Last updated on May 30, 2023 at 01:38 pm
Unlocking the power of a robust mobile internal communications strategy is key to driving business success, improving engagement, and elevating the employee experience. Especially if you’re an organization that has a large deskless workforce, it’s worth investing in a mobile communication app to meet your teams where they are.
So, if you’re considering taking your communications strategy mobile, this blog will be a great resource to show you all the ways a mobile app like theEMPLOYEEapp can let you be more strategic when crafting campaigns. And if you’ve already taken that step, I hope this blog gives you some great ideas for making the most out of your employee app.
What is mobile internal communication?
Internal communication is all the strategic communication shared by a company with its employees. So, mobile internal communications are the use of mobile-first channels and content to reach a distributed and mobile workforce.
Embracing a mobile communication strategy is ideal for companies that are diverse and don’t all work from a central location. Think of companies with frontline workers or those who have embraced hybrid and/or remote work.
Why do you need a mobile internal communication strategy?
Having a mobile internal communications strategy is no longer an option for most companies. Employees want to use their smartphones to receive company updates and resources. And based on social media and news media, people now expect to have access to information 24/7 and from anywhere.
But having a mobile-first approach to reaching your teams is also about accessibility and equity. If you only have computer-based internal communications platforms, you are leaving out a big percentage of your workforce. Level the playing field by evolving your communication channels!
10 Tips for Embracing Mobile Internal Communications
So, let’s talk about how you can make your internal communications mobile-first.
1. Choose the right medium for your content
The beauty of a mobile app for employees compared with email is that you can create a fully immersive experience. Apps allow you to use embedded video, audio, pictures, carousel banners, and various document types. This opens up the possibilities of how you can create and share content, which means you can ensure your messages have the greatest possible impact.
EXAMPLE: Bad news from the CEO shouldn’t be sent out in a written post with no control over the tone. It should be a video where you see the emotion and hear their authenticity.
2. Empower communicators across your company
While internal communications should always be the one steering the strategy, that doesn’t mean you have to be the single voice for all messages. An app like theEMPLOYEEapp has a permission structure that allows you to give specific posting permissions to other individuals across your organization. This builds trust in the message because it always comes from the subject matter expert.
EXAMPLE: Our client NFI has opened up publishing rights to 450 leaders and managers to improve the localization of content. This helps the internal comms team focus on top-down and corporate-level messaging.
EXAMPLE: When your executive leaders can post their own messages, this allows them to take a selfie-style video message right on their phone and share it easily. Unlike in the past, when the IC team ghostwrote for the C-Suite, this shows employees that it is the executive leader behind the messages.
BONUS TIP: Internal comms pros are always strapped for time! A mobile communication app helps you empower your trusted contacts in other departments (like HR) to share their messages themselves. But like we said before, you can control who they can share messages with and what folders they can post in.
3. Consider a 360-degree approach
Mobile makes it easier to build a campaign strategy. Your update can live in your PDF newsletter, its own post (perhaps a quick video), in a banner, and you can have a Q&A session calendar invite all through one platform that your frontline has access to.
4. Maximize your alerts & push notifications
Employee apps have most other channels beat when it comes to targeting push notifications. One of my favorite strategies is using just one push notification to alert employees to multiple pieces of content in their news feed.
So, when planning an editorial calendar, I might have one need-to-know piece of content to share on Monday (e.g. shift notes, the weekly newsletter, etc.), but I also have a recognition piece on the employee of the month and an “in the news” story. I can use one push for the need-to-know content but already have the nice-to-know stories in the news feed. This helps not only show employees that we only push the important, mission-critical content, but also the push shows them that the app has been updated and there is other new content to engage with.
5. Update and edit content
Ever sent an email, and then the typo jumped out at you? We have all been there. If you rely on email to communicate internally, then you have to send a follow-up email correcting your mistake.
But in an app, you can edit without alerting the world of the error. And there are even more strategic ways to use this functionality. Take the COVID-19 policy updates that IC pros dealt with in 2020. Recommendations and policies were changing so fast that it was difficult to keep up with the updates and could be confusing for employees trying to figure out what post had the most current information. But with a mobile app, you could continue to update the PDF on the same post and change the date.
6. Lose the formality
One thing I like about apps is that they leave room to have more fun with your mobile internal communications strategy and content. We always say, “Your news feed should reflect your culture.”
FOR EXAMPLE: At theEMPLOYEEapp, one of our core values is ENJOY. So, if our news feed was nothing but PDFs and policy updates, that would not exactly be a fun channel that employees wanted to use (although we’d still need those documents for work). Instead, our internal employee app is full of employee recognition, employee spotlights, in-the-news stories, our latest marketing content, etc. All that is in addition to things like our KPI dashboard (we also value accountability), HR documents, and more day-to-day business updates.
7. Ask Yourself, “Would I Click On That?”
A natural extension of tip six is strategically thinking about post titles and captions. When you’re able to be less formal and include more engaging content, you can have more fun with post titles.
When we do consulting sessions with our clients, we’ll ask them to think about the user experience. If an employee was scrolling through the news feed, would they want to click on your content? Unlike email, you can draw them in with content thumbnails, captions, and a title—three chances to get someone to stop scrolling. And while the ultimate goal of our mobile internal communications strategy isn’t just click-through rates, you have to engage employees first to get them to take action.
8. Rock that editorial calendar
We LOVE a good content calendar. Whether you’re just using Excel or a premium solution, you want to get organized. This helps you plan content out in advance and work with cross-functional stakeholders on their campaigns. This helps track what content is getting a push notification, what groups it’s going to, and more.
9. Check the analytics
We would be remiss if we didn’t include measurement in a blog about internal communications best practices. To have a great internal communications strategy, we recommend checking analytics throughout a campaign. This lets you pivot if needed.
But at the end of the campaign, also do a post-mortem on how everything performed. This is really how content strategy can evolve intentionally. And it works best when you combine data with qualitative feedback, so don’t forget to conduct employee surveys periodically.
10. Ask the People
Whether it’s a survey or just your focus group, find a way to get a steady stream of employee feedback. When considering your content strategy for your mobile app, you want to avoid making assumptions about what your employees want. Sometimes we assume employees want a lot of stories or things we think would be engaging. Some big revelations for clients have been that employees love the cafeteria menu. They want their schedule, easier access to their self-service portal, and employee dog photos.
Give the people what they want.
Take your mobile internal comms strategy to the next level
Your internal communications strategy should revolve around achieving business goals. Your content should reflect your values and be stepping stones on the path to achieving your corporate purpose and mission. And your employees’ unique needs should be met.
That might feel like a tall order, but we can help. If you want to learn more about theEMPLOYEEapp and how we can help take your content strategy to the next level, request a demo.
About the Author
Sydney Lauro is the Demand Generation Manager for theEMPLOYEEapp. Prior to joining the team at theEMPLOYEEapp, Sydney worked in internal communications for Chipotle Mexican Grill. She uses her internal comms expertise and passion for improving communication and the employee experience to create content and share best practices to help other communications professionals.
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