Employee apps work well, but of course, your employees need to engage with them in order for the company to benefit. Geraldine Osman, CMO, StaffConnect, discusses 5 key ways business leaders can improve app engagement
If you’ve decided to adopt, or already have, a new employee engagement app for your company, you’re among one of the growing number of forward-thinking organizations that are deploying new mobile platforms to help solve the challenges associated with improving engagement levels across the modern dispersed workforce. By selecting a mobile engagement platform, companies expect to drive positive shifts in their workplace culture which can rapidly increase workforce productivity, decrease attrition levels, and improve customer satisfaction.
To achieve these benefits in full measure, it is critical that you take steps to maximize usage among employees. I spoke with Paddy O’Hagan, leading Customer Success Expert for StaffConnect, about creating a successful app launch and driving engagement beyond the initial rollout of a mobile internal communication platform. He offers five top tips that include:
1 – Making the Absolute Best First Impression
No matter how great your launch materials are, users will judge the app based on their initial login experience. Across all industries, app retention rate is around 29 percent (of those that have logged in). For an internal communication tool, this isn’t a great return on investment, especially when executive leaders are keener than ever to make sure their message is heard by everyone and their employees are united in the understanding of their business goals.
You need to prove the app’s value by engaging users quickly and successfully. Advance preparation is critical to ensure that objectives are well defined and desired results are clear, but this is often overlooked by companies wishing to ‘just get it out there.’ Taking the time to create a content and communication strategy, with an actionable plan that works in harmony with the platform, is essential to aligning with objectives and achieving the desired results. For companies that do not have large internal communication teams, assigning a sponsor or owner for each module of the platform can make a huge difference. This makes generating content a shared responsibility which is key to making each module a success in its own right. Who wants to click on a survey button that doesn’t have any surveys ready? Or a library with test documents in it? Every module should be fully populated with valuable content that engages your users from the very first time they log in to the app.
2 – Knowing the Difference between Engagement & Adoption
You need to move users from curious to engaged as quickly as possible, and this requires demonstrating immediate value. What problem are you solving, not for the company, but for the user? One successful tactic is to integrate employee focused tools or systems so that the engagement app becomes a central hub for all employee work tools. Instead of having to rely on 10 different systems – for example, pay slips, expenses, holiday booking or shift patterns – they only need to go to one place to access every system. Creating exclusivity is another effective technique that helps drive engagement. Add information that can only be accessed through the app, such as competitions or promotions, the latest health and safety manual needed for assessments, and other user materials.
3 – Soliciting Contributed Content by Asking Questions
The next stage of engagement is contribution. It’s all well and good to have amazing content, but the next goal is to give your employees the confidence to create their own content. Initially, it can be unrealistic to expect individuals to know what to post, so guide them by creating a group of early contributors to help build momentum. Ask colleagues to post specific comments or content, get executive leaders to write a blog or do a podcast. Look around for industry news you can use and solicit opinions to post… What does your CEO think about it? Ask them to include another question within their blog to solicit responses and start a conversation.
4 – Get Help!
The most successful engagement platforms are those that are dynamic, not static. That means you need to constantly “feed the beast” with new, relevant and interesting content. Look for sources of news, for example, who is sending To: All Staff emails? The faster you can identify those who have a need to get their news into the hands of employees, the more likely you are to create a “win, win” for you and for them.
5 – Do it again! Do it better!
You’ve hit your initial adoption target. Congratulations! But it’s very rare initial adoption rates will be sustained without ongoing research and refining. You will have learned what’s worked and what hasn’t worked, and there will also be aspects that you haven’t anticipated or experienced. This is where analytics play an essential role in offering insights into what’s working and what can be improved. For example, understanding how different locations and functions within your organisation are interacting with the platform is a powerful tool for ensuring that you segment and target different groups. Knowing what your top performing content items are, and identifying your most actively engaged users, is key for continually improving your results over time.