This post is brought to you by APPrise Mobile, a proud sponsor of PRSA.
You did it! You convinced your executive team to purchase an app and go mobile with communications. Go ahead; pop the bubbly and celebrate — you deserve it.
But, now that you have this amazing mobile communications platform, you need to think about the ways you are going to use it. Your app will only be as effective as the information you put there and the strategy you put in place to drive adoption and maintain it. An app will absolutely help you drive employee engagement, yet only if you put in the time and effort to set this communications channel up for success.
Here are five tips to help you successfully launch an employee communications app.
- Do a channel and content assessment. Take a look at the different channels you use to communicate and the type of content you send through those channels. When you’ve discovered your most effective communications, determine how your app can change the way that information is shared. One of the biggest mistakes that communicators make when launching an app is to not eliminate other channels and therefore confuse employees since they don’t know where to go to get the information they need.
- Focus on the “need to know” info and add in “nice to know.” You may think the social feed in your app is useful, and eventually your employees will too, but the compelling reason for them to download your app is because they can now easily access information that’s important to them (personally and in their jobs — i.e. their schedules, paycheck stubs and benefits information). Make sure you build your app around access to the portals that are most important to your employees. That’s the need to know. Then you can create the nice to know info — content that is so engaging that they’ll check in more frequently to see what’s happening across the organization.
- Step away from the PDFs. Now that you have an app, you can really blow open the way you use multimedia to engage your employees. In fact, if you launch your app and just post the same old PDFs you’ve been sending through email, your employees will be BORED! You chose this channel to better connect with your employees and now you have to meet or exceed their expectation for the types of content you’ll present there.
- Get your leadership team engaged early. If the communications team is the only one pushing for the app to be the main communications channel in the organization, then driving adoption will be an uphill battle. You must work with your leadership team to move their communication off of email and encourage them to use new and engaging methods like video and podcasts.
- Target content. One advantage to using a mobile solution is the ability to target content, so take advantage of it! Employees are opting in to use your app, so they are much more likely to engage with it if it is directly relevant to them. Giving mid-level managers and above the ability to publish content is also key, as they can update employees in real-time through quick, simple messages.
Amy Jenkins 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 3,500 employees.