Recently, a friend and I were having lunch when she surprised me with the unexpected announcement that she was going to quit her job. Not only that, she was going back to school, had been accepted to a graduate program and was moving in just a few short weeks. Stunned, I congratulated her and began asking all kinds of questions.

Truth be told, I couldn’t understand why she was doing it. Her life was enviable- she had a  great apartment in San Francisco, worked for a well known multinational corporation, had already acquired an impressive resume and seemed to be well on her way to a sparkling career. Why would she give it all up? I asked her as much and her response was yet another surprise:

 

“I am the poster child of the unengaged employee. I feel no connection, loyalty or importance in the work I do now. I don’t want that to be my life.”

 

A recent article, published in Forbes, indicated that my friend is not alone in her feelings and that a whopping 74% of Americans would consider finding a new job today. In fact, 32% are already actively looking.

These stats may be a cause for alarm among employers. While research indicates that the motivation to actually take the required action to leave is low, the idea that your company is full of unhappy and unengaged employees is in a word, disheartening.

What is a company to do? What is breeding this malcontent?

A study by Accenture revealed the top 4 reasons:

  • Internal Politics (35%)
  • They Don’t Like Their Boss (31%)
  • A Lack of Empowerment (31%)
  • Lack of Recognition (43%)

While not much can be done about politics and the likeability of everyone in a leadership role there are many things that a company can do to empower and recognize their greatest asset and investment. Enter Employee Empowerment apps.

Relatively new on the scene, Employee Empowerment apps have been generating a lot of buzz in the business world. However, it can be difficult to know where to begin and what makes a truly effective app that will see the desired adoption.

Luckily, the team at RevUnit has the answers. I interviewed a few of our experts and this is what they had to say:

 

Corey Campbell Senior Designer at RevUnit

Corey Campbell
Sr. Creative & UX Designer

What is the most common design mistake you see in Employee Empowerment apps?

“When designing employee engagement tools it’s easy for a business to forget whom the application is being built for, the employee. If the tool isn’t incorporating feedback and validation from actual employees, it will see low adoption. Moreover, if the business requires a lackluster tool to be used, it will accomplish the opposite of what the tool set out to do in the first place: engage employees. Heavy handed, top-down approaches to employee engagement do more harm than good. Bringing employees into the process is the first step to engaging them.”

 

David Baker Product OwnerDavid Baker
Product Lead

What is the most important thing you have learned about building/designing for employee empowerment?

“When it comes to designing technology in the employee empowerment space, the access organizations have to their target users is unparalleled. Knowing the users – what motivates and inspires them – is the most important step in building great, digital employee experiences. We often see organizations hesitate when faced with the opportunity to make long-term investments in an employee empowerment strategy – their primary concerns are the adoption and use of the tools. What we see time and time again is that, when partnered with an experienced technology team, these companies are able to secure future success by taking the time to engage with and learn from their associates.”

 

Joe Payne

Joe Payne
Creative Director

What is the most important factor to consider when creating an employee empowerment app?

“Our work in this space has been about elevating the realities of an employee’s day and designing our platforms around those so that they’re able to work more efficiently. We do this by constantly engaging real users and leaning on them help us understand what does and does not make sense. One of the most important aspects of employee empowerment is trust. At the end of the day, who better to tell us what a day in the life of an employee looks like than the employees themselves?”

 

Alex Williams

Alex Williams
Full Stack Developer

What are the Top 3 things to keep in mind when creating an Employee Empowerment app?

“My Top 3 are:

  1. Employees need freedom
  2. People need to feel trusted and encouraged
  3. People enjoy encouraging others

Through building platforms for employee engagement I’ve learned that employees need freedom. They need to feel they are trusted to do their job well and are then encouraged for doing so.”

 

Will Bowlin Developer LeadWill Bowlin
Mobile Development Lead

What are the most important things in empowering employees?

“I think that empowering employees is about giving them the resources and support they need to best do their jobs.  If you give employees access to information and encourage collaboration, you can trust that they will make good decisions and execute. Ultimately your employees make or break you, give them their best chance to succeed.”

What are the most important things you’ve learned about building for employee empowerment?

“There are some things that really stand out when building for employee empowerment.  You have to build strong collaborations channels – the team is greater than the individual.  Also, you have to learn and dive into the company culture as well.  You don’t build a culture around a tool, you build tools and strategies that align with the culture of your client.”

 

Sidnee Schaefer - RevUnit Sr. Strategist

Sidnee Schaefer
Senior Product Adoption Strategist

What factors impact product adoption most?

“We live in an age where we are inundated with applications and technology choices, so if a user chooses to use an app frequently it’s a big deal. I like to think of product adoption in terms of the framework “AARRR.”

“AARRR stands for acquisition, activation, retention, revenue and referral. Adoption is really the top-mid part of the AARRR framework in acquisition, activation, and retention. 70% of users abandon an app within 30 days of download, which puts a lot of pressure on activation, a user’s first experience. If a user doesn’t have a great first experience with an app, they’ll most likely stop using it and never get to the point of retention. It’s important to educate users on an app’s features and benefits from the very beginning, so users get the fullest experience possible. This is the biggest impact to product adoption besides acquiring users, which to me is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of product adoption.”

 

 

Headshot of RevUnit CMO Seth WaiteSeth Waite
Chief Marketing Officer

How do employee empowerment apps benefit employees?

“Often times we talk about how companies can benefit from empowerment apps or platforms, but the real winner is the employee. Studies show employees begin to feel more productive, creative, loyal and satisfied. While each of those are good for the employer, they are real wins for the job satisfaction of the employee. Empowerment programs provide the right tools and knowledge to be successful at your job. That makes people happy. Happiness at work drives healthy benefits in every area of your job (more likely to get a raise, job security, better relationship with co-workers, less stress, etc.) and at home. While we often work with organizations to build employee empowerment apps, our real customers are the employees. Success is 100% measured by the engagement and happiness of the organization’s associates. From retail employee empowerment and hospitality to everything in between.”