Frontline managers are truly the unsung heroes of the modern working world. When the people in charge of your hourly employees are given both the agency and the technology to enable their workforce, the entire company benefits from it.
While desk-bound workers enjoy endless options of workplace technology to make their lives easier, frontline workers (and their managers) often are not given the same resources. Even today, many workplaces still rely heavily on outdated communication channels such as shift meetings, texting, and of course, the good old fashioned bulletin board.
Fortunately for frontline managers and their teams, times are changing, and more companies now recognize the benefits of investing in the employee experience for frontline workers. A crucial part of this process includes providing hourly employees with a workplace app, so they can stay connected, and become more involved in the broader organization’s company culture.
What Is a Workplace App?
A workplace app is simply a type of software that facilitates both top-down and bottom-up communication in the workplace. It allows teams to communicate better, collaborate more efficiently, and reach their goals faster. It also gives leadership the ability to easily connect with every employee — even if they manage a distributed workforce of hourly employees.
Some of the more popular workplace apps include Beekeeper, Asana, and the Facebook Workplace App that hit the market a few years ago.
Keep reading to learn more about how a workplace app will benefit your management team, discover the top solutions on the market in this category, and find out how Beekeeper stacks up against the Facebook Workplace desktop app.
3 Key Benefits of a Workplace App for Managers
For frontline managers who struggle to keep in touch with their teams, a workplace app can help them create a centralized single source of truth for all employee communication. Here are just some of the benefits that come along with it.
1. Managers Are More Engaged
Studies show that roughly 66% of managers are disengaged at work. If your managers are disengaged, then apathy could spread like wildfire throughout your entire workforce. Get the mid-level managers engaged and excited, and everyone else will follow suit.
An workplace app can boost the efficiency of internal communication which will reduce tedious tasks like follow ups. A reduced workload and more time gained back? This would leave any manager practically jumping for joy.
For example, a workplace chat app can help management work more collaboratively with their teams, which eliminates the need for micromanaging, which makes everyone’s workday easier and more enjoyable.
2. More Opportunities for Leadership Development
A frontline management position is often the first rung on the corporate leadership ladder. Because of this, frontline managers may lack leadership experience and require more resources to successfully perform their jobs.
A workplace app is the perfect medium for leadership development because it will support newly promoted managers and help them navigate their new role.
For instance, features like file sharing and video upload give managers the ability to make training resources more accessible, which shortens the amount of time it takes to onboard new team members. At the same time, dedicated newsfeeds enable them to share the right information with the right people.
When frontline managers have the resources and technology they need, they’ll be able to grow into their roles and lead their teams with confidence.
3) More Authentic Relationships
Without authentic relationships to lean on, the workplace quickly becomes an unsatisfying space to be in. That’s why it’s important to create an inclusive digital workplace.
A workplace chat app helps managers connect with their employees, build real relationships with them, and invest in their work. Essentially they build bridges between managers and employees, creating a more open, inclusive company culture.
Top Workplace App Solutions
As we’ve just seen, workplace apps are incredibly valuable for organizations with frontline managers. But which workforce app should you use?
Below, we quickly outline three popular solutions.
Facebook Workplace App
One of the most popular workplace apps is this tool created by Facebook. It helps connect everyone in the organization and empower them to do their best work. It includes features such as social media-style announcement feeds, text and video chat, and integrations with other beloved solutions like G Suite, Dropbox, and Office 365.
All in all, the Facebook Workplace desktop app is a solid option for teams looking to better connect and collaborate, although some employees may not like using Facebook for work-related purposes.
Asana is another top workplace app, though it’s generally used for project management purposes. Still, it has a few features that enable management pros to better coordinate and oversee their teams. Some of these features include a handy project planner, task assignment options, in-chat app capabilities, and the ability to attach external documents to tasks created in the tool.
Lastly, we have Beekeeper (hey that’s us). We are one of the only workplace app solutions on the market that was created specifically for the frontline workforce. Our solution includes a newsfeed of content being shared, secure chat functionality, a document library, inline translation, employee surveys, and much more.
It’s a comprehensive platform that any frontline manager can use to improve communication and engagement with their frontline employees.
Beekeeper vs Facebook Workplace
So how does Beekeeper compare to the Workplace by Facebook platform?
Both Beekeeper and Facebook Workplace allow users to conveniently communicate with their colleagues via social media-type feeds that all team members can post on and engage with, and private chat options for more personalized communication.
Both also have plenty of integration capabilities as well, which means the apps will seamlessly connect to other tools you already use (like Microsoft Azure AD) and you can even build your own workflows through a platform like Zapier.
Workplace by Facebook primarily focuses on social communication. They have strong bottom-up communication options; however, they have no announcement feature. Users also have to download two separate apps (Workplace and Messenger) if they want to be able to chat.
If you want users to be able to do everything in one, centralized communication hub, then Beekeeper is likely your best bet. Unlike other workplace app platforms like Workplace by Facebook or Microsoft apps, Beekeeper lets you do it all in one place.