Posted 8/13/2016 10:00:00 AM by RENU UPADHYAY, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Magnet Systems
For most businesses, employees are their most valuable asset. And yet, a recent Gallup poll reported that in 2015, a whopping 60+ percent of employees were either not engaged or were actively disengaged from their jobs. So why do employees feel disengaged? And how can mobile app development improve engagement?
Employees often don’t understand how their work relates to the broader goals of their organization and company. They also don’t believe they have a voice in the company – a way to safely share the thoughts and ideas that get them recognition and drive personal growth. This is especially true if employees work remotely or are part of geographically dispersed teams.
So why are engaged employees important? The math is simple - $11 billion is lost annually due to employee turnover and companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202 percent.
Relevant and timely internal communication is critical to addressing employee engagement challenges. However the old ways of sending out important information are outdated - posting on bulletin boards, hosting webcasts and sending newsletters or emails just don’t work. Employees’ attention spans are shortening, inboxes are overflowing and there is no guarantee that communication is being acknowledged.
Concurrently, mobility in the enterprise is growing quickly and a majority of employees bring their own device to work every day. Sharing enterprise communications via mobile apps offers the convenience and flexibility for employees to stay connected with the organization anytime, anywhere.
Here are four tips for designing a mobile app that impacts employee engagement and improves enterprise communication:
Highlight important communications
The always-full inbox means that it is very easy to miss out on important company communication that may either be informational or require an action to be taken. Through in-app bulletins organizations can share and highlight high priority topics – surveys, business updates etc.
For example, an HR department could pin posts on important health benefits updates or the executive team may post a request for feedback that is highlighted for immediate input. The ability to pin high priority information on the device your employees are addicted to means they will never miss an important communication again.
The best ideas come from employees closest to the problems. Imagine if your team was no longer restricted to submitting ideas via chains of command or distribution lists, but could now conveniently share thoughts and updates directly with the decision makers, right from their mobile devices and right when they actually come up with the idea, rather than waiting to schedule a brainstorming session!
Mobile apps also allow teams to engage in one-on-one and group chats, bringing the familiarity and ease of collaborative consumer messaging apps to the enterprise.
Mobilize information and workflows
In most organizations, key workflows such as PTO submission and purchase order approval are locked up behind intranets or complex ERP applications. A mobile app offers employees the flexibility and choice to take care of their tasks when they want via mobile, without needing to follow a prescribed sequential flow. Teams can also collaborate on activities and keep track of their tasks more easily, where and when they want, improving employee productivity and work-life balance.
Ongoing learning and development is essential to any organization that values an agile workforce and ability to adapt rapidly to change. Corporate e-learning programs are increasingly prevalent and apps can improve training on the go, in addition to knowledge sharing between employees.
With a mobile app an employee can easily record and upload notes, learnings and observations in real time – unlocking valuable knowledge that may otherwise be lost forever if the person leaves the company. Other employees can then view these and choose to like or provide comments, giving a more social flavor to training and recognition. Individuals or teams can also choose to subscribe to or follow discussion forums that may be informational or help them acquire a new skill.
While employee engagement is too complex a problem to be solved with the click of a button, there are ways that developers and IT can help set businesses up for employee communication success. Changing how, when and where you converse with employees can go a long way in making them feel more connected and committed to the organization.
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