New survey by APPrise Mobile sheds light on the challenging realities of America’s deskless workforce
Amid labor shortages and some of the highest rates of voluntary employee turnover in years, many companies continue to drop the ball when communicating with and engaging the critical “deskless” workforce—an estimated 2.4 billion people worldwide who don’t sit behind desks in traditional office settings, don’t use a computer for their work, don’t have corporate email addresses and don’t have access to corporate intranets. According to a survey of more than 1,000 deskless employees released today by APPrise Mobile, only 56% of respondents feel connected and engaged by their employers – highlighting the fact that those responsible for communicating with employees have a lot of work to do to remain competitive with companies who consider employee engagement a top priority.
What’s worse, isolation and disconnection is transforming into a worrying sign of apathy. According to the survey, more than a third (35%) did not feel that they would change how they feel about their employer or job if they were communicated with more or differently. However, 29% said that this change would positively affect their views. These findings speak volumes about the current impact of employee communications and suggest that while companies are struggling to engage deskless employees, enhancing communications can serve as a strong way to improve an employee’s job satisfaction and overall work experience.
“The deskless worker comprises a significant percentage of the global workforce and tends not to receive the same attention when it comes to communications and engagement as compared to their ‘white-collar’ counterparts,” said Jeff Corbin, CEO and Founder of APPrise Mobile.
“In conducting our research, we sought to better understand the feelings of these people who are the engine behind the success of many companies, and the findings should serve as a wake-up call for America’s executives. The work environment has become extremely tough for those who serve our most important industries including healthcare, manufacturing, retail, trucking, hospitality and so many others. As a result, feelings of isolation and neglect can creep in quickly, leading to a ‘careless’ attitude that, if left unaddressed, might spell disaster not only for the companies that overlook them, but eventually the economy overall.”
Additional findings from the survey include:
- Dated Communications: At a time when smartphones are ubiquitous and used by both desk-bound and deskless workers alike, email remains the most common method of employee communication (47%) with staff meetings a near second (40%). In contrast, only 9% of companies are using mobile and mobile apps as a channel to reach their employees even though nearly all deskless workers have one.
- Underappreciated: 40% of the workers surveyed do not value performance feedback, again highlighting a major engagement challenge. One reason might be a lack of encouragement or regular positive reinforcement – 27% said they receive no appreciation whatsoever for the work they do.
- Inadequate Training: Training also is an issue facing U.S. companies. According to the survey, 12% were not fully satisfied with the amount of training they receive and 11% received no training at all.
“When it comes to communications and employee engagement efforts, companies only get out what they put in. Unfortunately, according to our survey, what they are putting in is uninspiring. As technology continues to disrupt the way people consume and share information, a significant opportunity exists for companies to do better. Now is the time for those responsible for communicating and engaging with the hard to reach deskless workforce to step up, rethink their methodologies and, in doing so, promote a work culture that is inclusive of all employees.”
The findings are based on a Google Consumer Survey of more than 1,000 deskless employees in the United States who do not work in a traditional office setting and do not sit at a computer for the majority of the day, aged 18 and over. Google Consumer Surveys automatically fields a validated, representative sample of respondents which was weighted against the U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey for age or gender of the United States to be representative of the adult Internet population.
About APPrise Mobile
APPrise Mobile is the developer of theEMPLOYEEapp®, an internal communications and employee engagement mobile platform that allows companies of any size to have their own branded app for Apple and Android devices (as well as a web app). It securely integrates with a company’s employee database and allows for the aggregation and distribution of content, workplace tools as well as the instantaneous push of messages, directly to an employee’s mobile device.