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Dear CIOs – 6 Things You Need To Consider To Ensure A Seamless Employee Experience In Enterprise Apps

Dear-CIOs

Building your enterprise app is all about making your employees’ lives easier. You want to empower them and give them the information they need to manage their jobs. Internal communications apps allow employees to talk with each other, without having the deluge of emails back and forth. Urgent requests and quick questions get dealt with in real-time, rather than when someone has time to open your email.

A newsletter app pushes important information company-wide, every time there is something the company needs to communicate to the masses. This could be everything from trivial information about the kid’s Christmas party or important details about changes to the benefits plan.

A leave tracker would do just that, track the leaves of employees. Rather than make this the fodder of HR, the app can track and manage the leave, even going as far as approving or denying a leave request. As a sort of automated system, employees could have pre-approved dates, as well as blackout dates inputted, which will make it easier to book vacations without having to wait for a real person to give them permission.

A training app gives your employees the information they need about the company and its processes without having to schedule and reschedule training sessions. If a team member needs to go back to get the information they need, it is right there in the app, making it much easier to actually get things right. Some employees don’t feel great about asking questions, especially after an hours-long presentation, and would prefer just to take an educated guess.

Enterprise business apps undeniably improve communication, increase collaboration and give instant access to data, so it is easy to see their value within a business. But, the longer you wait to get your own enterprise app, you may have to deal with a long wait time to get your app fully functional, and then have to contend with the other challenges of launching and getting employees to use it.

The process can be a harrowing one, fraught with frustration over what features will work best and how to implement it and then ensure compliance from your team. We talked about the challenges in our previous blog Top Challenges Before CIOs While Building Scalable Mobile Apps.

You are investing your time and money into this app, that should, in turn, save you and your team time and money, so you need to make sure you build an app that your employees will love using. While you may love your chosen and built apps, will your employees be keen to adopt the same technologies? What’s the secret behind the apps that employees do love to use?

1.Involve Representatives From All Departments In The Core Team

You need to involve your team in the decisions surrounding what your app will do. Let them give feedback on what sort of feature set they’ll require and include team members from every department. Even if you are hearing negative feedback, use this to your advantage for what to include and what not to include in the app. If your team is involved at every stage of the app’s creation, they’ll be more likely to use – and love – the app you’ve built for them.

Start with a strategic discovery process, where everyone involved can take part in deciding how the app will fit into the company’s overall strategy and what sort of performance metrics will help determine how the app is working for the team.

If your app is being built by an external source, regular reviews of the work that is being done are a must. You don’t want to wait until the app is complete to spring it on your staff. Let them see what is being done on a regular basis, so any changes that should be made are made before completion.

If you aren’t able to directly involve your team in the creation of the app, you should at least know your audience well. Just like in marketing, knowing your target audience is the key to selling your product. Get a good handle on the culture of the company and the department to realize exactly what it is that they need. Think about how you can truly engage your employees on a daily basis. Saying that, employees don’t want an extra burden, so don’t give them things they don’t need, because you might think it is useful.

2.Keep The Main Focus On The User Experience

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Your employees expect and deserve to have the same experiences with their business apps as they do with their consumer apps. What sort of features make the user experience great?

  • Makes their daily tasks more efficient and subsequently more productive
  • Flawless integration and security to the backend systems
  • Ability to produce and accomplish tasks for anywhere
  • Ability to accomplish task no matter the device they are using – desktop, laptop, mobile
  • Ability to start on one device, end on another

A worthwhile app will be intuitive and easy to use. Employees will be able to access relevant information quickly and conveniently and it should even be a little fun.

3.Employ Leaderboards For Better Engagement

One way to track if your employees are using your app is through the use of a scoreboard. Let the different departments compete, as a sort of incentive, to see which ones use the app the most. You could give rewards to the group who utilized the app the most or in the best way. Once your employees start using the app and get the hang of its features, they are more likely to keep using it. By getting a leaderboard system going, you are getting your employees fired up to win a competition, but also giving incentive to learn and use the app regularly.

4.Ensure Incentive For Users (Employees)

Getting your employees to adopt your app can be a struggle in itself. While the app may have amazing features that will help employees become more organized and productive, if they aren’t bothering to try it, they won’t ever realize the benefits. Making app adoption mandatory is one way to solve this problem, but it can create resistance and can make the user less productive. No one wants to be forced to do anything, no matter how much they may end up loving it. Instead, incentives are the way to go.

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First of all, you want to espouse the remarkable features of the app and let them know why it will make their lives that much easier. As discussed above, this should be done even before the app is complete, during the build process. The app should sell itself with the features that are built-in, designed to give your employees a great user experience. Because research says that users only engage with four or five key functions when using an enterprise mobile app, you need to figure out which features those are and capitalize on them. If the app is easy to use and provides them with the best features, without a bunch of other functionalities thrown in that will only confuse users, compliance will follow. If your employees find the app too difficult or confusing to use, it only stands clear that they won’t use it.

Second, you’ll want to present them with a real-world problem that is occurring within the company and let them know how the app will possibly solve this problem. This should be done at the discovery stage, with their input into what the problem truly is (not just what upper management thinks it is). Examples could include how the app will make the team’s primary tasks that much more simpler or how their jobs could be more rewarding using the app. You are building this app to fulfill the user’s need, so you’ll need to show them how you are doing this.

Another important feature that will incentivize users to using your app is offering support after its release. Again, if the app seems a little confounding when they begin to use it and there is no one to ask for help from, the user will usually drop it. Don’t just focus on development and launch: support after the fact is also just as important in ensuring user compliance. The support team could be your own IT department, so you’ll want to work with them throughout the development of the app, even if you outsource the work.

Some companies employ just one person to be responsible for the supervision of their enterprise apps. In that way, the person will know everything that they can know about the app, and transfer this information on to the users. If necessary, a second IT team at your company could be warranted to create, maintain and support your enterprise apps.

5. Select The Right Platform For Deployment

Building the app is only half the battle. Deploying it and getting your team to use it is another. Along with creating the app, you’ll want to figure out your strategies for sending your app out into the real world. How will you promote your app and create awareness around it? How will you follow-up with users to ensure they are able to access all of the features and getting the most of the app? Once you have their feedback, how will you make changes to ensure users are continuously engaged? As well, how will you ensure the app will grow and change with technology?

Some say that web-based apps are the way to go, because they can be used across multiple platforms and operating systems. The average person uses an average of three devices a day and that number is set to grow as wearables and other technologies are introduced.

6. Ensures A Good App Speed And Clean Layout

Most consumer apps are clean and simple aesthetically. Your employees will want to see the same thing in the enterprise app. Apply the concepts you see in the best consumer apps to your enterprise app. The more something is easy on the eyes, the more people tend to utilize it. If you can, make it even exciting and fun so that it engages the user.

The app should also be quite quick to use, with all interactions within in being less than a minute long. Allow your team to customize certain features to meet their own needs as well. This will ensure they can get in and get out as needed. For example, each department may require different functionalities set right on the main page. Allow a user to be able to set their preferences for the work that they do.

What’s great about apps is that they can be used with intranet access, which means employees can get caught up on things like company news and the like during their commute, or later at home.

Conclusion

Enterprise apps are the way of the future in the workplace. Every place of business could benefit from having these apps put in place to organize and manage their business processes, as long as they are exactly what a user needs.

If you are looking for any help on building any digital solution for a better customer or employee engagement, please contact us at [email protected].

Kundan Singh

About the Author

Kundan Singh heads the .NET team at Net Solutions and has over 14 years of experience in Microsoft Technologies. He also heads the Software Engineering & Processes Group at Net Solutions and is responsible for delivering key .NET projects.

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