Ditch the intranet: ‘we want apps’ say employees

With research revealing that 71% of workers want their employer to offer the same level of technology that they use in their personal lives, it is clear that employee engagement strategies which utilise emerging technology platforms need to be top of the HR agenda.

That’s according to digital solutions provider, Workvine, which has produced a report detailing the top ways that HR teams can improve employee engagement through workplace apps.

By aggregating and curating several major sources of research from bodies such as the CIPD, Gatehouse, Aberdeen Group and ADP Research Institute, the report discusses how apps can deliver a more engaging experience for staff and, in turn, increase a company’s productivity levels.

In particular, the report demonstrates that the use of such apps will lead to improvements in five key areas of personnel management:

1. Engaging new starters during the onboarding process: through the provision of easily accessible information, corporate videos, training schedules, community networking platforms and much more.
2. Performance management: by putting the power back into the hands of the employee, allowing them greater control over their development and training.
3. Access and engagement with HR: streamlining processes to ensure actions are implemented quicker and admin tasks – such as holiday requests – are managed efficiently.
4. Company-wide communication and updates: to not only keep staff informed, but also help those working remotely feel part of the team.
5. Peer to peer communication: allowing greater exchange of information and a better feel of being ‘one team’ rather than separate entities.

The results of this research are of particular importance given the increase in remote working that is being seen worldwide. According to data from the TUC, in 2017 the number of people working remotely in the UK alone had increased by almost a quarter of a million (241,000) over the last decade. If HR teams are to effectively manage and engage workers situated across such wide-ranging locations, apps will need to be a key part of employee management strategies.

Commenting on this analysis, Adrian Hobbs, Chairman of Workvine said:

“Apps play a huge role in our personal lives. They are designed to make regular activities easier, so it’s perhaps no wonder that there’s a hunger from staff for greater incorporation of such tools in the workplace. And when we consider that 60% of European employees are using a smartphone, laptop or tablet that has been provided by their employer, it certainly seems like a wasted opportunity if these devices aren’t enabled with an app that helps them connect with the company, complete admin tasks, keep up with news and manage their performance.

For HR and management teams, supervising a workforce of employees operating across a range of locations – whether in several offices, on-site at projects or even from home – is a complex challenge, but it’s increasingly becoming the norm. While the use of the intranet has been an option in the past, this is now out-dated and simply isn’t meeting the needs of employers and workers alike. As the world of work becomes more flexible, the use of apps will prove hugely valuable in keeping staff engaged with the company and managing employee on-boarding, training and development.”