Today, we expect instant access to information, and mobile technology has set the precedent for how we consume and share information—whether it’s through an Internet search, push notifications, or a refresh on social media feeds. It’s surprising, then, that many companies have yet to use mobile as a tool for employee communications, knowing how ubiquitous the platform has become.
I’ve spent years advocating for mobile technology and successfully launched an employee communications app in my prior role at Chipotle Mexican Grill. I’ve experienced in my own career that mobile can be a game-changer for a frontline fast casual worker, for instance, when it comes to transforming his or her work experience and improving job satisfaction. The simple act of providing mobile access to things such as shift schedules, payroll information, company news, or emergency alerts can be transformative.
Today, I am fortunate to work with clients in a variety of industries, advising HR leaders and other internal communicators on using mobile as part of their broader employee communications strategies. Here are several best practices I reinforce time and again:
- Understand your deskless worker: One of the biggest mistakes that company leaders make is assuming they know the information their employees want to receive and how they want to receive it. Instead of taking a shot in the dark, they need to take the initiative to find out what type of content and news resonates most with their employees and what information they want access to, which can be determined through internal surveys or polling or analyzing an intranet to see which pieces of content are engaged with the most. Leaders can, therefore, create content accordingly and have a better understanding of the needs of their employees after taking this step.
- Develop a content strategy: A mobile app provides not only the opportunity to share more multimedia content and social engagement posts but also access to tactical information that employees need. Redefining your content strategy is another important step in the process of interacting with your employees more, as well as delivering a balance between “nice to know” information and “need to know information. The more relevant mobile content employees regularly receive, the more they will engage with it—similar to social media platforms.
- Get leadership buy-in: The adoption of an employee engagement platform can be a slow process, especially for deskless workers. An effective way to increase adoption rates is to get buy-in for the solution from the C-suite, frontline managers, and district or regional teams, who can then serve as ambassadors of the platform and help drive employee engagement. And, because employees want to hear from the leaders they know and trust, these “ambassadors” should also contribute content for the platform
Companies will be better positioned to drive employee value, connectivity with peers and leaders, and empowerment if they embrace the integration of employee communications and mobile technology. Bridging the divide between deskless and corporate employees by delivering communication when and where they need it is critical in meeting employee expectations.
Amy Jenkins, Director of Client Strategy at APPrise Mobile, has a passion for internal communication and engaging the deskless workforce. Prior to joining APPrise, she spent the last decade at Chipotle Mexican Grill where she built the internal communications function and most recently, launched the Pepper App (built through APPrise) to over 3500 employees. Having been a restaurant manager herself, Amy intimately understands the needs of frontline employees. She knows how to target information and create content strategies to drive engagement, employee advocacy, and bottom line results. At APPrise Mobile, she leads client strategy and will help our clients find the highest levels of success with their EMPLOYEEapp and overall communication strategy. Amy received her BAA in Integrated Public Relations from Central Michigan University.