Back in its heyday, email was a revolutionary concept in workplace communication. The little, unassuming @ symbol came into our lives and changed the way we communicate forever.
While we’ll always be grateful to our forefathers of digital communication, I think it’s safe to say that email as a communication medium doesn’t exactly work for everyone — especially frontline employees. Frontline workers make up over 80% of the world’s workforce. This means that the primary mode of workplace communication doesn’t actually work for most people.
Here’s Why Email for Frontline Employees Doesn’t Cut It
Passwords Create a Barrier to Entry
The last thing a busy person needs in their life is ANOTHER password to remember. While email passwords are completely necessary for privacy and security reasons, they’re also really inconvenient for your team. Busy employees forget, lose, misplace, throw away, or simply just can’t remember their passwords all the time.
It’s way too easy for employees to forget their passwords or get locked out of their account and then poof! Their lifeline to the company is gone.
Not a Real-Time Communication Solution
Expected response times for frontline and desk workers are completely different. If you email one of your office employees with a task you need done, they’ll typically have at least until the end of the day to complete it.
When a frontline worker is asked to do something, it needs to happen right now.
There is absolutely no time to send an email, wait for a response, then schedule a chat to “touch base.” In frontline industries, everything is immediate. Every task is performed with a sense of urgency. This kind of hyper-efficient work ethos requires real-time communication.
Difficult to Use for Some Employees
Believe it or not, there are still lots of people who don’t use email in their personal lives. While shooting off an email from your phone may feel like second nature for some, for others, it’s a totally foreign way to communicate. For frontline workers with limited email experience, or who may lack a certain level of digital fluency, email may even be intimidating.
Ensure your operational communications platform is easy for your team to use. This way, your team will be more likely to adopt (and love) their new workplace tech.
Not only is email highly inefficient for real-time, group collaboration, it also impedes the full disclosure of information necessary for collective decision making.
We’ve all worked with that one person in the office — the strategic emailer.
This person always has a hidden agenda, a plan of attack, or some self-serving plot they’re quietly hatching. They thrive off silos and revel in interdepartmental tension.
Transparent communication is the antidote to this type of toxic behavior in the workplace.
It may sound surprising, but information overload is often the result of a business trying to do transparent email communication right. Everyone is CC’d on everything just to make extra super sure that everyone, in every department feels like they’re in the loop.
Death By a Thousand CC’s
Over communicating can sometimes be just as bad as not communicating enough. Your frontline workers don’t need to know that Dan from Procurement scheduled a meeting with a new supplier, or that Nancy from Finance just hired a new intern.
Too much unnecessary info can end up being a distraction, and eventually your team will just tune out everything because they don’t know what to pay attention to.
Email Alternatives for Frontline Employees
Since your frontline teams aren’t sitting in front of a computer all day waiting expectantly to be cc’d on an irrelevant email, you need a communication solution that works for them. For hardworking teams who are always on the move, they need a mobile-first communication solution.
Beekeeper is a mobile, operational communication platform that was built for frontline employees.
Here are just a few reasons why Beekeeper is better than email for frontline teams.
- Simple interface makes it easy to use
- No password required
- No email address needed to sign up
- Confirmation campaigns
- Powerful analytics that lets admins view real-time employee engagement data
How Watergate Hotel Streamlines Operations with Beekeeper
When a rush hits Watergate Hotel’s frontline team, they rely on Beekeeper to keep their operations running smoothly. Watergate employees used their internal communication app to create a “Crunch” chat. Whenever there is a situation in the hotel that requires “all hands on deck” assistance, they simply post it in the Crunch chat and any employee on the floor immediately comes over to assist.
They attribute this Crunch chat to having increased engagement levels of their hotel employees and creating an atmosphere of teamwork that’s “beyond just sending an email.”
“We can get the entire hotel working together immediately rather than having one department struggle sending an email and hoping that a couple people will help out.
-Demi Tolomeo, Executive Assistant, The Watergate Hotel