Employee Apps – where do we start?



In a world where most of us have smartphones (76% of people in “advanced economies”), be that a company device or personal, we are better connected with our employers now than ever before. Thanks to our devices we can receive news/updates, employee services, and all manner of work-related activities anytime/anywhere.

This has been of particular benefit to firstline workers/non-desk based/remote workers who were previously penalised because they were not desk and email-based. In the UK nearly 70% of full-time workers are in an industry with a large proportion of firstline workers, but only 7% of them are being contacted and engaged by mobile. We are missing huge communication and engagement opportunity!

It’s not just the device that enables connectivity, it’s the platforms and more specifically here we’ll talk about employee apps.

Clearbox Consulting has (thankfully) researched the employee app market to identify the products they feel will be of interest to us. They have created a clear and impartial report – which is a whopping 434 pages long. There were 62 employee apps at the time of writing, and tonnes of features to cover. Clearbox Consulting focused on 17 apps for a full review (Smarp, Teams, Workplace, Yammer etc.) and 5 for a short review (Guild, Reach, Workvivo, etc.). This is the first time they’ve been systemically compared.

As a flavour, the report covers:

  • Using the report to choose a product
  • Help building a business case for an employee app
  • Scoring and pricing
  • Product comparisons – plus, who stood out
  • Sharepoint intranet products with mobile apps

Employee App Market Trends

  • A shift to social-media style internal comms for some
  • Many are enthusiastic about the app approach
  • Apps are pioneering analytics that understand internal comms
  • The UX of apps is much more consumer-like
  • Feature sets are not yet well-rounded

Product Focus

All 17 fully reviewed apps have a ‘Product Focus’ charts that details what the app is trying to achieve, as well as how well it’s actually doing it.

It considers four key business strategy areas:

  1. Communications strategy
  2. Operations strategy
  3. HR strategy
  4. Digital workplace strategy
The best employee app will meet the needs of,
and align the different business strategies
Example ‘Product Focus’ chart

The report is a great insight into the numerous available options but read it quick as we know technology is advancing at speed and employee apps are no different.

Comprehensive and impartial reviews, easy to read comparison tables plus practical advice makes this report invaluable to anyone hoping to bring an employee app on board.

You can download the Clearbox Consulting Employee Apps Report here.

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