Employee engagement apps are becoming a mainstay for businesses around the world. With 3.5 billion smartphone users across the globe in 2020, there is no surprise that businesses have shifted to mobile technology.
This has also given businesses the opportunity to connect with previously unreachable workers.
The 2020 State of Technology for the Deskless Workforce found that 80% of the global workforce are deskless. Typically these are in industries like healthcare, retail and manufacturing. They also often extend to field-based employees who do not have a set working location.
However, many companies still don’t embrace mobile technologies . They face an uphill battle to motivate deskless workers. A lack of accessibility maintains the disconnect that many deskless workers feel.
This guide to employee engagement apps will include:
- What is an Employee Engagement App?
- Why Do You Need an Employee Engagement App?
- Types of Employee Engagement Apps
- Features of an Employee Engagement App
- Employee Engagement App Use Cases
What is An Employee Engagement App?
An employee engagement app is a channel used by companies to connect with their employees. They usually integrate with or run alongside your company intranet, focusing around mobile accessibility.
They are a far-reaching platform that give your employees the platform to communicate, receive company information and use all the functionalities of your intranet solution.
They enable employees to access information to stay informed and engaged. They can be the dashboard from which they are connected to the organisation. Employee engagement apps are essential to an effective internal communication strategy.
Why Do You Need An Employee Engagement App?
Given the modern technology available, there is no reason for any employee to feel disengaged. There can be no doubt that businesses must utilise technology to keep employees engaged, or risk being left behind.
Watch this video to find out why your business NEEDS an employee engagement app:
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Engage Deskless & Frontline Workers
44% of deskless workers feel their workplace software is slow, 20% say it isn’t efficient and 12% that it isn't collaborative. They are often at a disadvantage to their desk-based colleagues.
Having an accessible app allows employees who are on the move or frontline workers to receive relevant updates at the right time. Push notifications provide instant updates on a need-to-know basis. No longer will deskless workers be left in the dark.
Create Brand Familiarity & Advocacy
Employee engagement apps provide a platform to spread the company message. Social timelines on your intranet app allows employees to share and receive information in the same way they would on social media.
This will be a familiar way for employees to consume information and it will be easier to reach them. Creating content internally will boost employee engagement and familiarity with the brand. For mobile app users, the social timelines will be intuitive, helping to further boost engagement on content.
Create Personal & Social Connections
22% of employees think friendships at work make them as, if not more, productive. It can be difficult to establish social relationships, especially in a workforce that works remotely.
Employee engagement apps create social spaces in a virtual environment. Community hubs and chat functions on your app can help employees to talk about things outside of work, establishing social relationships. Facilitating friendships in the digital workplace, apps can improve employee happiness and productivity.
Types of Employee Engagement Apps
What type of employee engagement apps are on the market? Watch here:
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Keeping employees engaged is underpinned by communication. Comms apps utilised by businesses include video chat software like Teams and Zoom and instant messaging tools like Slack. These are designed for employees to communicate with each other from any location.
Feedback & Survey Apps
Employee feedback is key to engagement . By collecting feedback and data through surveys and forms, you can gauge opinion or sentiment on any subject. There are apps specifically designed for employee feedback, such as 15Five and Qualtrics. Through apps such as these you can collect quantifiable and quantitative research.
A recent survey found that 37% of respondents said that more recognition would encourage them to produce better work more often. In a remote workforce this is increasingly difficult to do. Employee recognition apps like Achievers and Kudos Points, are designed to acknowledge individual and team achievements in a virtual setting.
These are examples of individual apps that serve specific purposes. However, these can often be unintegrated and cause confusion in your business. Oak offers a single multi-purpose solution that integrates easily with your organisation's technology.
All-in-One Engagement App
All of the above serve an important purpose in employee engagement. An all-in-one app such as Oak, offers a single platform that incorporates all of these features. A single SaaS solution that acts as a single employee engagement app increases engagement and usability.
By opting to not use a single app you run the risk of: a) causing confusion and low user count by having several apps and b) missing key employee engagement tools.
One multi-purpose app like Oak is generally easier to use, manage and promote.
Features of an Employee Engagement App
What are the main features of an all-in-one engagement app? Watch this video to find out:
Credit: Music by BenSound
A mobile app should be an essential integration to your company’s digital workplace capabilities. Employees are using mobile to communicate now more than ever. With three in five millennials and Gen Zs ‘addicted’ to their mobile phone, the workforce is becoming increasingly mobile centric.
Users can access their main timeline, keep up to date with colleagues through messenger chat and stay engaged through search. A mobile app is an innovative, but simple way to connect with all of your employees. Particularly with deskless workers and those on the go.
A key feature of an engagement app is instant messaging. Oak's messenger function is designed to improve communication between workforces. It is perfect for department and inter-department social interaction.
This feature gives users the ability to create multiple chats with a single person or a group. An instant messenger application is a great alternative to company email. This way, deskless workers get a message across and employees receive information in a more engaging way.
A problem for deskless workers is that they’re often the last to hear important company news. Oak’s timeline feature is the place to go to hear for all internal updates, which can be viewed through the mobile app.
The timeline allows users to connect and interact with colleagues through a range of content. There’s also a ‘Breaking News’ banner for essential updates. A timeline is the content hub of your business, key to employee engagement.
If you have a mix of deskless and desk-based employees, it’s important you encourage interaction. Community hubs allow employees to chat about work or non-work related topics.
Oak has created hubs specifically to improve interdepartmental communication and interaction. When departments can interact, the benefits to your team and your organisation are far-reaching. It can help develop positive company morale, strengthen bonds between teams and create a positive work environment.
Feedback & Surveys
Employee engagement is a continuous exercise. The best way to understand how to engage your employees is to ask them. Pulse surveys and dashboards help to acquire and visualise data which can then be actioned.
Oak’s mobile app allows your workforce to express their concerns or opinions via anonymous surveys. You can use surveys and other feedback systems to tune into your employees’ needs. This will create a higher employee satisfaction rate.
Employee Engagement App Use Cases
In what situations would an employee engagement app help your business? Take a look at our use cases which you may be able to identify with.
High Employee Turnover
If your business is suffering the fallout of the great resignation, an employee engagement app can help improve retention. Engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their role, so naturally an engagement app can boost employee retention. The workforce feeling valued and connected will generally help reduce turnover.
Pulse Surveys integrated into Oak, can help give you insight into how to engage your employees but also reasons why turnover might be high.
Recommended Reading 📖: The Great Resignation
It can be difficult to get everyone along to social or company events in remote workforces. Socialising in person or virtually at work are key to employee engagement. Employee engagement apps can be a platform for organising social events. Oak’s chat function can help departments discuss and a post to the company timeline can let everyone know when and where social events will be held.
Important Company Updates
Put yourself in the shoes of someone who works for the company but is last to be informed of important company updates. It isn’t difficult to envisage why they may be disengaged. Oak’s social timeline and push notifications keep deskless workers informed when they need to be, so they’re no longer kept in the dark. This is particularly important during periods of transition for the organisation.
Unintegrated Communication Tools
Having communication tools that serve multiple purposes is pretty confusing, especially for deskless workers. They may not want or have time to download lots of apps. Oak integrates with numerous third party applications, offering a single space for company news, chats, socialising and employee recognition.
Innovation & Collaboration
The best ideas come from brainstorming or bouncing ideas off members of your team, which has become increasingly harder to do that in the virtual workspace. Community hubs and group chats not only help to foster collaboration in your own teams but also across departments. Oak’s communal areas help to replicate collaboration spaces.
Support Modern Working Patterns
The dynamic of the workforce has evolved significantly over the past two years. The workplace is an increasingly fluid concept. 16% of the world’s companies are now 100% remote and 63% of companies are already adopting hybrid approaches. It is absolutely essential for companies to equip the workforce with engagement tools.
Want to build a business case for an employee engagement app? Read our guide to the ROI of an Employee Engagement App
Deskless workers have long been left behind by many organisations. They are often the last to know and the last to have their say. Employee engagement apps help to connect all of your workers and bring deskless workers closer to the fold.
Through Oak’s mobile platform deskless workers will have access to all the information they need, as well as rotas and payslips.