Even with the pandemic in the rear-view mirror, the trend of rising quit rates is showing no signs of slowing down. In dealing with the great recession, most companies are looking for ways to increase employee engagement and reduce churn like never before.
With highly engaged business units achieving a 43% difference in turnover, it’s vital for leaders to ensure that employees have the right tech tools, information and support to engage them effectively and help them navigate uncertainty and disruption.
One common mistake is thinking engagement is only for HR. This is where most companies go wrong. Employee engagement tech is something everyone has to be invested in for it to be successful.
So, whether you’re wanting to develop your business value away from BAU IT, looking to meet employee engagement targets and reduce complexity and overhead in your teams, or are interested in utilizing new, authentic and timely comms at scale, we’re here to help.
In this guide, we’ve gone through some of our top picks and explained exactly why you should be using an employee engagement app for your organization this year.
4 advantages of an employee engagement app
When it comes down to it, the best employee engagement apps are about communication and support. With approximately 6.4 billion global smartphone users as of 2021, these solutions need to be mobile-ready to be the most effective.
There are many great reasons to invest in one of the best employee engagement apps, from improving employee communication to deriving actionable insights to boost productivity.
The solution to getting such a tool adopted starts with approaching employee engagement as something that is earned, rather than an initiative or a project.
Ensure that the tools you are providing frontline workers with are naturally integrating with and improving their daily lives, and are creating a space which invites organic engagement through connection.
Here are four advantages to mobile-friendly employee engagement tools:
1. An employee app reduces costs and improves profitability.
As we highlighted at the start of our guide, highly engaged businesses have been found to achieve a 43% difference in turnover compared to disengaged business units. On top of this, they see a 10% difference in customer ratings and an 18% difference in sales. Overall, data suggests that highly engaged units see a 23% difference in profitability.
Construction giant Caterpillar found increasing engagement helped save $8.8 million at one of its European factories in just one year. The company also increased satisfied customers and profits by $2 million.
With these numbers in mind, investing in a solution to improve engagement, communication and support for your employees can have an extremely positive impact on both their experience and the success of your business.
Employee engagement apps also often provide companies with cost savings as they reduce the need for print materials, training sessions or events. Instead, information is easily accessible through a mobile app with push notifications, making communication and engagement more efficient and less costly.
2. An employee app reduces complexity and keeps everyone in the loop.
When you take advantage of an employee engagement app, frontline staff without consistent desktop access can still easily check internal docs, communicate with HR, and connect with the wider company.
Large companies benefit from a more connected staff that doesn’t feel isolated based on location.
Similarly, it helps employees working from home feel more connected to their coworkers. Gallup found employees who work remotely 60-80% of the time are the most engaged. However, Gallup notes that effective and frequent communication is key to keeping them in this zone.
An employee engagement app brings the processes and documents that employees and their managers need – from payslips to scheduling and other critical documents – all into one place, all with one login.
Access to everything, everywhere, all the time keeps your workforce in the loop and ensures critical messages can be seen swiftly by everyone – from desk-based workers to your dedicated frontline employees.
3. Increased engagement leads to improved performance and connection.
Improving the employee experience leads to higher productivity, lower absenteeism, and fewer accidents. In fact, employee engagement has been found to have a positive relationship with individual performance (organizational commitment, positive behavior, etc.) as well as organizational performance (customer satisfaction, financial return, etc.)
By providing a new digital space that employees can naturally gravitate towards, you can start to move business value away from BAU technology, increasing engagement, performance and, most importantly, connection between the frontline and your other team members.
4. Specialist apps engage deskless workers too.
According to Forbes:
"Nearly one in five workers (18%) consider themselves to be digital technology experts since COVID-19, while over half consider themselves proficient." As a result, their expectations are way, way higher."
In spite of this, most employee technologies today are designed for regular, desk-based office workers. While it's great that these more general tools exist, frontline and deskless workers are unfortunately often left out of the digital transformation loop.
Here at Blink, we understand the importance of an employee engagement approach that is specifically designed for your needs. Frontline workers need frontline-specific tech!
By utilizing a frontline engagement app like Blink in your digital transformation strategy, you can ensure that your company's engagement strategy suitable for and more importantly reaching your entire workforce.
No more confusion about what’s happening on the frontline, no more disconnected employees, and no more falling behind in a competitive market.
From real-time frontline communication to shift schedules and so much more, specifically tailored employee apps can help you make the most of your comms, whatever your industry. And with your choice of apps, you can personalize to suit the needs of your workforce!
5. Employee engagement apps allow for better frontline safety.
By reducing workplace errors and accidents, employee engagement makes for better safety for all workers, particularly your frontline. Harvard states that engaged workers are more aware of their surroundings and best practices around safety, and are more likely to take steps to protect their co-workers.
With an easy-to-access app interface at their fingertips integrated with all the policies, documents and safety procedures they need, your frontline is able to work safely, efficiently, and to the best of their ability, at all times.
Best employee engagement apps
- Engagement Multiplier
The best employee engagement solution will vary depending on your industry, the most important functionality, or the metric you want to improve. Here are our top picks for this year.
1. Blink — best employee engagement app for frontline workers
When it comes to frontline workers, employee technology becomes vital for team management. For these employees, an engagement app is a must-have to ensure they have the information they need at their fingertips and can communicate directly with the rest of the company.
Blink is an engagement app offering technology designed specifically for frontline workers. It helps them stay connected with each other and with leadership, ensuring they have access to the people, processes, communications and applications they need to do their jobs well.
If your company considers frontline staff a strategic priority, employee communications tailored to engaging your workforce in an intuitive, familiar and user-friendly platform will help most. Blink offers everything from critical documents to scheduling, payslips, and user provisioning all in one place, with a single login and without needing a company email. Its app marketplace offers integrations with many of the most popular systems, reducing complexity and allowing you to keep using your existing tools.
Features such as the Feed, Hub, and secure Chats ensure that employees never miss important messages, feel valued, and are connected to leadership. Meanwhile, the Frontline Intelligence feature gives managers valuable metrics on engagement, satisfaction and retention, allowing for better data-driven decisions to be made for the business.
2. Officevibe — best employee app for HR
Officevibe focuses on tools to help manage employees. Its pulse surveys are designed to understand your worker’s concerns and communicate more effectively.
You can schedule one-on-one meetings with team members, automate follow-ups, and discuss specific goals to empower each employee.
The app also offers tools and resources to help grow as a manager and take action based on real-time feedback.
3. Engagement Multiplier — best employee engagement app for small businesses
Engagement Multiplier is a reasonably priced app aimed at small to medium-sized businesses. While not as in-depth as some of the other employee engagement software we mentioned, it helps new companies and startups learn more about their engagement levels.
Features include benchmark assessments, anonymous data collection, recommended actions, and the ability to create custom employee engagement surveys.
4. Bonusly — best employee app for team building
Bonusly is all about fun employee recognition rewards. The app lets you give each employee an allowance of points that they, in turn, give to coworkers for helping them, doing a great job, or just being awesome.
These points can be exchanged for different rewards at third-party brands or custom rewards unique to your company. This peer recognition is great for building up an engaged workforce.
These bonuses are shared in a company-wide feed so everyone can receive notifications on employee performance, plus employees get to decide who they believe is doing the most to help.
5. WeThrive — best employee app for mental health support
WeThrive is an employee engagement platform focused on the mental health of your workers. It helps you create surveys to check on employee wellness and take action to safeguard it.
You can see individual results as well as team overviews. WeThrive offers solutions for each person, from the individual who might feel overwhelmed to the manager trying to balance dozens of tasks.
Questions worth asking to determine if you need an employee engagement app
Employee engagement apps aren’t necessary for all companies, but most can benefit by implementing one or more of them.
You can determine if your organization would benefit from one of these apps by answering the following questions about your current communications flow.
Do we have a channel to reach everyone in real-time?
Without a way for employees to communicate with corporate, you miss out on their feedback. Landlines and email aren’t accessible to all workers. And while office workers may have the opportunity to discuss issues as they happen, this can be harder for frontline staff.
The same is true for employees who work atypical schedules or work remotely. An employee engagement app makes it easy for everyone to discuss issues as they come up.
Are employees treated equally?
Do frontline staff and office workers have the same opportunities for engagement? It may seem obvious, but a quick survey could reveal communication issues. Knowing how your employees feel now is important to improve your workplace culture.
You should focus on improving the internal communication channels and opportunities for all workers. Give credit and check-in with workers who may feel overlooked with an app that gives them more direct access to their managers.
Are key messages getting lost?
These documents are often sensitive, and giving appropriate access is tricky. However, the right employee engagement app can let workers access the information they need and reduce friction in the organization.
Does HR spend most of its time answering the same questions? If so, an HR mobile app could help here too. Let human resources create its own FAQ post to share with the company or have direct access to HR more accessible to employees.
Final thoughts: The best employee engagement apps
As this guide has illustrated, an employee engagement app can be a game-changing part of strategies to raise levels of employee engagement.
Whether you’re a small office with a few dozen employees or a multinational corporation with hundreds of stores, the best employee engagement apps will offer something to help all of your workers feel more connected.
At Blink, we’re passionate about helping companies connect with their frontline workers. Our app offers features like employee feeds, shift patterns, and secure chats to make sure your team always has the information and connectivity they need.
If you’re looking for a frontline employee engagement solution that will help your workforce thrive in 2023 and beyond, Blink is the perfect choice for you.
Need an all-in-one frontline employee engagement solution? Get started with Blink today!
Employee engagement apps FAQs
What are staff apps?
Staff apps are mobile apps that help employees with their work tasks. They may include features like time tracking, scheduling, messaging, and shift swapping.
Employee engagement apps go a step further to include features designed for improving employee engagement, communication and connection. This can not only strengthen the relationship between individual employees and the company but also improve your overall team engagement, boosting employee retention.
How do you engage employees on apps?
There are a few key ways to keep employees engaged with an app:
- Use push notifications for timely announcements and company news.
- Encourage employee interaction with features like forums, chats, and polls.
- Offer rewards or recognition through points, badges, and leaderboards.
- Make it easy to access important company information like employee handbooks and contact lists.
- Provide support with features like FAQs, tutorials, and customer service contact info.
- Ensure managers are engaging in ongoing two-way conversations with employees.
Why is an employee app an essential tool for remote teams?
With many workers valuing benefits like working from home, it’s important to help remote employees stay engaged while working outside the office. An employee engagement mobile app makes an essential tool for remote teams because it helps them stay connected wherever they’re working.
With an app, they can easily access company news, contact lists, and important documents. Apps also provide a direct way for managers to give feedback and recognition, and for employees to ask questions and get support.
If you want to improve employee engagement in your remote team, employee apps can make a cutting edge addition to your internal communications strategy.
What are some disadvantages of using Slack?
While Slack is a popular communication system for businesses providing different channels, it is not without its disadvantages as an employee engagement app. Namely, it can be difficult to keep track of all the conversations happening simultaneously in different channels, and key messages can get lost in the chaos.
For example, other top employee engagement apps may include more features dedicated to measuring employee engagement, such as detailed surveys, polls and reports, which can help you get a more comprehensive understanding of how your employees are feeling.