By Natanya Rutstein
According to the authors of the book “The Future Workplace Experience”, fostering a sense of community amongst co-workers is key to engaging the workforce and building compelling workplace experiences. Communication and engagement apps, especially mobile ones, are being adopted by organisations across the globe in the hope of encouraging open communication and creating this much sought-after sense of community and connection with the ultimate goal of increased employee engagement, productivity and satisfaction levels.
For Millennial and Generation Z employees, connecting with friends via mobile social networking apps has become a daily ritual. Its hard to imagine an employee leaving their work station without their mobile phone, regardless of their generation, if only to get a quick cup of coffee. We use apps on our mobile devices for just about anything, from banking to shopping, reading the newspaper, the list is endless. Engaging employees via their mobile devices can therefore be a very valuable tool to interactively reach out to them at all times, where ever they are and in real-time. The trend of BYOD (Bring Your own Device) which allows staff to use their own devices at work is also making it so much easier to engage and communicate with employees through the use of embedded technologies in their mobile devices.
A recent article in IT web described how South African Airways (SAA) has introduced their own mobile app to encourage communication and ease tensions between staff and management. The SAA Employee Engagement App allows staff to share ideas, make suggestions, give feedback and ask questions, all in real-time. The app can be downloaded on company issued mobile devices, as well as on personal devices (Android and iOS platforms).
Facebooks Workplace is another example of an enterprise collaboration tool which is steadily gaining popularity largely due to its familiar user interface, tools and features. You can set up work groups, post information to the group, follow work feeds as well as communicate on messenger. It also supports live video, file and screen sharing. Another interesting app which caught my attention is the employee motivation and recognition tool tapmyback which allows team members to recognise each-others achievements in real time and can also be used to get feedback on employee engagement and satisfaction levels.
Apps are just one of the many collaboration tools available to organisations who are committed to building connections through real-time communication with and amongst their employees. There is no getting away from the fact that using apps has become a big part of our daily lives and they may just prove to be an indispensable tool in your EX (employee experience) toolbox!