Strong mobile access for any intranet is now a given. Employees want to be able to consume information and access digital services in the way they do outside work, so an intranet app which presents a mobile-optimised user experience is important. It is especially critical in sectors such as retail, manufacturing, leisure, travel and healthcare; here a large proportion of employees are deskless and may not have digital identities. A mobile intranet app is therefore essential for firstline employees, particularly in these challenging times when all employees need access to trusted and up-to-date information.
A mobile intranet app does not always have the full functionality of a desktop intranet and may focus on the critical features and content that employees need to access on their mobile device. Choosing the right product is important – for example, through our partnership with LiveTiles we help clients implement LiveTiles Reach mobile intranet app, a strong mobile intranet app which is focused on strong communication with all employees.
Let’s look at eight essential ingredients of a mobile intranet app, all of which are available in LiveTiles Reach.
Remove barriers to access for all
A mobile intranet is an excellent way to reach all your employees, and a good intranet app removes the barriers to access that can exist in desktop intranets. Traditionally, not all the workforce has had access to intranets because:
- there is no easy access to a work computer during the day
- employees do not have a corporate digital identity or email to be able to authenticate into the intranet
- employees are not covered by Microsoft 365 or intranet software licensing
- outsourced workers, consultants, contractors or regular freelancers need access to information but are not employees.
Here a mobile intranet app which allows potential access to employees or trusted external third parties on any device – employee or corporate owned, iOS or Android, with a corporate ID or not – removes all those barriers. To make this happen, strong security and onboarding features are important, ensuring that only the right people have access to the app and also install it easily.
Strong news delivery
A mobile intranet is a key channel in the digital communications landscape and plays an important role in delivering updates so every employee can stay up to date. This has never been more important during the COVID-19 pandemic where the situation remains fluid. A mobile intranet app should be able to deliver news and updates in an engaging and informative way, that also allows employees to comment, like and share.
While some news will be important for everybody to read, an app also needs to be able to target updates to different groups to ensure that the intrant remains relevant to each individual. Here, automatic translation capabilities (a feature on the LiveTiles Reach app) can also help overcome any language barriers for multinational workforces.
Social collaboration and community
Some of the most powerful features of any mobile intranet app are social and collaboration tools such as the ability to comment on news, participate in discussions, post social updates, celebrate success and create community spaces. This not only allows for focused collaboration, but also give everybody a voice, supporting both engagement and efficiency.
Social and collaborative capabilities are powerful in supporting everyday work, but also in gathering feedback on initiatives, supporting professional and even non-work communities, and also nurturing and amplifying a more positive organisational culture. When we are all working remotely, collaboration and culture can be impacted; a strong mobile intranet app makes a tangible difference.
Content and reference pages
At the core of any successful intranet is useful content that helps employees get things done and stay informed. While some of this will be news and updates, there are also likely to be many static or evergreen pages that contain essential reference information on different topics such as how to complete tasks, details of products and services, organisational strategy, operational information and key company policies. For customer-facing staff, access to this kind of content can be very important for supporting customer service.
Many employee communication or social collaboration apps are quite weak on this aspect, relying on PDFs to present structured information. A true mobile intranet app provides robust access to content pages as well as documents, allowing employees to access structured content and organisational knowledge, including policies and forms.
A must-have feature of any intranet, both desktop or mobile, is the employee directory, ensuring employees can find information about their colleagues, contact them, search for experts and more. Arguably, the humble employee directory does more than any other one feature on an intranet to break down siloes and barriers across an organisation.
A strong mobile intranet app should have a comprehensive employee directory, allowing employees to find contact information, view profiles of their peers with salient information, and search using a variety of different criteria, such as job role and expertise area.
Event calendar and registration
Events such as town halls, webinars, conferences, training and celebrations are an important part of organisational life. In the past, many firstline employees have not participated in events because they simply couldn’t access information about them. A good mobile intranet app will include an event calendar with relevant information and even the ability to register, giving the opportunity for all employees to take part in events such as town halls, perhaps for the first time.
Most intranet apps are focused on employee communication, but the ability to carry out integrations with other systems and applications can be important. Integrations help with two different capabilities:
- allowing employees to view other essential information and content such as Microsoft 365 documents)
- allowing employees to carry out simple transactions such as booking leave or viewing roster information, for example.
A good mobile intranet app should allow for the possibility of integrations, either through connectors out of the box, or through customisation options.
Easy administration and robust analytics
On a mobile intranet app, it’s not only the user experience which is critical. The administrator experience must also be intuitive so that the app and its content can be easily managed on a day-to-day basis, and that the initial roll-out is also simple and straightforward; ideally a Comms or intranet team should not have to involve their IT function.
A good intranet app should also provide access to strong analytics that help you to track success, make improvements and drive insights about engagement with content.
Any questions? Then get in touch!
It’s essential to have a mobile intranet app, but it needs to have the right capabilities. If you’d like to discuss setting up a mobile intranet app or want information about LiveTiles Reach, then why not get in touch or even organise a free demo?