Why manufacturing managers should consider text-based communication tools

February 10, 2021

With the rise of remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the market has become saturated with workplace communication tools. Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet are among the most commonly used methods of communication for employees. 

Those technologies may work for most remote teams, but they don’t work for every business because they typically rely on access to a computer with stable internet access. Of course that’s not the reality for most manufacturing and production businesses.

In the past, bulletin boards, hand outs, and daily stand-up meetings have been the primary way that manufacturing companies have been able to reach their large teams as efficiently as possible. Considering many teammates also face the added challenge of language barriers, even in the best of times, that approach can cause some major communication gaps.

Communicating with your hourly manufacturing workforce is easy with text-based communication. 

Here’s why manufacturing managers should consider text-based communication to help solve internal communication challenges:

Simplicity


Effective employee communication tools don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. Something that’s easy to use with a streamlined user interface (UI) can be easily adopted by deskless team members. It can even save the company money; there’s no need to pay for a bulky service that’s bogged down with superfluous features. The easiest solution is often the best one, and your team members most likely are already familiar with texting. 

According to the Pew Research Center, 81% of Americans text regularly, and 19% of Americans indicate that they have limited or no means of going online other than their cell phone.

Accessibility

Text-based communication tools are an excellent choice for factory, manufacturing, and production companies. There is a low barrier to entry for frontline and deskless team members; no computer or internet connection is required, and there’s no need to download an app. In fact, texting is often the preferred method of communication for deskless employees. Let’s take a quick look at the numbers, and you’ll see why managers should take text-based communication seriously.

Texting is the most commonly performed activity on a cellphone.

In a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 81% of Americans reported that they use their smartphone to send text messages, compared to 52% who use it to check email and 50% who use it to access the internet.

People are more likely to open text messages.

According to Mobile Marketing Watch, SMS messages have a 99% open rate. Mobile Squared found that 90% of text messages are opened within 3 minutes. And, for those who have read receipts turned on, you can quickly and easily tell if team members have seen the communication. 

There’s no need to download an app.

Workforce communications that integrate with text messaging don’t require team members to download an app. That means opt-in for employees is nearly automatic. 

There’s no learning curve.

Almost all smartphone owners already know how to text. In fact, Nielsen reports that Americans spend 14.1% of their phone time texting—surpassing both browsing social media and listening to music. 

People of color are more likely to text.

Demographics in manufacturing and production lines of work have shifted in recent years, and it’s important to meet your team members on their terms. According to Jonathan Carson, CEO of Telecom for Nielsen, Black/African American smartphone users send and receive 780 text messages per month and Hispanic smartphone users send and receive 767 text messages per month, compared to 566 for whites.

Language Inclusivity 

Today’s workplaces are diverse, and inclusivity in all facets of work—including language assistance—are crucial. Text-based workplace communication services can automatically translate sent and received messages and remember which language a team member prefers. The ability to communicate in a native language makes it quicker, easier, and less intimidating for team members to receive and provide vital information.

Versatility

Thanks to widely accessible high-speed mobile data, it’s easy to send any type of media via text message. Automatic safety alerts, all-staff announcements, departmental announcements, training videos and more can be sent out using a text-based workplace communication tool. Text-based services also allow for easy information capture and data management on the back-end with no additional hurdles or action necessary for team members.

Enhance Your Communications with TeamSense

If you’re looking to easily manage employee communications in a deskless work environment across a large and diverse workforce, we can help. 

As your workplace needs evolve, TeamSense will be there to help you communicate with your frontline employees and keep team members safe. 


Commentary from TeamSense should not be construed to be authoritative legal or public health guidance. Organizations should follow the latest guidance from relevant governmental and public health authorities and seek counsel from appropriate Legal, HR, and EHS professionals.

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