Many workers don’t have a corporate email address or any digital connection to the company. Mobile technology is offering a new path.
For many organizations, a huge portion of the workforce is not digitally connected. Workers in retail, healthcare, manufacturing and many other industries often only have a record in a payroll system and no other digital connection to the company. This leads to increased operational costs (with paper processes) and limited communications (with posters or mailings). Historically, creating a digital connection for all these employees has been blocked by two factors:
- These workers don’t have their own PCs;
- The cost of software licensing necessary to properly deliver and manage digital communications (authentication, email accounts, etc).
The rise of employee mobile apps powered by SaaS platforms have cleared the path to a fully digitally enabled workforce – here’s how.
The 'new' channel that already exists
Employee apps simply would not be possible without the massive adoption rates of smartphones. According to a Pew Research Center survey in November of 2016, more than 75% of Americans own a smartphone. This means that nearly every employee already has all the computing power necessary to connect digitally. Companies need to be mindful that the app is actually delivering a benefit in order for employees to be happy using their own phones and data plans, but the rise of smartphones has cleared one of the two key barriers to digital connection.
A lightweight option to manage user identity
What about the cost barrier of paying for authentication and email accounts for all these employees? Authentication services (like Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory) can range anywhere up to $9 per user per month. Adding in costs for email accounts or mobile device management (MDM) subscriptions could make digital enablement too costly. Fortunately, many employee apps provide a complete solution without requiring these investments. Many of these platforms include authentication and user management (e.g. automatically disabling a user account when the user is disabled in the payroll system). Sophisticated employee apps not only provide authentication, but also allow secure connections to business systems without requiring separate MDM licensing. Modern employee apps have eliminated the cost barrier of digital connection by not requiring any other licensing.
Digitally enabling a workforce has an incredible ROI. Paper processes are replaced with instant electronic self-service. Everything from checking benefits, to correcting a payroll mistake, to requesting time off can be done from the employee’s phone. The even bigger business impact is a realtime, two-way communication channel with employees. Everything from weather alerts to major company news to recognition of key performers can be pushed to employees who can give their feedback. The advent of SaaS-powered employee apps has cleared the barriers to digitally connecting your entire workforce.
For more on connecting to non-desk workers, check out Sitrion's upcoming webinar with Fortune Brands.