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Five ways plant floor managers can improve mobile communication on plant floors

Dec. 8, 2014
Clear and real-time communication.

Manufacturing companies have tried nearly every tool to connect with their production workforce in real time, from plant floor kiosks and bulletin boards in the break room to all-hands meetings and walkie-talkies. However, thanks to the mobile revolution and rapid smartphone adoption, the desire to give all employees access to the same communication platform is finally a reality through enterprise mobile-messaging platforms.

If you are a manufacturing leader, plant manager, or shift leader, you already know WHAT needs to be communicated. This article lists five benefits of using a mobile-messaging platform to deliver critical information your workforce over their mobile tools of choice.

1. Communicate NOW

Every person who manages and leads a team of employees knows the fear of needing to communicate in real-time during a crisis or emergency. For plant managers, if employee safety is your top priority, then you have to have a mobile communication plan that delivers critical information immediately, such as:

  • The production line just went offline
  • A snow storm just dropped a foot of snow an hour before the plant is going to change shifts
  • A fire was reported in the back room of the warehouse
  • Three volunteers are requested for the next shift

2. Communicate EFFECTIVELY

Crisis scenarios demand a fast and immediate communication channel. When an emergency happens, it’s not the time to sift through piles of paper on your desk to find the employee contact list. We all know, the moment you need to locate that coffee-stained Excel spreadsheet, you can never find it.

Instead of having to individually call hundreds of employees – and most likely get their voicemail – mobile communication allows a manager to message all of his/her employees without ever having to dial a phone number.

3. Communicate with EVERYONE

Another challenge for plant managers is communicating with multiple work shifts. In fact, many employees on 3rd shift may go months without ever seeing the main plant manager. All-hands meetings are a start, but again, for a large plant, there will always be employees who are not there that day to hear the message.

What if a manager could send a message about the amazing production numbers for the last quarter to every employee, even when they are not physically present at the plant? And what if that communication could also contain pictures and a PDF along with the visual avatar of the plant leader? Mobile communication can be far more engaging than the traditional means of communicating announcements and achievements.

Employee morale is an underappreciated element of the workplace. Employees love positive feedback from management that they rarely see, and want to be recognized when they do something well. Managers can now engage employees by sending recognition notifications and productions updates. These types of messages have proven to improve morale and retention: employees are proud of the work they do, making them more likely to work towards a higher goal in the future. 

4. Communicate FASTER

Have you ever heard this in an operations meeting: “So how do we plan to get everyone on the same page about that new process?”

The larger a company is, the longer it inevitably takes to inform all employees about the latest changes or updates. Communicating new procedures for training and safety policy requirements should take minutes, not months. Additionally, ensuring that every employee received and read critical communications shouldn’t leave the Operations and HR team with an ulcer.

Having a single and unified mobile communication platform allows company leadership to rest assured that their messages don’t wind up in someone’s spam folder or, worse, ignored because employees failed to notice the new paper tacked on the cafe bulletin board.

Mobile communication platforms allow managers to makes sure that their employees are up to date on regulatory compliance and procedure by posting documents to the company-wide network and updating it in real time. 

5. Communicate CONSISTENTLY

Jonathan Erwin is the ‎CEO / Founder of Red e App, and can be reached at [email protected].

Clear and real-time communication is the life-blood of every single company. Just like life-sustaining blood for the human body, your communication must constantly flow throughout your organization. If it doesn’t, morale will suffer, production will slow down, and rumors will take over.

The best way to squash the rumor mill is to feed it with consistent and true information. Your production workforce has likely never told you that they are receiving too much information. Most likely, it’s the opposite.

Mobile messaging platforms help inform all employees know of a major news announcement, ensuring employees heard the news from their employer first and not on the morning news or via social media.

Communication on the plant floor can be improved by combining these five principles and a mobile messaging platform. Manufacturing leaders and managers are well-versed in WHAT engages their non-desk workforce.  Enterprise mobile-messaging platforms now provide you with the HOW.

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