Are your employees suffering from App-nesia?

Many businesses are now turning to apps not just to engage their customers but also to motivate employees. Apps are a great tool and internal apps have a great many uses, including:

  • Used by employees as part of peer to peer recognition programmes, whereby with a quick tap of the app you can say thank you to a co-worker
  • As part of a gamified motivation scheme where employees can track their progress up a leaderboard

smart phonesWith so many adults owning a smart phone (around two-thirds of those who own a mobile phone) it seems a no brainer to have an app to motivate your employees. But the problem is engagement: it can be tricky to keep people using the app.

If like me you’ve ever found yourself looking at a website on your phone only to remember you have that brand’s app installed you’ll know exactly what I mean. According to recent research by Ipsos, one in five consumer apps are installed and then forgotten about, and I imagine it’s the same if not worse for internal apps.


5 tips to make the best of your app

  1. Make your employee app engaging – Give your employees a reason to keep visiting the app. Include engaging content such as who’s won employee of the month, sharing good news such as a new client coming on board, and providing updates on products and services to encourage employees to keep using the app on a regular basis.
  2. Track the usage – As well as tracking how many employees download your app, track how much they are using it and when engagement starts to drop off. By analysing the data you will be able to segment your employees and plan activity on the app around specific drop off points, so that you keep employees engaged.
  3. Use push notifications intelligently – Push notifications can help keep employees engage with an app. You can use these notifications to send reminders to employees about new products or services, congratulations on a work anniversary or to let employees know that they have received recognition or are close to end of a gamification period. Just be careful not to bombard them with push notifications.
  4. Internally market your app – Ensure that you have a marketing or communications plan for your app. This needs to include raising awareness and encouraging employees to download and start using it, but also include ways to re-engage employees if they’ve stopped using it for a certain length of time.
  5. Measure, test and improve – Just like a standard recognition programme, apps need to be monitored against key performance indicators to ensure that they are delivering the results you want and you are not wasting your money. Use the insights gained from your app data and programme engagement, as well as feedback from your staff, to ensure that your app delivers, and don’t be afraid to change it if it’s not working.


Remember to consider others

You need to consider that not everyone who works for you will have a smart phone. Check your employee demographics and ensure that you  offer additional ways to engage with the scheme, such as an internal website or email.

online recognitionYou should also consider where your staff work, some businesses who have employees out on the road, may not always have internet or a 3G signal. Forced to wait until they are back home or in a hotel for the night, they may forget to log into the app and send that recognition, so consider giving them text or phone options as well.

Apps can be a fantastic way to engage staff and to get them to interact with your HR programme. To get the best from them make the app engaging, use push notifications and continually monitor and refine it.


John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
Connect with John on  | Twitter


Speak Your Mind


1 + fourteen =