Of course, features and functions are important for employee apps. Few things are as critical to the success or acceptance of such an offering among your own workforce as content. Good, relevant content is the backbone of any sustainably successful employee app.
Now, most companies have a wide variety of content – from breaking news to work instructions, from local news to more technical documents. Often, from our experience over the past few years, this raises the question: what content is really important? Which content should be offered and in which structure?
In this article, we would like to provide a few suggestions in this regard. Of course, these may differ from company to company. Nevertheless, we think that certain requirements are usually similar.
Central vs. local
A lot of content can be structured based on where it comes from and how it was created. In larger companies, the question is usually: which content is centrally controlled, created and delivered? And which content is primarily relevant locally, e.g. at a particular location.
In detail, of course, this depends on the organizational structure of the company. Topics such as strategy and mission statement usually come from headquarters, while operational matters, training and daily news have a stronger local connection.
When planning content, the question of where, how and who is responsible for it is always one of the most important. Experience often shows that for many employees, relevance is created on their own doorstep – and not necessarily at corporate headquarters hundreds of kilometers away.
Question of goal setting
The content in your own employee app usually follows a goal. It can be banal information, but it can also be entertainment or, of course, training.
A good way of structuring this is to differentiate between the goals of the company and the personal goals of the employee. These can be quite different. Ideally, they complement each other. Either way, this results in greater breadth and diversity. And that’s exactly what doesn’t hurt an app – on the contrary.
In the following, we therefore want to distinguish content in employee apps based on the two objectives. We can see that this distinction is not always clear-cut, but it is nevertheless helpful.
Content for the global corporate goals
From the company’s perspective, content can generally pursue the following goals:
- Communicating strategy and mission, goals and results
- Communicating product- and customer-related content and messaging
- Improving leadership and corporate culture (i.e., the more soft factors)
As a rule, these are ongoing messages that need to be conveyed in different forums.
In addition, a challenge for many companies is in the area of so-called change communication. That is, the company wants to transform and change in the context of digitization or new challenges in general. This often involves
- digital transformation
- M&A activities and strategies
- new, innovative services and products
- new markets and competitors
One of the strengths of internal apps is their ability to involve employees and provide them with transparent information. They offer a personal channel (e.g., via chat) and a variety of ways to communicate this content (e.g., as video, via surveys, via podcasts, etc.).
Local business goals
Of course, apart from the “bigger” topics, there are also many operational goals. These usually find their focus on the more decentralized level in local channels. Usually, these are closely related to the employee’s career within the company. These include:
- Onboarding of new employees*.
- Operational updates and news
- Information on safety, quality, sales and distribution
- Concrete personnel and further training measures
- Employer branding
Often, this content is not always “sexy”, but it has a high utility value. So it’s all about the right mix! An employee can offer both: Service information and content closer to entertainment!
Content for employees
The goals of your own employees are often reflected in content of a slightly different nature. In this context, employees have their own individual motivations, which often lie between curiosity and benefit. These can be:
- important updates and news related to their own everyday life
- useful information such as canteen schedules, opening hours or contact persons
- Company discounts and special offers or benefits
- Career and further training offers
Closely linked to the topic of benefits are the communication options in the app via likes, comments and chat. They give each and every employee the opportunity to contribute their own opinion, to exchange ideas or to get concrete help and support quickly. The employee app is the simplest, lowest-threshold platform for this. After all, today almost everyone knows how a chat or a comment in such an app works.
Participation – also in the form of surveys, competitions or a “bulletin board” – is an important signal to employees: here you are taken seriously and listened to! Here you can get involved and get rid of everything important!
This content may have little or no immediate benefit for the company itself. But they are valuable and attractive to employees. And that, too, is what matters!
The right content in your own employee app is always specific to your company. Sie spiegeln Ihren Stil und die Werte, für die Sie stehen, wieder. In jedem Fall kann und sollte der Inhalt das sein, was Ihre Mitarbeiter dazu bringt, die App immer wieder zu öffnen. Oft hilft dabei die Frage: Würde ich das lesen wollen? Are we adding value for the company AND employees?
One last tip: successful employee apps create a new form of community, a kind of community. Es geht darum Inhalte und Konversation, Austausch und Community rund um die eigenen Inhalte zu fördern. Here we have written down what you have to pay attention to.