Sooner or later every human resources professional purchases a mobile app and is bitterly disappointed with it. We blame ourselves for lack of sufficient research, we blame the maker for producing a lemon, and we blame our employees for not embracing new technology. We just aren’t quite sure what went wrong.

Rather than blame yourself or others when that happens, you can learn a lot more if instead you study the app and see if it passes “the basics” test for success.

Here are three characteristics of a good mobile HR app. If it lacks one or more of these things, you may have to seek other solutions.

  1. It has to engage your employees. Just a few years ago most of the apps in the human resources work were for systems of record used by the professionals only. They helped us to do payroll more efficiently, keep employee records safe and more easily retrieved, handle vacation policies and schedules, and keep track of employees’ time worked and attendance. They were back-end systems in the sense that they were used only by the professionals. Today’s mobile apps, on the other hand, are used as much or more by the employees instead of the managers so they must encourage a high degree of employee engagement. The app must open the door to information that the employee needs.
  2. It has to be easy to use. According to Deloitte, there are now more than 2.1 billion smartphone users roaming this earth. These are people who are into a quick swipe for more information, not scrolling through screens of data. When you offer them an app, know that they are capable and willing to use it, but only if they can use it easily. If it is overly complicated, it will be tried and put aside.
  3. It has to be relevant. Employees want to have access to their own information, be able to learn things on their time and terms, and apply for new jobs or promotions using their mobile app. The more relevant the information they can access with the app, the more they will use it. Like any other information available on the internet, people are willing to be engaged with and share content of value. Everything else will be ignored or defeated.

With most people today spending 51 per cent of their Internet time on mobile phones, the importance of apps is growing rapidly as an effective means to generate employee engagement, and standardize benefits and procedures. Make sure yours invites engagement, are easy to use and offer important information that your employees want.

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