The Future of Employee Apps –Where is Employee Engagement Headed?
Take a look at your phone – how many apps do you have installed? Do you feel anxious when you forget your phone at home, almost like a limb is missing? So many aspects of our daily lives have become inextricably integrated with products and services conveniently offered on the little digital communication squares we carry around with us. Employee engagement platforms have also moved to our phones, because as Ezzely’s tagline suggests, that’s where people “live”.
In an interview with Katie Macaulay (Managing Director of AB, a UK-based communications agency), she discusses why their organization decided to invest in research to understand one key thing: What lessons can organizations learn from people’s app behaviors in order to apply these to the world of work? According to Macauley, 130 billion apps were downloaded in 2015, worldwide and that people pick up their phones, on average, 85 times a day – these simple stats aim to show how integrated mobile device usage has become into our daily lives.
1. Successful employee apps will cater to their audience
App development was significantly more expensive (about six times more) before off-the-shelf solutions became the norm. The trouble with typical off-the-shelf solutions is that they tend to provide umbrella solutions rather than catering to the audience’s specific needs. Macauley asserts that “there must be something in it for the employee. Whether it is rewards, prizes, or even a simple scoring system where they can see the top news and they receive recognition for using the app. Those are the types of routes we need to go down.”
2. (Questionable) Merging of internal and external communications
Macauley highlights the debate about whether the next ten years will see the distinction between internal and external communications dissolving. She believes that employees and external audiences such as customers, clients, and shareholders are different, in that employees get to “see under the [hood]”. Sales marketing messages are not anticipated to work well when attempting to win (and keep) the hearts and minds of employees. Organizations should become more transparent, but that does not detract from the importance of internal communication. Employees still need a platform where they can share information or ask questions about processes and job-related equipment, provide feedback to questions, and recognize other employees for excellent performance – which is why Ezzely’s Activity Feed functionality exists.
3. Employees will become content creators
Whether it’s through blogs written and shared on company platforms or short video clips created on someone’s phone on how to perform a specific job function, employees are anticipated to become essential role-players in business-related content creation. Businesses would do well to investigate how they can leverage the unique knowledge and skills of their employees in ways that could help fellow colleagues and future new hires. Ezzely-users have the option to upload their own training to the platform and to deploy to all relevant employees – a useful function if you want to encourage content creation and sharing among your staff.
4. Improved measurement
The live and instant measurement of employee app usage is anticipated to become a more significant aspect of employee app functionality in order to assist with continuous improvement. Digital content platforms create the opportunity for companies to determine when, where, and for how long an employee engages with a particular piece of content – which could ultimately lead to improved data gathering and future decision-making on what to make available or how to make content more engaging and accessible.
Ezzely is an employee app designed with employees’ engagement needs – both current and evolving – in mind.
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