Radio contact: reaching remote workers

1394564919_017afa86a6_o32% of workers in the UK don’t have a desk. It’s not just a desk. They don’t have a chair or a laptop either. They work from vans, lorries, cash tills, ladders or the salon floor. These remote workers need a more creative approach to employee engagement. Bruno Brookes, chief executive of Immedia Group, says radio is the answer.

Music is everywhere. From radio stations to festivals; from supermarket aisles to mobile devices. Similar people listen to similar music, and radio stations are communities of people sharing an experience: glued together by sound.

Mobile devices allow us to consume more media than ever before. Organisations can connect, engage, interact with and motivate their employees through music and other relevant content. No matter where they are based, radio can be used as a channel to reinforce the corporate brand, to augment disparate employees and to communicate key messages through this shared experience. Where the workforce is remote, and opportunities to collaborate are more challenging, sound is powerful.

What’s different about radio is that you don’t need to read or write music to engage with it. We’ve all grown up with sound, and to listen to a customised radio channel is natural and relevant for employees. For employers, it provides an avenue to explore an extension of the organisation’s culture, sharing music, entertainment, interaction and other exciting content.

Fast-moving technology, mobile platforms and apps mean streamed sound is more accessible than before. This brings with it opportunities for digital interaction, feedback and conversation. For corporate organisations, this is an opportunity for employee engagement, to listen and measure sentiment, and to hear and respond to issues before they become crises.

Where employees work remotely or from multiple locations, it’s not always easy to engage. But by understanding your workforce demographic, relevant audio content can be the rope that binds them.

When you have employees working in vehicles it is easy to reach out to them via a radio. Company lorries or vans are always on the move, they climb to the highest road and down the deepest valley whilst all the employees are listening to the same relevant channel.

Openreach is an example of a company taking this route. We have been working with the telecoms infrastructure provider to supply a 24/7 real time digital radio channel accessible to employees in Openreach vans. Crucially, this is not built into the van, but is on a phone. The app can also be used and listened to in canteens, at desktops and in foyers, offering universal participation.

On each of our custom radio channels, there are real time radio presenters who update on news, sport, traffic, conduct phone-ins and competitions. Great quality content drives audience engagement. The presenter is immersed in the company culture and there is constant communication between the presenter and the employee communications, operations and leadership teams.

The information range is vast over 52 weeks of the year. Key messages help every listener to do and enjoy their work.

With so many mobile workers in the UK, it is crucial that organisations are able to have a constant connection with their remote employees. Radio, as seen with Openreach, should be a vital component in an organisation’s internal communications strategy. It is a simple way of reaching out to employees, continuously on the move, who want to be loved.

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