Many industries face significant challenges in keeping non-desk based employees in the loop with important information. This is because, when it comes to internal communications, many organizations rely on methods such as emails, intranet, and other platforms that are easy for desk-based employees to access as they sit in front of a computer every day.
The manufacturing sector accounts for around 427 million of the world’s non-desk workers, which is a lot of people who go to work every day and may not be well-informed, engaged, and working towards a common goal and shared vision with their colleagues.
According to research by the Tribe Report, 83% of non-desk workers don’t have a company email account!
A Gallup report called “State of the American Workplace” found that only 25% of non-desk workers feel that they are actively engaged at work. This is 8% lower than the US national average - and is the least engaged occupation in the nation.
This shows the need for different internal communication tools to be considered in the manufacturing sector.
Why effective communication in the manufacturing industry is so important
Non-existent or ineffective internal communication can negatively affect a manufacturing company in a variety of ways.
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- More workplace risks such as injuries as information about hazards aren’t circulated effectively.
- Inefficiencies in production, such as when there are delays or breakdowns, people don’t have the information they need in order to perform effectively.
- Low levels of engagement - employees who don’t understand, or care about, the company’s goals and vision. Low engagement can include high levels of absenteeism or presenteeism, loss of productivity, and high levels of staff turnover.
- Negative public perception of the company thanks to the poor quality of the product, incorrect orders, late deliveries, and unhappy customers.
- Financial costs as a result of lawsuits if someone is injured or killed, or if a client order/contract is unfulfilled.
Manufacturing communication solutions
In manufacturing, non-desk workers are the life-blood of the organization. Without them, you simply cannot produce your products and your business would cease to exist.
Therefore it is critical that your internal communications efforts should be directed to include these employees, and if there are challenges in getting information to them, you need to look for manufacturing communication solutions.
Of course, it can be difficult to reach manufacturing employees and the nature of the industry means there is no one-size-fits-all solution to communicating with them.
Manufacturing industry workers aren’t one homogenous group. There are many different types of non-desk workers in the manufacturing industry. Not only are there production line workers on the factory floor, but there are also supervisors, inspectors, technicians, engineers, most straightforward, and other technical experts who perform the majority, if not all, of their jobs on the factory floor. Some may be involved in logistics, transport, or sales and may spend considerable amounts of time off-site. Some plants run around the clock, 7 days a week, meaning there are different workers on shifts at different times of the day.
Over-reliance on making middle-managers accountable for all communications on-site is also problematic. Some managers have great interpersonal and effective communication skills, while others do not. Site meetings may not always have every employee in attendance, particularly if there are shifts.
For your entire workforce to be on the same page, when they don’t all have desktop computer access, you’ll need to look outside the box at other potential manufacturing communication tools.
Effective communication in the manufacturing industry can involve:
- Employee apps - a way to send a range of information to your workforce via their personal devices, 24/7, including general internal communications information, information about emergencies and outages, shift changes, deadlines, priorities, and more.
- Digital signage - better than an old-fashioned notice board, you can create moving billboards in your factories and plants with important information on screens.
- Overhauling the onboarding and training process - setting good communication and information sharing from the very beginning and ensuring standardized training will ensure every employee has equal access to the same information.
- Train managers - managers in manufacturing aren’t necessarily communications experts. Help them by giving them appropriate training and professional development so that they can excel in their leadership roles and keep their employees informed and engaged.
Dedicated multichannel communication solution for manufacturing companies
A dedicated effective communications software solution, such as DeskAlerts, can help you overhaul and improve the internal communications in your manufacturing company.
DeskAlerts is software that is installed on devices such as laptops, desktops, mobile phones, and tablets to push information to employees in a way that cannot be ignored.
It’s available for both Mac and Windows operating systems, as well as for iOS and Android mobile devices.
DeskAlerts enables you to send messages through various channels to reach your employees in different ways, no matter where they are located - whether they sit in a desk in an office, work on the factory floor, or are on the road transporting your goods.
These channels include:
- Pop-up notifications on screens
- Scrolling desktop ticker-tape
- Video alerts
- Emergency alerts
- Push notifications to mobile devices
- SMS messages
- Corporate screensavers
- Corporate wallpapers
- Digital signage
- RSVP to events
- Lock screen alerts
- Surveys, polls, and quizzes.
When you start sending messages using DeskAlerts, not only can you reach everyone in the organization literally, but people will also pay attention to what you send them and be aware that information sent via these delivery channels contains important information.
Manufacturing communications solutions with DeskAlerts
Internal communication in the manufacturing company can be improved out of sight when you use DeskAlerts to overcome the common challenges and communication bottle-necks.
Ways that you can use the software solution include:
1. Send information to the right people at the right time
DeskAlerts lets you send information to the entire organization all at once or to custom, niche audiences. This means you could send to just technicians or just the employees who work at one particular plant. It avoids information overload for the entire organization, and you can be sure that the right people are getting the information they need.
You can also instantly communicate with your manufacturing company, such as when you have to reach people urgently. Or you can schedule your content to be delivered in advance.
2. Internet-independent local network communications
Suppose your production facilities are located in remote locations far from largely populated areas that may have unreliable (or non-existent) internet access. In that case, DeskAlerts offers a locally hosted solution that can operate even if you don’t have an external internet connection.
3. Make use of digital screens
One of the most straightforward manufacturing communication tools to use is the digital screens you already have on your premises. Whether they’re located on the factory floor or in staff break areas, you can send colorful and engaging content that will capture employees’ attention via digital signage delivery.
4. Production monitoring and alerting
DeskAlerts features an API that can be integrated with third-party software apps such as manufacturing monitoring systems or data historian software to automatically warn your employees about any malfunctions, potential hazards, or power surges.
5. Lockdown and all-clear alerts
Manufacturing can be a hazardous environment to work in, with machinery and chemicals posing risks to employees. When you need to lock down a site or reopen it, you can send your employees notifications quickly via mobile alerts so that everyone knows without relying on email or word-of-mouth.
6. Improved training and onboarding experiences
DeskAlerts can help you to deliver consistent training and onboarding experiences to your employees. The statistics module in the user panel will help you know who has taken training and who hasn’t so you can follow up and target the appropriate staff.
7. Improved employee safety
In addition to alerting employees to hazardous substances or equipment malfunctions, DeskAlerts can be used to send emergency notifications to your employees in various situations, including fires, inclement weather, natural disasters, active shooters, and more. It only takes seconds to alert your workforce to an emergency and to give them the information they need about steps to take to remain safe, such as evacuation or sheltering in place.
8. Improve communications during COVID-19
The pandemic has posed unique communications challenges for many workplaces as some employees work remotely while others are essential and continue to work every day. Different local shutdowns, mask mandates, social distancing requirements, and curfews have been in effect around the world and continue to change and sometimes without little warning. With DeskAlerts you can send any necessary information to your employees quickly to know whether they can attend the workplace or not and what steps they must take while at work to remain safe and keep their colleagues safe.
Recognizing the value of communicating effectively with your manufacturing employees will help your organization succeed and lead to happier and more productive employees.
Get in touch with us today to see how DeskAlerts can be used as a solution in your company to improve communication.