Employee app is a relatively new solution that makes communication inside the company more effective. According to Gallup, 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged at work, but this doesn’t have to be this way. By showing the team members that their opinion is valued and their work is appreciated you keep them engaged in their work and build their loyalty to the company.
Companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share. Our science is based on 30 years of research with more than 30 years of research with more than 30 million employees
- The origins of Shyft
- Shyft-like app features
- Business communication tools
- Advantages of using mobile communication tools in your business
- Employee apps quick review
- The pros and cons of building a custom employee app
The origins of Shyft
Originally the schedule app Shyft was meant for enabling workers to reschedule shifts, but it also proved itself like a useful management and communication tool that connects coworkers in one place. Before employee app appeared on the market managers and coworkers used different channels to stay in touch, and managing staff and coordinating shifts took lots of time.
Co-founder of Shyft, Brett Patrontasch, encountered this problem when trying to efficiently schedule shifts of 250 workers of his small house painting company. He realized that coordinating staff of big corporation must be an ordeal. So he and his University peers set up a startup to solve this problem.
Their first app was focussed much more on the executive’s challenges rather than on employees problems. The problem was that the users of this shift work schedule app were mostly the workers who found the app not very engaging. After receiving this feedback, the Shyft we know today was born, focusing on the employees needs more than on those of the managers.
Inspiration hit us when we realized that a schedule is a simple function of supply and demand: An employee’s supply of available labor hours, and an employer’s demand for labor hours worked. The labor supply side, however — employees working shifts — has been treated with a secondary consideration. We realized that by building a supply-side marketplace, employees will be able to respond to demand in real time. This will enable workers to substantially increase their earnings, and eliminate billions in loss for employers.
In big corporations like Starbucks or McDonalds using apps like Shyft is the only way to manage shifts efficiently with the enormous number of 291 thousand Starbucks employees worldwide.
The apps like Shyft can also be used to praise the employees to increase their recognition by sharing information about their achievements and milestones with the team. They can ask questions each other and solve problems quickly by collaboration without involving the manager or hr team unless it is really necessary. Encouraging employees to participate in the polls or to vote makes them feel valued. Besides, employers can collect valuable feedback to improve the workflow.
Shyft-like app features
Let’s take a look at the functionality of a Shyft-like app.
This is the main feature of apps like Shyft. Managers can import timetables using compatible formats such as jpg, pdf, excel. Shifts can be scheduled and swapped in real time. If the shift gets swapped, a manager has to approve or reject it. Coworkers can comment on the posted shifts when they have some additional questions about it.
There are three types of push notifications in the app: shift notifications when someone is active on the news feed, schedule notifications when a new photo schedule is posted or 2 hours before the shift, community notifications when new messages arrive. If you have any unread notifications, a red dot appears on the app logo.
Conversations can be both group and one-to-one. Whether it’s private group chat or direct messaging, instant messages are sent in real time with the participants being notified.
User profiles contain such information as name and job title, a photo and contact information and location.
When scheduling shifts manager has to be sure the team members are available at the time needed. That is why availability can be requested by a manager and submitted by staff.
If a user wants to share a message with the whole team, he or she can post in a company news feed. Team members can leave comments or like a post.
Pro version of Shyft enables admin to delete any user-posted comments, add a financial incentive to unpopular shift time and confirm new users before they can get access to any information.
Business communication tools
But that’s not only the shift workers who don’t share working hours but also the colleagues working in one office that need an effective communication and managing tool. Currently, people got used to user-friendly apps with a clean and simple design. To figure out how a perfect employee communication app should look like we need to think about other apps we use every day and what makes us use them on a regular basis and apply this knowledge to the business app.
With the company communication tool, it’s much easier to organize workshops and meetups. You can schedule it in the app and participants will be informed instantly. People like to leave comments and likes, just think about Facebook and other social networks, that’s why enabling comments in the communication app is such a good idea. You can also encourage brainstorming to take a fresh look at a problem.
Advantages of using mobile communication tools in your business
- The messages you send to your employees will be received and checked within a couple of minutes, unlike traditional emails. If you want to get in touch with a team member immediately just send him or her a push notification and there’s no chance he or she misses it
- You can increase your staff engagement and productivity by providing friendly competitions between departments using the app
- You can encourage brainstorming to get new ideas and collect feedback
- You can show employees your appreciation by congratulating them with their achievements
- When you empower the staff to empower themselves they develop their teamwork skills
- As human beings all enjoy being a part of a community using an employee app unites the coworkers and promotes your brand
Employee apps quick overview
A popular business messaging and collaborative tool Slack is great for real-time conversations between the coworkers to quickly check on things both in group and individual chats. It’s a great choice for office workers whose working hours are more or less standard. But if the company works remotely with its team members situated in different time zones it may become a problem to get to the beginning of the discussion.
Flock, a communication app that was released a year later has multiple language support and is slightly cheaper and has fewer restrictions in a free version but it may lack in user-friendliness and user experience.
Communication tool Fleep is integrated with emails instead of trying to replace this channel of business communication. Powered by AI Chanty allows you to turn any message into a task and assign it to a team member. The task can be organized into a to-do list, and a user that created it is notified when it’s done.
But if your staff works on shifts the option of shift swapping is essential. Let’s have a look at the other shyft like apps that cover that functionality. Besides apps that pretty much copy Shyft in functionality like PARiM and ZoomShift, there are scheduling apps that are aimed at a certain type of business. 7Shifts is created especially for the restaurant staff while Shift Messenger is more suitable in the retail business.
Though lots of apps like Shyft are represented on the market sometimes it makes sense to develop your own employee app. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a building your company employee app.
The pros and cons of building a custom employee app
- It will be designed to meet all your business needs, as there may be some special functions your employee app requires
- You will not have to pay for the unnecessary features as in standard versions for a fixed price
- The custom app will be unique and developed in accordance with your company’s needs and culture
- Though you will have to spend more at first when you decide to develop your own app, the solution will pay off with the time as there won’t be any monthly fee per user
- You have to be ready to spend some time on shyft-like app development
- You need to pay at once instead of making monthly payments for the app
- Schedule and business communication app development is mostly beneficial for large companies
So, if you have a company of more than 50 employees, especially if their location or working hours are different and if you spend much time organizing your team members, but the standard solutions don’t meet your company’s needs, then you should consider developing a custom employee app for your business.
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