Involving frontline workers in the decision-making process is the key to a successful employee app experience.
In my role as the COO of iTacit, I’ve had the privilege of working with many companies in search of the perfect employee app for their frontline workforce. I remember one particular experience, where I watched a company struggle to adopt an app that just didn’t resonate with its employees. It became clear to me that the biggest mistake companies make when selecting or developing an employee app is failing to involve their frontline workers in the decision-making process.
Employees are the driving force behind every organization. I’ve learned from my own experience that they’re the ones using new tech – in this case the employee app every day, navigating its features, and reaping the benefits (or suffering the consequences) of our technology choices. By involving them in the decision-making process, we can create a more meaningful and effective app experience that addresses their needs and pain points.
So, how do we put an employee-first approach into action? Here are four practical steps to ensure your employee app truly caters to your frontline workforce:
1. Engage with your frontline workers
First and foremost, it’s crucial to gather insights from the very people who will be using the app. A while back, I spoke with a frontline worker who shared their frustration with the lack of input they had in the selection of their company’s employee app. This conversation reinforced the importance of engaging employees through surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one interviews to better understand their daily challenges, communication preferences, and desired features in an app.
2. Prioritize features based on user feedback
Once you’ve gathered feedback from your frontline workers, prioritize the features and functionality that address their needs. I’ve seen companies get carried away with flashy, cutting-edge features, but ultimately, the success of an employee app lies in its ability to solve real-world problems and streamline processes for your workforce. By focusing on what matters most to your employees, you’ll create a more user-centric app experience that adds value to their work lives.
3. Include frontline workers in the testing phase
Your employees will look at technology from a completely different lens than your evaluation team, and this is especially true in the testing phase. Their hands-on experience and perspective will provide extremely valuable feedback on the app’s usability, efficiency, and overall usefulness to their specific role. Including them in the process also helped us identify any areas that needed improvement or adjustments, ensuring a smoother launch and higher user adoption rates.
4. Encourage user adoption
I’ve seen firsthand that implementing a new employee app is only half the battle; the other half is getting your workforce to embrace it. Provide ample training and resources to help your frontline workers understand how to use the app effectively. Encourage open communication and feedback, so employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts on the app’s performance and any potential improvements. By fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement, you’ll ensure that your employee app remains relevant and valuable over time.
There’s a common expression that applies in user adoption within our space – the carrot or the stick… but that’s a conversation for another day.
Embracing this ‘employee-first’ approach not only helps you avoid the most common mistake in employee app selection but also sets the stage for a truly successful implementation – just ask our Customer Success team!
Thank you for reading, and if you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your network. In the market for a new employee app? Let’s talk.