What's an Employee Engagement App?
Employee engagement is an important indicator of company culture and health. Engaged employees are happy, invested in their work, and connected to the company mission. A new wave of app technology gives you an opportunity to enhance engagement by improving training, communication, and many other facets of your business. Let's explore the top reasons why now is the time to consider an engagement application.
Benefits of an employee engagement app
Training and development
A mobile app can help with new-hire on-boarding as well as training and development. With an app, employees can access reference guides and training materials no matter where they are, and employers can better measure how people are using materials; if they're effective or if they need improvement. Company apps can also include an employee directory, with photos — an especially useful tool for new hires as they get-to-know their colleagues.
In the modern workforce, lots of people work from home at least some of the time. But even employees who aren't officially “remote” tend to be away from their desks much of the time, whether it’s for travel, events or working in the field. An app can keep them stay connected and avoid any lapses in communication with their colleagues no matter their location.
Hopefully, you’ll never need to use your app for this reason. But, in the event of an emergency, it's good to know you can reach all employees with a direct, immediate push notification. Employee engagement apps provide the peace of mind of knowing that you're prepared to communicate effectively in a crisis.
Only 13% of employees strongly agree that their leadership communicates effectively. An app will make leaders more accessible and give them a direct and personal channel to speak to employees, whether it's one-on-one or to a group, creating a new level of transparency.
Efficiency and profitability
For those looking to boost the bottom line, take note: Mobile department-specific apps boost worker productivity by 34%, and highly-engaged business units see 21% greater profitability.
Intranet isn't working
Only 13% of employees report participating in their intranet daily; 31% say they never use it. An app doesn't need to replace your company intranet — it can be used as a companion. But if your goal is to improve employee engagement, it's time to think beyond the intranet.
Employees are already mobile
71% of employees spend over two hours a week accessing company information on mobile devices, and this trend is increasing for several reasons. Apps are convenient, easy to use and provide quick access to information. Also, apps are fun! People love apps that entertain, keep them up-to-date with the latest news and connect them to people they care about.
Are your company's internal communications effective? Are they read by your employees? Does your platform promote collaboration? With robust data and tracking tools, engagement apps can help you answer these questions. You can also send surveys to find out how the team feels about workloads, stress levels and the culture of the office. Apps provide managers with lots of data so they can make more informed decisions about communication and performance.
What are the risks?
Before rolling out an employee engagement app, make sure you've considered your long term plan. Often, there's so much emphasis on the launch of new technology with little emphasis on how to ensure usage over time. Be sure you are thinking through the following:
App adoption and retention
Not every employee will be excited about new technology. You can head this off from the start by putting together a launch team who can serve as advisers during the development process. This same group can serve as your test group for a soft launch prior to the full launch to the entire organization. Including members who might be adverse to technology on this launch team will help get them on board, and they can act as advocates for the new technology.
Your content is going to be important here, so make sure you have a good plan of how to keep content fresh and exciting so people will log in again and again. But there are features within the app itself that can help. Taking a lead from the types of apps that most people use already, why not incorporate social activities and gamification efforts into your engagement app? You can have a social wall in your app - you can even have department specific social walls. You can reward completion or training (or other activities) with points and keep a leaderboard to show the highest point earners. You can also have departments compete against each other.. Everyone loves a little friendly competition and this is one of the most effective features we've found to keep people engaged.
Overly broad communications
Nobody wants their phone buzzing with messages that aren't relevant to them so be sure to send messages to specific groups. You can segment by team, region, new hire or veteran (among others) and send targeted communication that's only relevant to those specific employees.
This should be a standard amount app providers, but make sure they are able to provide performance metrics like time spent in app and actions taken in app, They can even get specific into whether certain teams are taking the time to read company announcements.
There are privacy rules in effect that allows users to tell you if they want to be a part of your app. While most of your employees will likely want to take advantage of your app, some may have concerns around how their information is being used. Be clear upfront on this, and it's a good practice to offer an option for those who would prefer to opt-out.
Engaged employees have higher employee satisfaction which leads to enthusiasm in overall company growth and higher retention numbers. Engaged employees also have higher productivity and companies with engaged employees see increased profitability.
At MeetingPlay, we build custom-designed event apps, with maps, messaging, games, social feeds, surveys and much more. At events, everyone loves their app, including attendees, sponsors and planners. But when they return to their office, there's no app that can provide similar functions in their day-to-day life. Thanks to employee engagement apps, that's changing. To learn more about this technology, and talk to an expert about how employee engagement ideas that can help your company, contact us for a demo!