First impressions count. In the business world, this can mean everything from the first handshake with the CEO to every aspect of corporate communications in the early days on the job. Those first impressions count so much that getting off on the wrong foot can burn a huge hole in a company’s operating budget.
A recent study found that one-third of people had left a job within six months of being hired — sometimes even within the first week. While the excuses for workers leaving their jobs may vary, the problem is real.
So how can we as leaders work to curb the trend? It all starts with personalizing our communication methods. Every system our new employees encounter — from HR to communication to IT troubleshooting — is a first impression. If it is cumbersome, unintuitive, and not optimized for the individual, we missed that chance to impress.
This is a challenge, and it’s one we need to address today. By taking inspiration from the most agile and adaptable tool in our arsenals — the smartphone — we can finally make work better for every employee. Adopting a 'mobile mindset' can help us engage our employees more effectively, ultimately boosting productivity, quality of work, and the company bottom line. Here are four things to consider when making a mobile mindset shift:
1. Make things personal
Our smartphones are highly personalized devices — they’re basically extensions of ourselves and windows into our thoughts, our emotions, and even our physical locations in the world.
Personalized mobile applications have the potential to streamline workflows in a way that no other technologies can. Instead of wasting our employees’ time by requiring them to perform basic administrative functions (like expense reports, leave requests, or purchase orders) in a number of different applications, we should address it with the actual human in mind. How can we make it personal and efficient?
No device is more capable of making things personal and productive than the smartphone. Smartphones allow us, as leaders, to directly communicate our companies’ visions, purposes, and values — and if these resonate with team members, their willingness to work skyrockets.
2. Look beyond the home office
Anyone with a smartphone in hand is already in proximity with co-workers, family, and friends — no matter how much geographic distance actually separates us.
At Sitrion, we rarely conduct meetings or brainstorming sessions in a single conference room. Instead, everyone from entry-level employees to C-suite executives participates in video chats — often from their smartphones. We’ve found this practice to be even more effective than traditional meetings, as every employee has the ability to participate, no matter how remote they may be.
3. Do more with less.
The average person’s smartphone has 26 or 27 apps. If we want our employees to be using a certain app, that app must compete for every scrap of attention — not just with other business apps, but with everything from Pinterest to Facebook.
Wherever possible, we must find one employee app that allows us to aggregate job-specific tasks, company information, relevant metrics, and communication tools all in one place. This will be the only way to successfully capture employee attentions.
4. Release the reins of company-issued devices.
Work doesn’t exist in a bubble, whether IT likes it or not. According to Gartner, 45% of employees utilize their personal smartphones for work matters — regardless of whether they were told to. By adopting a 'bring your own device' policy in our companies and catering our software to match it, we can reach our team members in their own space, making engagement easier for everyone.
Without a mobile strategy, our work communications will be fragmented and isolated. However, by understanding that mobile communication is already happening at work, we can begin to set parameters and expectations to guide it, and finally give employees a reason to stick around.