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Employee App

4 min read

How to convince internal stakeholders of the value of an employee app

When it comes to introducing an employee app, questions about data protection, IT security and the like are not long in coming. This makes a well-structured case for change all the more important. Change management specialist Patrik Kolligs, managing director of the digital workplace agency Kronsteg, provides recommendations.

Portrait of Steffen Heritsch from Flip

Steffen Heritsch

Communication Specialist

Convince the HR department

Increasing attractiveness as an employer and retaining employees: two of the biggest challenges for HR departments. An employee app cannot solve them on its own, but it can help. Take onboarding, for example: new starters are already connected with the team and their superiors before their first day at work. In fact, for the first time, HR managers can reach employees in offices and on the shop floor at the same time and receive feedback from the workforce in real time.

And those who integrate shift planning, time recording, holiday applications and sickness notifications into the app free themselves and their employees from tedious paperwork. 

You can measure the success, as figures from Flip customers show

  • Identification with the company has increased by 25 percent (Europart) 
  • 84 percent of users say they are more closely networked with colleagues (Schwarzwald-Baar Klinikum) 
  • Onboarding completed two months earlier (mhplus) 

Convince the works council

Involve the works council as early as possible and rely on a proven solution that has already passed the test in large companies. Then the decision for them is usually just a formality. After all, an employee app supports the goals of the works council: it puts an end to the two-tier division between operational employees and office workers, information in the company is democratised. In many companies, the works council itself uses the app to communicate with non-desk workers in a separate group.

It is worth actively addressing and eliminating common prejudices against company apps on private smartphones before they arise.

How Flip customers convinced their works council with the following arguments

  • The app was developed together with works councils. 
  • The use of the app is voluntary without affecting the usage rate. Flip's usage rate is often close to 100%. 
  • The app does not access private smartphone data, for example the user's contacts. 
  • No always on: The app remains mute after work and on holiday. 
  • No performance monitoring: Neither 1:1 chats can be read, nor conclusions drawn about working hours.

Convince the IT department

The goal of an employee app is to close gaps in the software and channel landscape without creating redundancies. There must be a clear answer to the following question: What should the new tool be used for and what should it not be used for? It pays to clearn out: time and again, Flip customers replace not only analogue tools of internal communication with the employee app, but also digital channels such as internal email newsletters or intranets. This makes the software landscape more comprehensible and less complex.

5 facts against security concerns

To prevent security concerns from arising in the first place, you should have the tool provider confirm these five points.

  • Company data is stored in the cloud and not locally on the private device. 
  • Hosting takes place in data centres with ISO 27001 and C5 certification. 
  • Independent third parties regularly test platform security. 
  • You have full control over access rights and roles. 
  • Data transmission between end devices and the data centre is encrypted.

Convince data protection officers

Mobile employee communication? A company app on private devices? Data protection officers look very closely at this combination. Nevertheless, the project almost never fails due to data protection concerns - at least when a tool from Europe is used that has already passed the strict checks of large companies. 

Flip had to prove to EDEKA, toom, McDonald's, Bauder, MAHLE and hundreds of other companies from EU countries that it meets the requirements of the GDPR and the data protection officers.

These features are decisive

  • Hosting takes place in EU data centres. 
  • The provider informs about technical-organisational measures (TOMs) to protect the data. 
  • All commissioned processors - for example partners of the provider - process the data in accordance with the GDPR. 
  • There is a model template for commissioned data processing. 
  • The app does not access private smartphone data, for example the user's address book. 
  • No private contact data such as email addresses or telephone numbers are requested for registration.

Convince management

In some companies, initiatives for an employee app come from management; in others, management still needs to be convinced. If your company belongs to the second category, these four steps will help.

1. Cross-Departmental Team

Secure support from HR, internal communications, IT, works council and data protection before approaching management. Ideally, you can present the employee app as a joint project. An interdisciplinary team was also the key to success at toom, as communications manager Daria Ezazi confirmed to us.

Patrick Kolligs, COO Kronsteg GmbH, in a withe shirt next to a whiteboard
Patrick Kolligs, COO Kronsteg GmbH, in a withe shirt next to a whiteboard

"The introduction of an employee app should not be formulated as a request from corporate communications or the HR department."

Patrik Kolligs

COO of Kronsteg GmbH

2. Solid Arguments

The introduction of an employee app should not be formulated as a request from corporate communications or the HR department but should be derived from the needs of the workforce - so that the project is not put on the back burner as a "nice to have". Ask operational employees how they experience communication so far and where they see weaknesses. This is how Flip client Bauder, for example, identified the relevant use cases.

3. Contribution to Corporate Strategy

Does the employee app support ongoing initiatives such as a "Digitalisation Strategy 2030" or a "New Work Concept"? Build your rationale on this. Your employee app is not an isolated project, but part of the company's development.

4. Rollout Roadmap

The introduction of an employee app often seems like a mega-project because all employees are affected. With a milestone plan, you divide the path to the goal into several stages, from the announcement to the implementation and the creation of content to permanent use. How you proceed depends on the size and structure of your company.

Expert consultation: We do the work for you

The Flip experts know best practices from hundreds of companies. They are happy to support you with tried and tested cases that will inspire management, IT and others to adopt an employee app.

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