A mobile intranet app takes internal employee communication to the next level. Think about it – your entire knowledge base and digital workplace is compacted into a mobile device. When staff can access work wherever they are, productivity and communication soars.
When smartphones and tablets first hit the business scene, they were supplemental in nature – only used when people weren't near their laptops. As time progressed, mobile devices became far more advanced. Today, you can see how impactful mobile devices are by looking at numerous industries... retailers use tablets as cash registers, marketing firms use them for brainstorming, and restaurants use them for menu planning.
Since mobile usage has increased over the years, developers now cater to the mobile audience. You can see this in responsive web design. Developers code websites so that any device used to access the site provides an optimal viewing experience. Responsive web design affects scrolling, text and image layout, and other design elements. This is an effective technique for your intranet software platform too. But responsive web design isn't the only approach to mobilize an intranet ... there are also mobile apps.
Today mobile intranet apps keep entire organizations connected when they're working and even when they're not. Whether you have deskless workers or teams in the office, users remain notified about important updates and can check work when they want... a goal every company should strive for.
Here's how a mobile intranet app can benefit your business with better employee communication.
With all the talk of mobile, businesses are looking for responsive intranets or mobile intranet software. Here are 10 benefits of having a mobile intranet app:
Today's business professionals often find themselves spending more time out of the office than at the desk. With a mobile intranet app, everything and everyone is a click away. No matter where users are, they can respond to messages from colleagues, customers, or keep tabs on a project. You'll see productivity reach new heights like never before.
An intranet is only good if people are using it. Strong adoption rates signify an engaged and informed organization. A mobile intranet app will drive more users to the platform because it meets people where they are, 24-7. Members can access work when they need to or, even better, on their own accord. It will also open their eyes to the importance of your company intranet and motivate them to log in on their desktops as well.
Email is useful, but it's not always the optimal medium for every situation. Intranet software allows employee communication to happen in a direct, noninvasive way, and a mobile intranet is no exception. A mobile intranet app alerts users immediately about important updates through push notifications. Whether a member is at a conference, on vacation, or on the go, no one misses company news.
You can use your intranet for customer service or an intranet help desk. This should be a major focal point, as your clients and customers define the path of your business. Because people always have their mobile devices handy, a mobile intranet app makes it easy for them to get the help they need ... whenever they need it. This improves brand loyalty and reputation for your company.
Employees will find themselves being more productive with a mobile intranet. Many people experience downtime during the day. This is an obstacle everyone experiences. By having a digital workplace at the tips of their fingers, members will be closer to their work and productivity rates will improve.
Connectivity is one of the most beneficial results you'll see when you implement a mobile intranet app. A connected staff is what differentiates a mediocre company from a successful one. When your employees are aligned with company goals, projects, and each other, they provide outstanding customer service and work to the best of their ability. An intranet application takes this to the next level. Contacting colleagues and employee communication is never an issue with direct messaging and the employee directory. And perhaps most importantly, users can come to you whenever they want.
Sticking to a budget and saving money can be tricky, especially when every meeting is face-to-face. Billable hours go through the roof in this scenario ... but you can save money by handling meetings, discussions, and work sessions within your intranet. With digital workplace software, these important discussions can happen on the fly. Give your people an employee communication app, and things start looking better for your budget.
Mobile is great because where you go, it follows. For businesses that have employees moving from one location to the next or working on the frontline, a mobile intranet app allows them to do their work on-the-spot rather than driving back to an office. Any critical piece of information is accessible on any device to help close a deal or resolve an issue.
The concept of "bring your own device" (BYOD) is the new norm in the business world. Some think this trend will continue to grow and some think it may not. A mobile intranet app gives your employees the freedom to choose how they do their work and with what device. Every person works differently, and a mobile intranet lets them choose their most productive method of getting stuff done.
Mobile intranet apps build a stronger bond between your staff and company. The truth is, when you invest in your employees on meaningful tools, they take notice. By providing your people with a mobile intranet app, it shows that you value your employees. You not only want to help them excel in their roles, but you also care about communicating with them, no matter where they are. This is an effort that will not go unnoticed by your staff. You'll see more conversations flowing in your organization, more productivity, and an even stronger community.
Implementing anything new in a business can be daunting. Aside from planning and training, you also need to overcome an emotional challenge no organization is free from: the fear of change. Although mobile intranet software is an invaluable tool, you must have a rollout strategy to make the transition successful. Here's how to create a plan that will bring your mobile intranet app to fruition.
Here are 12 tips to mobilize your intranet:
Every business operates differently. When shopping for mobile intranet software, ask yourself, "What do I want my organization to use this for?" Are you more concerned with social aspects or the productivity capabilities? How much customization reign do you have? Is the layout easy to navigate? The perfect mobile intranet app will check all your boxes and support your employees' needs.
I am a huge proponent of always checking in with your employees. Before you launch your mobile intranet app, ask your staff what they'd like to do with it. How do they foresee it being a valuable addition to their jobs? What features will be beneficial for their needs? Do they have prior experience with a mobile intranet? If so, what would they like to see in this app to make it better? If you don't provide mobile devices for your staff, it's also wise to make sure the majority owns a smartphone or tablet.
Keep in mind that employees will not need every feature on their intranet application. The easier it is to access information, colleagues, and the community, the better. Intranet software is packed with tools, so you should be selective with what goes into your mobile intranet app. Give your staff the necessities. People will be far more receptive if the platform is not overwhelming and has what they need.
When determining the contents of your mobile intranet app, always have your employees and "mobile" on the top of your mind. For instance, if your office is in a city, chances are many employees use public transportation. Meet your people where they are: have blogs, wikis, and articles with relevant information for users to view while they travel. Just as important, make sure these features are readable and mobile-friendly.
Getting employees to embrace a new mobile intranet can be challenging. If employees are not encouraged to use it, intranet user adoption will lag. Increase usage by giving employees a reason to go there. Have essential business apps, important content, and an easy-to-use tools within your mobile intranet. During rollout, you can also plan a scavenger hunt in the software, to get people excited and acquainted with the platform. This will give every employee a reason to log in.
If a mobile intranet is not designed with the end-user in mind, navigation will be challenging. (Trust me, there many employee communication apps that are not mobile-friendly.) One of the most important features that you need is a search tool front-and-center in your mobile intranet app. This way, employees can easily and quickly find what or who they need no matter where they are in the platform.
Gamification is another great tool to drive a successful mobile intranet app. Intranet gamification will motivate your staff to use the mobile intranet, while also exceling in their roles. Expense a lunch for users who log into their mobile app and comment on an article five times in a month. Get creative and see what works. Sometimes employees need a little nudge to get motivated.
Remember that your employees are the ones who matter most. If members have suggestions to improve your mobile intranet app, they need a comfortable forum to share their thoughts. Set up a virtual comment box for your employees. This can be some of the most effective feedback to improve the quality of your mobile intranet and shows your staff that you value their opinions.
We use text every day. Heck... I'm using text right now. When it comes to mobile devices, however, long articles with a lot of words can be mundane. In fact, people usually stop reading. To get members engaged with your content, especially on mobile devices, consider this marketing rule of thumb: less is more. Keep blogs less text-heavy and include images. It will visually engage your readers and get them curious about the article.
Humans are visual creatures. Adding your company logo and colors to your mobile intranet is a subtle, but effective way to get users excited about the app and your organization. Employee communication apps vary in customization abilities, so make sure you can personalize your platform.
Once you launch your mobile intranet, monitor its progress. How many people are logging in every day or month? What are they doing when they're there? Are employees communicating with each other? Are there any bugs with the app? Use your analytics tool to see what features are being used and what isn't. As mentioned in #8, you should also check in with your employees. Make sure your mobile intranet app supports your business and your people.
Patience is a virtue and launching a mobile intranet app is no exception. Leaders sometimes set unreasonable expectations with their mobile intranet – a common mistake. If you do this, you may end up with employee disengagement issues. So be patient. Things take time. Don't bite off more than you can chew and remember employees need to adjust to this new tool.
A mobile intranet is a powerful tool that can streamline every effort within your organization. When the entire workplace is in the palm of your employees' hands, the advantages are nearly endless. Whether you have teams out-in-the-field or fixing a crisis management situation on a Saturday, your mobile intranet app will support their needs and sustain better employee communication no matter where they are.
Tim is president and co-founder of Axero Solutions, a leading intranet software vendor. He's also a bestselling author of Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Mastering Employee Engagement. Tim’s been featured in Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, CNBC, Today, and other leading publications.
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