The use of mobile devices in the workplace has been on the rise. In 2017, we found that 58% of employees use their devices at work for at least an hour every day. This is true for both corporate employees and staff working on the frontline. In fact, 67% of employees use their smartphones at work regardless of their employer’s official policy on mobile device use. It makes sense: consider that using mobile in the workplace can lead to an improved employee and customer experience, increased productivity, and increased sales, among other things. These advantages, in addition to the rising use of mobile in the workplace mean that it’s more important than ever to have an effective ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) or ‘mobile use’ policy.
That’s why we’ve created a guide and webinar to walk through the benefits of BYOD, steps for implementation, and tips for long-term success. Continue reading below for an introduction to the topic.
Why You Need a BYOD Policy
A great BYOD policy encourages employees to effectively use their personal mobile devices for work purposes. It should properly outline which devices and applications employees can use, as well as how they should be using said tools. While there are many benefits to implementing BYOD at your organization, having a formal policy about device use is integral to a successful mobile program. Here are a few key benefits to having a policy:
A BYOD policy that outlines which applications, portals or websites employees can (or can’t) use ensures that everyone is using the same tools for the same purposes. This streamlines communications and ensures that everybody receives the information they need for work. It also means less time spent on drafting and redrafting communications to fit multiple platforms.
In addition to consistency, knowing which platforms and tools associates are using will help improve your organization’s security. A formal policy allows you to ensure that employees are using tools that are encrypted and enterprise-grade; therefore safe for sharing private information. Also, depending on the tools you’re using, you’ll be able to ensure that former employees no longer have access to sensitive company information.
3. Reduced Risk
Having clear guidelines written and published will help you cover your bases and mitigate any risks or liabilities your organization may be exposed to. You can think of your BYOD policy as any other employee-facing code of conduct.
Designing Your BYOD Policy
When designing your BYOD policy there are a couple key considerations for ensuring that your policy is the most effective it can be. First, which apps and tools will employees be allowed to use? 41% of companies name public-facing apps (such as WhatsApp and Messenger) to be the leading cause of security breaches. We recommend using an enterprise application, portal or LMS, which will help you control who sees what information and monitor employee use.
Finally, how will your frontline employees access the information on their phones? Will you be providing access to in-store Wi-Fi? If not, are you expecting employees to use their own data? Make sure you are aware of any state or provincial regulations that may effect this or other parts of your BYOD policy.
Implementing Your BYOD Policy
A well designed BYOD policy is crucial, but it can only be useful if properly rolled out. A successful implementation involves two key steps.
Step 1: Clearly Communicating Your Policy
First, make it easy for people to get started. When onboarding employees, give them multiple opportunities to learn about the new policy. Use the various channels you have available, like posters and huddles, and make sure to equip managers with FAQ documents. Secondly, get buy in. On board managers before associates so that they can help spread the word and encourage adoption. Also, you can demonstrate the importance of the program by getting executive team support.
Step 2: Engage Associates
Once your BYOD program has been adopted, it’s important to ensure that it is continually used and making a positive impact on your employees. This is dependent on the content you share with your associates through their mobile devices.
We suggest breaking down employee communications into 3 ‘themes’ or ‘buckets’. Ideological: your brand vision, culture and recognition of good work. Strategic: including company-wide goals and objectives. And, tactical: location-specific or task-based information that employees need to know for their day-to-day work. Having a blend of these three themes will ensure that your associates are not only well-equipped and educated for their roles, but also inspired and engaged.
Considering that employees will be accessing this information on their mobile devices, keep in mind how long your communications are. The average young person reads only 60 words before their attention lapses. Take a microlearning approach to ensure that everything you send is read and understood.
Having a BYOD or ‘mobile use’ policy is a key tool to unlocking the potential of your frontline employees. For more information on what to include in your policy and how to successfully implement your program, watch our webinars on BYOD for Retail and BYOD for Foodservice.