As discussed in an earlier blog post, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies have transformed the frontline employee experience connecting disengaged staff to the latest information on products, promotions, and company news. Effective BYOD policies have also empowered frontline associates to use their personal devices to get access to information that will help them succeed in their role, increasing their confidence, skills, and overall employee experience.
With the changing workforce composition, especially in retail, hospitality, and the foodservice industries, brands are eager to hire and retain top talent in a competitive job market. Implementing a BYOD policy enables companies to focus their efforts on building a mobile program that speaks to the soon-to-be majority of the global workforce—millennials and Gen Z—helping to improve broken communication between frontline staff and head office through the power and convenience of mobile.
To get you started on your BYOD journey, we’re highlighting key considerations and best practices for implementing an effective policy.
Considerations in creating a BYOD policy
1. Labor Laws
Have a strong understanding of labor laws and regulations, specific to country and state, before implementing a BYOD policy into your organization. Two key considerations with labor laws and regulations are overtime compensation and reimbursement for cellular data usage.
- Overtime compensation: To avoid any risk of associates spending large amounts of time using workplace apps and tools outside of work, clearly outline usage expectations in your BYOD policy.
- Reimbursement for cellular data usage: Having to pay toward an employee’s phone bill is a particular concern for companies in specific states, i.e. California. To reduce the legal obligation of paying a percentage of your employee’s phone bill, make your mobile program voluntary, and clearly outline in your BYOD policy when and where your frontline staff can interact with company apps and tools.
One of the biggest concerns, when implementing new technology into a workplace, is security. To mitigate security risks, implement an enterprise-grade tool that helps to regulate and manage access to company platforms, while also creating centralized communication across your organization.
While you want to encourage your frontline to use their smartphones for work purposes, you’ll still need to clearly outline usage expectations. Here’s what to include:
- Voluntary or compulsory: Begin your BYOD policy by outlining whether your mobile program is voluntary or compulsory. As mentioned above, voluntary programs reduce the legal obligation of employers having to pay a percentage of employees’ personal phone bills.
- When and where: It’s important for employees to understand when and where they can interact with company apps and tools. Best practice is to have frontline staff dedicate a few minutes at the beginning of each shift to read new materials and share feedback. By doing so, eliminates the risk of needing to compensate your frontline for overtime or interrupting the customer experience.
- Applications and tools: Outlining the exact apps, tools, and websites keep company and staff information safe. Also, it helps to reduce distractions when your frontline staff interacts with customers.
- Corporate conduct policies: It never hurts to reiterate corporate conduct expectations when implementing a new program involving employee communication. Using an already established framework, set expectations around respectful language for when staff interact with team members on workplace apps and tools.
Things to consider when implementing a BYOD policy
Creating a BYOD policy is only one part of building an effective mobile program. Next, is implementation, which is where you’ll use effective communication, training, and engagement to achieve widespread adoption of both your BYOD policy and mobile program.
Research conducted by Nudge showed that 28% of frontline staff were unaware of their workplace BYOD policy, despite using their personal devices at work. That’s why creating a strong communication strategy is always key to successfully implementing a new program or policy into an organization.
Begin by equipping managers with necessary information ahead of time, so they can answer staff questions and remove any confusion or concern. Then create campaigns with clear, short, and consistent content. Once campaigns go live, analyze results, and gather staff feedback to keep content fresh, appealing, and engaging. Effectively communicating your BYOD policy, mobile program, and campaigns will truly engage your frontline workforce, increase adoption, and achieve long-term success.
When implementing a new program into an organization, it’s crucial to offer the necessary training to make your program, policies, and frontline associates successful. As management are interacting with your frontline staff on a weekly basis, get them up to speed first, on your BYOD policy and mobile program. Host onboarding sessions specifically for management to make sure everyone is on board and that they have the right information to answer staff questions. Once management is aligned, host multiple onboarding sessions for staff to listen, learn, and ask questions regarding BYOD and the mobile program. It’s also a great opportunity to show off your new mobile platform and give hands-on training if needed.
To increase adoption and engagement of your BYOD policy and mobile program, consider the following:
- Incentivize adoption: Create a competition with rewards and prizes to help engage your frontline staff, increase adoption, and start your mobile program on the right foot.
- Seamless onboarding: First experiences will either make or break your BYOD policy and mobile program. Be sure to create a seamless onboarding process that is easy and quick for staff to opt-in to your mobile program and sign-up to company platforms and tools.
- Encourage feedback: Empower frontline staff by encouraging feedback and ideas to help nurture your BYOD policy and mobile program. Mobile engages frontline associates giving them a voice in your organization, helping to establish a connection from the launch of a mobile program to its long-term success.
Using these key considerations and best practices for creating and implementing an effective BYOD policy will not only set your program up for success and adoption but will also create an engaged and communicative workplace, where frontline staff are more knowledgeable and confident, ready to deliver unique and memorable customer experiences.