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How to build a mobile app for employee engagement

TL;DR: Building a mobile app to engage employees involves understanding your workforce's needs, identifying key features, selecting the right development approach, and designing an intuitive user interface. The app should integrate with existing company tools and systems, ensure security and compliance, and be continuously tested and improved based on feedback. Once ready, it should be effectively launched and promoted, and its success should be regularly measured and evaluated.

Developing a mobile app to enhance employee engagement requires more than just a brilliant concept. It demands a strategy tailored specifically to your workforce's needs.

This guide will help you understand how to make an app that will help your employees feel more involved in the company and strengthen your .

Key takeaways

  • Employee engagement apps enhance business success by fostering a positive workplace culture and providing a mobile-first platform that boosts communication, collaboration, recognition, performance management, and feedback mechanisms.
  • Effective employee engagement apps should integrate seamlessly with a company’s existing tools, be designed with an intuitive and personalized user interface, and ensure high security and compliance with regulations such as GDPR to protect employee data.
  • The development of an employee engagement app involves a series of steps from identifying core features to launching and promoting the app, with a focus on continuous testing, measuring success through various benchmarks, and iterating based on employee feedback to optimize user experience.
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Understanding the need for employee engagement apps

Diverse group of employees using a mobile app for employee engagement

Engaged employees are key to a successful business. If employees feel valued and involved, they tend to be more productive and happy. This leads to benefits like better customer retention, best employee engagement and less absenteeism.

Engaging a diverse workforce, including remote employees, can be tough. That's where employee engagement apps come in. They simplify tasks like payroll and rostering, and help team members communicate better leading to more productivity.

Tip: Remember, an effective employee engagement app should be user-friendly and meet the specific needs of your team. It's not just about the technology, but about fostering a positive, collaborative, and inclusive workplace culture.

Creating an inclusive culture is important for improving employee engagement. This can be challenging, especially with remote employees. Employee engagement apps help by providing a centralized system.

They handle essential functions and improve internal communication. This results in better team connections and a positive workplace culture.

In a nutshell:

  • Engaged employees are more productive and satisfied.
  • Employee engagement apps help improve communication and simplify tasks.
  • These apps also help create an inclusive culture, which is key for engagement.

Identifying core features for your employee engagement app

Smartphone with employee engagement app features displayed

When you're choosing an employee engagement app, don't just look at the obvious stuff. Think about what really makes people feel part of the team.

A good app should have a way for people to message each other, a system for giving and getting rewards, tools to manage performance, and a way for people to give feedback in real time.

So, what does that mean? Well, you need a way for people to talk to each other - like a chat system. You also need a way for people to say "good job" and get rewarded for their hard work.

Fact: Companies with high levels of employee engagement tend to be significantly more profitable. Engaged employees are more productive, contribute to a positive company culture, and are less likely to leave their jobs.

You need tools to help manage how well people are doing their jobs. Plus, you need a way for people to give feedback right away, not just once a year at review time.

Communication and collaboration tools

An employee engagement app is important for good communication among employees. This app can have instant messaging tools, push notifications and company news feeds. These help to share important updates quickly and let employees talk to each other.

The app can also have features for teamwork. These can include task assignment, file sharing, and automated requests to human resources. These features make working together easier and help everyone do more work in less time.

Tip: A well-designed employee engagement app not only simplifies tasks but also fosters a positive, inclusive workplace culture. Remember, it's not just about the technology, it's about how it enhances communication and collaboration within your team.

Recognition and rewards system

Employee recognition and rewards programs are crucial for motivating employees and promoting a positive company culture.

A carefully designed system of acknowledgment, such as a ‘kudos’ feature or incentives for meeting goals through an engagement app, can greatly increase employee satisfaction and productivity.

The use of gamification elements in apps, in combination with public recognition, can elevate employee engagement levels while also inspiring other members within the organization to strive towards excellence. This creates a cycle of continuous improvement driven by mutual appreciation among employees and project management.

Tip: An effective employee engagement app should be intuitive, engaging, and meet the unique needs of the employees engaged on your team. It's about fostering a positive, collaborative, and inclusive workplace culture.

Performance management and feedback

The functionality of performance management and feedback is a crucial aspect of an effective engagement app. This feature supports skill development by establishing specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based goals.

It also provides regular opportunities for evaluation valuable insights and feedback that align personal ambitions with company objectives.

Advanced capabilities like mobile accessibility allow individuals to access the app on-the-go, while customizable workflows enable tailoring to suit different needs.

Dedicated spaces within the app specifically designed for mentorship or coaching can enhance overall effectiveness in managing employee performance.

To sum up:

  • Performance management and feedback functionality is crucial for an effective engagement app.
  • It supports skill development and aligns personal ambitions with company objectives.
  • Advanced capabilities like mobile accessibility and customizable workflows cater to different needs.
  • Dedicated spaces for mentorship or coaching enhance the app's effectiveness.

Tip: A comprehensive employee engagement app not only facilitates communication and collaboration, but also fosters a positive, inclusive workplace culture. Remember, it's not just about the technology, it's about the impact it has on your team's engagement and productivity.

Choosing the right app development approach

iphone, 4s, technology

After you've figured out what your employee engagement app needs to do, it's time to decide how to build it. You could make the app yourself, hire someone else to do it, or use a platform that helps you build apps. Each choice has its own pros and cons.

Fact: Employee engagement apps have been proven to increase productivity by up to 21%. They also significantly reduce employee turnover, saving companies substantial costs in the long run.

Building the app yourself means you have total control over what it does and how it looks. But, it can be expensive and time-consuming. Hiring someone else to build the app can save you time and might give you access to more specialized skills, but, you might not have as much control over the final product.

Using an app development platform can be a good middle ground. It can help you get your app to the market faster and work on different operating systems. But, it might cost more upfront and you might have to share some of your profits with the platform.

In-house development

Opting to develop an app in-house offers the advantage of maintaining complete control over its quality, features, and design. This ensures that all elements align with the company’s objectives.

It promotes a shared goal among team members and facilitates smooth collaboration with instant communication capabilities.

One must consider the substantial costs associated with forming and sustaining an internal team as well as challenges related to finding and retaining skilled developers.

Tip: Tip: A well-crafted employee engagement app can boost productivity and foster a positive work culture. Remember, it's not just about the technology; it's about creating a tool that truly meets your team's needs and simplifies their work interactions.


Outsourcing the creation of an engagement app can offer financial benefits and access to specialized expertise. It eliminates the time-consuming tasks of hiring and setting up infrastructure, while allowing for flexibility in choosing specific skills for each project.

It's crucial to keep an eye on the quality of the development process when outsourcing, and make sure you have ongoing contracts to ensure continuous service.

Tip: A well-crafted employee engagement app can boost productivity and foster a positive work culture. It's not just about the technology, but about creating a tool that truly meets your team's needs.

App development platforms

Mobile app development platforms offer a uniform setting for creating apps that can run on various operating systems, such as Android, iOS, Windows, and Linux.

They also support cross-platform development through open-source tools. These platforms have the potential to shorten the product launch time significantly while providing offline functionality for apps.

It is important to note that utilizing these platforms may involve substantial initial expenses and potentially sharing profits with them in exchange for their services.

Designing an intuitive user interface

User interface design process for employee engagement app

Creating an intuitive user interface goes beyond just having a visually appealing design. It involves creating a seamless experience for users.

By ensuring consistency in visual elements like fonts and colors, not only is usability improved but predictability for users as well. Incorporating familiar gestures and patterns along with features such as an easy log-in process can greatly enhance the overall user experience.

Tip: To ensure success, your employee engagement app should be intuitive, engaging, and tailored to meet your team's unique needs. It's not just about the technology, but about fostering a positive, collaborative, and inclusive workplace culture.

The application should have responsive design that remains engaging across different devices to maintain a high level of responsiveness. It should also be personalized to reflect the company’s unique branding including their logo and chosen color scheme.

Content segmentation based on employee roles and preferences will add value by increasing engagement among employees using the app.

Integrating with existing company tools and systems

settings, tools, options

A successful employee engagement app must seamlessly integrate with the company’s existing tools and systems. Compatibility, robust interaction between systems, automation of processes, and efficient management of top employee engagement apps and data are all crucial factors to consider.

Tip: A well-integrated employee engagement app can streamline communication, simplify tasks, and foster a positive work culture. It's not just about the technology, but about creating a tool that truly meets your team's needs.

By integrating employee communication and channels into one central hub through the app, employees can avoid information overload and improve their well-being. All important company information can be accessed through a well-integrated app, leading to time savings and increased productivity for employees.

To ensure a smooth transition and voluntary adoption of the app by employees in line with BYOD policies, careful planning should go into onboarding procedures.

This will help facilitate easy access and integration of the employee engagement app within existing operations while promoting its effectiveness as a tool for enhancing overall employee satisfaction levels.

Ensuring security and compliance

composition, app, pencil

Guaranteeing security and compliance is a top priority in the development of an employee engagement app. Businesses must manage and process employee data meticulously, ensuring compliance with GDPR to safeguard employee information and build trust.

To maintain a high level of security, developers should:

  • Leverage features such as anonymous feedback mechanisms
  • Use cutting-edge security technologies like biometric authentication
  • Determine secure hosting solutions
  • Institute stringent guidelines for login credentials

These measures are crucial for preventing unauthorized access and protecting company assets.

Adequate due diligence in selecting employee engagement solutions, including robust security vetting, is essential to prevent data breaches and ensure compliance.

Testing and iterating your employee engagement app

smartphone, computer, technology

Evaluating and perfecting your app for employee engagement is a critical step in ensuring its effectiveness and reliability.

Utilizing beta testing allows for feedback from the target audience, as well as real-world assessments of the app’s performance to uncover any hidden glitches that may not have been detected during lab testing.

There are various types of beta testing, such as open, closed, technical, focused, or marketing-based tests, which can provide extensive input and cater to specific needs. Involving real users in usability tests plays an essential role in continually refining the design process by enhancing user interfaces and overall experience.

Tip: A successful employee engagement app should be intuitive, engaging, and meet the unique needs of your and other team members. It's about fostering a positive, collaborative, and inclusive workplace culture.

It's essential to regularly gather feedback from employees to ensure the app aligns with their needs. This enables continuous evaluation and refinement of the app.

Actively incorporating employee feedback into the app's development creates an iterative process that continually improves the app's effectiveness and usability. The end result will be an engaging platform tailored specifically to their needs.

Launching and promoting your employee engagement app

Team celebrating the successful launch of the employee engagement app

Careful planning is essential when launching and promoting your employee engagement app.

  • To generate excitement and interest among employees, consider hosting a company-wide event or creative kickoff to introduce the app.
  • Providing training and support in various formats such as virtual sessions, workshops, or video tutorials can help familiarize employees with the features of the new employee app.

After downloading the app, it’s crucial for effective onboarding processes to ensure that all employees understand how to use it effectively.

Tip: An effective employee engagement app is not just about technology. It's about fostering a positive, inclusive workplace culture and meeting your team's specific needs.

Using push notifications existing company apps can be an efficient way to quickly communicate important company announcements and emergency alerts across all levels of staff members.

Emphasizing tangible benefits like time savings, improved efficiency, and enhanced collaboration through utilizing this engagement application may inspire more active participation from users.

A soft launch strategy allows for specific improvements. These are tailored towards enhancing sustained value growth and encouraging greater interaction with the software tool.

Measuring the success and impact of your employee engagement app

Once your employee engagement app is ready, it's important to measure its success. You can do this by looking at things like how many employees recommend the app, how often employees are absent, how long employees stay with the company, and how productive they are. You can also gather employee feedback.

Many modern employee engagement apps use artificial intelligence to suggest ways to improve communication and content. If you connect the app to your HR system, you can combine data on employee engagement with other HR data.

Fact: According to a Gallup study, companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share. Furthermore, organizations that score in the top 20% in engagement realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism, and 59% less turnover of entire workforce.

This gives a full picture of how satisfied your employees are. Employee engagement apps can also improve how staff work together, because they provide a single place for communication and collaboration.

To make sure the app continues to work well, you should always be open to feedback from employees. You should also regularly check how satisfied employees are with company apps and make improvements to the app based on this feedback. This will help to keep employees involved and satisfied with their work.

Top 4 best employee engagement apps

Let's take a look at some of the best employee engagement apps out there, all of which were built using, a leading platform for app development.

  1. Fitbit Learn: This app is a perfect example of how to engage employees in their health and wellness. It offers a variety of features that encourage employees to take control of their health, from tracking physical activity to providing educational resources on nutrition and wellness.
  2. Whole Foods Market: The Whole Foods Market app is a fantastic tool for employee engagement. It allows employees to stay updated with company news, access their schedules, communicate with their teams, and more. It's a one-stop-shop for everything an employee needs.
  3. MyMcKesson: This app is a great tool for McKesson employees. It provides a platform for employees to access important company resources, stay updated with the latest news and updates, and communicate with their colleagues.
  4. BenefitsApp: As the name suggests, this app is all about benefits. It provides an app platform for employees to access their benefits information, making it easier for them to understand and utilize their benefits.

All these examples were built using is an excellent choice for building apps because it offers a variety of features and tools that make the app development process easier and more efficient. It also allows for a high level of customization, ensuring that the app meets the unique needs of your workforce.

Case Studies

Real stories from Median customers

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Employee engagement apps are revolutionizing how companies interact with, inspire, and involve their employees. Recognizing the necessity for such apps, determining key elements, selecting the appropriate development approach are all critical steps in the employee apps' process.

The journey may seem challenging, but every step leads towards a more engaged, motivated, and efficient workforce. The outcome is greater business success, showcasing the transformative power of these applications in the modern workplace.

Frequently asked questions

How do you create an employee engagement program?

Creating an efficient employee engagement program involves a 9-step approach which includes comprehending the concept of engagement, administering employee surveys, establishing objectives, developing an action plan and seeking employee perspectives. These guidelines will aid in designing a successful team engagement program that promotes staff involvement and commitment.

How much does it cost to build an app?

The cost of building an app can range from $10,000 to over $500,000 depending on the level of complexity and features it requires.

How do I download an employee app?

The employee app can be easily downloaded onto your mobile device from either the App Store or Google Play Store.

What are the benefits of using an employee engagement app?

An app for employee engagement has the potential to greatly enhance communication, drive motivation and boost productivity within a company internal comms. It can decrease absenteeism rates and improve customer retention numbers through improved workplace dynamics.

What are some core features of an effective employee engagement app?

A successful app for employee engagement is equipped with elements such as in-app communication, methods of acknowledgement and incentives, tools for performance management, and timely mechanisms for feedback to boost both the level of involvement and productivity among employees.

What are the key considerations when choosing employee apps?

When choosing employee apps, it's important to consider factors such as ease of use, integration with existing systems, security, customization options, and the specific needs and preferences of your employees. It's also beneficial to select an app that provides comprehensive features for communication, collaboration, recognition, and feedback.

*DISCLAIMER: This content is provided solely for informational purposes. It is not exhaustive and may not be relevant for your requirements. While we have obtained and compiled this information from sources we believe to be reliable, we cannot and do not guarantee its accuracy. This content is not to be considered professional advice and does not form a professional relationship of any kind between you and LLC or its affiliates. is the industry-leading end-to-end solution for developing, publishing, and maintaining native mobile apps for iOS and Android powered by web content. When considering any technology vendor we recommend that you conduct detailed research and “read the fine print” before using their services.*
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