How a Mobile App Can Connect Your Employees in an Emergency

Submitted by on Wed, 03/16/16

mobile_apps_for_emergencies

When an emergency situation arises, it’s critical to quickly and effectively communicate with employees. Employees need to know what’s happening, what the impact is on their work, and any alternate plans.

Because mobile apps provide an immediate avenue of communication with employees, they are especially useful during emergency situations, including:enterprise-snowday-1

  • Office closures due to weather, such as snowstorms
  • Sudden weather-issues, such as tornado warnings
  • Any other emergency situation that arises

The benefit of a mobile app is the ability to quickly communicate the most relevant information with the end user, no matter where they are. In the case of an emergency, apps can be used to communicate critical safety messages to employees with more information or instructions.

With an employee app already in place, it’s easy to almost instantly create real-time modules with specific details related to the current situation, giving employees access to need-to-know details (without requiring resubmission to the app store).

In an emergency module, you may want to include:

  • Weather forecasts
  • Links to news articles or social feeds related to the crisis
  • If/when the office is closing and when it is anticipated to reopenenterprise-tornado1
  • How employees should access systems and documents remotely
  • Who to contact for more information
  • Continually updated information, as it becomes available, particularly if the impact is over several days
  • Employee expectations – will it be business as usual or are there extenuating circumstances
  • Follow up details, for example, if the office is closed on Monday due to a snowstorm, the office may reopen Tuesday but parking will be a challenge – in this case you could deep-link to specific parking information within your app
  • Feedback forms for employees to register their whereabouts or to confirm their safety.

Push notifications and in-app banners are also critical communication tools during emergency situations. Push Notifications immediately reach app users, whether or not they are currently using the app, and can provide links to further information. enterprise-pushBanner Messages appear at the top of all, or specific, screens within the app and can be used to share less-urgent news and link to more information. A Push Notification may be used in the morning to let employees know the office is closed due to heavy snowfall. A Banner Message may be used to let employees know a hurricane is forecast to hit the area within the week and link to a screen with information about preparedness.

In addition to urgent or preparatory messages, apps can also be used to follow up after emergencies with all-clear or other status messages.

Regardless of whether an emergency is weather-related or otherwise, sudden or anticipated, the key to a smooth response is to keep your employees informed throughout. Mobile apps for the workplace offer many opportunities to connect with employees, and serve as an excellent communication mechanism – no matter the circumstances.

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