Many Jostle alternatives promise to connect your workforce and improve employee engagement. Whether you’re looking to create a digital communication strategy as a small business or enterprise-level company, there’s a lot to consider when deciding on which tools will benefit frontline employees most.
Finding executive buy-in for an employee app can be challenging, especially when there are so many options available. We’ll be looking at what Jostle has to offer, how well it works for frontline workers, and an employee app you might want to consider instead.
What Is Jostle?
Before we get into why you should consider a Jostle alternative, let’s take a look at what the platform has to offer.
Jostle is an employee intranet with a suite of communication tools like:
- News and file sharing
- Event planning
- Instant messaging
- Inline translations
With the slogan “your office, but online,” Jostle seeks to replicate the office experience in a virtual space. It calls itself a “lunchroom for remote workers” and an “bulletin board, boardroom, and central filing cabinet, too.”
Like many other employee apps, Jostle is geared towards remote work. It can connect employees regardless of location and it integrates with popular apps and tools to create a more customized set of tools. In essence, it’s a modern intranet aimed at building company culture.
Why You Might Consider a Jostle Alternative
Does Jostle measure up as a good fit for frontline workers? Let’s look at the must-haves of a frontline employee app:
- Mobile-first approach
- Shift scheduling
- Checklist and document access
- Real-time messaging
- Employee feedback
Does Jostle offer some of these features? Yes. Is it a frontline-optimized platform? No. Here are some potential drawbacks of using Jostle for frontline workers:
It’s Designed for the Office
When Jostle says that it’s a “bulletin board, boardroom, and central filing cabinet,” that may be useful for companies that employ primarily desk-based workers.
But frontline workers don’t need their tools to replicate the office environment. They are usually on-the-go and in the field, not in corporate HQ, and the communication tools they use need to reflect their day-to-day reality.
It Focuses on Culture Over Functionality
Improving company culture is key to fueling innovation and engagement. But creating a dynamic company culture doesn’t have to mean sacrificing functionality. In fact, the two should work seamlessly to support frontline workers.
Jostle’s features are focused primarily on building company culture through activity feeds, discussion threads and a visual employee directory. While these features might offer some benefit, the platform as a whole might not offer a robust enough set of tools to support a frontline workforce.
It Doesn’t Prioritize Being a Centralized Platform
Jostle does offer integration options, but their focus is on creating a modern intranet, not necessarily a centralized platform. They point out that companies may need to add specialized tools for features like shift scheduling, which is vital for frontline employees.
While they claim that a company’s intranet “doesn’t need to be a one-stop shop for all enterprise tools,” having a centralized platform can:
- Save time
- Simplify the collaboration process
- Reduce information overwhelm/overload
Frontline workers waste an average of three hours per week searching for information. A centralized platform that allows convenient access to shift schedules, checklists and safety updates can help frontline workers reclaim that time.
Now that we’ve examined some of the potential shortcomings of Jostle for frontline needs, let’s look at a Jostle competitor.
Why Beekeeper Excels as a Jostle Competitor
Unlike Jostle, Beekeeper is specifically designed for the frontline workforce.
Beekeeper’s features address the needs and challenges of deskless workers. Not every employee app does that. In fact, while frontline workers make up 80% of the global workforce, only 1% of software venture funding goes towards developing technology for them.
Here are four more reasons why Beekeeper has an advantage when it comes to connecting frontline teams:
1. It’s Optimized for Mobile
As mobile connectivity is more important than ever post-COVID-19, one of the biggest workplace trends right now is digital transformation. Companies need to create mobile solutions for internal communication in order to keep their workforce connected and informed.
When 96% of Americans aged 18-29 own a smartphone as of 2021, companies are at risk of alienating their workers if they don’t prioritize mobile communication.
How companies reach their employees is arguably just as important as what information they deliver. If employees can’t reliably connect with their colleagues and managers via mobile, communication suffers across the whole company.
Beekeeper is a mobile-first communication tool. That means that the most important daily team operations like scheduling, payroll and company updates can happen through mobile. Employees can receive and respond to information in real time, boosting productivity and engagement.
2. It’s a Centralized Platform
When everyone in a company has access to a single communication platform, workers don’t have to waste time searching for information. For frontline workers, that could mean delivering a better customer service experience or knowing exactly what the company’s safety protocol looks like.
In 2020, the pandemic accelerated the need for a centralized platform like Beekeeper for frontline employees. While many people could work from home, frontline teams had to continue showing up while following safety protocol. With social distancing guidelines in place, employees couldn’t gather in front of a bulletin board for information.
With a mobile platform like Beekeeper, companies can communicate schedules, emergency announcements and other updates that may change daily or even hourly. By centralizing communication, these processes become easier to coordinate and leave less room for miscommunication.
3. It Prioritizes Efficiency
With many Jostle alternatives, users can send messages to co-workers and participate in discussion threads. But truly efficient communication looks different for office vs. deskless workers.
Let’s take IRP Meat and Seafood Co as an example. As a food distributor with a diverse and distributed frontline workforce, the company adopted Beekeeper to better communicate with their employees.
Here’s how Beekeeper made their operations more efficient:
- Workers can post out-of-stock items to communication streams and reach sales reps instantly
- Sales reps can reply to these notifications and accommodate orders accordingly
- The whole production room is aware of these updates.
These improvements have created a more streamlined workflow and enabled the company to be more consistent in their customer service.
4. Three-Way Accessibility
One of the downsides of using Jostle is that the interface is not always reliable, intuitive or easy to navigate. Is accessibility reason enough to look for a Jostle alternative? It might be. Here’s what Beekeeper’s 3 pillars of accessibility look like:
- Visual: When a frontline worker opens the Beekeeper app, they have access to everything they could need on the home screen. With widgets to the company’s news streams and shortcuts to their most essential resources, employees don’t have to spend time searching for information.
- Audio: With voice messaging, employees who prefer not to write can still get their message across. For frontline employees that need to work with their hands, this feature makes communication even more accessible.
- Language: Beekeeper’s inline translations allows all employees to receive messages, campaigns and surveys in their preferred language. No more copy and pasting into Google Translate. For global teams with a diverse workforce, inline translation improves response rates and lets multilingual teams work more efficiently.
These three pillars provide a strong foundation for making sure that frontline employees have a reliable way of accessing information and engaging with the company they work for.
Building a Frontline-Optimized Communication Strategy with Jostle Alternatives
For companies that employ a frontline workforce, using digital tools that are designed for office-based employees isn’t ideal.
While Jostle does offer a digital communication platform for the workplace, Beekeeper is one of the best Jostle alternatives for frontline workers. It’s optimized for mobile, boosts efficiency in operations, and offers an accessible, user-friendly experience.