3 Critical Factors Disengaging HR From Deskless Employees

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Managing the employee lifecycle and keeping workers connected with their employers is what makes HR an integral asset for any business. Recently, achieving this goal has become less simple. With 80% (2.7 billion) of the global workforce now deskless, HR is confronted with new challenges and inefficiencies that leave them unarmed and unable to connect with their deskless employees.

Deskless workers are the face of businesses and often, the backbone of the company. Unlike traditional workers, deskless employees have a diverse set of off-site requirements that necessitates them to be constantly mobile and on the go. Engaging them requires understanding what they need to perform and do their jobs better.

Below we explore 3 critical factors preventing HR from connecting with deskless employees.

3 Factors Disengaging HR From Deskless Employees


Poor Communication in the Workplace

Recent studies have revealed that businesses have lost approximately $37 billion each year due to ineffective communication. 38% of workers surveyed in the U.S. said that poor communication was the biggest issue they faced and a further 33% of workers said they weren’t provided with relevant technology to cater to their needs. Many HR departments who previously relied on email to engage with employees are finding their emails are being lost to overloaded inboxes and they are failing to connect in real-time. 71% of Millennials admitted a company’s use of technology would influence their choice to work for them.


Formal Onboarding Program

The Harvard Business Review found only 28% of companies recently surveyed determined that their onboarding process was successful, while 22% said they had no formal onboarding program. It seems many businesses are being short-sighted by prioritizing cutting costs over providing ongoing training and development to employees. With evidence suggesting that the onboarding period is the most pivotal time in an employee’s experience, HR should be heavily investing in the tools to effectively train and develop those who work off-site. Failing to do so can result in a rapid turnover rate and cost a business between 100% to 300% of the replaced employee’s salary.


Employee Engagement at Work

Accessibility is one of the biggest challenges for HR. With remote workers who are based off-site at all times of the day and night, their access to information needs to be instant, fast, and reliable. Without an engagement app, remote employees are left unsupported and often in the dark. Added to this is the likelihood of an increased workload with information having to be reported manually or at a later date. In 2020, a study found that a concerning 15% of employees felt engaged with their present employer. While on the flip side, the same study found that engaged employees presented a 202% greater productivity rate than disengaged employees.

How To Engage Deskless Employees With Technology

HR should look into each of their deskless employees’ specific needs to solve them more effectively. As mentioned above, staff disengagement is frequently caused by ineffective communication, inadequate training, and limited access to content and information. Providing them with better technology that addresses these needs, such as a mobile solution that they can access at any time and from any location, could be the key to engaging them better and retaining them longer.

Provide Engaging & Bite-Sized Training

Given that deskless employees are often placed in fast-paced environments, any training material that slows or diverts their attention is unlikely to be completed. Instead, divide your training modules into smaller, more digestible chunks that will allow your employees to learn new skills gradually over time rather than all at once. Moreover, try to incorporate gamification techniques (or the use of game elements in non-game contexts) in your training to make learning more fun for your employees. All of these will help your deskless workers complete tasks more quickly thus helping them learn new skills faster and retain information longer.

Learn more about how you can effectively train your employees using a mobile solution.

Prioritize Communication

Deskless workers, who often work remotely and are dispersed, usually don’t have the technology to connect with managers and co-workers. This communication gap could lead to employee isolation, which increases the likelihood of employee turnover. HR should address this issue by providing a dedicated communication tool to bring employees together. When communication is enabled and prioritized, the exchange of ideas and dialogue is promoted, which betters the company and makes employees feel more involved and recognized. Furthermore, employees who feel valued and understand how their work contributes to the larger picture are more likely to go the extra mile, increasing overall engagement and productivity.

Discover how you can promote internal communication in your team using Albert.

Make Content Accessible

One of the many roles of HR is to find ways to make deskless workers’ jobs easier. This can be done by delivering timely and effective content that is easily accessible. From onboarding and task guidelines to product learning and company announcements, these types of content should be readily available for employees. However, deskless workers are often the last to know about updates and information about the company. HR should mitigate this problem by providing access to a content library of knowledge that is available to employees whenever they want and wherever they are.

Find out how a mobile solution like Albert can help you create real engagement with your team.


While HR is faced with many challenges, poor communication, training, and accessibility are critically hindering their connection with deskless employees. Leveraging mobile app technology will counter these obstacles to ensure a productive, connected, and profitable enterprise.


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