Staying connected to frontline, remote and deskless workers.

by Regina Croda

From improving crisis comms to better remote training, here are 5 ways organizations are using Workplace to stay connected with workers on the frontline.

The outbreak of COVID-19 continues to challenge people and businesses. Many companies are working remotely and others continue to look for ways to stay open. It’s a period of uncertainty for all of us. Especially as countries start easing lockdown restrictions and workers all over the world ask, “what’s next?”

It’s important to keep lines of communication with these employees open and to stay connected to those frontline staff still serving customers, helping patients, and performing vital duties in communities all over the world. And, as companies begin preparing for a return to work, it’s essential business leaders can talk to employees about their plans for life after lockdown.

Using Workplace can help. Familiar features like Live video, Chat, Groups, and Workplace Rooms make it easier to keep employees up to date and connected so they can stay safe and informed while they continue to work on the frontline or prepare for a return to work.

Using Workplace to stay connected with frontline workers

We’re seeing more and more organizations using Workplace as their main channel to communicate with their employees. Why? Because Workplace can connect everyone in an organization.

As Daniel Sundin, Director of Partner Communications at US pet retailer Petco, put it: “I've had multiple people approach me on the side and say, ‘Can you imagine if this outbreak happened and we didn't have Workplace?’”

We asked customers to let us know how they’re using Workplace to support their employees working on the frontlines, and those employees they had placed on furlough schemes. Read on to discover the five use cases they shared with us, and how you can implement different campaigns to keep information flowing and keep engagement levels up.

Crisis Communication: Share and listen

Create default Company-wide official groups for COVID-19 comms targeted by audience. For example, if your company guidance for frontline workers varies substantially from the guidance for remote workers, you should create separate announcement groups.

As well as sharing the group via Workplace, you can also share it with people through existing channels so they can easily find the information they’re looking for.

Insights in Workplace from Facebook
  • Pro-tip 2: Use Campaigns to organize and save your content into themed campaigns. Pull multiple posts about your return to work policy and track your audience reach, engagement, and sentiment across these posts. With campaign results you can adjust your messaging to focus on what resonates most with people
  • Pro-tip 3: You can change the group settings to sort the posts by chronological order, so people always see the latest information first
Find the latest updates first

Broadcasting to specific Workplace groups using Live video is an effective way to stay connected with frontline workers. Arrange to go Live with a group of executives and local teams and answer the top questions from frontline employees.

  • Pro-tip 1: Create a poll or Q&A post in advance of the session to better understand and answer the questions your employees have
  • Pro tip 2: Create a group for frontline managers to ensure they have easy access to relevant HR documents and resources for managing staff during difficult times
  • Pro tip 3: Run awareness campaigns to ensure staff have downloaded the Workplace mobile apps to make it easy for people to communicate and have two-way conversations with other people

Workplace can play a significant role in helping people stay informed and connected even when they’re on furlough. Use company-wide groups to share quick updates with employees. Mix it up. Sometimes, these posts might be strictly about the job, but you can also share social content like guides that help people stay healthy and active during the outbreak.

Honest Burgers in the United Kingdom, for example, has used Workplace to provide updates from leadership and to create daily plans for those staying at home.

Safety tips and resources

In your team or department group, find engaging ways to share hygiene tips like creating customized handwashing posters. Get creative. Follow the AirAsia example, and use video posts to launch a dance challenge about hygiene measures or company policies like its #washitright handwashing challenge.

  • Pro-tip 1: Use the Learning section in the group to collect the best examples surfaced by team members
Company policy initiatives in Workplace Groups
  • Pro tip 2: Create a group for Important Safety Updates. In here, you can include high signal information such as guidance on what to do if someone encounters a customer or colleague who has a fever or symptoms
  • Pro tip 3: Set up a Survey to run daily or impromptu health checks with staff using Workplace Surveys. You can send surveys can via Workplace Chat, and now also through a link or an email notification
  • Pro tip 4: Host a Q&A to answer people’s top questions, like Lojas Marisa who collected questions for their internal medic and held a session to answer them
Live Q&A in Workplace

Training and management of field sites

Many customers use Workplace groups to share learning from day-to-day work experiences. Groups enable them to share curated skills-based training with links to training materials and events.

You can also use bots to make the experience even more engaging and effective. Like the free COVID-19 bot by Huminos, which shares COVID-related news through Workplace Chat and Groups to help raise awareness across your organization.

It also enables you to send health check surveys and to measure understanding. This is now available for free in the Workplace Integrations Directory.

Bots and integrations in Workplace
  • Pro tip 1: Install a chatbot to get information and training out to employees quickly as policies change quickly. Like Preppio, for example
  • Pro tip 2: Use Learning units for information on how to arrange and maintain retail outlets for employee and client safety, and hygiene
  • Pro tip 3: Deploy a Survey or Safety Check to manage health and travel declarations from employees

Personnel and shift management

Some companies have changed their shifts to allow for more breaks for hand washing after dealing with customers, or for social distancing measures. We know that many customers use Workplace to help them manage shift swapping by creating a group on Workplace for employees to manage and swap their shift schedules easily.

  • Pro tip 1: When you set up a Workplace Group of less than 250 people, Workplace will automatically set up a Workplace Chat group with the same people. This linked chat enables everyone to connect and offer shift swaps - even across time zones and geographies

Recognition and motivation

We’ve already looked at how groups are a key way to keep key workers connected. Because you can share rich media and content like videos, GIFs, and photographs, it’s easier to engage with people over sustained periods.

We’ve seen customers creating all-employee social groups to help connect people. One example, called “Humans of the Frontline,” gave employees a platform to share videos and posts highlighting how different members of the organization are adding value on the front lines. Encourage office staff to recognize and support those keeping everyone safe.

The Singapore Public Service has been using Workplace to connect their officers across the agencies even as they are physically apart. Recently Workplace was used to garner well-wishes for frontline officers who were attacked in their line of duty. The comments from the post were then adapted into a video and conveyed to the frontline officers affected.

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  • Pro-tip 1: Recognize individual contributions with Thanks. Simply navigate to a colleague’s profile page and click the Send Thanks button. It’s 360 degree recognition for a job well done that shows up on your timeline with a copy going to your manager.
  • Pro tip 2: Launch of appreciation campaign where managers and employees can give badges to drive recognition.

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