For the last few decades, companies have been consistently improving customer experience with their mobile applications and web software. There has been a continuous interest in trying to develop a better digital landscape for customers to engage with. As the customer’s mobile and web experience has improved, companies like Chick-fil-A and The Home Depot have also discovered the importance of enhancing the employee experience as well; specifically with the functionality of workplace devices and software.
These organizations have begun investing in the refinement of company tools in an effort to meet satisfaction demands and harness a more productive team environment. Such an emphasis on the workers’ experience has had a cascading effect on overall employee performance, creating better employee retention and higher customer service scores; all of which results in more loyal customers, and in return, a higher profit.
Many organizations have faced a growing labor shortage over the last two years due to retiring baby boomers, stricter immigration policies, and shifting employee preferences; creating what has become known as the “Great Resignation.” These factors have served as a wake-up call for organizations across the country, getting them to begin thinking about how to raise the quality of the employee experience and create a more sustainable workforce.
There are four initial areas that we advise companies to assess for improving employee experience on mobile devices:
- Measuring what matters with Analytics
- Investing and improving your support processes
- Raising the speed of your applications and devices
- Using communication tools to enhance the employee experience.
Measure What Matters
As a leader in your company, would you be able to answer these questions if someone asked you?:
- How many minutes a day do your employees leverage their mobile devices?
- What apps are they using most frequently, and for how long?
- Which apps are they using the least?
- What tasks are they performing the most?
- Who are your mobile power users? Who needs training?
- Which of your worksites uses their devices the most/least?
- Are there sites that don’t have enough devices?
- What percentage of your devices are out of commission?
- What apps use the most network bandwidth across your site?
Most mobile device analytics are not mobile-specific. Instead, they measure attributes such as app downloads or how many times a mobile browser is used. They don’t tell you anything about how an employee uses their mobile device to do their jobs. This means that for an organization to understand the impact of mobile technology on its workforce truly, it has to start measuring what matters, which differs from standard analytics.
The first step in any measurement program is to determine which metrics will be most important for your business objectives and processes. Including the frequency with which certain tasks are performed. Once these metrics have been identified, you can choose appropriate tools to roll up and measure these items.
Manufacturers such as Zebra, Samsung, and Honeywell have started to include built-in analytics on their devices. BlueFletch includes analytics around employee logins, app usage, and device hardware metrics with our BlueFletch Enterprise tools. All of this data can be rolled up with your preferred BI tools (e.g., Splunk, PowerBI, Tableau).
The end goal of your analytics is to be able to answer the questions that are important to your business and help you make better decisions around improving the experience for your end-users.
Invest In Your Support Processes
Calling the helpdesk can be a frustrating experience for almost anyone. When employees call the helpdesk to troubleshoot an issue, they want to solve their issue as fast as they can to get back to work. No one wants to spend excessive amounts of time on the phone troubleshooting an issue, but unfortunately, this is a reality for many organizations. Slower support processes create more stress for your helpdesk and results in lower productivity for your end-users.
In order to improve your helpdesk process, we recommend evaluating the following questions:
- When an employee calls the helpdesk, can they easily provide details to help identify which device is causing issues and view relevant logs for the helpdesk agent? Do they have a good understanding of the devices they use?
- Does your helpdesk team have accessible analytics visibility around users’ devices? Can they see all the changes that have occurred on that device over the last few days?
- Can your helpdesk utilize remote control on a device to troubleshoot issues without needing an employee to sit on the phone with them?
- If your helpdesk cannot solve the issue with the device, do they have the ability to reset the device and rebuild all of the software on the device without having to ship the device back?
As you look at your helpdesk processes, make sure they are optimized to handle today’s newer technologies. The most successful organizations have a customer-centric approach to the help desk. It’s all about how we can get the employee’s problems solved and make them happy as quickly as possible.
Focus on Speed Improvements Where They Matter the Most.
According to Google, a majority of consumers will abandon a web page that takes longer than three seconds to load. Employees feel the same frustration as consumers, but they don’t have the ability to abandon their task; they just have to sit there and begrudgingly wait on slow applications. Apps that take an extremely long time to open up and load can quickly drive employees crazy to the point where they will stop using the app and fall back to manual processes.
We have seen three main culprits for app performance issues that you should look for in your organization:
- Leveraging Old Devices – Every year, consumer manufacturers release new devices at least 1-2x faster than the previous year’s model. As consumers, your employees have grown accustomed to these constant improvements. When they pick up a 5-year-old device, they can be very frustrated by its slower performance. Where possible, look at the cost-benefit analysis of employee performance improvements vs. the cost of newer devices. You may be surprised to see that consistently investing in newer devices can, in the long run, create a more efficient workforce.
- Poorly Built Apps – Poorly developed apps can be slow to load and may leverage excessive network bandwidth and CPU. These apps feel clunky to use. Additionally, we have seen poorly written applications that will quickly drain the battery on devices. In one instance, we saw a poorly written app drain a battery designed for an 8-hour shift in just 1 hour. As part of your development and architecture review processes, we recommend having your dev team run performance profiling of their apps before they are approved for production.
- Poorly Designed Apps – We see many companies take legacy applications (green-screen or Windows CE) and port them directly to modern Android. Often times they will not perform a UX audit to understand how they can improve the workflow of the application to take advantage of modern design. Examples we have seen include a situation where a user had to perform eight screen touches for an action that should only have taken one. Reviewing the design and workflow of your application is one of the easiest ways to get inexpensive, meaningful improvements for employee experience on your mobile devices.
At the end of the day, the performance of your employee applications can have a significant impact on satisfaction and overall productivity. Poor performance for one user is bad, but when you multiply it across the thousands of users in your organization, it could be costing you a lot in hidden costs.
Communication Tools Can Help Your Employees be More Productive
Tools such as Slack and Microsoft Teams have become ubiquitous across white-collar workers in the enterprise world. They have overtaken email as the primary asynchronous communication and have become a more casual version of the telephone for voice and video.
Front line employees in stores, warehouses, and out in the field can yield the same benefits from these modern forms of communication. Employees can use mobile devices to stay in touch with each other and their direct managers through real-time, or near-real-time, text collaboration. Additionally, voice and video can replace legacy walkie-talkies and landline phones.
Benefits we have seen companies reap from modern communication tools on mobile devices include:
- Improved Customer Response Time – Employees can contact someone to assist or answer customer questions more quickly.
- Team Coordination – Working together becomes easier when everyone is a message away, allowing for a quicker response time to solve issues that arise.
- Safety Improvement – Having tools to communicate in real-time can help in situations where there are emergency safety concerns (e.g., Injury or active shooter).
Early on, we observed many companies with concerns about communication tools making employees less productive, but over the last few years, we have observed the opposite. Improved communication makes employees more productive and happier while also making them feel more integrated with their team.
How do you improve the mobile employee experience? The answer may lie in the areas called out above, or there may be other ways that you can help your employees perform their jobs more efficiently.
Improved employee experience may not be the panacea to fix issues with workforce shortages, but it definitely won’t hurt your company’s employee retention issues. If looking to improve employee experience seems daunting, let us know. We are always happy to share our experiences and guidance to help you build an action plan to move forward.
If you wish to learn more about our company and our solutions, you can reach us directly by email at info@BlueFletch.com