Meta is building WhatsApp into its workplace collaboration platform

Meta (née Facebook) has announced it will soon integrate messaging service WhatsApp into its collaboration platform, Workplace from Meta.

The company says the integration is designed to make it easier for companies to reach their employees, especially frontline workers whose jobs involve dealing with customers out in the field.

The new feature is designed to allow organizations to deliver important messages to their staff directly over WhatsApp, thereby avoiding delays inherent to services like email that are checked less frequently by frontline workers.

The WhatsApp integration will supposedly roll out at some point in 2022, but Meta has not offered a specific launch date (the company is calling this a “pre-announcement”).

WhatsApp comes to Workplace from Meta

The new WhatsApp integration was informed at least in part by research conducted by Workplace from Meta, which shows that many frontline workers are dissatisfied by the level of communication they receive from their organization.

Based on a survey of 7,000 frontline workers and 1,300 executives, the report states that only 54% feel connected to their company headquarters, while a similar proportion complain that in-office employees receive better perks and benefits.

As a result, roughly half (47%) of frontline workers say they are planning to find a new role this year, and an even larger percentage (49%) will attempt to move out of the frontline workforce entirely.

A similar report from Microsoft recently came to the same conclusion. The company found that frontline workers are too often overlooked when it comes to software deployment, with more than half saying they did not feel valued by their employer.

According to Meta, the new WhatsApp integration will help frontline workers establish a tighter relationship with their leadership team, which should in turn reduce the staff turnover rate and boost productivity.

“We’re at a critical juncture of the employer-frontline relationship and the Great Frontline Resignation is a very real threat,” said Christine Trodella, Global Director at Workplace from Meta.

“While it’s clear from this year’s report that business leaders recognize the fundamental role frontline workers play, actions speak louder than words. Now is the time for leadership to listen, learn and more importantly, take action to build a workforce that is inclusive of the workers who brought them through the pandemic."

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