers who have borne the brunt of the effects of the pandemic. They have been more at risk due to the mere nature of their work – some are public-facing, some work in small spaces with little to no airflow, some are in factories, on ships or oil rigs. Regardless of where they might find themselves, frontline workers are the essential service providers who have kept food on the shelves, petrol in the pumps, coal in the burners, and the ships afloat so that the rest of society can all carry on in some semblance of normality.
Workers on the frontline are facing elevated levels of anxiety, whether it be as the result of employment insecurity, fear of getting sick, or fear of a very uncertain future. Historically, these employees have been sidelined when it comes to traditional communication channels and this has been even further exacerbated during this time of crisis.
- Frontline workers have little or no access to computers, email, or intranet so they do not have the same access to rapid response messages therefore they may not be able to take the necessary health and safety processes to keep safe and carry out their jobs effectively
- They do not have instant access to shift changes or closure notices
- They have less free time so keeping abreast of company updates is a challenge
As a result, they do not have the same access to decision-makers so do not have the opportunity to be heard, address their concerns, or share ideas.
So, it falls to their leaders, particularly application leaders, to step up and create solutions that provide open channels of communication and engagement for these employees to allay their fears and concerns. Effective communication, especially during a time of crisis, goes a long way to reducing anxiety, particularly when it comes to health and job security: a combination of work woes and non-work-related worries compound, skyrocketing anxiety levels.
One solution that fosters engagement provides two-way communication, and provides access to vital information is Wyzetalk. A mobile-first, digital employee engagement solution, Wyzetalk provides a three-channel (mobi, text and USSD) platform where true engagement is possible between frontline workers and their organisations.
The Wzyetalk platform enables organisations to reach frontline employees, wherever they are, on their mobile devices. Smart and feature phone compatible, it is a means to disseminate and receive business-critical information, in real-time, ensuring no one is left out of the loop.
- Organisations can communicate shift schedules and any changes
- Off-shift workers are easy to reach with important updates and critical communication
- Important health and safety information can be shared
- Leadership messages boosting morale can be shared with all employees
- Peer to peer communication is possible, fostering a sense of community and reducing feelings of isolation
- Organisations can receive feedback from employees and address their fears and concerns
Using the Wyzetalk platform, employers can acknowledge their frontline workers, and make them feel heard about issues that arise. But it takes a carefully planned and well-executed content strategy to really reach these employees. For frontline workers to really feel heard and cared about, it is important to share engaging, relevant content that speaks to them and the specific issues they face on a day-to-day basis.
There are several ways of developing an effective strategy. Wyzetalk’s team of sector specialists work closely with clients, solving specific pain points and addressing the very real concerns of their frontline workers that arise as the result of COVID-19. The platform also facilitates employee feedback and ideation, so those in the thick of it can add their voice and give communication teams insight. This data is collated and forms the basis of the internal communication strategy.
Using the platform’s segmentation capabilities, it is possible to speak to frontline employees in a language that they understand – both figuratively and literally. Communications can be delivered in a range of languages and can be tailored for specific geographical regions, job descriptions, teams, and more.
Using the Wyzetalk solution and all its functionalities it is possible for organisations to create and curate purposeful community spaces for their frontline employees that provide peace of mind and reassurance in a time when it is most needed. The Wyzetalk solution provides for the emotional well-being of frontline workers during times of crisis and uncertainty.
To find out more about who Wyzetalk can reach your frontline employees, talk to one of our experts.