People are spending, on average, anywhere between two to five hours a day on their smartphones, according to recent research. That’s a lot of time – and some employers claim this kills productivity at work. However, according to CareerBuilder research, only 10% of employees with smartphones say the devices decrease their productivity during work hours.
Whichever way you look at it, smartphones provide an opportunity for engagement with staff. We know that people spend roughly 90% of their time on apps. Employers should be leveraging this and communicating with staff remotely to effectively engage them.
Embrace the on-demand culture
We live in an on-demand world where employees, as consumers, can do their grocery shopping, order dinner, and hail a cab on mobile. Employees expect this kind of immediacy at work too.
An app means that they do not need to trawl through a clunky intranet site which can be slow and tricky to navigate if they want to look up the latest company news, book time off, access company benefits and discounts, and even seek confidential advice and support.
With technology moving so fast and employee expectations heightening, it is even possible for employees to access the app from their wearable devices if they want to.
Don’t just communicate – notify
With the rise of flexible and part-time working, a contingent workforce and the gig economy, the increase of temporary and freelance staff and those whose jobs are not office or computer based at all, it is easy to see how many employees might not feel engaged or in touch with their company at all.
Communication forms a huge part of this, but organizations should be evolving to meet the demands of an mobile workforce.
Businesses can meet the needs of their on-the-go employees by sending alerts or notifying employees about important information directly to their phones through a company app, ensuring that everyone is up to date with the latest company news.
Using remote based technology, such as apps, doesn’t just build better experiences for employees, it also intrinsically automates processes for HR and people teams, freeing up their time to concentrate on the bigger things like building great employee experiences and engaging their workforce.
For example, if managers receive notifcations when employees request leave, and can approve at a click of a button, generating an absence item in calendars, then there is no administrative burden on HR and people teams. Furthermore, processes like these also boost productivity by freeing up the time of all those involved.
Listen and feedback
A company app is not just a broadcasting news service. It can be used to provide valuable feedback to employees. For many, waiting until the next formal annual review is just too long.
It also means that employees can feedback to their employers about anything that they are happy or unhappy about – from the coffee machine that keeps breaking down, to the company benefits, and suggestions on new working practices.
An app promotes engagement, as employees feel that they are genuinely being listened to and engaging in a two-way dialogue. In addition, an app provides an easy way to manage office engagement tools that staff can access on their smart phones and respond to easily and quickly whilst they are on the move.
Measure and tweak
One of the advantages of a company app is that you can drill down into the data to measure what your employees are looking at and how they are engaging with the app.
The data can provide the basis of a communications programme tailored to the interests and behaviours of your staff to boost employee adoption and uptake of your services.
Adopt existing apps
As well as a company app, there are many others on the market that companies can adopt which enable document sharing and editing.
Clogging up inboxes with emails or inadvertently editing the wrong version of a document all result in frustration and time wasted and can be avoided.
Don’t hide behind technology
HR and people apps can help significantly in terms of recruiting, managing, training and engaging staff, but can’t work in isolation.
Technology in itself is not a driver of employee engagement, collaboration and productivity. It is merely a facilitator.
Only your business leaders and people teams can create a culture in which collaboration is the norm, resulting in better employee experiences.
Find out more about a cloud-based HR and people platform and app. Read our whitepaper ‘Five reasons why you need to move to cloud HRMS’.