Today, deskless employees comprise 80 percent of the workforce and this number will only rise. But whether these employees work in the field, on-site with clients, in warehouses, or from coffee shops and home offices, they all face a similar challenge: feeling connected to their employer and colleagues.
That’s why small business owners are turning to mobile apps to help grow their business while bridging the gap between office-based and deskless employees too. The best part is that you don’t need an employee recognition app, a task prioritization app, and a handful of other mobile apps for small businesses to get the job done. The right mobile app can become the backbone of your internal communications plan—you just need to know how to choose the right one for your team.
In this post, we’ll look at eight reasons why your small business needs a mobile app, what small businesses should consider when looking for the right web-based collaboration tool, and why Blink’s employee app is the comprehensive solution that can enhance teamwork in companies with deskless workers.
Why You Should Invest in a Mobile App for Your Small Business
Between balancing growth, maintaining quality, and working long hours, owning a small business isn’t easy. You probably don’t have as much time as you’d like to implement a thoughtful internal comms plan. Perhaps you’ve researched the myriad employee apps on the market but weren’t sure if it was really worth your investment. While the search can feel daunting, finding the right mobile app for a small business can help improve your internal comms strategy and ultimately run a better business. If you’re not already using a mobile app for your small business, here are eight reasons why you should make the investment.
1. Easily Share Your Priorities
The average employee checks their email 36 times a day, so it’s no surprise that employees are fighting a losing battle against constant distraction. Unfortunately, email is the primary way most small businesses disseminate important information to their employees.
By investing in a mobile app for your small business, you can consolidate things like company-wide announcements and business initiatives into one organized place and share it accordingly, rather than sending numerous emails throughout the day.
2. Manage Your Business Information
Whether your small business is comprised of eight people or 50, you have a lot of information to keep organized. For most businesses (whether big or small), information is stored in numerous locations. When information is stored across email, Google Drive, SharePoint, or in hard documents, it can be challenging for your employees to simply find the information they’re looking for.
A simpler solution is to use a mobile app that can house all your small business information in one organized and easily navigable location. When you use your intranet as a one-stop shop, it’s easier for you and your employees to find the information they need (like benefits packages and company schedules) when they need it, without going on a wild goose chase.
3. Establish Open Lines of Communication with Deskless Workers
Communication is key when it comes to running any business and the right mobile app for small businesses can help keep the lines of communication open with all employees. This is especially important for companies with deskless workers since an employee app can help those who are not in an office setting still feel like they’re part of the team.
4. Encourage Collaboration and Drive Results
Not only can the right mobile app for small businesses help keep open lines of communication, but it can encourage collaboration and ultimately drive better results for your business. With a company intranet, employees can share their input, opinions, and customer insights with each other and with management. Staff feedback can be an invaluable asset when you’re planning for the future of your small business.
5. Improve Teamwork
Teamwork is important in any company, but especially for small businesses with a deskless workforce. When you use a mobile app, your employees in the field will feel more like they’re part of your team since they’ll have access to all of the same resources that your in-office employees do.
6. Recognize Employees’ Hard Work
Your company’s website is one of the ways you attract new customers to your business and build brand loyalty. An employee recognition app, on the other hand, is essentially an internal website for your team and helps build loyalty with them. It keeps your employees in the know. It provides instant access to intranet content, procedures, files, and messaging. And it allows you to recognize and praise their hard work.
7. Improve Overall Employee Engagement
All the benefits above have one thing in common— they can help improve employee engagement. For a small business owner, engaged employees are one of your most valuable assets. Engaged workers are more productive, miss work less than disengaged employees, and are more likely to take on new responsibilities since they care about your company’s success.
This is incredibly important when you consider that 51% of employees are disengaged and 16% are actively disengaged. When employees know they can share their concerns, ideas, and even fun things on your company’s mobile app, they’re more likely to be engaged.
8. Foster a Transparent Company Culture
Any step you take to improve your small business’s internal comms can ultimately help foster a transparent company culture. This is especially important today as more employees want to feel a sense of belonging at work, and a transparent company culture is one of the ways to accomplish that. The benefits of a transparent company culture are undeniable and study after study shows that companies that prioritize company culture see high employee morale, engaged employees, employee retention, better teamwork, responsiveness to change, strong leadership, and much more.
How to Find the Right Mobile App for Your Small Business
You know the benefits of investing in a mobile app for your small business, but now what? There are thousands of business management software apps that promise to make your life easier, but it’s impossible to try all of them out. Luckily, you don’t have to.
While investing in multiple employee apps might not be an issue for a large corporation, small business owners can’t necessarily afford these costs. It’s important to know what to look for in a mobile intranet app so you can find a total communication solution, rather than opting for multiple apps to meet all of your small business’s needs.
Here are six things we recommend looking for:
Mobile capabilities — Whatever employee app you choose should be built with mobile capabilities in mind. This is especially important for remote, deskless, and frontline workers who rely on their mobile devices to keep them connected to your business.
User experience — If an app doesn’t provide a good user experience, you and your employees won’t want to use it. When you’re considering an employee app, user experience should be at the forefront of your mind. Ask yourself things like: Is it clear what employees should do when they open the app? How is usability? Is it hard to find important information within the app? Does the app offer error-free functionality? And so on. Employees love using Blink thanks to its familiar social interface. Through the tool, they have access to personalized feeds, likes, and comments, for a rich media experience.
Compatibility with other apps — The right employee app is one that doesn’t require you to make changes to your existing processes and can integrate with your existing services and software. With Blink, for example, many of the tools your teams are already using can be integrated so your employees will spend less time toggling between apps, allowing them to use their time more effectively.
Encourages collaboration — The best mobile apps for small businesses encourage collaboration amongst employees. With an employee app like Blink, your employees can easily collaborate and share documents, as well as tag employees to bring them into the conversation. As a result, employees can give and receive feedback in one consolidated location.
Has workforce analytics — It’s important that you have insight into how your employees are using your company intranet so you can know if it’s making a difference. With Blink, you get powerful workforce analytics that offer insight into the people and relationships that make your company run.
Compliance-minded — Security breaches happen every day, so it’s important that whatever employee intranet you use takes a proactive approach to compliance. In Blink, your data is always encrypted, whether it is in transit, on an employee's device, or at rest on our servers. Super-tight security runs through everything we do. Trust our architecture, distributed platform, and state-of-the-art encryption to keep your data safe.
A total communication solution — There are lots of compelling employee apps on the market, but if you need numerous apps to meet your small business needs, you’ll only create another issue. The right employee app is a total communication solution, tackling all your small business’s pain points in one place. With an employee app like Blink, your employees can customize the app so they never miss out on important information they need, and you can be sure that all communications will reach the right employees when they need it.