How do I implement an Employee Communications App to ensure sustained success?

Procuring an App is the easy part. You now need your employees to effectively use it.

Every day, clients who have procured an Employee Communication App tell me that they did not know what they needed to do to implement it effectively and sustain it for the longer term. Unfortunately, this leads to poor adoption, a cluttered digital eco-system and frustration with the App.

What we have found is that during the 14-week implementation process, you will need to integrate your activities around people, processes, and technology. This is not an easy task, hence why it is often overlooked and avoided.

We’ve established Services Partnerships with Bunch Group and Adaptive Change Mindset to address this challenge and provide an integrated full-service digital experience, ensuring we embed and sustain the App for the longer term.

Our unique approach effectively integrates people, processes and technology ensuring that the change is ‘done with the business’ rather than ‘to the business ‘, super-charging engagement and delivering long-term return-on-investment (ROI). Our model is designed to complement your internal teams (to address capability or capacity challenges), with expertise in strategy, change and communication.

Here are our top tips:

  • The implementation takes 14 weeks and is a tried and tested process that the tech company (who was successful during the RFP process) will lead via their project manager. Your in-house project team will be expected to attend weekly project meetings. The resourcing pressures on your IT team should be low depending on the number of integrations.
  • The resourcing bottleneck tends to fall in the communication and change space, where you need to deliver the strategy, change and comms deliverables. This is where we support our clients to ensure successful adoption. We complement your existing team and remove that pressure.
  • Develop an App Strategy that defines the purpose of the App, and what you want it to achieve (specific KPIs) and articulate how those KPIs will be delivered by channel. The Strategy should include a Governance Model (defined roles and responsibilities), a Resourcing Model (for the implementation phase and ongoing BAU) and a Publishing Model (including architecture and editorial process)
  • Develop a Change Strategy to identify the best way to roll out the change, given your specific context and culture. This enables you to target your effort and ensure successful adoption of the App by aligning leaders and building readiness to shift the mindset and habits of their teams. So many organisations say to me, `we are terrible at change, especially with tech’. My observations are those organisations have historically overlooked or undercooked the change effort and have resourced with junior change support who approach the change requirements as a sequential tick-box exercise. What organisations need is a Change Strategy with a focus on the mindset and behaviour shifts required for a successful implementation. This is a game-changer!
  • Generate buy-in with stakeholders, with an Advisory Group and Change Champion network.
  • Conduct a leadership workshop to co-create their role in the change, building team habits and building team readiness.
  • Conduct an internal communications ecosystem review to define what channels will be mapped to the new App and which channels will be decommissioned. It is critical that we simplify the employee experience through this process and remove any barriers to adoption. Think about it…how many apps/platforms/channels does your team have to navigate every day?
  • Develop a narrative for the App, a best-in-class comms and content strategy and a launch campaign.
  • Finally, we have found that a launch event for leaders is critical to drive adoption. Getting all your leaders excited and onto the App in one moment, accelerates adoption with their teams.