How a mobile employee app can work for hourly employees

The benefits for hourly workers are real – and the roadblocks are addressed with the right technology.

The goal of the Sitrion ONE employee app is to make work better for all employees. For several of our customers, Sitrion ONE is the only readily available tool to keep employees informed and connected with their company. So it can be easy for us to say, “Who wouldn’t want something that makes work better for everyone?” But for some companies, there’s a real question about how an employee app can work for hourly workers. Let’s take a look at the issues that get raised and the solutions for them.

Don’t distract from work – complement it

Sometimes companies have policies about employees not using phones during working hours or in front of customers. So the question that comes up is – when would employees actually use this employee app? A key part of the answer for Sitrion ONE is that it’s designed to let users be productive in sixty seconds. So when an employee is on a break or grabbing lunch, it takes only seconds to fingerprint-scan into the app and see the most important things. By bringing the right information to the right people at the right time, the Sitrion ONE productivity stream lets employees get value without taking away from work time or breaking work policies.

Off-hours obligations vs. off-hours access 

Important' cards get a special visual cue and remain at the top of the feed as long as you want them to.

Another issue that comes up is the idea that employees shouldn’t have to do work for the company during the hours in which they aren’t being paid. One of the key things here is being clear with the workforce that the employee app is being provided as a benefit. Most companies will occasionally send employees physical mail (e.g. to inform them of open enrollment for health benefits starting). An employee app fits in the same category – information is being made available to benefit the employees.

It is important that companies do not create an expectation or obligation for employees using the app during off hours. The Sitrion ONE app complies with the do not disturb settings on the phone and has smart behaviors like showing users the most important cards at the top of their productivity stream whenever they next login. So employees don’t feel like they need to check the app constantly to know what’s most important.

No corporate ‘Big Brother’ on your phone

Finally, there’s sometimes a concern from employees about being monitored in their usage. Sitrion ONE has a built-in setting called “privacy mode” that removes the display of some of the individual user information in the administration interface. For example, by default Sitrion ONE will show an administrator the date of the last login for each user. With privacy mode enabled, this information is hidden. This helps to reassure employees that the app really is just provided as a benefit.

For the communications professional, getting important information out quickly to all employees is essential for the job. For hourly employees, getting helpful and timely information is a benefit not a burden. When you combine this communication with other capabilities such as access to health benefits information, the ability to check vacation balance or other use cases commonly enabled in Sitrion ONE, it’s easy to see why employees give feedback that the app is really something that makes their lives better. For a lot of the questions that come up around hourly employees, the key point is that the employee app is their benefit, not their burden.

For more on this topic, check out Sitrion's tipsheet on bringing an employee app to hourly employees.

Brian Kellner, Chief Technology Officer

Brian Kellner is responsible for Sitrion's product strategy and development. Brian has held product or development management positions for over a dozen years. Most recently he was Vice President of Enterprise Products for Webroot Software. Brian holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.S. in Management from Colorado Tech.

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