Imagine that two different companies are welcoming new employees today: Jane and John.
At Company A, current employees receive an email from HR encouraging them to log in to the company intranet and do a quick search for Jane. Because Jane doesn’t know how to navigate the intranet yet, she is expected to spend several hours jotting down notes during meetings that will help her remember her new coworkers’ names and titles.
At Company B, current employees whip out their smartphones at the sound of a push notification ping, then swipe to see John’s photo and a few fun facts about his background, interests and hobbies. Meanwhile, John peruses the company directory to familiarize himself with coworkers’ faces, roles and fun facts.
Who do you think got plugged in faster?
Companies that go the extra mile to facilitate meaningful connections with employees, supervisors, and peers tend to have high levels of engagement and low turnover rates. Extensive research, such as this report from Gallup, shows that strong social connections with peers can have a direct impact on productivity and make people more passionate about their jobs.
5 Ways to Connect Employees Through Mobile
At 15Five, we’re helping companies realize the benefits of using employee engagement mobile apps to support a more connected workforce. If you’re looking to accelerate peer relationships at your organization, here are five ways companies are using their mobile apps to connect employees:
1) Using Insights to Delight
Keeping a company directory within an app makes employee information accessible on-the-go. At its core, a mobile directory offers an easy way to access contact information without having to log into an intranet or sort through email folders. But why stop there? By adding personal interests and insights such as a favorite candy, you leave the door wide open for surprises that delight and inspire. Through the ease and convenience of their mobile employee directory, a small group of employees at FirstPerson Advisors were able to improve a fellow colleague’s day by discovering what her favorite Starbucks drink was in her profile and surprising her with it.
2) Preloading Push Notifications
Here’s a handy way to nurture connections: On the first day of work for each new employee, immediately schedule two push notifications—one to be sent on the employee’s birthday and another to go out on his or her work anniversary. When the big day rolls around, everyone in the office will know to congratulate and celebrate by emailing the employee (or using their personal details to surprise them with a small gift). Talk about an easy way to make people feel appreciated and connected!
3) Giving the Gift of Search
You can make it incredibly easy for employees to find specific coworkers’ information simply by adding a search bar to your mobile employee directory. Better yet, add attributes such as location, region, or office so each employee profile can be filtered for better results.
4) Getting Social
Cultures of camaraderie tend to be built around groups of employees that spend time getting to know one another beyond official work functions, and social media is a big part of that process. By asking employees which social handles they’d like to share with coworkers, you can add some highly useful links to employee profiles within your mobile app.
5) Making New Hires Feel Heard
When welcoming a new team member, send a push notification that includes a detail or two from the employee’s profile. Better yet, use those details to uncover the new hire’s favorite snack or dessert—and then place some for everyone to enjoy right next to their desk to encourage first-day conversation.