Digital communication is critical for work and even more so during the current COVID-19 crisis. It is essential that we are able to communicate successfully, not only in a rapidly evolving and stressful situation, but also just to keep operations going. However, this can be more challenging when there is a remote, distributed workforce, some of whom may not even have corporate digital identities (usually an email address) or corporate-owned devices.
The power of an employee app
Most organisations are finding that a robust and reliable way to communicate with the entire workforce is through an employee engagement app or internal communications app; this needs to be available on any device, either iOS or Android, either corporate-issued or employee-owned.
An employee app (sometimes also called an employee engagement app) helps to drive a better employee experience by acting as:
- an app for internal communications
- a place to access social, collaboration and messaging tools,
- access important information, for example contact details or operational information
- sometimes perform simple transactions.
Because employee apps are powerful, the market has exploded in recent years, with multiple offerings, including Condense from LiveTiles, which is available through Content Formula.
Eleven reasons to consider an employee mobile app
Let’s explore some of the benefits of deploying an employee communication app.
1. We consume information on our mobile devices
These days we all consume information, carry out transactions and run our busy lives from our mobile device. The idea of being without a mobile device is unthinkable for many. By using an employee app, you can extend the patterns of communication carried out by most of us into the workplace. In terms of technology, workplace trends often follow consumer trends, so an employee app is a “no brainer”.
2. It can reach frontline and deskless employees
Many sectors such as retail, leisure, manufacturing, logistics, transport, travel and construction have a significant proportion of the workforce who can be considered to be frontline, deskless, blue collar or field employees. Essentially, they do not have easy access to a terminal during the working day and many more may not even have digital identities or corporate email addresses. A mobile app is simply the best way to communicate with this important demographic, who in the past have tended to miss out on digital communications.
3. All employees are on the go, even in the office
Although an employee communication app may be used to most frequently by frontline or deskless workers, actually all employees may find themselves on the go, visiting different locations or travelling between them. Even working within an office environment with meetings means that an employee communication app can be very useful for people who find themselves frequently moving around the building or those who are based on campus style environments.
4. An app supports crisis communications
The pandemic has shown the importance of crisis communications that your entire workforce can reach quickly. This has never been more important in a rapidly evolving situation. A mobile app is simply the best way to reach your entire workforce in real time to send trusted, authoritative communications that keep people informed.
5. An app is better for real-time reactions
Sometimes you also need to get quick reactions from employees back to coordinate operations, to get feedback on something or even for people to “check-in” and confirm they are OK in a crisis. Because an app pretty much removes all barriers to use, if any communication needs a real-time reply quickly then a mobile app is the best way to get a reaction quickly or to get a quick pulse-check of employee sentiment.
6. An employee app is quick, easy and convenient
Sometimes an employee communication app is simply quicker and more efficient for information consumption, for example quickly scanning messages or reading updates. You are not necessarily having to open and authenticate into your intranet and employees may already be looking at their mobile device anyway. Collectively this can save everybody time and arguably can even contribute to increasing productivity.
7. An app encourages shorter and more focused messaging
An employee communication app that is used for messaging and for interaction, has an interesting impact in that it can encourage more focused, shorter communications and often ones that may be more social in nature, reflecting how we use social media, often from our own mobile device. This results in shorter and more engaging content, which is usually more impactful and saves everybody time.
8. Employee communication apps are great for uploading camera and video
One of the excellent things about any communication app on a mobile device is that it can utilise the native features of your phone, in particular the camera. With an app it is super-easy and feels natural to upload photos and video they have taken from their device; in practice this means people are far more likely to share media content than they would on a desktop-based intranet. This has loads of potential benefits including knowledge sharing, more poignant communications (for example a CED video) and also business processes where sharing photos is helpful, for example on reporting things which need fixing or comparing shop window displays.
9. You can run processes that require being off-site
An employee communication app can also be very useful when you need to either view information or submit information for processes when you are off-site or out in the field. For example, you may need to submit data when inspecting a site, need to view product information when with a customer, or send an update about the outcome of a meeting. An employee communication app supports processes where people are off-site.
10. Reducing risks
When employees don’t have a good way to communicate or access information with their mobile phone inevitably, they will turn to alternative solutions and shadow IT. Using these unauthorised apps (often designed for consumer use) can involve security and privacy risks, as they may not meet the criteria for your organisation. Having a fully approved and secure employee communication app can help reduce risks by reducing the need for employees to turn other apps.
11. It supports a more remote and mobile future
For a while now work has ceased be a “place” that you go to. The current pandemic has been a catalyst for digital workplace trends that were already happening in terms of far greater emphasis on remote working and a mobile future. An employee app that you can build upon and expand in terms of its’ range of services can you help to prepare for the future.
The advantages of using Condense, an employee app from LiveTiles
Through our established partnership with LiveTiles, we are able to help customers implement the Condense employee app. This is a robust and user-friendly employee communications app that is proving to be valuable during the current COVID-19 pandemic as a way to communicate with all employees through the crisis.
The strengths of Condense include:
- The ability to provide internal communications to keep employees informed
- More social posts and interaction to drive engagement and boost morale
- Access to a people directory with contact details
- Provide access to critical documents and pages of reference material to support processes and aid operations
- Encourage knowledge sharing and discussions via social sharing
- Provide one app, connecting employees across locations including frontline and deskless workers
- Ability to be accessed on all devices, including personal iOS and Android phones, while also retaining robust security
- No need to have a Microsoft 365 license
- Can integrate with Microsoft 365, core HR systems and more
- Supports multi-language
- Very scalable and flexible, suiting from very large to small organisations
- In-built analytics.
Considering an employee app?
Implementing an employee app has several benefits, particularly in driving a great employee experience across a workforce with frontline, deskless or blue collar workers. If you are considering an employee app then Condense is a strong option to consider. Get in touch if you would like to discuss deploying an employee app or would like a product demo.