It’s an era of digitization we live in! It is changing the way individuals and businesses interact with each other. Especially, organizations have a quite complex ecosystem as they have to deal with multifaceted audiences. This blog explains how enterprise mobility improves employee engagement with the company.
Ecosystems of A Business
Every company has 3 ecosystems – Customers, Partners/Vendors, and Employees. The mentioned ecosystems revolve around the products or offerings of the company.
Smartphones Accelerate Digital Transformation
When smartphones started getting popular in 2008, businesses quickly grabbed the opportunity to use the smartphones for customer engagement. Customers Ecosystem was the first that benefited from the wave of digital transformation. After 2008, businesses that had a basic web presence rush to use the smartphones as a medium to get engaged and transacted with their customers. Companies started creating mobile apps that the customers could download from the different application stores. It resulted in increased revenue for the businesses and enhanced convenience for the customers.
Around 2012, new businesses emerged that completely relied on the smartphone like Uber, WhatsApp, and others. The millions of mobile apps for games started exploding in the App Store. It resulted in the famous line being framed way back in 2010 by Apple – “There is an App for that!”
In 2016, for the first time, mobile internet usage (smartphone and tablets) surpassed the desktop Internet usage.
By 2013, the big businesses had already established a strong connection with their customers using the smartphone. The small and medium enterprises were on their way to do the same.
The Partners Ecosystem was the next to get benefits. Businesses continuously sought out the ways to enhance collaboration and streamline activities with their vendors. Thus, businesses started creating enterprise apps for their partners.
The Employee Ecosystem
Until 2017, businesses never focused on the third and probably the most important ecosystem – EMPLOYEES.
Since last 2 years, I have been talking with several large and mid-sized companies who wanted to connect with their employees using the smartphones. Well, you must be thinking why to create a mobile app for employees. They have the intranet to stay connected with various internal systems like Expense Reporting, Leave Management, Payroll, Training, etc.
The answer is – that is not enough!
As the digital transformation wave progressed, it has become increasingly clear to the businesses that they are becoming more of a knowledge and product/offering-based business. Knowledge-based businesses rely on smart, productive, and more importantly happy employees. Now, businesses are fiercely looking to protect/retain their employees (who have the knowledge) and trying to attract better talent.
Core Concerns of Employees
An HR Head from one of the largest Insurance firms in the world told me once – “Our employees have started showing dissatisfaction the way they get engaged with the company and its internal systems. We need to find a solution for this”. After having detailed discussions with her, we started listing down pain points of the employees. They were as follows:
- I do not feel connected to the company
- I cannot collaborate efficiently with my peers
- I have a little knowledge of what is going on in other departments
- I have to log in to disparate systems to apply for a leave or upload a file of an expense report or consume training videos or consume corporate content or look at my pay stubs… and the list goes on and on
- I feel that I have not been recognized by the company. No one knows about my achievements
- I do not know when the company publishes a piece of content on the intranet
- The intranet is an ocean. I cannot find the relevant content
Solution Offered by Credencys
We started finding out the possible solutions. After deliberating around 2 hours – WE FOUND IT!! Eureka!! Well, this is a bit of an exaggeration on my part. But the solution was simple, a mobile app development for the employees. The Employee Mobile App becomes a single window for the staff from where they can access all or most of the internal systems within the company including content that is customizable as per the employees’ nature of work.
Then, we listed out the features of the mobile app. They were as follows:
- Pushing relevant content to the employees
- Leave Management
- Expense Reporting
- Training Videos and Articles
- Company Policies and update to these policies
- Compliance Policies
- Collaboration Platform for teams that work on specific projects
- Talent Searching – like an internal LinkedIn within the company (The HR Head told me that they do not know if certain skill sets exist in other departments and they end up doing the redundant hiring which could have been prevented)
- Ride Sharing
- Rewards and Recognitions
- Publishing Employee Blogs
- Content on Company Events
And, the list continued to grow over the next 3 months.
After 3 months of listing down the features of the App (which became a 10-page document), the HR Head had 2 questions for me as the reality sank in.
1. It is not as -simple- as we thought. It is a huge system. How are we going to build it?
2. What will happen to our Intranet that we have maintained for over 15 years and poured millions into it?
The answer to her 1st question was…
Well, obviously the mobile app development for employees was not a simple undertaking. It required integration with existing systems of the company and needed a new custom platform to be created where employees could start to get engaged. We understood that it was going to be a long-term effort to achieve everything mentioned in the document. Thanks to Agile development processes, we decided on the most important user-stories (use-cases) and started working on them. The first version of their app was out in 4 months with the following set of features:
- Pushing relevant content to employees
- Pushing corporate content to employees (the content that generally gets published on the Intranet)
- Leave Management
- Expense Reporting
- Training Videos and Articles
The HR Head was skeptical if there will be an adoption of this app after they had made the investment to build it.
Within 30 days of releasing the app and making the announcement, 85% of the employees had installed the app on their smartphones and the adoption of the app continued to grow after that.
The answer to her 2nd question was…
The Intranet is dying and soon it will rest in peace!! The intranet paid off for 15 years by being the single point of contact for your employees. But now, times have changed, technologies have changed, and expectations have changed. It is time to move on. Move on to the new platform – THE EMPLOYEE APP.
Benefits of Employee Mobile App to the Insurance Company
- 60% reduction in traffic of the Intranet in the first 2 months after releasing the app and it continued to go down as we started adding more and more features in the app.
- Employee engagement rate on the Intranet was an average of 0.8 visits (site visits) per day per employee. With the new app, the employees were engaged with the company and their peers at an astounding 7.6 visits (app opens) per day per employee.
- The Insurance Company saw a dramatic improvement in their social footprint when we integrated Social Media in to the app. Employees started liking and commenting on the company’s social media pages.
Overall, it was a WIN-WIN situation. The employees loved the app and the company benefited by having a workforce that is more productive and more satisfied.
Since the project started 2 years back, I have now been approached by at least 12 other companies who are interested to embark on the journey of Digital Transformation for their Employees Ecosystem.
I can see a huge wave of digital transformation that will completely change the way employees get engaged with the company.
Alas, the wave of digital transformation has reached to the employee coast!