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Corporate Communications

How to Encourage Staff to Use Internal Company Apps

Just getting the app built isn't enough

Many internal comms teams are creating mobile apps to get the company’s messages across to employees. This makes sense, given such a high a proportion of employees has a smartphone, and is a great way to engage “non-wired” (i.e., those that don’t have frequent access to email or intranet) or on-the-go staff.

However, an incredibly common problem now among internal comms teams is that although they’ve created the app, there isn’t much interest in downloading it. While many teams have seen no more than a trickle of employee downloads, there are a few tactics that teams are starting to see bear fruit.

  1. When creating the app:

    • Design content and features to meet employee needs: This one may seem obvious but, far too often, communications teams skimp on listening to employees and depend too much on what senior leaders wanted on the app.

      It’s important to strike the right balance because employees will not use an app that doesn’t help them to do their jobs more easily.

  2. When launching the app:

    • Identify early adopters and use them as advocates: Pilot your app with small groups of employees before launching it company-wide. Communications teams can select their pilot group in a variety of ways, but it’s often easiest to work with employees who have existing “ambassador” type roles for other comms initiatives, as they are likely to be advocates for the platform to their colleagues.

    • Use games, competitions, and incentives to generate excitement about the app: 

      Encourage employees to use the app by providing them with rewards or gamification opportunities, including:

      • Raffles and prize draws: Employees who download and use the app become eligible for a prize.

      • Scavenger hunts: Employees compete to find information that can only be found on the app.

      • Leader boards: Employees are rewarded with a point system based on how active they are on the app.


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