The COVID-19 crisis has made it clear how important it is to connect remote employees and make sure they are well-informed through reliable and trusted digital communications channels. Business continuity, employee engagement and wellbeing are just some of the benefits that we have seen digital channels provide; of course, these elements have always been important, and will continue to be so when the pandemic is under control.
We’ve written frequently about the contribution an employee mobile app with a focus on internal communications can make in connecting staff, particularly those on the frontline. We’ve explored the reasons for deploying an app, such as its convenience and focus, as well as the essential features of a good mobile intranet app. This time around, we’re going to explore the deeper business benefits that can be achieved by deploying an internal comms app like LiveTiles Reach which is available to all employees.
Here are seven ways an internal communications app can contribute to the transformation of your business.
Enabling digital transformation by connecting all employees
In the past, there have been many challenges when creating a digital workplace and related digital communications channels that all employees can access. Having all employees accessing your digital workplace is usually a prerequisite for true digital transformation, ensuring:
- You are a truly connected company
- There is a level playing field in terms of access to information
- Everyone has a voice
- All employees can experience productivity gains and contribute to innovation.
Traditionally, it has been difficult to connect frontline employees to corporate intranets and channels which are predominantly aimed at knowledge workers. This is not only due to poor mobile experiences or a lack of access to corporate devices, but also because frontline employees sometimes do not have the Microsoft licenses or digital identities to access the intranet. There are also examples of other groups of employees who are disconnected, including outsourced workers or new acquisitions of companies where it takes time to arrange access for newly onboarded employees.
An internal comms and digital workplace mobile app that is available on both employee-owned and corporate devices is simply the quickest and most cost-efficient way to connect all your employees, bypassing many of the logistical barriers around identities, devices and access to the digital workplace during the working day. This means an app can be the springboard for digital transformation, unlocking new ways of working and providing opportunities for collaboration, innovation and more.
Improving every individual’s digital employee experience
Employee experience is now a common area of focus for HR teams and senior leaders, helping drive a more joined-up and strategic approach to how employees experience their work with multiple benefits that flow. The “digital” element of this is important.
An internal communications app that also has some integrated elements of the digital workplace can support a better digital employee experience for each individual, particularly if personalisation makes sure the experience is relevant for that person. For example, an app might help a person stay up-to-date with changes, drive efficiencies through easier task completion and just make their working day a little easier. Achieving this across your entire workforce can be transformational, with significant collective benefits around engagement and productivity.
Supporting your employment value proposition
Having a strong value proposition as an employer and a reputation for being a great place to work is essential in attracting the best talent and reducing employee turnover – both common strategic aims for HR functions. An internal communications app can play a role in supporting your employment value proposition by:
- Helping to encourage transparency
- Giving everyone a voice to support engagement
- Supporting Diversity and Inclusion, with all representatives of your workforce contributing to the digital workplace
- Helping employees feel better informed about and connected to your organisation’s purpose and values, amplifying what’s best about your organisational culture (this is explored further below)
- Boosting confidence in senior leaders through internal communications
- Providing access to learning assets, encouraging personal and career development
- Supplying access to health and wellbeing initiatives
- Supporting better connection between colleagues
- Providing a better digital employee experience, as already stated
- Specifically supporting employee advocacy initiatives, encouraging employees to share stories on their own social media channels and spreading awareness of a strong employee value proposition.
Driving process improvement
Digital transformation is often about improving and changing multiple processes across the enterprise; for example, many organisations have already gone through a process of digitisation by moving paper processes online, and are now looking at further aspects of automation, advanced workflow and self-service to improve productivity. Other process improvements could mean replacing email communication with more efficient methods of exchanging information, particularly if it means eliminating unnecessary steps and approvals. This is particularly true regarding processes where people are on-the-go or out in the field, and mobile access for viewing or submitting information makes a difference.
An internal communications app can play its part here, not only by ensuring all staff can access the information they need for improved processes, but also by driving better dialogue across the business and information flow. When multiple processes start to change, especially those involving frontline or mobile staff, an app can make a significant contribution to overall organisational efficiency.
Supporting business continuity
In a volatile and unpredictable world, business continuity has never been more important. Clear and trusted communications delivered in real-time are a critical part of executing business continuity, while ongoing two-way communication supports ongoing operations.
The digital workplace and its constituent communications and collaboration tools and channels have proved to be utterly essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, an employee app that all employees have access to can really support business continuity, helping deliver messages and ongoing dialogue which allows organisations, teams and individual employees to adapt rapidly to new situations and realities. If you remember the days when business continuity relied solely on cascading messages through managers phoning their team members at home, then you’ll know the difference a mobile internal comms app makes.
Driving agility and innovation
In a highly competitive world, the ability to be agile and respond quickly to the market is essential. Innovation is also important – being able to deliver news products and services, especially in difficult economic conditions.
Here, an internal communications app can make a surprising difference, for example, through:
- The ability to get rapid feedback and input on new initiatives from all employees , helping with speed to market
- Receiving messages in real-time in order to launch new offerings quickly and smoothly
- Receiving real-time feedback from customer-facing staff on how customers are feeling or behaving, delivering insights which can improve products and services
- Gathering ideas from all staff, including those who deal directly with customers, to feed innovation
- Driving a culture of agility and innovation, as employees see the positive results from giving input and feedback.
Supporting a unified and positive culture
Senior leaders often want to drive a more unified culture for their organisation, particularly after mergers and acquisitions. They also want a positive and perhaps less hierarchical culture that reflects company values, celebrates successes, emphasises areas such as good customer service and makes people feel more connected to organisational purpose.
An internal comms app can really help shift and nurture company culture through access to leadership communications, messaging campaigns, peer-to-peer shout-outs and feel-good success stories, leading to the establishment of a strong sense of community.
Deploying an internal communications app? Get in touch!
We think an internal communications app or something similar can make a huge positive contribution to every business. If you want to discuss your options around launching an app, or the business benefits of doing so, then get in touch!