Onboarding new staff is an important part of any business, whether you’re welcoming a team of customer service agents or a group of warehouse employees. Deskless workers don’t have the same advantages that come with having a dedicated workspace; in fact, many are mobile and may not even be based in the same location as the rest of their team. As such, creating an effective onboarding program and experience for this type of worker can be difficult. To help make the process easier, here are some tips for creating a great onboarding program for your deskless workers.
What Is A Deskless Employee?
A deskless employee is an individual who works without the use of a traditional office or workstation. In today’s world, approximately 2.7 billion individuals fall into this category, comprising a significant 80% of the global workforce. This type of employee typically does not have access to a computer and instead relies on their skills and physical capabilities to complete tasks. Deskless employees may include those who work in retail, hospitality, or logistics, as well as those who work in the field, such as roofers or electricians.
The Challenges Of Managing A Deskless Workforce
Difficulty Reaching Employees
One of the main challenges of managing a deskless workforce is having to manage employee performance without regular direct supervision. Deskless workers are usually not based in the same location as their team and may not have access to the same resources or technology that would be available in an office environment. As such, it can be difficult to determine whether they are performing up to expectations. Additionally, since these employees may often work alone, it can be difficult for managers to provide adequate training and support.
A Disengaged Workforce
Another key challenge is finding ways to keep deskless workers engaged and motivated. Without regular interaction with their team, these workers may feel isolated and disconnected from their colleagues. This can lead to feelings of disengagement and decreased productivity over time. To counter this, supervisors must find creative ways of connecting with deskless employees and keeping them engaged.
A Disconnected Workforce
Finally, there is the issue of communication. Deskless workers will not always be able to use the same tools normally used in an office environment (such as email or instant messaging). Therefore, managers need to find alternate methods to keep employees connected and up-to-date on organizational changes.
Read to learn more about why internal communication is important for any business.
What Is Employee Onboarding?
Employee onboarding is the process of introducing a new employee to the organization. This includes providing the employee with information about their role, responsibilities, and expectations as well as giving them an overview of the company’s culture and values. Onboarding also involves providing training on relevant processes and procedures that they need to be familiar with to do their job.
Why Is Employee Onboarding Important?
Employee onboarding is important for several reasons. It gives new employees a clear understanding of what’s expected of them and helps to ensure that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful in their job. Onboarding also helps them become acclimated to the company culture, which can help build trust between them and their coworkers. Finally, it gives them a better idea of the company’s mission and goals, which can help motivate them to work harder and be more productive.
Deskless workers encounter a multitude of challenges unique to their work environment, making it crucial to provide them with a comprehensive onboarding program that not only addresses their specific needs but also ensures their sustained engagement. Unlike their office-based counterparts, these employees often operate in diverse settings, such as retail, hospitality, or fieldwork, which require a distinct approach to onboarding. By tailoring the onboarding experience to the needs of deskless workers, organizations can effectively equip them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and resources to navigate their roles successfully. Moreover, a well-designed onboarding program helps foster a sense of connection, motivation, and engagement among deskless employees, leading to improved productivity and overall job satisfaction.
5 Tips For Effectively Onboarding Deskless Employees
1. Invest in Technology to Facilitate Onboarding
Investing in technology can facilitate onboarding by streamlining the process and making it easier for deskless employees to access information quickly. Technology such as cloud-based platforms, mobile apps, and online training modules can provide easy access to company policies, procedures, job descriptions, safety guidelines, and other important documents. Additionally, these tools can help make communication between supervisors and deskless employees more efficient so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to their roles within the organization. Finally, technology can be used to track progress during onboarding so that any issues or delays are quickly identified and addressed.
2. Provide Clear Communication Strategies
Clear communication strategies can facilitate onboarding by ensuring that deskless employees know the necessary information and expectations from the start. Clear communication can provide an understanding of the organization’s overall mission, culture, and values. It should also include guidance on the job responsibilities of individual team members, as well as expectations for performance and behavior. Additionally, an effective communication strategy should include a regularly scheduled check-in and regular feedback from supervisors to ensure that deskless employees are on the right track during onboarding.
3. Create an Engaging Training Environment
Creating an engaging training environment can help facilitate onboarding by providing deskless employees with immersive and interactive learning opportunities. With engaging training, deskless employees will be better able to retain the information presented during onboarding, as well as the company’s culture, values, and expectations for performance. To create an engaging training environment, organizations should provide deskless employees with ample opportunities for hands-on activities and practice. Additionally, organizations should invest in tools such as video lectures, simulations, or interactive games to help deskless employees better understand the material being presented during onboarding.
4. Offer Coaching for New Employees
Offering coaching for new deskless employees can facilitate onboarding by helping them become acquainted with the organization’s culture, values, and expectations. Coaches should be available to provide guidance to new staff members on how to perform their job duties and answer any questions they may have. Additionally, coaches can provide support and encouragement during times of transition, helping deskless employees to adjust more quickly and successfully to their new role. Finally, coaches can provide tailored advice for each individual deskless employee depending on their unique needs and circumstances.
5. Show Appreciation for New Hires
Showing appreciation for new deskless employees can help to facilitate onboarding by boosting morale and motivating new hires to perform their best. Appreciation can come in the form of recognition, rewards, or simply verbal praise. Organizations should take the time to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of each new hire during onboarding and thank them for joining the team. This will help to create a positive and supportive environment, making deskless employees feel valued and appreciated, which can encourage them to give their best each day.
By following these tips, organizations can create an onboarding program tailored specifically to the needs of their deskless workers. Deskless employees often have unique needs due to the nature of their job, so it’s important to take the extra time and effort to make sure they are supported and engaged. With a clear onboarding program, managers can ensure that their deskless employees have the tools and resources they need to be successful.
Employee onboarding is an important part of any organization’s retention strategy, and it’s even more important for deskless employees who don’t have the same level of access or interaction as traditional office workers. By investing in technology, providing clear communication strategies, creating an engaging training environment, offering to coach new employees, and showing appreciation for new hires, organizations can ensure that their deskless workers have the necessary knowledge, skills, and support to be successful. Taking the time and effort to provide an effective onboarding program and process for deskless employees will help create a stronger connection between them and the organization and foster a sense of purpose.