Companies should embrace apps for communicating with the hourly workforce

Perhaps the most important communications function of any company is the ability to effectively reach its internal employees. And while most executives, human resources personnel and internal communications professionals just assume company email will get the job done, that approach eliminates communicating with a large portion of the workforce.

Ponder these questions for a moment:

  • How many of your hourly workers have company email accounts?
  • How many of your hourly workers even work at a desk where they have Internet access?

According to Profile of the Hourly Worker, Red e App’s recently released research on the hourly workforce, only 50 percent of hourly workers report having company email addresses. And 61 percent of hourly workers don’t work in an office environment where they have access to a computer.

But our research turned up a stat that points to the solution: 84 percent of hourly workers carry smartphones. Supplying those employees with an app made for internal communications, including emergency comms, shift and scheduling functionalities, benefits, document sharing capabilities and even team collaboration functions, gets company communications out to the 61 percent who aren’t in an office. It gets communications to the half that doesn’t have company email accounts.


When you see a number like 84 percent for smartphone penetration, you lose your assumption that the hourly worker can’t afford one. You lose the bias that this segment of your workforce is less educated, less connected and therefore best reached by bulletin board (the cork ones … with flyers … and thumb tacks).

When you realize the vast majority have smartphones and that an app built for them offers a real-time, cost-effective, secure, safe and private option, you realize something important: Effectively communicating with your employees — all of your employees — is actually in the palm of your hands.

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