A Commitment to Success: Key Workforce Demographics to Embrace

March 2024
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In the communications profession, we talk a lot about demographics. Knowing our target audience is as essential as peanut butter is to jelly and Barbie is to Ken.

Understanding our audiences helps us know how to reach them, and — more important — how to resonate and engage with them. And with our internal audiences, that’s more vital than ever. With 77% of the global workforce currently disengaged, according to Gallup’s 2023 State of the Global Workplace, we see a global economic impact to the tune of $8.8 trillion annually.

In light of these employee disengagement insights, elevated worker burnout rates, and the financial impact that both of these trends can have on corporate performance, two key workforce demographics that all communications professionals should prioritize are deskless employees and the Hispanic workforce. 

Deskless workers

Deskless workers make up a whopping 80% of the global workforce, yet we generally over-index on white-collar, desktop-centric, digital communication. 

  • Adobe’s 2015 Paper Jam: Why Documents are Dragging Us Down study tells us the reality is that the vast majority of deskless workers — 83% — still rely on paper files for their workflows.
  • In Deskless Not Voiceless: The 2021 Frontline Barometer study by Workplace, 52% of frontline workers said access to tools was the reason they would move to a new job, and 44% of frontline workers believe desk-based colleagues have better tech.
  • Turnover in the deskless workforce is high: According to the Quinyx’s State of the Deskless Workforce 2020 report, 61% of deskless workers have considered quitting their jobs because they are unhappy with their work environment.

Questions to consider when planning communications for deskless workers:

  • How does this insight impact how you communicate with and engage your deskless workforce?
  • Have you considered using tent cards, posters and stand-up meetings for communications vehicles?
  • Are you engaging and equipping people managers to be strong communicators through toolkits and training?
  • Are you leveraging leader visits to listen to employees and to share vital company news?
  • How are you tapping technology to leverage digital screens in high visibility gathering areas for slideshows and videos?
  • Have you considered a mobile app for your deskless workforce to get information in the palm of their hands in a timely manner? 

Prioritizing communications for the 2.7 billion deskless workers around the world — especially across your employee base — will go a long way in enhancing engagement and worker loyalty, which can have a positive impact on corporate performance. The Gallup 2020 Q12 meta-analysis revealed that “businesses with a critical mass of engaged employees outperformed their competition” with “higher earnings per share.”

Hispanic workers

Hispanic workers comprise 20% of the U.S. workforce and they wield significant buying power, representing a massive 39% of the country’s gross domestic product growth. 

  • Labor force growth is being driven by the Hispanic demographic. In the third quarter of 2023, the labor force participation rate of Hispanics was higher (67.2%) than the national average (62.9%)
  • Hispanics are projected to account for 78% of net new workers between 2020 and 2030.
  • While Hispanics remain overrepresented in service occupations, they now make up 10.7% of workers in management jobs, up from 5.2% in 2000.
  • According to a 2012 study by the Pew Research Center, Latinos over-indexed in digital devices, with 87% of U.S. Hispanic internet users owning a smartphone compared with 84% of non-Hispanic white internet users.

As the Hispanic workforce continues to grow, companies must acknowledge and embrace this reality by emphasizing inclusive communication that goes beyond translation. That means creating and prioritizing content that is culturally relevant, reflecting an understanding of diverse cultural, social and political nuances. 

Evaluate if your company is intentionally creating and nurturing an environment that demonstrates a commitment to all employees’ success and growth through both actions and infrastructure.

Questions to consider when planning communications for Hispanic workers:

  • Are you providing translated materials to your workforce?
  • Do you offer communications, events and feedback loops that are easily accessible, native language-based and culturally sensitive for all your employees?
  • Has your company established ERGs that offer a safe place to voice opinions, express concerns and address misunderstandings to help create a feeling of connection to their co-workers they may identify with?
  • Are you offering cultural awareness training for employees and managers to foster mutual understanding, respect and empathy?
  • Have you provided equal opportunity mentoring programs that enable employees to get guidance to help them attain their goals and conquer feelings of isolation and nonacceptance because of cultural misunderstanding or discrimination?
  • Does your organization reflect the demographics of the audience you serve? 

Many of the same tactics apply to both deskless workers and Hispanic employees in the United States. It starts with asking ourselves if we really know our (often evolving) audiences, and if we are being active stewards of their communications and engagement experience. Being aware of the trends and taking action will help to put true resonance within reach. 

Return to Current Issue Employee Engagement | March 2024
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