As the number of deskless workers continues to rapidly expand, so, too, does the need for more effective training, communication and engagement tools. While it’s challenging to effectively train workers, communicate internally and keep engagement levels high in organizations of any structure, a distributed or remote work environment can make communication and engagement even more challenging. As a result, people working remotely can fail to receive the training materials that they need, miss out on vital company information and fall out of the loop.
BD Bush Excavation is one company that relies on a large number of deskless employees due to the nature of the organization’s work, which requires staff in different locations to complete projects on the ground. At any given time, the majority of the company’s employees are in the field rather than in an office, often at customer sites.
For instance, while headquarters for the excavation and underground utility company is based in Lehi, Utah, one place you can currently find deskless BD Bush employees is in Park City, Utah, where they are preparing the earth work and utilities for a new winter sports training center. Other members of the company’s deskless contingent are scattered around the region focusing on other projects.
Confronting the Training and Communication Challenge
With workers spread out over a wide area rather than consolidated in a central office location, BD Bush faced a challenge common to many companies with a distributed workforce. Management needed a more effective way to communicate with staff across job sites and remote locations, both for training purposes and to share information company-wide.
As a member of the demolition and excavation industry, safety training initiatives are particularly important to BD Bush. It is vital — and can be life-saving — for the company to be able to share security polices, safety training procedures and other important information in real time. And, to keep engagement high, management wanted a seamless way to reach all workers and share positive news with them about great things happening in the company and with employees.
When it came to training, communication and engagement, the company faced a related challenge as well. BD Bush wanted to ensure that it could provide safety training materials and other corporate information to staff and to enable staff to offer feedback via effective two-way communication. Therefore, BD Bush needed a way to open communication lines between managers and employees, not just from managers to staff.
Upon doing some internal research, the human resources (HR) team wasn’t surprised to learn that the company had some work to do to improve internal communication within its far-flung network. Many employees throughout the distributed company did, indeed, feel disengaged and out of the loop.
Landing on an Inclusive Solution
With its challenges clarified, the company set out to identify a solution that could help it reach its training, communication and engagement goals by boosting a feeling of inclusion for every worker, in every role. HR knew that whichever communication tools it used, they needed to further the goal of helping all employees feel part of an inclusive family, which is part of the company’s mission.
BD Bush had already successfully started using mobile tools for timekeeping. To build on this success, HR focused on finding a mobile engagement solution that could address the company’s communication and training needs by keeping everyone connected and ensuring that critical training resources were easily accessible for its deskless workers. The team finally selected a platform that offered not only a mobile option but also a desktop option to fit the needs of employees who worked at desks or away from the office.
The company leveraged its annual holiday part to launch the new mobile platform, helping all staff log in at the event. Management offered financial incentives and gifts to encourage people to post pictures using the new app during the party, which turned out to be a popular approach with employees.
The Pay-off: Positive Results
BD Bush’s HR team has been pleased with the results of the mobile engagement platform. Since the launch, the company has found multiple ways to leverage the power of the engagement platform to help improve communication, access to training materials and team unification.
Specific positive results include:
- The ability to provide all employees with real-time updates on events and share important company information, such as reminders for safety training.
- Leveraging the mobile platform to assist with staff recognition by taking advantage of the app’s special features, like the ability to acknowledge birthdays and offer cash giveaways, which is boosting engagement by helping individuals and teams feel more valued.
- The enhancement of quarterly training and engagement initiatives through the app’s ability to take the pulse of employee opinions using mobile surveys, facilitating ongoing two-way communication.
To create a shared sense of mission and purpose throughout the organization around the training concept of “Safety First,” BD Bush also rolled out a campaign to promote safety as the company’s top priority. To support this initiative, the HR team offered rewards and recognition for app participation.
In short, engagement has risen, and communication and training methods have improved, as employees use the platform to connect from various job sites. The result has been a more unified company that is able to share updates about the great work going on across job sites, eliminating silos between desk and deskless workers.