Lee Gordon, VP of Global Communications and Public Relations at Brunswick Corporation, was once quoted as saying, “We all have a quest for knowledge, and without it, we often feel further away from each other. Internal communications have never been more relevant and important than right now.
Since March 15 (2020), or thereabouts, many of us haven’t had those in-person interactions, and because of that, employees in many cases can feel like they are on an island – abandoned from what is happening at the core of the business. When we go back to the office someday, I always joke that we will need a “Hello My Name Is” tag just to decipher who each other is.
It’s easy to communicate “to” your employees – it’s a one-way street without give and take. But how well are you communicating “with” your employees? Do you know how they feel, what they think, or if they are receiving the right communications?”
Many, like Lee, echo similar sentiments. In times like these, when remote working is the new norm, and home is the new workspace, employees need all the information and support they can get, anytime and anywhere. Efficient internal communication has, therefore, become the backbone of every organization.
However, many companies lack the mechanisms to keep employees informed and connected from wherever they want. While most employees use email and siloed messaging apps on their phones to communicate with direct teammates, they become disconnected from what’s happening in the rest of the organization. Often, critical information gets lost in hundreds of messages and emails, driving disengagement and hampering productivity in the process.
Mobile usage has soared over time. In fact, people spend 90% of their smartphone time using apps – and not just for social networking. For instance, 10.1% of all apps downloaded from the Apple app store in 2020 were business-related. With businesses increasingly recognizing the importance of mobile apps, having a mobile intranet app as a battle plan for re-anchoring employee communications is prudent to build an agile and resilient organization in the new normal.
A mobile intranet app brings the organization’s entire digital hub to the user’s fingertips. It allows employees to collaborate on projects, share information, keep up with corporate news, get important notifications, and access daily business apps conveniently, especially when they don’t have immediate access to their computers.
Let’s delve further.
British Airways, an international airline, acknowledged the challenges facing their ground staff and cabin crew and launched a mobile intranet app called “ONE,” a one-stop-channel to support employee communication and engagement.
With ONE, the staff can access essential notifications, leadership insights, company news, and social networking updates at their convenience. Moreover, BA:TV, the company’s mobile-friendly video communication channel, piques user interest in stories from around the industry and business, which they would have otherwise missed.
Commenting on the initiative, Drew McMillan, Director of Colleague Communication and Engagement at British Airways, said, “British Airways is committed to a multi-billion investment program, focused on improving the experience for our customers at every stage of their journey. By providing a new, mobile intranet solution to our 44,000 colleagues, we are helping them to connect and communicate more effectively, which ultimately means a more consistent, high-quality service delivered to our valued customers.”
In the new normal, with the entire workforce dispersed across territories and work hours less defined, establishing effective employee communication takes priority. A mobile intranet app offers benefits that help achieve this goal. These include –
Social capabilities, like blogs, messaging apps, discussion forums, social feeds, and idea management systems, build community and fuel innovation. They offer a platform for employees to create, consume, and collaborate. Be it an informal brainstorming of ideas or a discussion on corporate news and policies, employees can pitch into discussions, post the latest updates, provide feedback, share project success stories, and provide a glimpse into their personal lives – all of which boost engagement and create a conducive work culture.
As Lee Gordan said, “One of the many things I miss about being in the office is accidentally running into people at the coffee machine. Those chance encounters provide tremendous insight into what my colleagues were working on or what their kids did over the weekend.”
Through the various social tools, mobile intranet apps help build virtual water coolers – a digital version of the traditional water cooler in the office that allows employees to “catch up” with each other.
Irrespective of whether they are traveling, operating from the office, or working from home, employees shouldn’t miss out on any latest updates. At the same time, the staff shouldn’t feel lost and should only see content relevant to their geography, role, duties, and interests.
A mobile intranet app displays targeted and personalized communication, ensuring the social feed remains relevant to each employee.
Organizations can send push notifications, alerting the staff about essential guidelines, real-time updates (such as network downtime), upcoming events, and other important information relevant to their role directly to their smartphones.
An intranet mobile app also notifies employees about any pending tasks and nudges them to take action on the go. For instance, a manager who is travelling, can get notified about a new leave request from a subordinate and approve the request with just a click.
Accessing the right information at the right time is the key to enhanced productivity. Whether you need the data to reply to a client’s urgent email or finalize a new project deal, your mobile intranet can find the relevant information on the go.
A cognitive search engine helps locate documents, files, training resources, and other data across organization-wide apps. The search is not limited to keywords; instead, organized meta-tagging and AI-enabled personalization draw up the most relevant results.
Moreover, when in need of technical assistance, employees can instantly locate peers with the relevant subject-matter expertise from the mobile intranet app. Furthermore, a chatbot embedded in the app can draw up the required information when needed.
Frontline workers, like nurses, construction workers, factory workers, etc., constitute 80% of the global working population. They are untethered, meaning they don’t sit behind a desk every day, thus, organizations must ensure such workers enjoy the ultimate employee experience.
Frontline workers find it difficult to access the relevant information and are often unaware of company news, events, and top management communication.
A mobile intranet app helps target communication to the worker’s role and geography. Push notifications enable organizations to share the latest announcements and messages from the top management.
Frontline workers can retrieve relevant files and information via the cognitive enterprise search functionality. Moreover, they can also access the latest training videos and documents on the go to enhance their current knowledge and skills.
Quick links to self-service tools on the mobile intranet app reduce dependence on the HR, IT, and employee help-desk.
They enable employees to complete everyday tasks anytime and from anywhere. This may include work, such as filling up time and expense sheets, requesting leaves, checking leave balance, downloading payslips, completing personal details, managing travel plans, and filling up asset request forms.
At Acuvate, we leverage our autonomous SharePoint intranet solution called Mesh 3.0 to help clients deploy a platform-independent, mobile-first intranet app available for Android and iOS.
Our solution is built on the Office 365 foundation and uses the best Microsoft technologies, including LUIS, Office Graph, Azure Search Services, and MS Natural Language Stack.
Our user-friendly mobile intranet app helps improve communication and collaboration with the following features:
We also build custom digital workplace apps to help you engage your frontline staff, like factory workers, sales personnel, nurses, and construction workers.
To know more about our mobile intranet solutions, please feel free to schedule a personalized consultation with our experts.
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