Harnessing the power of the smart phone for internal communication is an undoubted win. Finding the ideal app to deliver your content to an entire workforce is a little more tricky.
Aaron Bains reviews theEMPLOYEEapp aiming to solve the problem…
Launched in March this year by the New York-based team, theEMPLOYEEapp provides a cloud-based content management system (CMS) where employers can create categories and folders to upload documents and multimedia to.
The app is independent of an organisation’s IT network and therefore requires no system integration – all the company needs to do is provide a logo and banner image – and, after agreeing a subscription package, it will be provided with a CMS.
The organisation controls its own content. Management of its employee directory by creating a .CSV file listing employees and uploading it directly in the app.
And if an employee is no longer employed by the company, they can be manually deleted.
Security has obviously been a key consideration. Employees access the app before the platform authenticates them using a unique employee identifier such as an email address or employee number.
And the benefits of sharing content this way are easy to see.
As it’s a native app, the content that users download can still be consumed without an internet connection, providing instant access to the content no matter where they are in the world.
Also, employees can opt to receive push notifications so they can receive an alert on the home screen of their mobile device as soon as new content is added.
“Essentially, theEMPLOYEEapp provides companies with an easy and cost effective way of a mobile intranet,” said Jeff Corbin, founder of theCOMMSapp.
“Since more and more employees are on the road, are permitted to work remotely and are not tied to a desk and desktop computer, communications professionals find it very difficult to ensure that important company information is received simultaneously and in a timely fashion.
“They are aware that ineffective communications and a disengaged workforce leads to lost revenue.
“Though we only officially launched the product months ago, we are seeing significant interest from companies worldwide as they seek to take advantage of the fact that their entire workforce has a mobile device.”
According to various research firms, including Yankee Group and eMarketer, it’s expected that 70 per cent of the global population will have a mobile device by 2017.
“But when looking at the corporate world, I believe it’s safe to assume that this statistic will be closer to 100 per cent,” added Jeff.
With this in mind, theEMPLOYEEapp offers a tiered structure so – if necessary – content can be made available to specific groups only. What’s more, there’s no limit to the amount of content and multimedia that can be shared.
Meanwhile, perhaps most importantly from a comms perspective, it’s equipped with Google Analytics, providing vital statistical feedback on how employees use the app.
But, as with most apps, there’s a downside.
Only employers can add content to the app, which creates an almost top-down feel to the organisation’s communication.
With employee engagement more important than ever, shouldn’t there be any option for all colleagues to have their input?
While it’s important for employers to communicate directly with their employees, shouldn’t it be a two-way conversation? After all, digital communication is the natural habitat for garnering colleague feedback.
Jeff refutes these claims, saying: “Our app allows the employer to take advantage of the technological paradigm that’s taking place.
“Based on the early feedback we have received from our customers, employees feel more connected because of the instant push of information directly to their mobile device.”
Cost may be an issue for some. In the ultra competitive world of mobile apps, pricing is undoubtedly a potential pinch point for users.
You can request a live demo for free but a subscription agreement is required to take it to the next level.
Food for thought – particularly with dialogue heading only one way.
Platform: iOS. Android.
Final thought: theEMPLOYEEappTM is a nice idea and would benefit large-scale organisations that have hundreds of field-based employees.
The fact that content can be shared instantaneously without the need for an internet connection is a strong selling-point.
However the fact that employees can’t add to the content that has been uploaded by management is an issue with social being so important in the world of digital and internal communication.