The best mobile workforces are masters of efficiency. They’re about replicating what works best across a factory, a manufacturing campus, a chain of stores, or an international brand. They are skilled at replicating processes and streamlining workflows to maximize output.

But as anyone who is part of the mobile workforce can tell you, this is easier said than done. Money is wasted on inefficiencies. High turnover leads to increased training costs. The investment has to keep being remade over and over. 

There’s another way. By taking stock of what really drives efficiency and productivity, owners and managers can get the most out of the mobile workforce while boosting morale. 

Rethinking Returns and Reimagining Investments

The basics of ROI are never going to change: if an investment is made, there needs to be a return. That’s the basics of business. But too often, business leaders want every single item in the budget to provide an immediate and tangible return. 

That approach ignores the value of human capital and long-term growth. But some of the best ways to increase profit include things that don’t always show up on the right side of the ledger. 

These include:

Reducing turnoverIncreasing efficiencyBoosting teamwork and moraleSaving time at all levels of the company

These are ways to promote growth. In other words, you aren’t minimizing costs to boost ROI. You’re maximizing profit by making smarter investments.

Embracing mobile workforce best practices can help you realize the best returns. 

Four Mobile Workforce Best Practices to Boost ROI

Mobile workforce best practices are meant to be transformative. They are meant to make work better for everyone so everyone can do their best work. 

1. Digitize Operations

Frontline workforces are among the last to be digitized. As our 2022 Frontline Trends Report showed, only 40% of frontline workers have access to an employee portal or an intranet. Often, there’s nothing really connecting frontline workers to each other or to the central office.

That’s where a frontline operating system comes in. With access to a mobile-first hub, employees can:

Access important documents related to policies, procedures, projects, and moreReceive vital communications from managers and each otherAsk questions, fill out surveys, and recognize coworkersStreamline the employee referral incentive programIncrease collaboration to boost efficiency

These all serve to decrease frustration and improve the day-to-day life for employees. That’s one of the best ways to boost morale and increase retention. When workers feel more engaged and driven, they become more productive and provide better service. That’s a true way to boost ROI. 

2. Increase Digital Security

As systems become more digitized, businesses are increasingly vulnerable to hackers, breaches, and human error. All of that is costly, and if it compromises customer data, it can have a serious impact on reputation. 

That’s why security must be built into digital tools. 

Our 2022 report showed that 57% of workers use WhatsApp or some other SMS tool, but those are vulnerable. A WhatsApp breach hit 25 million phones in 2021. Those sorts of events make it hard to trust a free app with your most vital materials. 

To protect your investment, you’ll want a digital workplace with strong security features. 

These include: 

A virtual private cloud with multi-tenancy featuresFull encryptionRegulatory complianceCustomer access control

Of course, having the tech is one thing, Making sure best practices are followed is another. You’ll also want to invest in training to make sure people follow cybersecurity protocols. 

3. Automate and Standardize Processes

For some, workforce automation has a bad reputation. It conjures up dystopian ideas of robots taking jobs from humans. But most frontline workers serve in people-facing roles or work hand in hand with automation. These jobs require personality, ingenuity, and problem-solving, and they’re not going anywhere. 

But there is still a role for automation. 

Automation standardizes communications and training. 

This has several of benefits:

Faster training and onboarding. When dealing with multiple locations and hundreds, even thousands of employees, training may be scattershot. Automation ensures everyone is getting the same information and accessing it in the most efficient way possible.
Streamlined HR processes. If every employee can access the exact documents they need from their mobile devices, then they don’t have to keep asking HR for them. If they can return them digitally and certify receipt, that saves time for everyone.
Lighter loads on managers. Frontline managers are often overloaded with routine tasks around basic training, paperwork, and HR issues. They want to solve problems and manage people. Automating tasks gives them time to do what they do best.
Ensure everyone is on the same page. From onboarding to ongoing training to the latest announcements, automation makes sure that employees are in the know about what they need to know. 

Of course, automation isn’t free. Effective automation requires investing in innovative technologies. But platforms that can be accessed via an employee’s own mobile devices cut down on overhead while maximizing returns. 

4. Humanize the Workforce

This is probably the most hard-to-measure aspect of ROI. It’s usually the most underappreciated one. And it is certainly the aspect that usually sees the least investment. 

But the truth is, frontline jobs are hard. They can be stressful, repetitive, and often thankless. 

Much of this can be helped with what we listed above. Better onboarding leads to better decision-making. Better communication leads to workers caring more about their jobs and feeling part of something bigger. Empowering workers through better training, more attentive management, and more communication increases job satisfaction and reduces turnover. 

But there is more to humanizing the workforce than what happens at work. 

A great employer supports work-life balance. They understand that the worker is valuable even when they aren’t working. There are technological ways to do this, such as increasing scheduling transparency so that workers can plan their lives and more easily change shifts. But you should also enforce protocols to make sure that mobile access to work doesn’t mean someone is always working. 

Work-life balance makes better workers. And that’s better for business. That’s how to get the best returns. 

The Technology That Optimizes Frontline ROI

All of these mobile workforce best practices boil down to one thing: connection. When frontline workers have an easy way to connect with each other, with corporate, and with the material they need to do their jobs better, they are more satisfied. They work better. They stay longer. 

business’s frontline operating system is a secure, safe, mobile-friendly way to connect your employees. It is a centralized way to automate processes, standardize training, facilitate scheduling, and open up new opportunities to communicate, up, down, and laterally. It brings people together. 

By making work easier and more human, business can help you realize great returns, today and tomorrow. 

Download our How to Choose the Best Team Collaboration Software eBook to learn more about how to make the most of online collaboration, or request a demo to get started today.