“Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?” Everyone knows that infamous scene in the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. But far too often, that funny movie moment is the reality for so many companies, with employees talking into the abyss and getting no response. Poor communication is a common problem for companies, costing time, productivity, and profits.
But when an organization switches to using an employee app, they discover a multitude of advantages for modern workplaces, streamlining various aspects of communication, collaboration, and overall organizational efficiency. And the employee app advantages don’t stop there. These mobile-first solutions serve as powerful tools for enhancing communication within an organization and aligning an entire staff so everyone is working towards the same goal.
Without good internal communication channels, there are a series of negative impacts:
- Low employee engagement and morale.
- Inefficient information dissemination and access.
- Difficulty in tracking employee performance and feedback.
- Challenges in maintaining a connected remote or distributed workforce.
- Inconsistent or outdated employee training and development.
- Limited access to company resources and updates for non-desk employees.
- Challenges in managing employee schedules and availability.
- Difficulty in maintaining company culture and employee wellbeing.
- Inadequate crisis communication and response mechanisms.
Employee app advantages have the inverse effect on each of these, bringing engagement and productivity up and creating a connected organization that is more resilient.
But first, a quick refresher.
What is an Employee App?
An employee app is a mobile application designed for the workplace. It is accessible by any device an employee prefers to use: desktop, laptop, or mobile device like an iPad or smartphone. They have a high level of security, like Beekeeper has the ISO 27001 required certification, unlike social communication apps. They are designed to be able to reach everyone in a company at the same time.
They enhance communication and collaboration in the workplace which boosts productivity. In today’s world, where work has become more dispersed and 80% of workers are mobile, employee apps are quickly becoming the preferred tool over traditional methods like email. They can offer personalized updates, and bridge the communication gap that has long plagued frontline businesses. And they are designed to build inclusive, engaged work environments where everyone feels valued. An added benefit? With greater efficiency and automation, companies can boost their bottom line.
Here are 15 benefits of an employee app that start as soon as the tool is rolled out.
1. Supporting a Frontline Workplace and World
It took a pandemic to show the world that frontline workers are essential workers. 80% of the world’s workers are on the frontlines, and have always been deskless (meaning no email access.) Suddenly, leaders, particularly in the HR space, are choosing technology that includes them, choosing mobile communication solutions that enable two-way communication to gain the valuable insight that only frontline workers have, since they are often the ones interacting with customers.
With a centralized platform accessible from anywhere, employees can stay connected and engaged regardless of their physical location. This is especially beneficial for frontline organizations and those with geographically dispersed teams.
Employee apps are designed for frontline success.
2. Creating a Positive, Inclusive Workplace Culture
Implementing an employee app can be a transformative step in nurturing a positive workplace culture, creating a dynamic and thriving environment for both employees and the organization. Employee apps promote interaction among team members and build rapport between workers and managers. Features such as chat, forums, and streams create a collaborative environment where employees can share ideas, discuss projects, and build a cohesive work community.
Employee apps should have an inline translation feature to truly be culture-building tools giving every employee the opportunity to connect in their preferred language. This improved communication leads to increased teamwork and a more vibrant company culture. By providing a platform for sharing updates, announcements, and company news, the app fosters a culture of openness. This transparent communication builds trust among employees and management, laying the foundation for a positive and collaborative work environment.
3. Fostering Employee Engagement
Implementing an employee app is instrumental in fostering continuous employee engagement, creating a workplace environment where employees are consistently connected, motivated, and actively involved in their roles. The multifaceted features and functionalities of these apps contribute to employee engagement best practices in multiple ways, like:
- The real-time communication capabilities of employee apps ensure that employees stay constantly informed about the latest company updates, news, and announcements. This immediacy in communication fosters a sense of connectivity and transparency, keeping employees engaged by providing them with timely and relevant information.
- Collaboration opportunities embedded in employee apps, such as discussion forums and group chats, facilitate continuous team interaction. These features promote ongoing idea-sharing and collaboration, creating a dynamic environment where employees feel connected to their peers and the broader organizational goals.
- Recognition and feedback mechanisms within employee apps contribute to sustained engagement. Regular acknowledgment of achievements through the app boosts morale and job satisfaction, creating a positive feedback loop that encourages employees to remain actively engaged in their work.
Using an employee app is a dynamic strategy for fostering engagement. From real-time communication to collaboration features, recognition mechanisms, ongoing learning opportunities, and wellness programs, employee apps create an environment where engagement is not a one-time effort but a continuous and integral part of the organizational culture.
4. Encouraging Participation in Conversations
One major disadvantage of traditional communication channels is that they’re very one-sided. Frontline workers can receive communication through different channels but have no opportunity to respond. Employee apps are two-way platforms so employees can contribute to company dialogues. For many frontline workers, this is the first opportunity they have to contribute. (Cue a big boost in engagement!) The dynamic nature of employee apps ensures ongoing interaction between employees and the organization, contributing to a culture of openness, responsiveness, and mutual understanding.
Open dialogue with leadership is facilitated through features like discussion forums and Q&A sessions within the employee app. This direct interaction between employees and leadership fosters transparency and builds trust. Employees can express their thoughts, seek clarification, and receive direct responses, contributing to a culture of openness and approachability at all levels.
The two-way communication model is particularly effective in addressing and resolving issues promptly. Employees can report problems or concerns through the app, and management can respond in a timely manner. This proactive approach to problem resolution demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being and satisfaction, positively impacting the overall work environment.
5. Streamlining Access to Information
Access to information is a cornerstone of employee productivity. Employee apps consolidate essential resources and create a central hub for information, offering a continuous and efficient solution to streamline communication and access to essential resources, including:
- Company policies
- Procedures, and manuals
- Training modules and videos
- Safety information
- Open enrollment information
This ensures that employees have the necessary information at their fingertips, promoting efficiency and reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings. The continuous centralization of information within an employee app ensures that employees have instant access to critical updates, announcements, and company news. This real-time communication fosters a sense of immediacy and transparency, keeping the workforce well-informed and engaged. The app’s ability to centralize information contributes to enhanced organizational effectiveness and a more connected workplace environment.
6. Delivering Real-Time News and Updates
The real-time communication features in an employee app transform workplace interaction by enabling instant and dynamic exchanges. This seamless integration ensures that communication is swift, responsive, and fosters a sense of immediacy. Employees can engage in live conversations, share updates, and collaborate in real-time, creating a more connected and agile work environment. Whether through instant messaging, live chats, or virtual meetings, the real-time communication capabilities of the employee app enhance collaboration, decision-making, and overall responsiveness within the organization, fostering a sense of connectivity among employees. This instant and widespread dissemination of information contributes to a more informed and engaged workforce, and contributes to a safer environment.
7. Meeting the Needs of the Modern Workforce
The workforce is going through a major shift right now. In many industries, particularly in manufacturing and construction, the majority of the workforce is nearing retirement age and there is a labor gap: not enough younger workers (Millennials and Gen Z) are applying for their jobs. Engaging and managing a workforce primarily composed of these newer generations and digital natives (those who grew up with digital technology) requires understanding their preferences, work styles, and expectations. Here are some key considerations for effectively working with and engaging this demographic:
Digital Tools and Technology
- Provide access to modern, user-friendly digital tools and platforms.
- Embrace collaboration tools, project management software, and communication apps.
Flexibility and Work-Life Balance
- Offer flexible work arrangements, including remote work options.
- Promote a healthy work-life balance and avoid a rigid 9-to-5 mentality.
Continuous Learning Opportunities
- Support ongoing learning and development.
- Provide access to online courses, workshops, and resources for skill enhancement.
Feedback and Recognition
- Regularly provide constructive feedback.
- Implement a recognition culture with frequent acknowledgment of achievements.
Collaborative Work Environment
- Foster a collaborative and inclusive workplace culture.
- Encourage teamwork, open communication, and idea sharing.
- Integrate emerging technologies into the workplace.
- Explore innovations like virtual reality, augmented reality, or AI to enhance productivity.
- Purpose-Driven Work
- Millennials often seek meaning and purpose in their work.
- Emphasize the impact of their contributions on the organization and society.
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Promote diversity and inclusion initiatives.
- Create an environment where everyone feels valued and included.
- Social Responsibility and ESG
- Highlight the company’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility.
- Support causes that align with the values of Millennials.
- Instant Communication
- Leverage instant messaging and real-time communication tools.
- Facilitate quick and efficient information exchange.
- Employee Well-Being
- Prioritize employee well-being and mental health.
- Provide resources and initiatives that support a healthy lifestyle.
- Career Development Paths
- Outline clear career development paths.
- Provide opportunities for advancement and skill progression.
Remember that individuals within this demographic may have diverse preferences and values. Regularly seeking feedback and adapting your strategies based on evolving expectations will contribute to a more engaged and productive workforce.
8. Feedback Loop
Feedback and performance reviews are streamlined through employee apps, allowing managers to provide timely feedback, set goals, and conduct performance evaluations. This promotes a culture of continuous improvement, enabling employees to grow professionally and contribute more effectively to the organization.
Employee feedback and suggestions become an integral part of organizational dynamics through two-way communication on a mobile communication tool. The app provides a space for employees to express their opinions, offer suggestions, and voice concerns. This feedback loop ensures that the organization remains aware of the sentiments and ideas of its workforce, facilitating informed decision-making.
9. Employee Health and Wellbeing
Wellness programs integrated into employee apps contribute to employee health and well-being. These programs may include fitness challenges, health tips, and mental health resources. Deloitte found that 77% of employees have experienced burnout in their current jobs. Prioritizing employee wellness not only enhances job satisfaction but can also lead to increased productivity and reduced absenteeism. And it is also the right thing for companies to do.
Wellness programs integrated into employee apps contribute to ongoing engagement by prioritizing the holistic well-being of employees. From simple daily health tips delivered on the employee app to bringing in a counselor every week to meet with employees, these programs demonstrate a commitment to employee welfare, fostering a positive and engaged workforce.
Continuous learning and development are vital for both individual and organizational growth. Many employee apps incorporate training modules that offer employees opportunities for skill enhancement and career development. This emphasis on ongoing learning contributes to a workforce that is adaptive and well-equipped for evolving industry demands, especially with new technologies and artificial intelligence becoming more common in the workplace.
The training and development modules that leaders can share on employee apps ensure that learning is a continuous and integral part of the employee experience. From videos to documents, accessible training resources contribute to the ongoing development of skills and knowledge, keeping employees engaged in their professional growth and contributing to a culture of continuous learning. Opportunities to grow within a company also boost retention. One McKinsey study found that 43% of workers say career development is the top factor when evaluating their current jobs.
Bonus Benefit! There are so many employee app advantages we had to throw in just one more…
The American Psychological Association discovered what 68% of workers want in their jobs. It might not be what you expect. Ready for it?
This includes how and when they do their jobs. They want control over their shift coverage and schedules. They want access to information that helps them do their job without having to rely on anyone else.
Task management capabilities embedded in employee apps contribute to better organization and productivity by empowering employees to track tasks, manage deadlines, and monitor project progress within a centralized platform on their own.
Embracing The Transformative Power of Employee Apps
It’s so easy for companies to continue working in the same way they’ve always worked. Switching to new technology and new ways of communicating might seem like rocking the boat. But the truth is work and the workplace have changed. And there’s a whole frontline workforce that has valuable insight into your companies that have been left out from communication which means missing out on critical information that can deliver better business outcomes, increase enterprise-wide engagement, and build a resilient foundation of your company. Once you see the employee app advantages you’ll be all in. And so will your employees.