How Do You Know Your Employee Engagement App Is Really Working?
Employee engagement is considered one of the most critical factors in making a business succeed. The top three success factors, in fact, are “high level of customer service,” "effective communications,” and “high level of employee engagement,” according to a report by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services.
Employee engagement is considered more important than “strong executive leadership” and “continuous quality improvement.” Several factors drive good employee engagement, with the top ones including:
- Recognition of high performers
- Understanding by individuals of how their work contributes to the overall work strategy
- Frequent communication from senior leadership about strategy
- Effective company-wide communication of business goals
- Individual employee alignment with corporate goals
- Performance reviews aligned with corporate goals
- At least part of compensation linked to achievement of corporate goals
- Training and development created in light of corporate goals
Employee engagement apps are proving to be a powerful channel for ensuring all these employee engagement drivers are satisfied.
Analytics Are the Key to Employee Engagement App Success
Anyone can deploy an employee engagement app, but apps vary in quality and need to be tailored to your specific employee and corporate needs. Once you create and deploy an app that is strategically customized to meet employee and corporate needs, how can you be confident that it is, in fact, improving employee engagement levels?
Analytics are the key. One of the most powerful and useful characteristics of the best employee apps is the fact that they can collect and organize significant quantities of user data in the moment. App data can be fed into a nearly unlimited number of types of statistical analytics programs so that it can be converted into actionable insights.
Deploying an employee engagement app without having a plan in place for using the analytics to measure progress toward employee engagement would be like going to the trouble of setting up a championship game and then not keeping score. Fortunately, the right app development platforms make it easier to collect the right data and do the right things to it to gather valuable insights into employee engagement levels. Here are several key metrics that the hubEngage app uses to evaluate app effectiveness.
Active Satisfaction Level
Active app users are not the same as the number of downloads. You have likely experienced the phenomenon of downloading what looks like an appealing app and then never using it. Active satisfaction is usually a function of app use session metrics. Different analytics programs use different measures for when a user is “active.” For example, your analytics may define a user “session” from the time an app is opened and used until there has been 30 minutes of inactivity. The important thing is that the user is the one who initiates an app use session.
Active satisfaction should be measured using multiple different frequency measures. For example, you want to know how many daily active users you have, as well as how many monthly active users you have. Daily stats help you determine how many of your employee engagement app users comprise your app’s most active user base, the ones who open and use it daily.
The ratio of your daily active users to monthly active users can help you determine how “sticky” your app is. Turning monthly active users into daily active users typically requires push notification reminders, timely app updates, and a steady stream of fresh app content.
Passive Satisfaction Level
If you were to ask all your app users how likely they are to recommend your app to their colleagues on a scale of one to 10, those who assign a number above the middle – say “6” or “7” – are considered passive users. Those with higher scores would be considered active users and those with lower scores are typically considered as “detractors.”
How many of the people who download your employee engagement app are passive users, and what percentage of total downloads do they make up? How do your passive user stats compare with your active user stats? How do they compare to detractor stats?
To find out, you will have to ask, and fortunately, the hubEngage app platform makes it easy to push quick surveys to app users and collect their responses as soon as they are submitted. Ultimately, you want the number of detractors to fall to zero, while you want your passive app users to become active app ambassadors. To do this, you will need to collect data on what people love about your employee engagement app, what tools they do not bother using, and their suggestions for improvement.
All app usage data indicates to some extent how well the app engages users, but some metrics are more closely correlated than others with how well your employee engagement app engages its users. Active and passive users are important, but also important are session lengths, session intervals, and time spent in the app.
Session length is simply how much time elapses between opening and closing the app. The more engaging your app, the longer the sessions should last. To make use of session length, it is critical that your app avoid technical problems and buggy behavior. You do not want long session lengths to be a statistical artifact due to frustration and inability to accomplish a task.
Session interval data lets you know how much time elapses between uses of your employee engagement app. This is a terrific measure of your app’s “stickiness,” assuming, of course, that people are not repeatedly opening and closing the apps because of technical difficulties.
Time in app is a function of both session length and session frequency and tells you how long, on average, users are spending in your app daily, weekly, monthly, or for some other defined time period.
Many companies use employee engagement apps to deliver training modules. Companies like it because it is cost-effective and easier to implement than traditional classroom-based training. Employees like it because they can complete training sessions when it fits into their schedule best, rather than having to block out longer time periods to spend in training classrooms.
Corporate trainers typically love app-based training because it ensures training is available to the maximum number of people, and because employee training performance is easy to monitor and evaluate.
App-based training modules can be scored automatically, with scores submitted to training managers or other appropriate personnel immediately. In return, training managers can quickly learn how many employees have completed their training, what their scores were, and if the scores indicate a problem (for example, if everyone got a particular question wrong, the wording of that question may need to be re-evaluated).
Anyone who has ever operated a website or social media campaign is aware of the need for fresh, original, relevant content of high quality. Employee engagement apps can be excellent vectors for delivering content relevant to employees, and the apps themselves can collect analytics on how many people open content, and how long they spend with it.
It is not always easy to know which content will engage app users most effectively. Sometimes a piece of content delivered with great confidence falls flat, and sometimes a piece of content unexpectedly resonates with app users and engages them strongly. Content metrics tell the tale and allow content developers to generate more relevant content ideas and create a content editorial calendar with maximum opportunity to appeal to app users.
Content metrics can also provide valuable information on the type of content to which users respond most positively. They may, for instance, engage much more strongly with a short video than they would with an infographic or vice versa.
Advocacy metrics must be defined based on each company’s goal for its employee engagement app. App use and app use frequency both matter, but how can you tell if employees are engaging in “advocacy” activities? It depends on how you define advocacy. One common way of measuring advocacy among app users is determining how many people shared a piece of app content with their peers. Another advocacy metric could be a positive answer to a poll question: “How likely are you to recommend this training module to your peers?”
There are things a company can do to encourage advocacy among app users. For example, users with high app usage and other indications of satisfaction can be directly encouraged to spread the word about the app and tell people directly how they have benefited from it.
Gamification metrics and knowledge scores are related, but not identical. Gamification is a popular method of implementing training, and it can also be used in other ways, such as to encourage periods of physical activity during lunch hour or even to create a leaderboard for sales.
As with knowledge scores, gamification metrics are gathered by the app itself, and can be transmitted immediately to appropriate personnel. If, for example, a company gamifies the process of accounting for closed sales and updates a leaderboard every week, the app can be programmed to collect leaderboard data weekly and submit it to the appropriate personnel or update a leaderboard within the game itself.
How Analytics Benefit Businesses
Just as a company’s website and social media analytics help them gauge the performance of these channels, the analytics gathered in relation to an employee engagement app tell the story of how well the app is performing its intended task of helping employees be more engaged in their work. The popularity of employee engagement apps is increasing, because they represent an efficient and appealing method of keeping the workforce informed, trained, and up-to-date on happenings relevant to their work life.
However, deploying an employee engagement app is not enough. Collecting and understanding data from app users is essential to learning how well all the aspects of an app are working. Learning who your active and passive app users are, how long and how frequently they use the app, how well they score on app-delivered training modules, which app content performs best, how likely users are to recommend the employee engagement app, and how well employees score in gamified app elements are keys to having an app that is a joy for employees to use, and that in turn allows companies to maintain an engaged workforce, something that can be invaluable to overall company performance.
HubEngage is a comprehensive platform for development of customized employee engagement apps. You do not have to try to wedge your needs into a prefabricated app template because hubEngage is fully customizable. From the user interface (which can include branding touches like brand colors and logos) to surveys, notifications, training, and instant messaging, hubEngage allows companies like yours to quickly create a customized employee engagement app that does precisely what you want.
What is more, hubEngage includes powerful analytics built right in, so you can easily monitor how well your employee engagement app performs. Try the hubEngage app for free, and discover for yourself how easy it can be to create the employee engagement app that both engages your workforce and captures the metrics that prove its worth.