BenefitsPRO: How to Keep Employees Engaged via Mobile Without Causing Burnout

BenefitsPRO: How to Keep Employees Engaged via Mobile Without Causing Burnout

With more than a quarter of the world’s population owning mobile devices and Americans checking them several times an hour, it’s no wonder today’s employees always have their heads in their Apples and Androids.

The convenience of mobile technology means employees can be connected 24/7 not only to each other, but also to work. While this may ease communications efforts and increase efficiency at work, it also can lead to the proverbial “burnout” causing workers to feel stressed as a result of feeling the need to constantly be checking their phones.

Prolonged stress can feed disengagement which then can lead to lower productivity and eventually decreased profitability and returns.

As companies embrace mobile technology as part of a digital workplace strategy, now is the time to strike the right balance in its use. And, in doing so, consider the following five dos and don’ts when putting into place a mobile strategy that encourages convenience at work but avoids overload.

Create a formal policy to address BYOD

As companies expand and embrace people’s growing reliance on their mobile devices, a need exists to create and formalize a policy with respect to employees bringing and using their own devices for work.

“Bring your own device” (BYOD) policies (like many policies) bring certainty into the workplace, not to mention eliminate the questions that employees want to ask but may be afraid to do so. Workers and organizations alike will benefit from guidelines which support both the flexibility of working via mobile as well as strike an appropriate and well-served balance between an individual’s time both on and off the job.

Set boundaries

To the extent individuals are using their mobile device both at home and work, consider setting boundaries (or at least recommendations) for how and when employees use their devices.

As it pertains to managers and above, restrict sending of emails to direct reports after a certain time of the day (e.g. 6 p.m.) as well as during personal time off; state publicly employees are not required to respond to email after a certain hour; encourage employees to put their smart device to rest (even for personal use) when it’s time for them to get some rest.

For the sake of mental wellness, it’s critical employees know the importance of disconnecting.

Simplify

Once policies are established and employees understand their employers’ expectations on how mobile can and should be used in the workplace, now it’s time to consider how best to take advantage of the opportunity mobile presents for workers to be the most efficient and productive.

In doing so, it’s important to recognize the screens of most Apple and Android smart devices are small. To encourage the use of mobile in the workplace, the way in which information and workplace tools are delivered needs to be kept simple. The user experience should be intuitive and easy to navigate.

When it comes to the delivery of content, consider a folder-like structure that doesn’t require an employee to have to scroll-in and out to access the information. For workplace tools like benefit portals, scheduling and timekeeping, consider solutions that are either mobile-friendly or offer a native app experience. And for those companies which have corporate intranets, consider the difficulty of logging in or getting past the firewall.

As a rule of thumb, if an employee can’t access what they “need” or “need to know” in a matter of seconds or with less than two taps, the solution probably won’t be used

Rethink content

Considering the above as well as the nature of younger generations of workers (especially millennials and Gen Zers), organizations need to rethink the types and effectiveness of the information and content that they share with employees through mobile. Take for example the traditional newsletter.

Are employees reading past the first few lines? Probably not. What about video and images? Given attention spans in the social media era, there’s a greater chance that messages delivered through these medium will resonate louder and more clearly.

Offer a mobile hub

With hundreds upon hundreds of apps, employees can get bogged down wading through the onslaught of channel choices. And, how many workplace apps can you expect employees to download, especially to their own device?

Leading technology industry analyst group, Gartner, talks about companies embracing the concept of a “mobile hub” — the aggregation of content and workplace tools and functions housed under a “single pane of glass.”

As you embark on your mobile journey, consider one central solution through which employees can access all company information, rather than asking them to download multiple apps.

This article was originally published on June 27th, 2017: http://www.benefitspro.com/2017/06/27/how-to-keep-employees-engaged-via-mobile-without-c