We are all experiencing a unique moment in time where our society is changing at a rate that can seem overwhelming. Businesses are striving to keep pace with digital transformation and the changes taking place. A major shift to mobile apps is underway providing on-the-go access to information and business processes.
Ensuring employee understanding and acceptance is an important component for any technological advancement. This is especially crucial for the successful launch of a mobile app for employees to adopt the change. Because many people use their personal devices for business, more organizations are even offering company mobile phones to their employees to help offset the cost.
To drive user adoption and experience return on your investment in mobile apps, businesses should address these two key components:
- Communication of the benefits of the mobile app
- Providing engaging user training
With a successful implementation, including clear communications of the mobile app benefits and effective training on using the mobile app, your employees will eagerly embrace the new technology. Increased or high adoption will drive significant gains in employee productivity.
Get the Word Out!
Regardless of the plethora of benefits of your app, getting your employees to use the app can be a challenge. Some common areas of concern include the following: reluctance to embrace change, content with current methods, wary of new technologies, and concern regarding the expense associated with the use of a personal device.
When you begin communication about your mobile app, consider using the following tactics:
- Effectively communicate how the mobile app is an improvement over the status quo – get your team comfortable with the new technology and the way in which it will transform their workload.
- Demonstrate to your employees how the new technology will streamline their workflow, making their work activities easier and more effective. Describe how improved productivity and efficiency can occur since work can be done “on-the-go” without having to be tied to a desk or a computer. Let them know what’s in it for them, and they will have a greater tendency to adopt change.
- Offer cost reimbursement to offset personal phone expenses or offer a company mobile phone.
Utilize traditional communication channels (email, all hands calls, employee message boards) to inform employees. Utilize fun graphics around the office and internet sites to illustrate the benefits of the mobile app. Create employee “change champions” within the company to advocate how people are increasing productivity and seeing the benefits of the new mobile app. And of course, offer formal and informal training options to employees on the use of the mobile app.
Offer a Variety of Training Options
As with any change, learning to use a mobile app will require some ramp-up time. To drive user adoption, consider a variety of training approaches that make training accessible and fun that cater to a wide variety of adult learners:
- Emphasize real-world benefits – Use training as a time to reinforce the benefits of the mobile app and the improvements for the employee.
- Use real-world storytelling – Describe a character that is performing a real company process, such as creating a sales order, checking inventory, or providing customer support.
- Use aesthetically pleasing design elements – Utilize company colors, approved graphics, and animations where possible.
Your employees’ time is valuable so expect to have limited time to train your staff on effective use of the mobile app. You must be intentional in the approach and method in order to keep your audience’s attention. A few options to consider are:
- Microlearning – This is a method of delivering content to learners in small, very specific bursts. Each piece of content focuses on a specific feature and takes a viewer no more than 5 minutes to complete. It can be a colorful job aid, a short presentation, or an engaging video. Microlearning requires less time than traditional training, focuses on specific content, and allows for “just in time” learning that can be integrated into and accessed from your mobile app.
- Instructor-Led Training – Offer in-person or virtual “brown bag” luncheons or webinars where employees can experience someone walking through the mobile app, interact with questions, and gain hands-on use of the app during the session.
- User Guides – Accommodate visual learners by utilizing screenshots to illustrate features of the mobile app, and also provide online written instructions.
The adoption of a mobile app can exceed expectations if your employees are prepared and well-equipped to use the mobile app. Your team holds the power to make the app a success. Ensuring effective and encouraging communication and training that highlight the benefits of the mobile app will result in your employees’ buy-in and a positive experience.