Mobile phone apps as an internal communication channel

Connecting the workforce with a mobile phone app
Connecting the workforce with a mobile phone app

An internal communication specialist is focused on getting company news to employees at the right time and for the right reasons. But how do you reach out to the workforce, and what are the most effective communication tools? In our series about internal communication channels, we dwell on the all-important employee app.

Employee apps can reach a remote workforce
Employee apps can reach a remote workforce

Employee apps have become very popular over the years. There’s a reason for it. Reaching employees on the field or away from a company terminal means companies can unwittingly create a two-tier system: the haves and the have-nots. Usually, the have-nots are the ones who need company information the most. So how do you connect to those who are difficult to reach? In a post-COVID-19 workplace, where remote or hybrid working will be here to stay- what channel can bring everyone together?

Hello, employee app!

Some of the advantages of using an employee app as a channel of communication are:

A> Reaching remote workers: It can be an excellent solution for companies that want to create one version of the truth for everyone – employees who work in the office and away from the office. In a blog by Stuart Sinclair on Talk Freely, he writes, “An app offers a single channel that addresses all your internal comms needs, effortlessly. Dedicated to building that vital connection between employee and the business, it is accessible to all, even those who have been historically hard to reach.”

B> Ease of use: Many apps out there allow a quick login and are incredibly user-friendly. Frank Wolf, from Staff Base, writes, “Highly regarded for being streamlined and convenient, their functions are being developed to meet the most essential organizational needs, and they can be quickly implemented, especially compared to the large and cumbersome IT projects of the past.”

Mobile phone apps as internal communication channels
Mobile phone apps as internal communication channels

C> Good in a crisis: Imagine trying to send a message about a crisis engulfing the company to a workforce in different time zones or those who don’t have access to the company intranet. An app can cut through all the hoops. Caroline Duncan writes in this blog by Desk Alerts Alerting Software, “An internal communication app is one of the fastest ways you can reach your employees with important information, news or advice. This means that speculation and rumours can’t take hold.”

D> Quick and snappy comms: we are used to consuming bite-sized chunks on our mobile phones. A quick update here, a lovely photo from the site there and a farewell message to a manager retiring after 40 years of service – that’s the kind of things people want to read on their phone. As Dan Hawtrey says in this blog by Content Formula, “it can encourage more focused, shorter communications and often ones that may be more social in nature, reflecting how we use social media, often from our mobile device. This results in shorter and more engaging content, which is usually more impactful and saves everybody time.”

Using employee apps can be a big decision for any company – and a significant investment too. However, there can also be pitfalls that internal communication teams need to be aware of.

What are the options out there to choose from when it comes to an employee app? There’s an excellent blog we’d like to recommend for that too. Scott Gerber has written up a handy list of app names here.

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