Be Transparent to Engage Essential Employees

In uncertain times, change comes faster than anyone can expect. For frontline employees, these changes will feel especially unexpected if their managers and leaders aren’t transparent.

Use these 5 tips to build transparency into your management style:

  1. 1. Share updates daily. Use texts, start-of-shift meetings or an email to inform everyone of any new policies or changes, big or small. If there’s nothing new, say that and thank your team for the work they’re doing. Doing this on a regular basis helps build stability.


  1. 2. Welcome and answer questions. An “open door” policy is crucial in uncertain times. Let your team know that you are there for them by encouraging questions and answering them with all the information you have.


  1. 3. Be honest. When you share daily updates or answer questions, do it honestly. If there are things you don’t know, say so. If there are things you can’t yet share with the team, tell them that, and let them know when they can expect more clarity.


  1. 4. Listen to feedback. This will help you understand what your employees want to hear from you. Use an anonymous pulse survey, like those from Butterfly, to encourage a safe space where they can rate the level of support and transparency they feel from you.


  1. 5. Manage change together. Involve your employees at all levels in building the processes that facilitate changes. Ask how they think things in your workplace should shift in reaction to new mandates as they are announced.


Be open, honest and willing to listen in an effort to build a transparent working environment. These ideas aren’t only applicable for the current moment; use them to help you engage your essential workforce today and in the future.

Butterfly was built for the frontline workforce, offering deskless teams a way to check in and share actionable feedback with ease. We are offering access to our industry-leading engagement and communication tools, built especially for the frontline workforce, totally free for 90 days. Get in touch and we will set you up.

How Safety Can Protect and Engage Essential Employees

Safety is a workplace imperative. Right now, those safety protocols look a little different than usual: from enforcing social distancing and metering capacities to providing protective gear and beyond. 

Read these 5 guidelines for building and maintaining a safe workplace:

  1. 1. Follow and share local regulations. Check in daily on changes to recommendations and regulations about how essential businesses should operate. Be transparent with your team so that they can feel prepared and empowered early and often.


  1. 2. Forgive distractions. Understand that, even though these frontline workers are reporting for duty physically each day, their minds might be at home with their family, worrying about their health, safety and well-being. Ask employees to take breaks more frequently and encourage them to hold off on dangerous tasks if they are distracted.


  1. 3. Hear from your employees. Ask your team how safe and protected they feel. Automate and anonymize this process if you’d like, using a tool like Butterfly. Send them regular pulse surveys, where they can rate how supported they feel by management as well as how happy they are that day.


  1. 4. Change the pace of work. Based on feedback and observation, it might be necessary to adjust expectations and processes in the workplace. Maybe employees will need to work shorter shifts or rotate job stations more frequently. Instead of measuring productivity by quantity, look at quality.


  1. 5. Take care of your team. Make sure that they feel supported. Acknowledge their feedback so that they know they have been heard. If a team member gets sick, assure them that they will be paid for sick time while quarantined. Additionally, address the situation calmly with the people that they work closely with day-to-day.


The best way to create a safe working environment is to create supportive relationships with your employees. Approach the situation with an air of understanding and care. When a team feels supported, they will be more apt to pay attention to and abide by safety protocols.

Butterfly was built for the frontline workforce, offering deskless teams a way to check in and share actionable feedback with ease. We want to help you engage your essential workforce so that they can work effectively and safely, today and in the future.

To do that, we are offering access to our industry-leading engagement and communication tools, built especially for the frontline workforce, totally free for 90 days. Get in touch and we will set you up.

6 Actions to Help Manage Frontline and Essential Employees in a Time of Crisis

Across the U.S., non-essential businesses are shuttering in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In turn, essential businesses are harboring the weight of consumer needs, helping to hold up communities by keeping vital systems (like mail and shipping, food and grocery, utilities and sanitation) running. 

This new strain on frontline employees—whether back-of-house, at the register or part of the logistics and supply chain—is throwing workforce dynamics into flux.

Now more than ever, it is vital to support and engage these teams. 
That support and engagement will look different for different teams, businesses and industries, but there are recognizable throughlines.

Butterfly was built for the frontline workforce, offering deskless teams a way to check in and share actionable feedback with ease. Based on our work with essential businesses and frontline teams across industries, we’ve identified six vital actions that, when mixed and matched, can help a business run effectively and safely both today and in the future.

1. Acknowledge—Recognize the people who are coming to work every day. In a moment like this, these employees are putting themselves at risk; if their managers and leaders don’t acknowledge that fact, it makes it much, much harder for them to be at work.

Make an effort to call this out. Thank employees for the service they are providing, both to the business and also to the public. Whether this is through a text message, email, group or one-on-one meeting (virtual or safely in-person), it will reinforce that what they are doing is big, brave and important. These messages can even be sent using software like Butterfly.

Similarly, acknowledge feedback from employees. These employees are in the thick of it, day in and day out; what they see and experience is important to understand and act on.

2. Motivate — Employees should never work from a place of fear or stress. In times like these, it’s not easy to build a calm and comforting workplace, but it is necessary. Use teamwork and togetherness to build a working environment in which stress and fear can melt away.

Motivation can run low when employees don’t feel heard or understood. Encourage feedback and ideas by setting up automated pulse surveys, like those from Butterfly, that employees can complete quickly and easily.

If team members pitch ideas to optimize workflow while abiding pandemic protocols, call it out when they are successfully implemented. When employees know they have been heard and their ideas have been adopted, they will continue to share suggestions for improving life at work during this unprecedented time.

3. Enforce Safety — Right now, safety protocols are imperative. A company that ignores social distancing, store capacities, calls to quarantine and other required  health practices puts everyone in danger.

Diligently keep up with local regulations for essential businesses and follow quarantine protocols. If an employee calls out sick, managers must ensure employees feel supported if they need to take time off of work for illness.

At the same time, understand that distractions might be more prevalent in the current climate. Evaluate other processes throughout the store or warehouse to see where safety can be improved with temporary changes. Pose questions about what can be done to help employees feel more safe and supported using a feedback tool like Butterfly.

4. Be transparent—There is so much unknown in the current situation, where news moves at the speed of light. Create a workplace where employees can feel confident that they know as much as their managers and leadership teams.

Daily updates by text or email might be comforting for employees. Consider start-of-shift meetings to announce any changes to working capacity, operating hours or other processes. If things haven’t changed from day to day, use the time to remind employees of the latest updates.

Transparency is exceptionally important as many companies cut costs with layoffs, furloughs and reduced hours. Remember, these changes can have a huge effect on the lives of employees. Try to be as open as possible about developments like these.

5. Support —Put simply, different people experience change in different ways. Understand how team members are digesting and dealing with the adjustments to their work schedules and changes to their family lives. Then, assess how best to support them.

Spend time learning how employees are coping, how their families are doing, and what anxieties or concerns the situation is creating for them. Get a full picture of what they’re dealing with to better set expectations and understand the context of feedback they share. Butterfly pulse surveys can be set up to help gather this feedback in an easily digestible way.

Financially, emotionally, or in any other way possible, offer employees continuous support.

6. Over-communicate—There is no benefit to silence or opaque communications. Talk to employees daily. Let them voice their concerns, listen to their feedback, act on what they share and stay connected as much as possible.

Communication is the most important resource for the entire ecosystem at work in times of crisis. Automate one of hopefully many communications using a tool like Butterfly. Send a pulse survey out and get an instant gauge on the well-being of each employee—from how enabled they feel to do their job safely to their level of happiness day-to-day.

Armed with these six actions, we believe any essential business can successfully and thoughtfully connect with  its frontline workforce during these unprecedented, tumultuous times. While we often stress the value of engagement on increasing productivity and reducing turnover, employee safety and well-being are what’s most important right now.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing more posts with quick tips to help you build on these ideas, addressing things like:

A. What are the best methods for motivating employees, from the register to the delivery truck? 

B. How can you offer support as an individual manager? 

C. What tips and tools can streamline these new engagement processes so we can roll them out quickly?

Additionally, we are offering access to our industry-leading engagement and communication tools, built especially for the frontline workforce, totally free for 90 days. Get in touch and we will set you up.

Ways to Stay Engaged When You’re Working From Home

Staying productive while working from home isn’t always easy. Sometimes distractions get the best of you; other times, you’re laser focused but quickly burn out.

1. Set Working Hours
When you’re at home, work and life blend together. Try to run your home like a workplace with strict working hours. Enforce this with your remote team using calendar tools, and also communicate it with others in your home. 

5 Tips To Balance Remote Working While Your Family Is Also At Home, Forbes

Set your working hours & availability, Google Calendar

Learn more about work hours in Outlook, Microsoft

2. Maintain a Routine
Make lunch the night before. Take a walk around the block (if you’re able) while listening to the radio station or podcast you’d normally listen to on your commute. Change out of your PJs into comfortable working clothes. These routines help trigger “work mode” in your mind.

Read More
How To Stay Productive If You’re WFH Because Of The Coronavirus, Forbes

Structure Your Work-From-Home Day With These Routines, Lifehacker


3. Vocalize Ideas and Feedback
Communicate regularly with your colleagues and managers. If something they’re doing isn’t working for you, let them know! Encourage the use of tools like Butterfly (which we’re offering free for 90 days), which allow you to rate how you’re feeling and anonymously share feedback about what is and isn’t working with your manager.

4. Take Breaks
Stepping away from work is incredibly beneficial, whether you’re working remotely or in an office. Set a timer that alerts you regularly (try to take a break every 30 to 90 minutes). Step away from your desk — and screens, if you can help it — entirely. Take a walk, read a chapter of a book, do a few stretches, then come back to your workspace refreshed.

Read more:
Science Says You Have to Stop Taking Breaks Wrong to Be More Productive, We Work Remotely

Take Five: 51 Things to Do When You Need a Break at Work, The Muse

5. Leave Your Workspace
Go back to that home-as-a-business mindset. When home is your workplace, try to still close your computer and leave your workspace until the next day. This can help you avoid burnout and define that work/life balance necessary for successfully working from home.

What’s your best recipe for working from home successfully, especially when there are other people there during the day? Share your story with us by emailing

And remember, we’re offering our engagement tools and support to newly remote teams free for 90 days. Get in touch and we will set you up.

Tips to Keep Your Team Engaged from Afar

As teams begin to settle in to the reality of working remotely, it’s vital for managers to keep investing in engagement.

Keeping your team engaged even when you’re apart does more than boost productivity: it reassures them that you’re all in it together. Clear and dynamic communication will ease anxieties and help you all succeed.

Try these five tips and practices to engage your employees remotely:

1. Introduce Your Work Space

Especially in the early adjustment period, be transparent about working situations. Show them your desk (whether make-shift at the kitchen table or in a full-fledged home office) and introduce them to your pets, kids and family. Be the first one to say, “Pardon any interruptions,” so that they know you’re expecting and ok with real life blending into work life.

2. Have Virtual Office Hours

Block off time on your calendar and set up a virtual “office” where your team members can come to talk with you. Office hours don’t need to be strictly about work; encourage them to come to you if they’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious or need a quick “water cooler” break.

3. Take the Pulse Regularly

Supplement team meetings and (video) face-to-face check-ins with automated pulse surveys from Butterfly. Get feedback instantly on working situations and ask for feedback about what’s working and what isn’t in this new reality. You can try our tools free for 30 days — just send us an email.

4. Eat Lunch Together

In the workplace, it isn’t always feasible to gather together as a team and eat lunch — and it’s something a lot of teams take for granted! Schedule in lunch meetings where colleagues can virtually eat, talk and take their mind off of everything that’s going on.

5. Vocalize Gratitude

Another great practice for any work situation: share praise and thank your team members for their work. Acknowledge that accomplishing things in a remote environment can be really hard, and their ability to power through projects or meet new goals is huge. Say thanks privately and celebrate them publicly. 

How are you staying engaged with your remote team? Share your store with us at

And remember, we’re offering our engagement tools and support to newly remote teams free for 90 days. Get in touch and we will set you up.