Be Careful What You Buy!

Not too long ago one of the Facebook pages I like showed a new app their organization had developed. It was set up to improve individual goals or corporate goals. Individuals would be provided with daily motivational items that included stories and videos from people that would inspire others to obtain new goals. It could help to enrich the lives of individuals by helping people work through professional, fitness, educational, social and other areas that could help them improve whatever goal they had established by spending only 5 minutes a day reading or watching different messages.

The corporate side of this app is to help organizations motivate individuals by providing information similar to the individual side or by allowing organizations to customize the information for employees. This customized information could be organizational communication or it could be customized training the organization would like to provide or it could even provide employee surveys that would give information back to the organization from employees. This app could be used to improve leadership abilities and employee engagement. Metrics could be provided to show how the organization is doing with areas such as employee engagement.

Sounds great – right! Wrong! Here’s some issues with this type of learning. First of all, employees may have to use their own phones to receive information that may be mandatory for them. While that may seem harmless, it may not be. Some employees may not have capability to download apps. Apps take up space or data usage. Is the organization able to help with these issues? While the app is available for computers, it still can involve a number of personnel issues that need to be addressed before providing the app.

We blogged a few weeks ago about workplace monitoring. This app is one of those devices that can inform managers on what employees are viewing from the selected content. Again, there are a number of personnel issues that should be addressed before using. The first one would be your state’s law on workplace monitoring.

The most important aspect of this app is that it does not establish employee engagement or build leadership ability. At the very least, it can provide some foundational information about either. The content that provides learning is rather limited in how much learning can be done. You may be able to download the content, sit down with an individual or individuals to discuss the information presented and how it can be applied but that’s all. The fact that the content is short is probably very good to help with workloads and attention spans but it doesn’t automatically create an employee engaged environment. If anything, the monitoring of employee usage will discourage that. It will not increase productivity or increase employee loyalty like a real employee engagement process can do.

In addition, the use of mobile devices is fast on the rise so it is good to have the capability but as stated above it’s not without some concerns.

The cost of this is very expensive for the corporate portion considering the limitations. The employee side is free. It’s based on the number of employees in an organization. If you’re looking on using this app to improve employee engagement or leadership, it will take a long time to see return-on-investment from this. For small businesses of 30-40 employees the cost on a monthly basis of $400 – 500 is simply for the use of the app.

Starting an employee engagement process can be done in a productive manner with some immediate gratification as long as it is done right. This mobile app process is not capable of providing that.


About CALMC Blog

Columbus Area Labor-Management Committee is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to involving employers and employees to preserve jobs, resolve workplace issues, and promote labor-management cooperation. Visit our website at
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