Written by Ronnie Gilbertson, Sitrion.
Maximize user adoption of your employee app on day one.
When you’re introducing a new employee app, good pre-launch planning is the key to hitting the ground running. Before you consider how to make sure that your employees keep using the technology, you need to make sure you’ve got your initial actions lined up. Initial user adoption and satisfaction can make or break your launch – so here’s a checklist to make sure you’re prepared.
#1: PLAN YOUR DESIGN
You’re able to configure the aesthetics of your app to your liking – take time to make sure it’s eye-catching and on-brand with your company identity. Make sure to have a style guide handy so anyone who is producing content knows some dos and don’ts.
While you should stay as close as possible to your corporate brand, the app will need a brand of its own. What are you naming the app? Make it relevant and memorable. Take time to brainstorm this; while simple, naming and colors can go a long way in the psychological side of user acceptance and retention.
#2: GET A WHO/WHAT/WHEN CONTENT PLAN.
If appropriate, an external content source like a corporate Twitter feed can help keep your content stream fresh.
When employees log in to the app, you need to have fresh content for them as often as you can. You also want that content to be quality and as personally relevant as possible.
Make a content calendar and select your content sources. The first step is to make sure you’ve got a purposeful content calendar before launch. What kind of content are you creating and when? Why? Make sure you have evergreen topics spaced out and important messages are given enough time to craft and polish. You should also consider what external feeds (your corporate Twitter account, etc) should be consumed by the app. Don’t be afraid to fill the rest of your calendar with simpler, functional day-to-day stuff: weather alerts and whats-for-lunch-type updates aren’t sexy, but they are useful. Users appreciate the glitz of the well-produced corporate communications, but they’ll stay reading the app for the day-to-day functionality.
Identify and segment your audience. What are your different communication channels going to be? You’ll have a global stream of content, but will you also have content by department, location, region, managerial level, etc? Leverage the full personalization capability of your employee app by having as many different channels as you can support. That way a manufacturing manager in Idaho could be auto-subscribed to an Idaho channel, a manufacturing channel, and a mid-manager channel before they even open the app – thereby giving them only relevant content on the first day.
Identify your content producers. Who are you empowering to write content to specific channels and who is writing global corporate communications content? What’s the approval process like? How frequently will this team of writers be able to put something out? Knowing this will help you identify gaps. Get someone local at each facility / department to publish the straightforward, informational local content. Yes, not everyone will be as good as your trained comms team at creating content – but when it’s useful and specific, users appreciate the content all the same – and you’ll need the support for the content volume you’re looking for.
#3: RUN A PRODUCT AWARENESS CAMPAIGN.
Users need to be told how to download the app and log in. More importantly, users don’t know all the benefits of the employee app unless you tell them. Getting this message across effectively takes a multi-channel effort. Leverage your existing tools – email and physical signage. But remember that part of the reason you’re rolling out an employee app is the limited reach of those channels. How do we get around that? We highly encourage holding in-person meetings at every location to help explain how the employee app will benefit the users as well as answer any questions and concerns they have. Employees will have fears about downloading the app that they might be afraid to ask in another channel, so it’s important to give them that face-to-face opportunity.
Put a plan in place to review, renew, and refocus, to keep iterating after the implementation. You can always get better. Through your Sitrion ONE analytics portal you’ll understand what content people are engaging with, where, how, and why. There’s a continuous feedback loop to focus your content in on the right channels and people.
Keep checking your reporting to understand how and when your users are consuming content and which content they like best.
Making your new one-stop-shop for mobile corporate communications channel successful takes a little planning – the earlier, the better. With most employees expecting mobile communications, it’s only a matter of time before your readership grows and you’ve got a big following on your hands. If you need a hand in planning your app launch, my team is always there to help.
[Original Post: 4 Keys to an Employee App Launch Plan]