The long-term effects of COVID have not just left an impact in terms of the health of Australians workers. The ripple effect of the pandemic has had far-reaching impacts on staffing shortages and left many companies struggling to fill new roles and retain existing employees, lured away by competitors keen to fill their own vacancies as soon as possible.
The already tight labour market – particularly in the mining sector – has created the second worst shortage in the world here in Australia (according to ABC News data), and it’s projected that by mid-2023, the WA mining and resources sector alone could require an additional 40,000 workers.
In addition to this pressure to recruit new employees, the mining sector is also a highly specialised one with a requisite for experienced, knowledgeable workers in essential roles. It can take a significant amount of time for new employees to become productive and in an industry with a high turnover, good company culture can be hard to establish and maintain.
Talk amongst peers can raise concerns about their jobs or increased workload due to staff shortages, which in turn lead to stressed and frustrated workers on the edge of burnout and quitting their jobs, resulting in an exhausting and unhealthy work culture. Productivity plays a crucial role in maintaining a fast and efficient workflow but in an environment filled with fatigue and unmotivated workers, this flow is interrupted, damaging the company’s reputation in the long-run.
In addition, knowledge gaps also contribute to high turnover rates in the mining industry, with each site being different and requiring employees to obtain new specific information on a day-to-day basis. When there’s an imbalance in the labour market and the availability of workers becomes scarce, implications for investors and companies rise, such as increased recruitment costs, time required to train new employees and loss of valuable knowledge.
To address these issues, it’s becoming increasingly necessary for organisations to seek creative solutions to maintaining close relationships with employees despite remote worksites and the challenging operating conditions. Engagement can be maximised which has the important effect of underlining a sense of feeling valued by employees and building long-term loyalty and commitment to the company.
Innovative technological solutions, such as TOKN’s mobile first Content Management Service (CMS) system, gives organisations the opportunity to implement an effective communication method remotely, boosting productivity and morale along the way.
TOKN’s system keeps staff up-to-date with the latest news, company alerts, important updates and safety messages as well as job opportunities within the organisation and induction information for new employees – all delivered remotely through the app.
By cutting down on the reliance on emails, intranets and other portals, remote workers can easily access all of the above via their phones. Vital information which relies on timely delivery – like weather warnings, traffic updates and COVID response plans – can be sent directly into the hands of each and every employee, keeping them engaged and informed, 24/7. Other content, such as mental health and wellbeing awareness, is easily disperse too, and goes a long way in terms of de-stigmatising these issues and encouraging employees to join in with activities like exercise classes on-site and other non-work-related messages.
TOKN has also added a mobile first learning management strand to the app, which allows managers to proactively close gaps in policy understanding and training, delivering content while recording results in real time, and supporting a more socially responsible workforce into the bargain.
“Mining organisations are taking a more proactive approach to the social licence to operate,” said Clinton Schroder, co-founder of TOKN.
“It’s no longer a matter of such an approach to be ‘nice to have’; companies now have an obligation to their staff, keeping them up-to-date and informed.”
Empowering employees via this new standard in open communication streams with workers near and far is a game changer for staff retention, with over 5,000 active users of TOKN already reaping the benefits of the system.
Mining contractor ConsMin approached TOKN to help them tap into the opportunity of mobile technology to open communication lines with their workforce. The TOKN self-rendering Enterprise Mobility App works instantly across any smart device, securely and at scale.
“The app is designed in accordance with ConsMin’s branding guidelines too, meaning the app looks and feels like it is ‘opening a window’ into the organisation,” said Jenelle Goddard, General Manager of Finance ConsMin.
This sense of familiarity increases employee trust and adoption of the system as part of their daily work pattern, using permission settings to allowed administrators to create and easily distribute safety updates, broadcast messages, news articles, job vacancies and internal events at the click of a button.
Companies have commented on increased staff engagement since employees have been using TOKN’s CMS tool.
“Partnering with TOKN allows ConsMin to enjoy greater engagement with our workforce, delivering important information as soon as possible,” said Ms Goddard.