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The average American spends over 4 hours a day on their phones, making an employee mobile app the easiest and most effective way to reach your people.

If you haven’t deployed an employee mobile app, you’re missing out. Engaging a workforce starts with communication, and employee mobile apps are proving to be the most effective way to improve engagement at scale.

In this post we’ll cover:

Internal Communication is key to Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement Starts With Communication

Successful organisations understand that in order to hit goals, they have to work together as a team. Whether you’re 10 or 100,000 people, every one of your employees need to be aligned.

A clear internal communications strategy is key to engaging your workforce. As is a the use of a consistent and user-friendly tool like an internal communication app to reach everyone.

Employees Are Feeling Disengaged at Work

Engaging your workforce is easier said than done, and the sad reality is that 65% of employees are disengaged at work. But why?

Feeling valued is the foundation for great employee engagement. We feel valued when we are listed to, when we are informed of the company's goals, and when we’re enabled with the right tools. Only then do we feel engaged at work.

The investment in an employee engagement app is well worth it when you consider the significant benefits that come with an engaged workforce. Companies with thoughtful internal communications strategies and an engaged workforce consistently outperform the competition. This is largely because engaged employees are more productive and are able to offer their shareholders more value as a result. They’re also less likely to look for another job, so it’s a win-win all around. 

Effective Communications

One reason why mobile employee apps consistently return greater engagement levels than intranets is due to the familiar, personalised behavior of the app.

The intranet requires the individual to have a reason to visit it. Often, it’ll only work well on a desktop and often only from within your physical office. Communication is most effective when consumed at the right time. For Internal Comms this might be when your people are commuting on public transport, have some downtime at lunch, or when waiting in a queue at the post office. Think of all the times we currently spend on our phones—that’s why mobile employee apps trump basic intranets and ultimately lead to more effective communication company-wide.

Mobile employee apps have personalised push notifications, so users are proactively notified about relevant content. The information is delivered natively to a mobile device which is how most of your employees consume digital content.

Effective internal communication is a cornerstone of any successful employee communication plan.

what makes an employee feel highly engaged?

Image credit: Paulineblanchford.com

ROI of Employee Engagement

At Blink, we often find the need for an employee engagement app is first identified by an employee engagement survey. This also forms a tangible benchmark for a business case, that we can baseline improvements against and build the Return on Investment model.

Typically, our ROI models include; retention, employee satisfaction, productivity and alignment with corporate goals. We measure these through a mixture of existing HR metrics and via the employee engagement survey, which is typically repeated within 6 months of the Blink rollout being completed. We always see a significant improvement in the level of engagement, especially with frontline workers.

Although digital tools can have a huge impact on how work gets done, an ongoing issue many traditional intranet platforms have is subpar analytics. Typically, these analytics will measure how engaged employees interact with the intranet, rather than the company. But with an employee engagement app like Blink, you get a range of analytics options to track metrics like engagement on specific posts, or even engagement within specific groups.

Of course, another key goal is often to improve customer satisfaction. Luckily a 2012 study showed the correlation between customer and employee satisfaction is stronger than the correlation between ibuprofen and pain relief!

Who Owns an Employee Engagement App, Human Resources or IT?

The short answer is: both. Whether an internal communication app is owned by HR or IT, the bottom line is that this must be a human centered project, with the needs of the employee at its heart. An employee engagement app should be a central part of an effective employee engagement strategy. The business case for the investment should be owned and championed by HR, in partnership with the business and IT. But this is not just another IT project.

How is an Employee Engagement App Different from an Intranet?

An employee engagement app has lots of overlap with an Intranet, but is a fundamentally different proposition and a different experience:

  1. An employee engagement app is feed based. Personalised feeds, with interactive cards, just like social media.
  2. An employee engagement app is mobile-first. Not an Intranet website ported to mobile - everyone can see right through that! Of course, your employee app should also work on desktop, with native desktop and tablet apps.
  3. Your employee engagement app integrates with other enterprise systems. This means your work approvals, notifications, updates all appear in one place for a truly digital workplace.

The difference in the above is easy to measure. In one recent Blink deployment, the Intranet was used by 27% of the workforce, on average 3 times per month. Now, 88% of the workforce open Blink weekly, and 81% open Blink every day.

screenshot of the blink employee engagement app

What Should You be Looking for in an Employee Engagement App?

We’ve written a post on a similar topic before in our post on five must-haves to look for in a mobile intranet app. The needs for an employee engagement and internal communication app are very similar, but we’d look out for:

  1. "Internal Communication with a small i". At Blink this is the term we use for Internal Comms that is created within the organisation, by team leaders, champions, project heads and frontline workers. Your mobile app must allow Internal Comms to come from anywhere in the organisation and fizzle up. Don't even think about a top-down Internal Comms App.
  2. Connect to your existing tools. To make your employee mobile app relevant to your audience, it must be directly relevant to their job roles. This means connecting to existing workplace apps and pulling relevant updates into the feed. This isn’t enterprise social; this is productivity first.
  3. Open to everyone. Don’t even think about hiding your employee app behind a Mobile Device Management tool. You want your frontline workers to install your internal communications app on their personal phones, so don’t make it too hard from them!
  4. Work without email. Similar to above, your app shouldn’t require a workplace email address. Blink works with mobile phone numbers, using SMS invites and special ‘magic links’ for one-click onboarding.

Blink is the next generation mobile intranet, with push notifications and a personalised work feed to help deliver your internal communications strategy.

Blink is an award winning employee engagement mobile app, built around a personalised work feed which delivers updates as cards directly to employee mobile phones to be actioned and swiped away. It also features group messaging and file storage which complement the feed and make Blink the one super app for work comms.

Traditionally all these features would have been bolt-ons to your intranet. But that doesn’t deliver the experience your people now expect. With the Blink employee engagement app, the experience is much slicker, so you get a better reach and higher engagement.

Blinks feed is familiar, easily digested and always available even off network so your workforce can engage with your internal comms. People use their downtime, breaks and commute to stay informed connected and enabled with Blink.

The Feed can also be configured to work with your existing apps, which can automatically post their actions into the feed for employees to deal with. This reduces app fatigue and removes the need to context switch.

Once you try a mobile employee app like Blink, you’ll never look back. Blink is not simply an intranet app but it does do all the things your intranet used to, and more. Try it out today. Enter your email address here to get started.

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