Smartphones are banned.

Apr 5, 2017

As a Manager, the last thing you want to see when walking around your Club or Centre is an employee sat on shift using their smartphone.

A Receptionist checking Facebook. A Lifeguard Tweeting from poolside. It’s the stuff of nightmares, and therefore all smartphones should be banned and the company should communicate with employees solely via the intranet, the monthly company newsletter and maybe the odd piece of information printed on a poster and stuck to the staff notice board. We understand.

The problem is, it’s not this simple.

It is likely that even if the business or organisation has banned the use of smartphones in the workplace (or more likely simply ignored the problem) employees are still checking their phone — and even using the phone for legitimate work purposes.

Here to stay

Over the past 10 years, we’ve seen a huge adoption in smartphones. Recent studies report that over 90% of UK 18–24 year olds own a smartphone. A 2016 survey by Deloitte reported that 10% of participants checked their phone immediately after waking up, with 69% checking their phone within 30 minutes.

Yet most employers still use corporate email, intranets and word of mouth as their primary method to share the company message and communicate with the Team. A new employee is greeted with a large paper-based file or an “e-learning” system. All subsequent communication is scattered between various platforms, creating confusion and disengagement.

Rather than simply ignoring the problem, employers are now starting to acknowledge that smartphones are the future for workforce communication.

Creating a “bring your own device” policy

More and more organisations are now switching tactic, and beginning to engage their employees via their smartphones.

Most of the time, the main issue with employees using smartphones in the workplace is that it has been seen as a “problem to be ignored”. Because of this, staff have not been given clear guidance on when and when it is not acceptable to use their smartphone. Creating a “bring your own device” policy allows the employer to be clear and draw a clear distinction. For example:

  • On a lunch break in a staff area is fine.
  • In any public area whilst on shift or whilst wearing uniform is not fine.

It sounds obvious, but creating a clear policy makes sure staff know exactly where they stand.

Reap the rewards

Providing Staff with clear instructions on when they can and cannot use their smartphone then allows for all the benefits that mobile communication can provide the business.

  • Enable real-time communication
    With mobile technology, important news or emergency situations can be communicated with the touch of a button.
  • Give your employees a voice
    Workforces of today have become increasingly more vocal and interested in speaking up. Suppressing their voices will run the risk of disengagement. Provide them with a platform that is moderated to provide their feedback and engage Senior Management.
  • Enable an open culture of reward
    Share employee success stories in a way that all employees can engage.
  • All within company control
    Rather than team members using “unofficial” communications like Whatsapp or Facebook closed groups, implementing a Team Communication tool allows the business to have clear visibility on who is included within the communication. When an employee leaves the company, all data is removed from their device.

Remove the ban?

OurPeople is a Team Engagement tool designed specifically for workforces which do not work from a computer on a during their shift.

Allow Team Members to communicate anytime, anywhere all with in company control. Cover last minute shifts or collect staff availability. Request health and safety information from Managers, all responses are automatically compiled into a report. Place your entire Operating manual into the pocket of every single employee. Find out more here.

More Resources from OurPeople

How to Manage Frontline Workers In Remote Teams Successfully
4 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement
Streamlining Internal Communication: The Key to a Successful Re-Opening for Theme Parks this Easter

Find out more

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