Can an employee communications app increase employee engagement?

We’ve found four ways that an employee communication solution can elevate engagement in your organisation.


When trying to overcome an disengaged workforce, first consider what heightened employee engagement might look like at your organisation, and then take a mobile-first approach to achieving that vision. 

Employee engagement can seem elusive. In fact, an study from earlier this year found that most organisations are still failing to attain high engagement levels. While studies like this confirm that you’re not alone, you may not need data to back up your experience of struggling to identify the right internal communication strategy or management system that will produce the desired lift in engagement. 

So, while the problem has been long-established, what is the right solution, especially when dealing with a mostly remote or desk-less workforce?

Envisioning Engagement

To get at a solution, it helps to start with an understanding of the outcome that you’re looking to achieve.

In other words, answer this question:

What would positive employee engagement actually look like at your organisation? 

Your answers may reflect some of these ideas: 

  • Employee engagement takes the form of actively contributing, productive team members.
  • Employee engagement will come when employees feel valued within the organisation. 
  • Employee engagement will look like employees who feel they can speak up, and who have an acceptable forum where they can voice their ideas and experiences. 
  • Employee engagement will involve give and take — an ongoing and consistent dialogue between employees, management and executives. 

To achieve these and similar outcomes when you have remote, desk-less or mobile employees, it takes the right technology to unify teams, foster contributions and develop new habits of engagement.

With the top 20% of smartphone users having 4.5 hours of daily screen time, it is a bit of a no-brainer that if you want to reach your workers where they are, you’d better be equipped to reach them on their mobile devices. 

Using Mobile Apps to Elevate Engagement

Employee communications apps are becoming sought-after internal communications tools of choice, because they bridge the gap between corporate and disconnected team members and take advantage of ways your employees are already looking to communicate.  

We’ve found four ways that an internal communication app can elevate engagement in your organisation.

#1: Peer-to-Peer Recognition

It’s been well-documented that recognition leads to retention, and that retention leads to profits. But formalised top-down recognition programs aren’t the be-all, end-all, and they actually can have the opposite-of-desired effect of leaving many employees feeling unappreciated. 

But when employees have an option, such as a recognition functionality within an employee communications app,  to thank and recognise one another, it can go a long way.

One study found that 44% of employees actively recognised their peers when provided a tool to do so, and that peers are the number one influence — not supervisors, and not compensation — driving employees to go the extra mile.   

Bonus: Peer-to-peer recognition data from Thrive apps can be exported and integrated into existing recognition and reward programmes within your organisation. 

#2: User-Generated Content Publishing

Smartphone users have grown accustomed to creating and publishing their own unique content in a number of online and mobile-based platforms. Why should the workplace be any different? Whether it’s posting photos and videos or written articles, an employee who is empowered to push out content is an engaged employee. 

In addition to connecting a workforce that is spread out across an area (or across continents) and facilitating team communication, user-generated content (often called employee-generated content) functionalities make employees trusted insiders, and can give management and executives a peek into what really matters to and resonates with employees. 

Bonus: Apps from Thrive allow organisations to moderate content prior to it going live. 

#3: Likes & Comments on Content

The ability for employees to react to content via likes and comments is another place where the dialogue happens, is ongoing, and can provide really valuable insights into what types of content your employees find valuable. 

Not only that, but expressing preferences and opinions via a thumbs up emoji or a comment is already a common, daily practice for working adults everywhere, so this is one feedback opportunity that has almost zero barriers. 

Bonus: Organisations have the option of turning off likes and comments functionalities within the app if they aren’t suitable for a certain type of content. 

#4: Feedback to the CEO

This one is key: the 2019 State of Employee Engagement Study found that trust in leadership was the number one driver of engagement. But few staff members in large organisations have a direct line to or one-on-one opportunities to meet with the CEO and other executives, a disconnect that can lead to a lack of that all-important trust. 

For that reason, many employees are more than game to embrace an option to speak their minds and share ideas via an internal communications app. When leadership responds to that feedback within the app — even better, when they act on feedback — that can develop trust. 

Next Steps…

Are you ready to innovate your approach to employee engagement by taking a mobile-first approach to communication, content and feedback? Let’s talk today. 

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