5 must-have features for a successful employee app

Every corner of working life has shapeshifted in recent decades as digital ecosystems revolutionize the way the world does business. Employee apps are elevating employee engagement to daring heights. With an ever-expanding array of options out there, we look at the five definitive must-haves for an enterprise app to help you find the right one for your people.

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Setting a global, fully-integrated team up for success

Employee happiness at work, productivity levels, and teamwork are inherently linked. When every employee is equipped with the right tools to do their best work wherever they happen to be all three of these magic components are championed.

Today, up to 80% of our workforce is deskless. These people are just as important employees who spend their nine-to-five in the office. It’s crucial that barriers to access are broken down and every employee can access the full power of their digital workplace in the palm of their hand, from anywhere.

People are increasingly expecting important information to come to them too, rather than the onus being on them to go out to hunt for it. An intelligent mobile app solution can prioritize need-to-know content, filter out irrelevant details, and ensure employees can reliably access the stories, knowledge, and applications that matter most.

Case Study

The Estée Lauder Companies: Designing the world's best intranet

Discover how The Estée Lauder Companies is transforming employee experience and internal communications for 60k+ global employees with Unily's employee experience platform. Get an exclusive look inside the world's best intranet of 2022 and learn why MyELC made history as the first-ever beauty company intranet to feature in the Nielsen Norman Group's Intranet Design Annual.

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Finding the right app can be hard - This is where we think you should start

Whether your employees need to receive a critical business update, quickly find data mid-meeting, or recognize a colleague for getting a gruelling project across the line – a mobile enterprise solution should meet the unique needs of today’s modern workforce.

After putting our thinking caps on, these are the top five features we think you should look out for in your search for the perfect employee app.

#1. Seamless integration

While platform proliferation has performed wonders for driving commercial success and fostering quicker innovation, it has also spearheaded the need for cohesion across multiple applications. Digital friction is a leading cause of employee dissatisfaction, so finding a single solution to unite fragmented apps can deliver untold benefits.


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It is important to look for a platform that integrates with existing company software and mirrors already established processes. An employee app encompassing all critical applications in a single space can eliminate endless toggling and application switching. Employee engagement and readership will also increase as your people’s workflow becomes more streamlined.

Native apps across both ioS and Android devices which trigger push notifications can bring employee’s attention to important information without breaking their focus or adding to inbox overload.


#2. Social to give every employee a voice

Employees are expecting their digital experiences in the workplace to match those in their personal lives, and social capability is no exception. When every employee is empowered with access to an enterprise social community, they can truly feel like part of a connected team.


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Comments, reactions, polls, quizzes, and the ability to follow or share content facilitate digital comradery between colleagues. Reward recognition and features that celebrate success among colleagues are also great value-adds, fuelling a culture of appreciation even when employees are working miles apart.


#3. Powerful personalization to cut through the noise

Engagement will be maximized when an enterprise app truly ‘knows’ its people. With personalized journeys featuring consistent content that’s timed just right, your app can increase organizational alignment, focus on the employee voice, and fully immerse users in a self-guided path.

Automated content flows will ensure knowledge is properly filtered through the enterprise with an experience that’s a touch more human. This feature can also be a large value driver for the boardroom as complexity is reduced, and scalable content can be engineered ahead of time to reduce the burden on teams.

It’s also a real bonus if your app users can customize their feed to suit their preferences. When story topics, themes, and specific individuals can be followed, your employees have the power to curate their own experiences. Control over how they receive notifications from your employee app can further enhance the personalization.

An app with an offline reading feature will also help frontline workers customize their app experience so they can stay up to date in an area of low signal.


#4. Customizable platform for branding

Versatility is key. When an app is configurable for your branding, the user experience will be vastly improved. The power to effectively brand your employee app with your company colors, imagery, and logo ensures consistency of experience across your entire enterprise. Branding will elevate your employee app with your unique character to create an emotional resonance in the minds of your people.

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The intranet homepage is hot real estate. But with so much pressure to make a great first impression, where do you start with designing the ultimate homepage? We’ve pulled together inspiring homepage designs from big-name brands to help you create a homepage that wows your employees and sets your platform up for success.

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People are generally more likely to engage with a platform that is uniquely branded to their use case than if not. Employees across your enterprise will interface with your app in much the same way. Apart from making the app look slicker, branding also reinforces your company’s unified and distinctive voice, providing an additional layer of authority across the solution.

Cathay Pacific homepages

#5. Small but mighty pocket-powered search

An app with a robust search function that employees can rely on will break down knowledge silos across teams. As employees work hard to drive growth in your industry, they have very little time to waste in finding the specific information they need. A search function that offers a timely, comprehensive set of results will ensure your people can find what they’re looking for in a flash.

It's important that this search capability is fully powered on your employee app. Your employees may be on the move in the field, bouncing from meeting to meeting, or pitching to prospective clients – and they need something that they can trust works, without the limitation of only being available at a desk.


Unily could be the employee app for you

Unily offers a robust solution for corporate and in-field audiences, bringing applications, strong search, news, and social networking together on a single platform. Read the latest Clearbox report on employee apps to find out why Unily was reviewed so highly as an industry leader or get started with a free demo today.

'ClearBox Mobile Apps for Employee Experience' report flat pages


2023 ClearBox mobile apps for employee experience

Read the latest Clearbox report on employee apps to find out why Unily was reviewed so highly as an industry leader

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Casey Farr - Communications Manager

By Casey Farr

Communications Manager

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