Alpha Software Blog

What is the Solution to Retaining Deskless Workers?

As the economy continues to add news jobs, many companies face a serious problem filling all their open jobs and retaining existing employees. In this environment, you must keep the workers you already have happy, so you aren't compounding the problem.  This means keeping high job satisfaction with workers at their desks and "deskless workers" who comprise over 60% of the workforce.

Read how to retain your deskless workers.Consider that the U.S. unemployment rate was a mere 3.9% in April, and the U.S. had a record number of openings in March (6.6 million) — the same number of people actively looking for jobs. The Washington Post reports, “March marked the first time there has been a job opening for every unemployed person since the Labor Department began keeping track of job openings in 2000…It's likely that the United States will soon be in a situation where there are more job openings than job seekers.”

It’s more important than ever that companies keep their existing employees. And perhaps the best way to do that, Mark Feffer points out in his article in TechTarget “Why mobile HR apps are key to engaging deskless workers” is to keep employees highly engaged in their work and the workplace. He writes, “Research supports the idea that employee engagement impacts recruitment, retention and performance, turning it into a valuable investment. For example, according to research by benefits provider Aon Hewitt, manufacturing plants with higher levels of engagement have 75% fewer quality defects and 26% fewer safety-related workers compensation claims. Gallup reports that ‘highly engaged business units realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity.’”

How Can You Better Engage Deskless Workers?

Employee engagement is a particular problem for so-called “deskless workers” such as field service employees, truck drivers, remote workers and others. They generally don’t work at an office with other people, which can make them feel isolated and not engaged with their companies.

Feffer writes that HR mobile apps are an important way to make sure those workers feel engaged. The mobile apps can perform a wide variety of functions, from simple ones such as checking into and out of work, to filling out paperwork and to help them do their daily tasks, such as tracking deliveries or maintenance.

For example, he writes, PetroChoice, a lubricants distributor in Fort Washington, PA, gives all its truck drivers iPhones pre-loaded with several mobile apps. Marilena Acevedo, the vice president of human resources at the company, said the apps are “very helpful to them and very helpful to us because they're able to be very self-sufficient.”

What’s the Best Platform for Writing Apps to Engage Deskless Workers?

Looking to write mobile apps to engage deskless workers? We’ve designed Alpha Anywhere to be the ideal platform for doing that. Many companies have used it to write field service apps, inspections apps and other apps that increase employee engagement. A major offshore drilling company, for example, was able to use it to have a mobile app for capturing live maintenance information designed, tested and implemented in just four days. American Pool, the largest commercial swimming pool management, maintenance, construction and recreational facility management operation in the United States, used Alpha Anywhere to give supervisors and maintenance technicians mobile access to its CRM platform wherever they were, for purposes such as collecting data in the field. And the Inventory Services Network used it to build a powerful, high-speed inventory data capture solution.

We’ve even created a sample field inspection app you can download and customize yourself. For details see my blog post, “Inspection Apps For Field Workers: A Sample Field Inspection App
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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.