Live internal meetings and events are one of the best ways to engage employees and there are numerous ways internal communications professionals are doing this: sales kickoffs, training workshops, leadership meetings, employee onboarding, departmental conferences (Marketing, IT, HR, etc), corporate days & holiday parties, etc.
If you do a Google search with the keywords “Internal Communications Trends 2016” you will see that measuring employee engagement is a huge topic for communications professionals this year. What tools are innovative communications professionals adopting to measure their employee engagement? Branded mobile event apps!
What factors are contributing to this? How do branded mobile event apps compare to current technology? How are communications professionals using them? This is an expansion on a communications topic I brought up in part 2 of my blog You're thinking about event apps all wrong! as it warrants a deeper analysis.
Engaging Tech-Savvy Millennials
Millennials have now passed Gen Xers and Baby Boomers as the largest share of the workforce. As more and more millennials enter the workforce, the channels you use to communicate with them (and many times the channels they prefer) have to keep up. Millennials are more social and want platforms where they have a voice. According to TechCrunch, email is dying with this group that invented selfies and is addicted to social media and messaging platforms like Snapchat, Facebook, Vine, Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter, Kik, etc. (WhatsApp users alone send out 50 billion messages/day)
The demand for real-life experiences is also huge among millennials with over 80% of your millennial employees having attended or participated in a live event in the last year. Your internal meetings and events are a great way to get them engaged with the company’s mission, goals, strategy, training sessions, etc.
Branded mobile event apps that have a social setup like DoubleDutch’s incorporate the best features of the social media and messaging platforms mentioned above and are best suited to help communications professionals engage with their millennial employees in a private secure environment.
Look for apps with social activity feeds that act as a live pulse of what is happening, topic & session channels where employees can dive deeper into particular topics, gamification which helps add fun and excitement, direct messaging for instant communication, employee profiles that facilitate networking and collaboration, and content management systems (CMS) that allow you to measure employee engagement (before, during, and after).
Slack & Yammer vs Branded Event Apps
You should think of Slack/Yammer and branded mobile event apps as complementary not competing technologies as they are very different. Slack and Yammer are good tools when employees are in the office or working remotely and want to chat, but fail during live meetings and events.
During a live meeting or event, the needs that you and your employees will have are much more unique and can’t be solved by Slack and Yammer as they are essentially messaging platforms. You have needs like real-time control to keep your meeting running smoothly, your attendees up to date, and an easy way to measure meeting success. Your attendees have needs like knowing when and where to go, an easy way to find and network with fellow employees, and how to give feedback on sessions, speakers, topics, and meetings overall.
Imagine right before or during a keynote speaking session you decide there should be a Q&A or live polling... you can set that up on the fly with a branded mobile event app. Have you ever needed to alert your employees about a room or time change? This technology allows you to do that in real-time. Have international employees flying in? With employee profiles and groupings you make it easy for them to find each other to network and collaborate.
There are numerous ways you can take full control of the success of your meetings with branded mobile event apps which you can’t with Slack or Yammer. Look for apps which can be updated in real-time, have digitized agendas, session note taking, employee session tracking, Q&A moderation, voting, surveys, employee profiles, social walls, and scheduled push notifications.
Measuring Employee Engagement
Gone are the days when printed guides and binders act as the main way to communicate to employees in live settings and email as the only way to generate feedback. Paper is outdated the moment it’s printed and doesn’t allow you to see how engaged your employees are with meeting content, sessions, speakers, fellow employees, etc.
A nice benefit of branded mobile event apps is that even without employees giving you direct feedback via email surveys, you can measure employee engagement. You can see things like which speakers generated the most conversations, which topics generated the most buzz, which employees were the most influential, and much more...no email survey needed. A recent DoubleDutch SKO case study detailed the impact of a data-driven internal meeting that used a mobile event app.
Much has been written about using apps to engage customers and now is the time to also use apps to interact with your most important customers…your employees! The European Business Review highlights how a CEO goes on a “listening campaign to learn about employees’ concerns about changes in strategy” and branded mobile event apps give you the ability to listen to your employees.
Communications professionals are telling me they also want to be viewed as their corporation’s digital innovation leaders and branded mobile event apps give them this opportunity as it touches all levels of the organization. The next time your CEO asks you for the engagement data of your employees, you can have a tool that will give you actionable insights into the engagement of your employees...or the CEO can simply ask a question via the app during their keynote speech and see the results live on the big screen.
Are you currently using a branded mobile event app? Need help getting more engagement and feedback? Need help building a business case for digital innovation within your communications team? I’d love to hear from you.