Remote working initially had challenges, including communicating effectively with workers, monitoring workers, ensuring teamwork, and meeting productivity targets. Over time, these challenges have been weathered thanks to modern technology in the form of tools like employee apps designed to make work easier.
An employee app is a digital tool or platform that enables workers to access work-related tasks and communicate with other team members. The app can be accessed through a desktop computer or mobile device.
Using employee apps also provides workers a digital space to openly communicate, foster workplace relationships, and collaborate effectively. Usually, workers are required to download an app upon joining the company.
Reasons An Employee App Is Crucial For Remote Teams
Employee apps are crucial for the following reasons that include mobility, personalized communication, and cost efficiency. Let’s look at why employee apps are needed by businesses today in more detail, starting with mobility.
Most workers don’t sit in one place, and their duties may require them to be on the move. It would be difficult for them to connect with coworkers and send work-related updates while on the go. With an employee app, however, they can conveniently fulfill their duties from anywhere as long as an Internet connection is available.
2. Streamlined Communication
Employee apps improve internal communication within organizations and companies. Team member apps consolidate information in one place that all workers can access. The management can communicate with employees all at once using the employee app.
With a dedicated app, managers are assured that every employee can receive memos, messages, and other reminders. Meetings can also be quickly convened since employees are already gathered in one app.
3. Personalized Communications
Although employee apps are known to effectively disseminate company or group messages, most are capable of individual and personal communications. The apps make it easy to communicate with workers in line with their age, location, duties, and interests.
Using employee apps enables companies to engage with workers who may be overlooked but are still crucial in accelerating the growth of the business. Apps can also be equipped with translation technology that enables company management to communicate with workers in their native languages.
Using team member apps encourages cross-learning because workers can learn from one another wherever they are. The management can build its company’s culture using employee apps that allow for open and regular communication with workers. This leads to a transparent work environment and increased productivity.
5. Repository Of Resources
Using team member apps with features allowing workers access to resources and training material helps them become better professionals. This makes workers confident about their company input and increases performance and productivity.
Using team member apps reduces operational costs because there’s no need to constantly print copies and deliver them to other offices and departments. The extra funds may then be channeled to different aspects of the business.
Employee App Capabilities and Features
A team member app should possess capabilities and features that make it efficient for managers and employees. These are:
- The ability to receive critical company information on time
- User-friendly design with social media features such as comments, likes, follows, and emojis
- Enable the worker to access, create, manage, store, and publish digital materials and documents
- Allow workers to do analytics reporting and testing to track usage patterns, message reach, adoption rate, and engagement levels.
- Capacity to share various formats of news and other information like text, audio, video, and images
- The means to perform various functions, including employee recognition to celebrate workers who have reached targets
- Allowing back-and-forth conversations in real time to incorporate other crucial tools within the work environment
- Can support more workers to access the platform, including those not conversant with the digital space
- Have project management features to simplify workflow, approve requests, and assign tasks
Types Of Employee Apps
Various types of workplace apps are available, categorized differently depending on their features, areas of focus, the organization size they can accommodate, and so on. Listed below are the most common types.
The primary purpose of communication apps, e.g., Skype, Zoom, or Google Teams, is to enable sharing of internal messages between a company and its workers and how they should use that information. It also allows workers to chat with each other and connect through screen share and video calls. This helps remote workers to feel like part of the team even when they’re away from the office.
These apps enable the company to send emergency alerts to the workers and share essential company information. They’re great for memos, reminders, and general announcements.
HR apps help in various tasks, including onboarding new workers, training them, improving engagement, and managing multiple talents. Onboarding, for instance, can be done at the same time for both in-office and remote teams. Platforms that allow companies to screen and hire employees may also be considered HR apps.
Feedback apps are helpful in the creation and analysis of surveys that are given to workers. The company’s management can track changes in workers’ responses so that it’s easy to tell when there are any problems. These surveys also help collect any data that may be needed at a given time and share new ideas with the workers.
This app provides workers with the resources they need to discharge their duties. It has tools for delivering services, swapping shifts, and incorporating external devices.
On the one hand, this app is used by company management to acknowledge and applaud workers for doing their job well. On the other hand, workers can also use it to congratulate, cheer, and urge each other. This app works well, especially for remote workers who cannot be called into the manager’s or supervisor’s office to be congratulated for a job well done.
Certain apps are developed to be a combination of either type. For example, communication apps also have a feature that makes them informational apps.
Tips On How To Choose The Right Employee App
A company’s management can pick several types of employee apps to suit their business. It’s necessary to take note of the following:
Consider the price of the app as per the budget for your company
Decide whether the app should be voluntary or mandatory to use. The decision about this should be guided by the goals and objectives of your company.
Evaluate the company’s communication status, assess all issues, and determine which area to improve.
Critically examine whether your chosen software can handle over 100 workers without malfunctioning. Make sure that it is user-friendly too.
Ensure that the product reviews and the support team for both client and developer are rated over four stars.
Common Downsides Of Using Employee Apps
Employee apps also have their share of disadvantages, including:
1. Poor Search Capabilities
Most employee apps can store conversation histories, but retrieving them could be problematic. A search bar is usually available, and the most recent ones may be found quickly, but users might find it challenging to retrieve conversations from a year ago.
2. High-End System Requirements
Some apps require high-end system requirements to run efficiently. This could be a challenge for some remote employees who don’t have the latest gadgets or equipment that can carry the app. Compatibility issues between the app and the employee’s device can also occur. In such cases, the company might incur additional expenses to provide employees with the proper equipment that will allow them to access the app.
3. Training And Onboarding
Since workers have different learning abilities, managers and supervisors must be patient as they take workers through virtual training and onboarding. The app in use could be difficult for newbies. It may have no features to save history so that a worker can go back to what they were doing in case they got stuck while going through the training and onboarding process.
4. Additional Costs
An employee app could cost more than the anticipated budget because of the complexities of installing and accessing it. This could mean some workers have access to the app while others don’t because the company has to use more funds to have the app up and running for all workers.
As mentioned earlier, some employees might not have the right equipment to access the app. Hence, the company might need additional expenses to provide the proper gadgets or equipment.
Team member apps are among the most recent technological tools or platforms to transform businesses. Sharing information with all employees and engaging with each other, despite being situated in different locations, is a game changer for most businesses.
Company managers can ensure that their workers are happy, feel appreciated, and are produced through efficient employee apps.
On the other hand, the app allows employees to conveniently access and finish their tasks anywhere—from home, a coffee shop, or a coworking space. It also helps them cultivate a good relationship with their team leaders and coworkers.