Did you know that 60% of employees now use apps for work-related activities in the UK? Or that 71% spend more than two hours a week accessing company information on mobile?
These are only two of the many compelling stats available when it comes to analyzing how companies are tackling the most common internal communications issues.
Looking at the above, it’s safe to assume that too many companies mistakenly believe “communicating” with employees via the old-school intranet, email, or collaborative platforms is enough. Clearly, it isn’t.
Instead, employees are frustrated – especially the increasing number who work remotely in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. Why? Because they can’t communicate and get work-related information from the device they use for everything else in their lives.
What’s worse is that when it comes to a certain type of employee, the desk-less, front-line or offline. The employee that isn’t a corporate/knowledge worker (to use common industry parlance :-/) it’s many orders of magnitude more challenging and the impact of poor comms and XP can be debilitating. It remains an inconvenient truth, that the volume of dispersed front-line heavy organisations still either don’t have a strong front-line strategy and channel, or they have a sub-par experience for their largest populations of colleagues
But that’s where we come in! And if you’re looking for some good reasons to think employee communication apps are the best way for companies to raise their internal comms game, you’re in the right place. Let’s see why.
They Create a Positive Workplace Culture
Employee communication apps can help to build a stimulating, dialogue-driven environment that benefits everyone, from remote or frontline workers to C-suite executives.
Apps can flatten organizational hierarchies and create natural opportunities for workers to share their culture’s positive (and negative) aspects. And they ideally generate a cycle of meaningful, motivating conversations and actionable feedback.
Such consistent, ongoing, multidirectional communication that can reach all employees is the best way to establish a positive workplace culture.
They Foster Engagement
First the good news: the percentage of “engaged” workers in the US involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace is at an all-time high. The bad news is that that “high” is a mere 34%.
“Actively disengaged” workers now stand at 13%, with the remaining 53% report being “not engaged.” They lack connection to their work and workplace and they only do the minimum required. And they’ll be out the door in an instant for a slightly better offer!
So, how can employee communication apps help? Well, employee apps provide a larger and rich picture of the company and the people that you work with, humanizing aspects of internal comms and generally providing a heuristic for comms, productivity and culture. In turn, the management understands what truly is at the employees’ motivations
And it’s these human connections, even more than the work itself, that is the core of employee engagement!
They Provide a Single Source of Relevant Content
How many channels are you using to communicate at work? Think about your day: while sitting at your desk, you’ve probably received messages via Slack, WhatsApp, email, and LinkedIn. Whether they were personal or work-related, they’ve all cost time and focus.
The irony is that many of these communication tools were meant to make people like me more productive. But have they? Especially at work, cutting through the noise to hear the important information can be a real challenge.
Isn’t an employee app just one more channel, though?
The answer is a resounding no! When it comes to work-related information sharing, it is THE channel, pulling together multiple information silos into a single source of trusted, streamlined, and relevant content.
They Truly Work REAL-TIME!
Printed employee newsletters and corporate newspapers are still widely-used internal communication tools. And while their purpose remains 100% valid, their delivery via printed copies should be a thing of the past.
Why? Because news happens now. Mobile channels also support comments, likes, and sharing. They make news accessible to all employees, everywhere, and immediately (when necessary) via push notifications.
They Meet the Unique Needs of Today’s Modern Workforce
Millennials and Gen Z now make up the biggest part of the workforce. More than any previous generation, they demand mobile communication, transparency, feedback, and an employee experience that lets them work in new, more productive, and flexible ways. An employee app on an employee’s smartphone is tailor-made to meet these needs.
Only 55% of employees worldwide currently grade their organizations highly for effective collaboration across departments and functions. This percentage is tragically low given the fact that Gen Z and millennials want conversation and frequent feedback more than any previous generation.
They Let Organizations Measure Their Comms
You can’t manage what you can’t measure. The analytics features of an employee app will allow you to understand how your employee app is being used.
For example, an administration dashboard might feature two charts: “Active Users” will show how many people have opened the app in recent days. You might then filter down to see active users per hour find out when people use the app most.
Another chart might show the interactions of your engaged users, including people who commented and liked your articles. You can also see which content resonates best with which audience or location, via stats for the most viewed, most commented, and most liked articles.
In general, an employee app provides internal communicators with powerful analytics and data-driven results that show the impact of your internal communication and help you create new content that resonates with your workforce!
They Can Give Your Intranet a Voice (and Personality!)
Desktop intranets are far from being the ideal solution for large organizations looking to create a digital workplace that communicates in the culture-building ways now essential for modern enterprises with dispersed workforces.
With mobile workers making up more than 70% of workers in the US, an employee app that sits alongside a modern intranet is the ultimate way to communicate, connect, align, and engage with your people – no matter where they work.
An employee app will provide a smarter and more cost-effective intranet, while still allowing you to benefit from the proven core strengths of popular platforms such as SharePoint.
They Enhance the Employee Experience
According to a recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, “leaders say they’re choosing tech with their people in mind, but employees don’t agree.” When considering how much the digital tools people use in their day-to-day jobs affect the employee experience, it’s a big problem.
And consider this: While PwC reports that 40% to 45% of employees “prefer face-to-face interactions for tasks like performance reviews… and asking questions of their Human Resources (HR) team,” it’s that same amount who “prefer many of these same tasks to be partially or fully digitized – a signal that digital assistance does have a place when it’s seamless and unobtrusive, or where it can enhance people’s work experience.”
It’s a great example of how workplace technology in the form of an employee communications app can positively affect the employee experience. And while it perfectly demonstrates communication with a human touch, it wouldn’t have been possible without the technological advantage of an employee communication app.
Not communicating with your entire workforce can have bad consequences. And increasingly, it’s impossible to do that without reaching your people on their mobile devices. They have fundamentally changed the way we operate in our everyday lives. It’s long overdue for the business world to incorporate Employee App technology into the daily work lives of their people, too.
On top of that, it’s time to stop just talking to employees. We need to help give them the ability to listen and engage in a real conversation with the company – you just need to try it yourself now!