Brew Up a Workplace Buzz with Mobile

Submitted by on Fri, 10/06/17

Looking to energize your workplace? A Modo Workplace™ app can drive greater awareness and utilization of your workplace amenities to increase connections and innovations across your organization.

In recent years, workplace designers have increasingly focused on creating intentional spaces where new connections and surprising innovations can spring from unplanned social interactions. The new Apple Park, for example, is generating buzz even before its opening for a design that incorporates a wide range of social spaces – from cafés and landings to an enclosed courtyard, orchard, and walking trails – all meant to foster employee interactions. Nearby, Samsung Semiconductor‘s new U.S. headquarters was explicitly designed “for collaboration and enabling more frequent discussions, and impromptu, spur-of-the-moment interactions that are the genesis of many great ideas and bonds between employees.” Other leading employers, from GE to Capital One to Comcast, are likewise designing new and re-imagined workspaces around areas that encourage serendipitous collaboration.

This trend is one way in which companies have been investing more in workplace perks to attract and retain employees. These efforts are far more than just fuzzy feel-good initiatives. The ROI can be tremendous; one innovation-led company calculated an $11 return on every $1 of employee “power perks”. It’s also not always about headline-grabbing new global headquarters; a great new social space might be carved out of a creative re-imagining of an existing space or passageway.

But all such investments – large and small – fail to pay off when they go unnoticed or underutilized. How do you generate buzz and make sure your social spaces pay off? For forward-thinking facilities teams, a mobile workplace app can play a pivotal role in maximizing return on these and other workplace investments.

As an illustrative example, let’s look at how a company might increase awareness and utilization of a new in-house coffee bar.

In this hypothetical scenario, Spark Industries is converting an underutilized meeting room in its headquarters building into a coffee bar. Thanks to its use of a mobile workplace app and sensor technology by Density (a Modo technology partner), Spark’s workplace management team realized that an existing conference room was sorely underutilized. The team added a ‘Rate this Room’ survey feature to the mobile app’s Indoor Maps module and ran a brief in-app banner message to specifically ask people for feedback about this underutilized room. What they heard back was that the room’s location right next to the eighth-floor elevator lobby made it hard for meeting participants to focus due to constant visual and audible distractions.

Motivated by all this data, Spark has decided to convert the underutilized room into a coffee bar called Java Bean. Staffed with live baristas and featuring a variety of casual seating spaces and intimate tables and booths, this space is envisioned as an in-house “third space” for both casual meetings and unexpected interactions. Throughout the process – before, during, and after the launch – Spark’s mobile workplace app plays a pivotal role in raising the profile and success of this new workplace initiative.

One month before opening
Joann – a member of Spark’s facilities team and its newest workplace-app administrator – receives comprehensive on-demand and live training from Modo and has a planning session with Modo’s Go-Live team and the Spark digital communications team. Armed with new abilities and a strategic launch plan, she starts creating.

First, she creates a new screen teasing the Java Bean opening. Modo’s Screen Builder tool allows her to easily build beautiful application screens combining navigation, functionality, and content, without writing any code. The teaser screen features enticing photography, basic information, and a countdown to opening day. It also links to a survey form, created by Spark’s internal communications team, by which respondents can sign up for exclusive opening-day promotions and vote for what they’d like to see on the menu. Joann then uses Modo Communicate™ to create a discreet in-app banner notification to be shown at the top of the app’s home screen, only to HQ employees, and directs the user to the pre-launch teaser screen. She schedules it to run from two weeks to one week before launch. When the banner goes live, she and her team use Modo Analyze™ to track initial tap-through responses and sign-ups to get a sense of likely opening-day demand. Meanwhile, they begin expanding the Java Bean module with new screens featuring the planned menu, opening-day specials, a feedback form, and more, but waits to publish the screens till opening week.

One week before opening
As soon as the notification completes its scheduled run, Joann enlists the cooperation of the digital communications team to temporarily add a prominent hero feature to the app’s home screen for all HQ employees and visitors. This feature more visibly announces the opening of the coffee bar and more explicitly invites employees to view the expanded Java Bean module – which Joann simultaneously publishes so that it’s instantly updated in the workplace app. She also sits down with Matthias, the manager of Java Bean, to fine-tune his opening-day menu and specials based on the in-app survey responses, and updates the menu page in the app accordingly. She contacts the facilities team member responsible for updating the HQ’s indoor maps within the workplace app and makes sure that the coffee bar is properly featured there, with a link to the Java Bean module. Finally, she gives the list of survey respondents to the IT team and confirms that these respondents will be tagged as launch-day champions to be targeted for special push notifications and promotions.

Grand opening day
The final countdown is over and it’s officially the big day. Joann sends personal push notifications to the launch-day champions to remind them to come visit the Java Bean, with links to a special promotional page with discounts just for these early responders. During the day, pre-scheduled messages also go out to different sets of HQ employees and visitors over the course of the day, which encourages co-workers to mingle while spreading out the turnout to minimize long lines at the counter. That effort – and Joann’s eye on real-time responses and traffic in the app – are how she helps Matthias stay ready for surges in turnout. Response is fantastic, and the Spark team ends the day ecstatic with the successful launch of this new workplace amenity.

A month after the grand opening, the Java Bean continues to be a hit with employees. Matthias has taken self-paced training in the Modo platform, and Joann has coached him on specifics of how she set up the Java Bean screens and used the public and personal messages to generate buzz and the opening-day business. Matthias has already started making menu updates and posting weekly specials. For now, Joann continues to review changes before publishing them, but she’s planning for a time when Matthias will own the right to publish changes to the Java Bean module at any time. Matthias also just came up with a great idea to use Modo’s MyPersona dynamic-personalization feature to offer rotating coupons available only to certain types of users, such as call-center shift workers or (surprise!) members of the Facilities team.

Brewing Up a Workplace Buzz
Here at Modo, we understand the importance of driving ongoing engagement with the life of the company in ways that increase employee happiness, productivity, and loyalty. Modo customers are creatively leveraging the platform in a variety of ways, whether as a centralized hub of information connecting their company-wide systems or as a communication channel to announce, promote and generate excitement for new workplace initiatives. Regardless of the desired workplace transformation, each in-app effort delivers a seamless employee experience with the same outcome – to ensure employee usage of the company’s tools, resources, and perks.

Modo Workplace™ offers all this capability without requiring any developer skills. What’s more, as told in Joann’s story, the creation and management of a Workplace app can be shared across departments and roles. Request a demo to see it all in action for yourself!


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