In the dynamic landscape of today's workforce, the role of managers is crucial, influencing a significant 75% of employee decisions to stay or leave a job.1 Retaining employees boils down to a manager’s ability to drive engagement.

Engaging a deskless workforce is especially challenging. It requires a creative approach to communicating, in addition to driving company alignment, strategy, and the right toolset to employees.

However, investing in a better experience for the deskless workforce can lead to a promising return. Research shows a highly engaged workforce increases profitability 21%!2

Fortunately, the most effective tool in driving engagement is already in your back pocket! That’s right… it’s your frontline managers. Managers can serve as stewards to advance engagement across your workforce with a few key objectives:

  1. Employee recognition: Lack of appreciation is a leading cause of employee turnover, with around 79% of employees citing it as a key reason for leaving.3 Demonstrating gratitude and recognizing employees in a meaningful way is a simple way to make strides in increasing engagement… and is easy to implement. Organizations with strong recognition cultures report remarkable increases in revenue, productivity, and decreases in absenteeism.4
  2. Building connections: A supportive manager is crucial for 58% of deskless workers.5 Managers should check  in regularly with employees, and conversations should extend beyond “talking shop”. Creating a relationship is the goal, and can be done well when managers show a genuine interest in their teams’ well-being, preferences, and goals.
  3. Awareness and communication: Managers should help communicate both short-term updates and  long-term business objectives across their teams.  Not only does this help reduce confusion and frustration, but it also helps employees understand how their efforts contribute to the overall success of the company. However, for communication to be effective, communication methods must be inclusive. For example, not all employees have access to company email, but most employees have a mobile phone.

So, how do you enable your managers to execute these objectives at scale?

Typical tools used by employees behind the desk, such as email, communication platforms, or HRIS software are often inaccessible to the deskless workforce. Many frontline employees are prohibited from having their phones during their shift and aren’t provided with a company email address.

At Denim, we believe that everyone deserves to feel valued and connected, even at work. Our solution allows deskless employees to connect with their peers and leaders like never before. As a result, businesses are making strides in retention and efficiency.

How Denim Solves For… Employee Recognition

In a bustling workplace with dispersed employees, managers can be spread quite thin. Verbally praising employees in a timely and meaningful manner can be challenging. In fact, only 3 in 10 U.S. employees receive recognition or praise regularly.

With Denim, managers can easily and more immediately send praise and recognize employee efforts with their mobile devices. Employees are then notified via text, allowing them to connect their efforts to praise and recognition from their leader.

What’s more, employees can earn rewards in Denim for not only receiving recognition, but recognizing their peers, too. This produces a mood-lifting effect for both the sender and recipient, leading to all-around happier and more motivated teams.

How Denim Solves For… Building Connections

Managers are recommended to have meaningful weekly conversations with employees, but many struggle due to overwhelming workloads. Oftentimes, managers have to deprioritize time with their employees to handle other tasks. As a result, only about 20% of U.S. employees have had a meaningful conversation with their manager in the last six months.6

Denim helps facilitate weekly digital check-ins, incentivizing employees to share feedback, accomplishments, and challenges directly with their manager. Managers can respond to check-ins through their Denim inbox, allowing them to acknowledge the employee’s sentiment much quicker.

This acknowledgement, otherwise known as “closing the loop”, builds trust and rapport between the employee and manager, which are foundational to retention.

How Denim Solves For… Awareness & Communication

Many employees feel disconnected from the company's mission, with only 4 in 10 U.S. employees feeling like their job is impactful.7 When big changes are required, employees wind up feeling frustrated and unmotivated. Managers need to be able to make that connection in a comprehensive way.

Denim enables managers to more easily share updates and information with tools like SMS and in-app notifications. These tools help increase their reach and provide more consistency with messaging.

Leaders can also establish performance goals in Denim to help translate larger company objectives to tangible changes employees can impact. Suddenly, employees better understand the value of their role and feel motivated about their work.

In a recent blog, Gal Zauberman said, “Strive to create near-term, concrete goals that are easy to understand and tightly aligned with incentives. A reward for behaviors that happened three months ago will have less impact on repeatable behaviors than one given real-time.” As employees are rewarded for hitting their performance targets, they not only feel the rush of accomplishment, but they are also able to understand and track progress of company performance.

Every day, managers are facing the challenging task of meeting both the expectations of their leaders and the expectations of their employees, often without sufficient resources. They need to be met where they are with tools that are easily accessible and simple.

While many employee productivity tools are unable to address the needs of the deskless, and frontline workforces, Denim provides a simple solution that enables managers to recognize, connect, and communicate with their employees, enhancing engagement and productivity.

(Psst.. if you want to learn more about how managers can impact engagement with the tools you have today, check out our conversation with frontline expert, Ron Storn.)

At Denim, we are committed to helping businesses retain and grow a happier, more productive frontline workforce.

We'd love to help your frontline managers, too. Let’s talk.

1, 2, 6, 7 Gallup

3 LinkedIn

4 Forbes, Gallup, Workhuman

5 Harvard Business Review