6 Apps to empower your new employees

20 years ago, your mobile phone was just a means of calling friends and family. Nowadays, most people walk around with an alarm clock, personal trainer, calendar, address book and weather channel in their pockets. There’s an app for everything you can imagine. But how many of us actually utilise these apps to our advantage, rather than just using them to scroll through social media?

In our recent blog, we discussed how important the onboarding process is for employees.

It isn’t enough to run through a week induction with new team members and then just leave them to get on with it – they need ongoing support in order to make their journey seamless.

It isn’t enough to run through a week induction with new team members and then just leave them to get on with it – they need ongoing support in order to make their journey seamless. Why not use apps to help new employees get integrated with the new workplace and settle in better? This guide will run through the best apps for empowering your staff – and we’re not just talking about setting up a new Slack channel.

If you work in a busy organisation – as most of us do – you’ll know all about to-do lists. If they’re not plastered all over your employee’s desks, they’re stuck to white boards or being passed around between team members. The traditional paper to-do list is becoming redundant. It’s too easy to lose them and it’s not very environmentally friendly. Luckily, there are a myriad of ‘to-do list apps’ which you can download – one of our favourites is Asana. Set up to-do lists that can be shared to your whole company or kept to yourself, and make sure everything is well organised. When you’ve got a new employee, set up a to-do list of tasks for them to complete. Make it a mixture of informative and fun, so they get a feel for your organisation as well as getting to grips with how to use this tool.

If your new team member has relocated to London – or is working in a borough they’ve never visited before – Citymapper will be their new best friend. It allows users to see the quickest way of navigating the city, plan bus routes, or check which Tube line they need to jump on. It’s also available in New York and Berlin, so if make sure you tell your German office or team in the Big Apple.

The first weeks of a new job are all about signing contracts. As well as signing their work contract, new team members will sign NDAs, business plans and more. EchoSign is a great app that allows people to electronically sign documents and forms. Not only does this speed up the process of getting contacts signed, it makes it easier to distribute forms to and from the people who need them. You don’t need to physically speak to someone to get the contact signed – just pop them an email and use EchoSign to do the rest.

Dropbox is a handy storage system allows users to store files in a centralised location. You no longer have to pester someone to email you those important files or photos – they can all be stored in a Dropbox folder and downloaded by anyone with the correct permission. This is useful for new employees who don’t know everyone in the office yet, as well as long-time employees who don’t want to waste time chasing people up for files. From monthly reports to photos of the office Christmas party, Dropbox is your go-to for file storage.

Always on the go and don’t have time to finish reading anything? So is half the world. Luckily, Pocket has been invented. Choose a piece of content – be it an educational article or vlog from your favourite YouTuber – and save it in Pocket to read later. Having to change trains or arriving at work right in the middle of reading a blog is no longer a stress. You can pick up where you left off at lunch or on your commute home. Reading and staying abreast of what matters to them is important to employees, so make them aware of Pocket today.

Living a fast-paced life, while rewarding and fulfilling, can get stressful. Headspace is a mindfulness app that combines breathing exercises with meditation and provides daily guided relaxations to bring a moment of peace to hectic lifestyles. HR departments are focusing more and more on the importance of workplace wellbeing, with many organisations encouraging staff to take short bursts of time out of their days to relax. It’s more than just a Millennial craze: 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives, and stress is often a contributing factor of that. Starting a new job can cause tension and anxiety, so Headspace is fantastic for new employees, but it’s also beneficial for existing team members to wind down.

With so many apps available, it can be hard to know which ones will make your life easier and which will be full of ads and just take up valuable storage on your phone. Our list provides a good introduction into our favourite apps, so make sure you share it with your colleagues and friends. Of course, it’s by no means exhaustive. Got a favourite app that hasn’t made it onto our list? Click here to let us know.

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