Transforming HR teams with the help of a frontline app

A recap of our recent webinar on how Blink can help solve People team’s goals and shared best practice tips for using the app.
What we'll cover

A frontline super-app, like Blink, can transform employee engagement and the employee experience. And it can be a real game-changer for HR and people teams.

In our recent webinar, Marcy Paterson (VP of Solutions Consulting) and Simon White (Chief People Officer) discussed how Blink can help solve People team’s goals and shared best practice tips for using the app.

They covered a lot of ground, including:

  • Closing the connection gap between employees and management
  • Ways to adjust the noise level and moderate app content
  • Ensuring HR messages get heard
  • Using an employee app to measure employee engagement

Listen to the full conversation here: On-demand webinar | Putting a frontline employee app to the test.

HR team priorities: internal comms and employee engagement

Chief People Officer, Simon White, started by giving his take on current HR priorities. It’s all about internal communication and employee engagement, he says.

Employees have higher expectations year on year. Employees want to know what’s happening within their organization. And they want to feel connected to something bigger than themselves. 

To enable that feeling of connection, companies need to embrace transparency.

An increasingly dispersed workforce also means meeting employees where they are. In terms of their location, shift patterns, and the tech they can access.  

In the modern workplace, HR leaders don’t just need to decide what to say. They also need to consider how they get people to hear and absorb internal communications. And how they make that content equally accessible to every employee in the organization, regardless of their role or schedule.

With these priorities in mind, let’s find out how a People's team can get the most from Blink, a super-app designed for the frontline. 

How HR teams can get the most from a frontline app

Closing the connection gap

There’s often a connection gap between frontline workers and office-based teams.

Frontline workers don’t always have access to devices or even a company email address. The resources and information that is often readily available to office-based teams, can easily get lost when getting to the frontline. The information they receive is sometimes piecemeal or non-existent.

This can lead to engagement problems. Employees may not see how they contribute to the bigger picture, so they’re unlikely to go above and beyond in their role.

That’s where Blink comes in - an app available via a personal smartphone device, not requiring a work email to access. It supports employee communication and employee recognition. The sharing of company updates and company culture.

Crucially, an app gives employees a voice - and gives visibility to that voice. Employees can tag their CEO in a question and everyone sees the CEO’s public response.

That’s meaningful two-way conversation and connection. And this is something that helps move the dial on employee engagement. Closing this frontline connection gap is one of the best ways HR teams can use a frontline app.

You help people to see – hey, you may be one person in a 10-person company, you may be one person in a 10,000-person company. But actually, you really contribute something. And that’s really important. – Simon White, Chief People Officer

Want to take a look at how it works? Preview our employee app today.

Adjusting the noise level

Some HR leaders are concerned about the unnecessary noise an employee app might create. But with Blink, you decide who can post what, and where.

Employees may be limited to posting within particular groups. A team leader can then decide to boost the most relevant content to a wider audience.

But both Marcy and Simon were keen to point out the importance of informal content to the employee experience. They recommend allowing informal posts alongside formal, top-down content. The reason? It encourages employees to spend more time on the app, and drives a sense of community across your employees.

Posts wishing someone a happy birthday or about finding your work bestie may seem irrelevant to business success - but they’re often some of the most engaging and meaningful for employees.

They encourage workers to spend time in the app environment. So it’s easier to make the larger top-down messages heard, too.

Streamlining self-service

You could give your employees 50 different apps and say this is all the software we use. But you’re not actually driving a good experience for them. You’re not providing something that makes their lives easier. – Simon White, Chief People Officer

Blink is far more than just a communication tool - it integrates with other tools you use, allowing for employees to access other tools easily and without friction. 

Via the Blink interface, employees can navigate to pay stubs, time off, or learning and development. A quick click on an icon and employees are taken straight to the relevant place within the relevant software.

This benefits everyone. Fewer support tickets are submitted from employees who can’t remember what the pay stub app is called or what their various passwords are, and employees get a streamlined, intuitive experience. 

And on top of that, the dollars and time your teams have spent on other important tools for your employees will be easily accessed, driving the adoption you need on those technologies. Employee technology is only as valuable as the employees actually using it, and often employees don’t even know what is available to them and how to get there. Blink gives them one place to access everything they need in their day - driving ROI across your existing tools, too.

The work you’ve done to select a vendor, to pay for a vendor, to get approval - the ability to then drive adoption and drive the change management through a product like this is imperative.  – Simon White, Chief People Officer

Getting HR messages heard

Important HR messages don’t have to become dead documents in a deeply buried shared file. With an employee app, you put HR messages right in front of the right people.

Here are a couple more benefits of this approach:

  • Employees can read HR messages at a time and place to suit them
  • You can pin messages or request confirmation to ensure that essential information is read
  • You can add useful links to a post so employees can access additional information easily
  • Automatic translations allow all employees to read messages in their preferred language

A user-friendly search function also allows employees to revisit HR messages, posts, and resources whenever they need to.

For HR teams, this makes messaging more effective - it also saves a lot of time. Your HR staff do less chasing and make fewer phone calls. They can be confident that their message is getting through via the app.

Embracing transparency

Some organizations worry about opening up a newsfeed to employees. They’re unsure about allowing employees to comment, like, and post. But this is often less of an issue that organizations expect.

From his own experience of using Blink, Simon says that the benefits far outweigh the risks. And actually, an app can help bring small issues into the light, allowing leaders to address them before they become big ones.

Marcy also highlights the crawl, walk, run approach that Blink customers can take. Thanks to Blink customizations, you can dip your toe in water. You can find out how a transparent culture fits your organization. Then scale up or down accordingly.

This fear that people have of “oh, you know, an employee communication platform – people will use it to unionize”[…] People aren’t unionizing because you’ve given them a platform. They’re probably unionizing because you haven’t given them a voice. – Simon White, Chief People Officer

Encouraging adoption

Employees already spend time in their personal lives swiping, scrolling, and liking posts on different social media apps. Blink has a very similar interface to those types of apps we all use. This makes it easy for employees to pick the app up and use it – even if they don’t feel confident with tech in general. It’s a familiar, adaptive tool that doesn’t have the same learning curve that some advanced tech tools do.

But some employees inevitably take more persuading than others. When encouraging employees to adopt an employee app, Simon and Marcy recommend leading with the benefits to employee experience.

By explaining to employees what they stand to gain from using the app, you get better uptake. Here are a few ideas:

  • It’s a way for them to stay in touch with co-workers
  • It’s an easy way for them to see L&D opportunities
  • The app is the only place to find overtime shifts
  • They can access everything via one app without needing multiple passwords

Once you have a decent level of adoption, you can rely on organic growth. Employees promote the app and its features to one another, driving an even higher proportion of the workforce to choose to download and use it.  

Measuring engagement

Moving onto a platform with surveys and analytics is a really effective way for HR and people teams to measure engagement. And find ways to increase employee engagement too.

Blink engagement is a useful metric. If a team or an individual isn’t answering posts and asking questions, this may be a sign that they’re feeling disengaged. You can also access real-time data on how many people are using Blink – and your other software tools.

Engagement surveys are another great feature. Employees don’t have to log on to the communal computer at lunchtime, or log on to another platform. They can respond to survey questions quickly and easily within the Blink app they already use.

This makes it easy for HR leaders to gather statistically significant data. And to share anonymized survey results with employees. 

You can then sit this data alongside other HR metrics – relating to retention, attrition, and promotion – to uncover trends and areas for improvement.

Going beyond HR and people teams

Marcy and Simon discuss a lot about how HR and people teams can get the most out of Blink. But they emphasized the fact that, to truly transform internal communication and employee engagement, you need a company-wide effort.

Blink supports cross-functional usage. And when different teams – HR, operations, comms, leadership – all harness its potential, you get the best results.

Blink is an employee app focused on connecting everyone in your organization - regardless of their role, location, or seniority. When leadership can show the way and engage, employees will naturally follow and adopt the app. They will have all of the resources they need to do their job efficiently - no longer wasting time finding important announcements, passwords for other tools, or even trying to find their payslips.

Ultimately, improving your two-way communication will enhance employee engagement, and you’ll create a more loyal, productive, and satisfied workforce.

Want to take a closer look at Blink – and find out how these features would work for your HR and people team? Schedule a personalized demo today.  

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