So you’ve adopted an employee communications app—now what?

by | May 3, 2019 | Analysis, Public Relations

Up until fairly recent, a large majority of companies used outdated methods to communicate with employees that were inefficient, ineffective, and left many deskless workers behind. Even now as employee satisfaction emerges at the forefront, many have turned to employee engagement or advocacy tools with the notion that they’ll be most effective in creating a desirable work environment.

What they don’t realize is that the true potential lies within employee communication technology that gives workers real-time and important information they need to function and thrive.

Employers that have adopted solutions such as a mobile app are one step ahead in fostering stronger relationships—with employees and remaining competitive in today’s challenging work landscape.

To ensure that those building an employee communication program are set up for success, there are five major tips to keep in mind:

Assess and streamline channels

Communicators need to look at the different channels they use to push out content and assess what works best for their particular employee base. As part of this, it’s important to eliminate any unnecessary channels too, so as not to confuse employees on where to turn to for important information with multiple points of access.

Emphasize the “need-to-knows”

In order to create a centralized hub for employees to locate information that impacts them most and sets them up for success, employers should determine what that information is first — whether it’s scheduling, payroll, employee benefits, or others—before introducing other more nice-to-know insight. Once that content is established, then the nice-to-knows (like company wins or employee spotlights) will help elevate the experience and engage and encourage them enough to keep coming back to the platform.

Make your content interactive

Don’t use the same old PDFs you were sending via email—instead, tap into new multimedia assets that are native to mobile tech like GIFs, memes and videos. These are more likely to grab the attention of employees instead of the boring, static tactics that you’re trying to evolve in the first place.

Include the leadership team early on

A company’s communication team isn’t the only group of people involved with implementing and launching the app. This siloed approach will result in low adoption or low competency across the organization. By engaging the leadership team early on and giving them the ability to share content as well, they can begin to transition their own communications and send relevant information to the lower level team members.

Always target content

Mobile apps make it incredibly easy to tailor communications for different groups and target the right audiences—whether it’s based on function or even location. More targeted content will resonate greater with those employees and, in turn, drive greater engagement and adoption.

As leaders keep these tips and tricks in mind, there are also a few pitfalls to avoid that can and do frequently creep in. These include:

Pushing the social agenda first

For deskless employees especially, engagement is a nice-to-have but doesn’t help them in their day-to-day work. Remember, the need-to-know should be established at the onset and only then will more engaging content resonate.

Assuming what employees want

If companies have not taken the time to do their own research by conducting an employee survey or polling them on what they desire and analyzing that data, it will be hard for them to push content out that resonates most with their employees.

Bombarding employees with push notifications

Push notifications are a great way to drive engagement and share real-time updates, but it’s important not to bombard employees’ screens 24-7, which can cause them to turn off notifications altogether. It’s best to be used sparingly, with two to three notifications a week (unless there’s urgent news).

Never evolving the content to fit the app

Re-purposing old content on the app is a missed opportunity. Leverage new and engaging content that fits the new platform. Not doing this can cause employees to gradually lose interest and eventually stop using it.

Mass communication

Not all pieces of content resonate with each employee the same. Tailoring each piece of content to segmented employees will ensure the content is relevant, timely, and engaging for a variety of segments within an organization.

It’s an exciting time for companies to really hone their mobile communication strategies and build the foundation for future success. By setting the groundwork with best practices and avoiding any misconceptions or the pitfalls we’ve explored, the possibilities are endless in driving great experiences for deskless and deskbound employees alike.

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Amy Jenkins
Amy Jenkins is Direct of Client Strategy at APPrise Mobile and has a passion for internal communication and engaging the deskless workforce. She was previously with Chipotle Mexican Grill, where she built the internal communications function and most recently, launched the Pepper App (built through APPrise) to over 3500 employees.

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