Deskless employees are positioned furthest from upper management, which means they’re often overlooked. Organizations with large numbers of deskless workers should make time to consider what they offer for their deskless employees. More importantly, HR managers should look for ways to improve their deskless employees’ experiences in measurable ways.
Gartner research from May 2020 found 64% of HR leaders are prioritizing employee experience more than they did pre-COVID-19. We want to continue this trend, and finding ways to engage with employees is key to keeping the best talent within our organizations. In addition, Gallup found engaging employees can result in 81% less absenteeism and 43% less turnover, so it is something all organizations should put additional focus on. HR must take the lead in improving the work experience for deskless employees, which can begin before they’re even on board.
Customizing your recruitment strategies to deskless employees
Our new whitepaper, 5 Strategies for Hiring Hourly Workers, looks more closely at recruiting deskless employees. Customizing your recruitment process is vital to attract reliable hourly workers. The strategy for hourly employees shouldn’t mimic that of a senior executive or full-time employee process.
Job boards and social media advertising such as Facebook job ads are much more effective for deskless employees than business networks such as LinkedIn. Jobcast found less than 36% of hourly workers use LinkedIn, so it isn’t the platform to use when looking for them.
It is also essential to emphasize relevant benefits that come with deskless work in your organization. Hourly employees rarely benefit from full-time perks such as health insurance or vacation pay. Still, you may be able to offer flexible shift scheduling or training opportunities within your organization. Highlight what you believe deskless employees will want to see.
Onboarding deskless employees
Deskless employees can’t sit down at their station, log in to the company system, and begin the virtual onboarding process. But they still need onboarding correctly. Deskless employees should get the same access to all relevant documentation and plans for progress, as well as content tailored properly for this audience. Deskless employees will access most onboarding content remotely, so you need to consider its format. Messaging should be punchy, short and engaging, and many organizations incorporate video content for this reason.
Crafting an effective deskless employee experience
Once your workforce is assembled, it’s not enough to simply leave them to their work. Actively working to engage your employees helps create a better work environment and improves productivity. Below is a closer look at practical steps you can take to create better employee experiences for your deskless workers.
Focus on flexibility
The State of the Deskless Workforce Report 2021 found 40% of deskless workers would rather have flexibility in their schedule than a pay rise. Flexibility is one of the many reasons employees may choose a deskless role, and the chance to work different shifts may be important to them. However, some employers require employees to work shifts they can’t manage, and this flexibility quickly becomes more of a dream than a reality.
Offering flexibility to deskless workers is easy with the right tools. Payactiv Connect incorporates a shift scheduling element that allows deskless employees to access their schedule remotely. They can request to cover any open shifts rather than finding shifts are being added to their schedule without prior discussion. Giving employees this extra control over their schedule often sees companies benefitting from less open shifts and more employees willing to cover as they can plan their weeks more easily.
Keep communication channels open
The average deskless employee is often positioned far away from the company HQ and upper management. This can make them feel disengaged and disconnected from the company. Instead, HR leaders need to use the best tools and push for engagement with employees across all areas of the business.
For deskless employees, it can be harder to get the level of communication possible in an office where all-employee emails and internal newsletters are easily sent. However, tools such as Payactiv Connect are designed to make it extremely simple. It provides a way to send company announcements, let teams collaborate via DMs or group chat, and makes it easy to bring employees into the fold and make them part of your organization’s community. The opportunity for social and group chat alongside one-to-ones with colleagues and management empowers your deskless workforce and gives them confidence in their communications with the company.
Equip employees with the tools for success
Technology has traditionally been something beyond the reach of the average deskless worker. Companies invest in new systems and technologies for HQ and the office, but the deskless work often continues along the same trajectory as before. One study found that 78% of deskless workers feel the technology provided by an employer ultimately influences whether they join a company. Organizations are learning it is not enough to leave deskless employees without the necessary technology to succeed.
The Coronavirus pandemic has led to rapid digitization in many business areas, which has immensely benefited deskless employees. As well as tools to connect them with the company, the right technology can improve the way employees do their job. For example, with access to flexible shift scheduling alongside early wage access to drive better financial management, more deskless employees see a future in their role and recognize it is a perfect fit for their lifestyle.
The cost of replacing employees who quit the business mounts up very quickly. Many organizations also realize that what they offer for new employees simply isn’t enough. Therefore you need to take time to assess, audit and improve your employee experience strategy, keeping in mind the unique needs of shift workers and deskless employees.