How to launch an internal app

Here are the seven questions you must ask and answer before launching an internal app for your employees.

Sure, apps look like a cinch when you download them from your smartphone store.

But try designing an internal app good enough that your employees will use it daily, not look at it once and never open it again.

A new tip sheet from Staffbase and Ragan Communications, “7 questions to answer when creating a mobile app,” offers guidance on creating an app that employees will use—and find useful.

When you explore what your employees want in an app, be prepared to act on their suggestions, says Denise Lee Yohn, author of “What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles that Separate the Best from the Rest.”

Before you open the floodgates, frame the conversation by explaining your strategic intent. Otherwise, you will reap a lot of ideas contrary to your goals. Tell your co-workers, “This is our purpose, these are our values, this is the kind of culture we’re trying to cultivate,” Yohn says. “Help us understand how an app can help you experience that culture.”

The tip sheet will help you know how to start the discussion when planning an app. You will find out essential questions you should pose to make sure it’s a success.

When you provide the right kind of app, you create “organizations that are more flexible and more focused”—and capable of changing at a much faster rate than their competitors, says Frank Wolf, co-founder of Staffbase.

Download this guide and you will learn:

  • How to avoid building an expensive dud. Consider the employee experience as thoroughly as you do your customer experience.
  • Whether yours should be a web app or a native app. There’s one major difference that makes this a no-brainer for communicators.
  • How to make your app useful. The number of apps people download in a typical month is zero. You might be gung-ho about creating an app, but you don’t want one that employees will open once and never look at again.
  • Why you should scale back your ambitions to provide mobile intranet access. An app shouldn’t just shrink all your content to fit the screen of a smartphone. Ask yourself, “What part of the intranet do I want to put in the pocket of my employees?” Wolf says.
  • Why an app should be more than a communications channel. This could mean company news, employee services, a contact list, benefits, events, a feedback form, peer-to-peer chat and local news.

  • How to sell it to your executives. They might insist they don’t want it, but they should.

Find your way with the help of this tip sheet. Download it here.

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