Many of our clients are well-equipped to create internal communications for traditional channels such as newsletters, posters and press releases, mostly consumed in print form. When it comes to crafting content and messaging for the mobile environment however, it’s an entirely different world.

Having been in the industry for a while now, we’ve seen what has worked really well for our clients as well as ways of working that have produced poor results. In order to maximise your efforts and see success with your employee app, there are a few key things to remember.

1. Size matters

When crafting content for mobile, the most important thing to remember is that less is more, every time. Not everything that makes sense for the printed newsletter or even the desktop intranet will make sense for your mobile employee app. A completely different approach is required - starting with asking the right questions such as “What do our employees want to hear, and what kind of information would they like to receive?” 

It's equally vital to consider the type of mobile phone that your employees are using. In South Africa there is still a large sector of the workforce that use feature phones, for which the only way to access their employee info is via a USSD short code. Here is a guideline for what's possible for feature phones as well as smart phones:

  • Mobi/App: Great visual experience however mobile data must be switched on. WiFi access or reverse-data billing is required, and there may be some data costs to download the app via the app stores. 
  • USSD: A basic text experience with no smart functionality. Widely accepted in third world countries and known to be free. No data costs for "download".

The best place to start is to ask the right questions, such as “What do our employees want to hear, and what kind of information would they like to receive?”

mobi-vs-ussd

Smartphone experience (left) and feature phone experience (right)

2. Content types

For smartphone users, videos, images and content cards are a great tool for engaging employees and helping them to take in as much information as possible. The videos and images need to be optimised for mobile however, meaning that the file sizes need to be small so that they can be downloaded quickly and easily without using much data.

3. Navigation is key

Make content easy to find by structuring menus and content flow in a way that’s easy to navigate and makes sense to the employee. Prioritise things that matter most to them, such as payslips, leave allocation and wellness advice, and you’ll find it easier to achieve adoption and performance targets.

4. The long and the short of it

Consider taking long, cumbersome documents and breaking them up into bite-size messages. In South Africa and other third world countries, USSD is very popular, even for smartphone users and comms teams need to consider those parameters as detailed above.

5. Tone it down

Particularly with organisations that have thousands of employees, it’s so important to simplify the content and messaging so that it can be read and understood easily by anyone, regardless of role or status. It’s even more important to consider the tone of your content and messaging. We’ve seen time and again that a warm and encouraging voice produces the best results, and overall consumption of the employee app tends to be higher.

6. All-important analytics

When considering the right digital employee engagement solution for your company, having access to the analytics is just as important as optimising the content. Comms teams need to be able to review the data to understand uptake and activity, and have a view of what's working and where employees are engaging with the information (and where they are not). Analytics and reporting is essential to improving internal comms and results over time.

The truth is, most of our clients are unsure of how to optimise internal comms for mobile, so we get involved at the very beginning of the journey, asking the right questions and sharing best practices to guide the process of creating a mobile employee app that successfully creates long term engagement and delivers to the business objectives.

Find out how we can help you engage with your employees more successfully today by contacting our team