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How to Use an Employee Communication App Effectively

Martin BöhringerMartin Böhringer·
How to Use an Employee Communication App Effectively

Not long ago a downpour hit St. Petersburg Beach, Florida, flooding the front driveway just as employees were arriving at TradeWinds Island Resorts. “When things like that pop up, then you need to communicate with employees quickly,” says Don Wooldridge, vice president of culture development and training at the tourist destination. “So I was able to jump on the app and in seconds send out an alert to everybody.” The importance of having a powerful employee communication app cannot be underestimated.

A notification appeared in staffers’ smartphones telling them to enter the grounds through the exit lanes until workers cleared up the front drive.

With over 70% of employees working outside of offices – and numbers are rising due to the gig-economy and remote workers – reach and speed in IC are more important than ever. Already our private lives are dominated by mobile-first communication, now the corporate environment has to catch up. How? By facilitating the device that most of us use daily: the smartphone.

Reading rates for news published in an employee communication app are 3x higher than for those on traditional intranets, apps enable push notifications and they, ultimately, increase employee engagement.

And crisis management is by far not the only use an employee communication app can take in the corporate environment. At Paulaner, one of the biggest breweries in Germany, the aim was to digitize the outdated employee newsletter which took three months to produce and was, hence, not timely anymore. The app now enables employees to learn more about the company they work for and has been called „the cooler version of grapevine communication“.

At BlitzBlank, a cleaning company from Austria, the app is used to train the employees. Regular videos enable them to learn skills on the go and push notifications are used as reminders for classes and bootcamps.

At Adidas the aim was to connect the employees that work on the shop floors. In retail opportunities for training are rare and especially part timers and students are often left out of the information loop. The following communication silos then result in a poor customer experience. An app enables our customers in retail to spread information on marketing, shift plans and the brand promise on a channel that is already in their employees pockets.

At Reinert logistics the aim is to communicate with their drivers who not only ensure transport across several countries but also speak multiple languages. Their app enables them to write content in more than 6 different languages, including Chinese, and automatically adapts to the user’s smartphone language setting.

SPARDA, a German bank shows that the app is designed for their most valued brand ambassador by launching it on Valentine’s day – as a gift to those close to them. Their employees say thank you with onboarding rates of over 60% after just 4 weeks. Viessmann, a leading heating technology manufacturer, developed their own SAP timesheet integration.

Before, employees had to ask their supervisor to get access to their current time tracking account, which was a time-consuming process. Within a week Viessmann’s internal IT created a custom Staffbase plugin based on the Staffbase Plugin API and the Plugin Java SDK.

What these case studies show is that there is a distinct need for a platform that accompanies every touchpoint of the employee lifecycle from before onboarding to Alumni.

For more information on how to make the most of your employee communication app, watch the on-demand webinar on the effective use of apps to reach non-desk based workers that I was guest host for with Poppulo.


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