Blog » Thinking About An Employee Engagement App 10 Essential Features To Consider
Any recent review of the app store on your smartphone reveals that there’s an app for just about everything. This can be overwhelming if you’re looking for a game to waste time as you wait for a flight, but for corporate leaders looking for an employee engagement app to help with employee engagement efforts, it’s a goldmine!
The one issue comes when assessing which employee engagement apps truly deliver maximum value - it can be hard to separate the best from the rest.
The list below was compiled based on insights from those in the field - these experts have identified a number of features they deem non-negotiable when searching for an employee engagement app. Use the list below to guide you as you start to sort through what’s available; it won’t lead you astray.
Your employees are using their phones for almost everything - so why should any tool you get do anything without a strong focus on mobile?
Mobile is the medium through which most of your employees are consuming their information. An app that employees can easily download will help increase their engagement level from day one - they’re already using their phone for everything else.
Be wary of web-based apps that claim to be mobile friendly. Often, these apps weren’t optimized for true mobile use, and they don’t take advantage of smartphone capabilities (like phone, microphone, video, etc.). Responsiveness also suffers in the transition from browser to phone, and this negatively impacts the user experience.
A robust notification protocol is a huge benefit for an engagement app. These notifications and reminders keep your employees engaged and informed, and make it easier for regular check-ins and use. Ensure that any app you select has notifications for the key areas where engagement is most important for your employees (e.g., leaderboard data, reminders, etc.).
Gamification is the process of making regular, required workflows a bit more fun through the use of incentives and rewards for tackling challenges relevant to the learning objective at hand (e.g., receiving a badge for completion of a training module). Successful engagement apps put gamification on the front end, because they know that employees are more likely to take part in something that’s fun and interesting.
Engagement isn’t a one-time thing, it requires continuous attention and consistent opportunities for your employees to interact with new content and new programs. When you’re considering a new engagement app, ensure that it has a strong scheduling function - this will allow you to execute a predetermined schedule of activities to benefit your employees without taking the time to revisit the app again and again whenever you want to deploy a new task or challenge.
Quizzes are a great way to test how well your employees are retaining information and what their knowledge level is in a specific area. Look for an app with many in-app tools, particularly one that allows you to administer quick, fun quizzes to your employees.
Smartphone video is becoming ubiquitous for capturing and sharing moments, for work and play alike. Access to this integrated device feature exponentially strengthens the value of an engagement app by delivering an embedded tool for your employees to use as part of any engagement program, including providing valuable feedback. When assessing an app, be sure it uses the device’s video camera as well as the other integrated smartphone features.
Social interaction is key for engagement efforts - not only does it help increase the connection between employees, it helps demonstrate the value of the program to other employees (which could incentivize them to get involved). The app you select should encourage interaction with other employees via likes, comments, and posting of photos/video.
The engagement process is not one way - employee feedback is critical to ensure that you’re meeting their true needs, and in a positive and effective way. Find an app that has numerous ways for you to request and receive continuous feedback from your employees as they interact with your program(s).
Mobile is first and foremost an important requirement, but that doesn’t mean that the desktop version of an app should be neglected. A native app is ideal and a priority, but a desktop version of the app should be available for employees to use either at their desks or if they don’t have a smartphone (to be fully inclusive of your employee base).
While employees are obviously the prime focus of your engagement program, don’t neglect yourself and your team - the app will contain huge amounts of data that can be useful for your review and use, so be sure that your selected app is able to give you analytical insights into what your employees are doing. This data can give you actionable strategies for future improvements and adjustments, so be sure you select an app that can deliver this for you.
Each of the items above is a critical element of your employee engagement efforts - finding an app that does it all can make a vital difference for your program. Use this list to guide your search, and you’ll be able to find an app that delivers maximum value for you and your team.