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3 ways to engage manufacturing employees

While the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone, it has been especially challenging for those on the front lines, who risk their safety every day for the sake of others. As frontline workers continue to go into work every day, whether that’s on the floor of a manufacturing plant or on the road helping customers as essential employees, it’s critical that companies have the tools in place to provide support.

Here are three ways you can help your frontline workers, along with three examples of how other companies have successfully used these systems to connect, recognise and support their frontline employees through the pandemic:

 1. Show appreciation for your employees’ hard work through recognition
 2. Connect your employees and keep them up to date with relevant and   engaging communications
 3. Help your employees improve their physical and mental health with   wellbeing tools

Learn how to support your employees through the COVID-19 pandemic »

Show appreciation for their dedication by putting the spotlight on recognition 

One way to support frontline workers is through recognising them for their hard work. Recognising frontline workers can be challenging – they often don’t use computers as part of their day-to-day jobs and can’t always be reached easily in the field – which means some of their daily actions can be missed, leading to employees feeling underappreciated and undervalued.

Recognition is a proven way to boost morale, improve productivity and help employees feel connected to their company and mission.

orbis-logo-2manufacturing-worker-1ORBIS Corporation, a manufacturing organisation with more than 2,900 employees, took steps to improve recognition of its frontline workers when the pandemic hit. Because the organisation had a mix of corporate employees and offline manufacturing workers, some employees were required to work from home and others still had to go in to work every day, creating a challenge of how to recognise a hybrid workforce. 

The organisation was looking for a way to support employees and boost morale, while taking into consideration the different needs of its dispersed employees. When a company-wide survey revealed that employees felt they weren’t recognised enough for their work, ORBIS decided to put the spotlight on recognition.

ORBIS partnered with Reward Gateway to create its recognition platform, 'The Loop,' in order to improve recognition across the organisation and connect employees during difficult times. Hear what Sheri Treu, Director of Organisational Development at ORBIS Corporation, says about the success of their platform: 

Keep your employees connected and informed with relevant and engaging communications

Another way to support frontline workers during the pandemic is by improving your communications strategy. Effective communication is particularly important now, as employees look for a trusted source of information amidst the uncertainty in the world. With a strong internal communications platform, you can be that source for your employees, which can provide stability and improve connections across your business.

This is the approach that Mitie, a facilities management organisation with 58,000 employees, took in response to the COVID-19 crisis. When the pandemic began, 40,000 employees at Mitie were considered essential in maintaining critical infrastructure across the UK and continued to go to work, while the rest worked from home, leading to a dispersed workforce and greater potential for missed communications. 

Discover more ways to support your frontline workers in this eBook »

While communication was always a priority for Mitie, the organisation realised that improvements to its communications strategy were needed now more than ever. The team at Mitie decided to ramp up their communications, which included using their Reward Gateway communications platform to keep employees informed, implementing a COVID-19 hub to keep employees up to date on health and safety information and sending weekly emails to everyone in the business.


Here is what Daisy Black, Employee Engagement Manager at Mitie, has to say about the platform:

 We’ve set up a dedicated Coronavirus communications hub to make sure that all the information is in one place, because that is always a challenge when things are changing so much. We wanted to make sure that we have one place that is the go-to place and source of the truth for employees at Mitie.

Check out this clip to hear more from Daisy and learn how Mitie used their platform to improve communications and create connections:

Keep employee wellbeing top of mind with special attention to mental and physical health

In addition to improving recognition and communications, you can support your frontline employees by putting the emphasis on employee wellbeing during these difficult times. Stress levels are high as people are feeling more lonely, isolated and scared for their health and safety. Employers have an opportunity to show employees that they care about their wellbeing by giving them tools that can improve both mental and physical health through the pandemic and beyond.


chocolate productionOne of our clients, Mondelēz International, successfully put in place a wellbeing platform to help improve employees’ mental and physical health. The global food and beverage organisation has roughly 2,000 employees working across Australia and New Zealand, and faced the challenges of engaging its hybrid workforce when the pandemic hit. While office workers were sent home, other employees continued to go to work to sell or to produce chocolate and candy.

Mondelēz was lucky enough to already have its Reward Gateway platform, 'The Right You,' in place several months before the pandemic. In March, the team at Mondelēz decided to add a dedicated Wellbeing Centre to their platform to support the health, safety and wellbeing of their employees.

On the wellbeing hub, employees can find mental health resources, including meditation videos and informative articles on mental health, as well as physical health resources like workout videos and healthy recipes.

Hear more from Jon Batty, Reward Lead, ANZ & Japan at Mondelēz, about the organisation’s exciting wellbeing initiatives that have improved engagement, morale and productivity


This is a difficult time for frontline employees, and it’s important to give them extra support and show your appreciation as they continue to go to work and give their best every day. 

With many businesses struggling on how to best connect, recognise and support their frontline employees, we’re here to help you put in place the tools to bring your employees through the pandemic and beyond. Get in touch with us to learn more.

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Jenn Bytheway

Her first role may be as an Employee Engagement Consultant, but Jenn is also a bona fide rollercoaster enthusiast, spin addict and yes, a big advocate of engagement.

Employee Engagement Consultant

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