What is Workforce Mobility?Jason Siddall
The quick answer to the title question is to switch the words around. Workforce mobility refers to the mobile workforce. Using a definite article ‘the’, rather than the indefinite ‘a’ is deliberate. Workforce mobility is not a futuristic possibility, it’s been a reality for some time and now references a growing 70 % of the global workforce! This entire phenomenon would not be possible were it not for today’s plethora of high-end mobile devices with large screen area, that operate Windows 10, have fabulous battery life, voice message capability keyboards with skid or glide-text.
Remember that messaging is not only about typing. Text any millennial a question and you’re likely to receive a teaching video. Voice messaging prevents listeners from butting in and replaying them ensures there is no room for forgetting what was said. Books are written on devices, emailed to editors and forwarded to printers without using one piece of paper. Deals are sealed via messaging while sipping Martini’s on a yacht in anticipation. And who do we have to thank? The marvels of messaging and a mobile workforce who’ve perfected it.
Messaging – Management’s Mobility Muscle
In the 20th Century, managers pointed fingers but in the 21st Century that is well, pointless. Testing management muscle, companies today, small and large, have to connect with workforce mobility on their terms. Management Development has feature keeping up with technology, which is now as critical to a company as keeping up with medical knowledge is for doctors. Mobile workforce management apps abound. Group messaging and group chats are the new company boardroom.
Messaging – Tailored for Workforce Mobility
We must face facts. WhatsApp summitted the billion-user mark in 2018 and at the start of this year, boasted 42 billion text messages per day! We kid you not. Having said that, employee communication apps of a different ilk are being preferred in the interests of ease-of-use for group management. Efficiency and professionalism are paramount and the controls available in new messaging applications take privacy to a level not possible for the likes of WhatsApp.
Messaging – Workforce Mobility Feedback Mechanism
Leveraging the strength of workforce mobility makes sense a whole lot of sense. Research shows that employees become more engaged, connected and supportive of their company when encouraged to give their managers feedback. Harnessing that capabilities of remote workers from a management perspective takes messaging to a whole new level. Surveys can be sent out on a feedback loop to assess each one’s strengths and preferences. Tasks can then be assigned appropriately and sent out at staggered times during any given day to keep everyone on track and motivated.
Tick boxes can be set up so that projects can be tracked and managed. Step-by-step instructions can go out to individuals or groups complete with graphics, videos and photos with the invitation to message back if unclear. Clarity, good communication and connectivity create a powerful team out of workers on-the-go.
A ‘culture of recognition’ can be the backbone of loyalty from any in the mobile workforce where assignments completed well are noted and the word is spread via messaging.
Messaging – the Hero of Workforce Mobility
Understanding that it’s all about building relationships, we only need to ask ourselves how most relationships develop and remain close today, if not via messaging. Workforce mobility has created a whole new dimension in this department. People reluctant to make phone calls seldom have a problem messaging instead. That has a two-way spin-off;
- Senders get time to think before they speak, which is never out of place.
- Responders get time to evaluate – and most people whose first reaction is ‘No’, say Yes’ on second thoughts.
Managing a mobile workforce would be a nightmare without messaging and the level of connectivity it affords, in fact, without it, the whole idea would have never seen the light of day. Instead, companies can juggle a million matters from miles away.
The irony is, that because messaging apps are so capable, in-house office workers are messaging co-workers and management even though they could knock on their door just down the hall! The fact is that people are messaging more than they are talking and that’s not a bad thing in a world where people talk way too much and hence, listen very poorly. Messaging gets people’s attention far more effectively than words.
So, there you have it, bones bared, messaging is the preferred communication by far, honed by the emergence of workforce mobility, but used more and more extensively between workers in situ at the office.
Chat to the Cellfind team today and let’s get you mobile.