In the manufacturing industry, highly-dispersed frontline workforces present countless safety compliance hurdles. This is largely due to working across job sites or manufacturing plants, and without access to company internal communication like email or a centralized office hub. Depending on the size of the job site or plant, ensuring workers receive the same, consistent company information in a timely manner in often noisy and physically-demanding work environments is a challenge.
When it comes to keeping frontline employees organized and safe, and manufacturing operations running smoothly, mobile team communication apps are an instrumental tool. Team apps help enforce safety protocols from every angle of the employee experience.
Empowering Manufacturing Teams With Mobile Communication Tools
During the onboarding process, having a secure messaging platform and a GDPR-compliant way to store sensitive employee information helps foster employee trust and legal protection all at once. In the case of preparing employees for potential natural disasters or other moments of crisis, team communication apps streamline the operational process and make emergency instructions easily accessible on nearly any mobile device.
For frontline workforces that require rigorous technical training, team apps can help reinforce safety best practices throughout the process, as well as deploy reminders throughout the work week.
No. 1 - Real-Time Messaging
For fast-paced manufacturing businesses, real-time mobile messaging via a streamlined team communication app can help prevent security breaches and emergencies from escalating to unsafe levels. The ability to quickly dispatch secure messaging one-on-one, in segments, or to your entire organization can help you spread vital information when there is no time to waste. In addition, setting up notifications like media alerts or high profile customer arrivals can help your team set up the necessary safety protocols to keep your business humming along.
No. 2 - Confirmation Campaigns
Confirmation campaigns will help your leadership team deploy timely information or instructions to all groups within your manufacturing organization. Because these secure messaging campaigns require employees to confirm they have read and understood the contents of the message, general managers and executive leaders can easily track progress toward the messaging goal. Confirmation campaigns come in handy for everyday situations like new safety policy rollouts, but can also be used in more time-sensitive events like natural disasters so employees can mark themselves safe.
No. 3 - HR Integrations
For rapidly growing companies, scaling HR operations protocols can be tricky given the vast number of digital HR tools on the market. The key to keeping these protocols secure is integrating any tool you adopt into a one-stop digital workplace app. Bringing tools like ADP or Ultipro under the seamless umbrella of a mobile team communication app allows your HR team to securely store information about payroll, health benefits, personal employee data, termination processes, and beyond within an environment that will remain compliant with the pervading cybersecurity laws in your region.
No. 4 - Data Security
In our new GDPR-enforced world, adopting a secure messaging platform is no longer optional, it’s mandatory. In lieu of using a non-sanctioned third-party platform like WhatsApp to communicate internally, using a secure team communication app can help your organization avoid crippling fines.
In addition to avoiding potential legal ramifications, using secure communication technology will allow your employees to send sensitive data to each other without worrying about a potential leak or PR issue. Having a team app that can process messages securely in many mediums such as email, direct message, video, and images is an important standard to hold your organization to as cyber security becomes increasingly more regulated in the coming years.
No. 5 - Secure Document Storage
The nature of manufacturing work involves a substantial amount of detailed operational and production-relevant information. From equipment manuals to product updates and recalls, having a secure digital hub for convenient and real-time access to important work materials should be an essential function of any team communication app used in the manufacturing industry. At the very least, a digital solution should seamlessly connect with your company’s intranet if you have one. This allows workers to toggle between the two quickly and with ease when they need to reference a safety manual or maintenance guide. Compliance checklists, incident report forms, and evacuation plans can be kept updated and stored for routine inspections.
No. 6 - Dedicated Communication Streams
Part of any successful internal communication strategy is the ability to categorize which team members should be connected based on their work location and job role. With communication streams allocated to specific departments and plants, manufacturing workers can find their team’s need-to-know updates, announcements about daily shifts, shift schedules, and other team-relevant information.
Workers can watch posted training videos demonstrating on how to safely and properly install a machine part, make sure they have the right safety apparel, or get information on the latest safety certification. Tagging and labels are key features that should be included to be able to notify specific team members, and designate and sort content about policies, procedures, products, and equipment for future retrieval.
As artificial intelligence and other digital automation tools become increasingly ubiquitous across many industries, maintaining security compliance is more important than ever. With team communication apps, you give your employees the gift of efficiency and transparency, while helping your organization stay on top of legal regulations that can be difficult to keep track of.
Alexandra Zamolo is a Content Marketing Manager at beekeeper.io.