If you told Don Draper in Mad Men that in four decades, people would be walking around clutching their mobile phones like zombies and trying to catch Pokemons, he probably would have just given you another scotch on the rocks. He also wouldn’t have believed you that instead of working the ol’ 9-5 from one office with a personal secretary, the majority of people nowadays are non-office employees, estimated to grow to almost three quarters of the working population by 2020. And instead of that good-looking secretary, many non-desk workers are using attractive employee apps to help them keep on top of their work. Employees apps are branded smartphone apps that employees use to stay updated with company news, notifications, courses, training and surveys. In addition, it offers productivity-enhancing tools such as a clock in and out feature and online checklists. For managers, these apps offer a dashboard to create and upload content, monitor employee engagement and performance in real time. So what types of businesses are using the new and improved personal secretary, also known as an employee app?
Since working in a restaurant is hardly a traditional office environment, restaurant workers are a prime working segment that benefits from an employee app. Many restaurants typically do not have a central office where employees can meet, train and learn material. Most restaurants don’t even have an HR Department that screens, hires and onboards. Restaurant managers typically do the hiring and training, and much of it is on-the-job training. Using an app that assists in onboarding and pushes notifications out to workers is useful and effective for workers who are on the go all the time. Because the average restaurant worker is under 30, they are open to using this type of app and catch on very fast. One of the most useful features for a restaurant employee is the ability to push out notifications- being out of a specific dish, or notifying workers of new items on the menu. The creation of training programs is also important for a restaurant, since safety regulations are key to a worker’s success. If for example, a worker doesn’t know food regulations such as washing hands or how to handle food, the restaurant can get fined or even shut down due to lack of proper hygiene and consumer safety.
The restaurant industry is a forward-thinking and daring group, so their willingness to try new things like apps to help workers and managers succeed deserves a round on us.
Moving and Delivery Companies
The most important factor when one is moving homes or using a delivery service is communication. The worst thing would be for a package or your moving boxes to go to the wrong address. That’s why moving and delivery companies are increasingly finding themselves using employee apps to communicate better with their employees. Moving and delivery companies may have a central office where customers call and managers process orders, but these offices may be small and not meant for training. Additionally, corporate moving and delivery companies might have a centralized corporate office, but it may be hundreds of miles away from workers. Moving and delivery workers typically do not receive a company email as part of the onboarding process, so a branded company app works perfectly in this sense. Workers can check the app, easily understand what their next job will look like (how many workers are needed for the job, what the job entails, what time and the exact location). Compliance training comes in very handy for moving and delivery workers because of the safety and insurance regulations involved in this industry which are of the utmost importance to both the consumer and the company.
Similar to restaurant, moving and delivery workers, retail workers usually don’t have a company email address or access to a computer station at work, so an employee app is extremely useful for this ever-changing industry. Retail stores constantly have to keep up- with demands and requests from corporate, from high-maintenance customers and from competition with other stores. Being in retail is fast-paced and often times stressful. Many retail stores love employee apps because it’s a quick and effective way of getting ahold of their workers. The majority of retail employees work shifts, so pushing out notifications about shift schedules is very convenient and easy for managers. Also, training time in retail stores is typically short, so a staff app assists in cutting down training time and costs.
Because of the boost in sales in holiday seasons such as summer break and Christmas time, demand for seasonal workers increases which means less time to train. Retail managers find staff apps a great tool to quickly onboard and train new and seasonal workers.
A Changing Market
The dominance of mobile and the growth of non-office employees has caused a shift in the way managers train, onboard and supervise workers. Certain industries are ripe for new tools to improve efficiency and effectiveness. “Until today, only big companies and enterprises could afford to develop their own employee app, as it involved a long development process and a huge cost,” says Amir Nehemia, CEO of Connecteam. “But this market has now changed: self-service platforms allow any business of any size to create a branded employee app and distribute it to all employees in no time, for free or an affordable cost, without requiring any IT support or maintenance. We project that within a year, at least 25% of all businesses in the industries you mentioned will be using employee apps.”
Three industries have proven to be at the forefront of new technology to assist both workers and managers in their overall company goals and vision. Restaurants, delivery and moving companies, and retail stores are using employee apps to streamline and organize workloads. With time, we’ll see more and more companies in various industries creating and distributing branded employee apps to all of their employees, in order to make work life a lot easier.