Now that you’ve talked to your staff, and you have a good idea of the kinds of things they’d like to see, you can put those together with your own requirements to create a content plan.
Don’t rush straight on to the Thrive Content Management System to start building though. Get out a pen and paper and draw up the structure of the app. Choose what your ‘top-level’ sections are going to be, and what kinds of content are going to sit inside each of those.
Now that you’ve got a list of sections that you want your app to have, there’s an exercise that you should do: Of each section that you have planned, ask yourself two questions:
- Does the existence of this section in the app either solve a problem for someone, or support the core reason that we need the app?
It’s not about ‘filling space’. It’s important to reflect on the core reasons for your organisation needing an employee app in the first place, and on the feedback that you got from talking to your staff, to decide if there’s real value in putting that information in your app.
2. Why are are our staff going to come here (to the app) to get this information?
This is to encourage you to reflect on the various comms channels already in use in your organisation. For example, you might already have an intranet that hosts various policies, documents and staff handbooks. If all of your staff are office-based and at a PC all day, then it’s not likely that there’s going to be much value in duplicating those documents in your app. If however, you have a portion of staff who are remote, or on shop-floors and don’t have any way to access your intranet – that would be a good reason for the duplication, to allow those staff access to the documents also.
Building a Rationale for Your Content – The Message Palette
Here’s an easy exercise that you can do for each of the ‘sections’ that you have planned for your app. Create a message palette using the below template. (Credit to Fitzpatrick & Valskov (2014) Internal Communications: Manual for Practitioners).
The message palette can help you to build a rationale for including a specific type of content in your app. Here’s how it works:
Essentially, you’re posing a series of questions to get to the heart of what you’re trying to achieve, and think about the usefulness of that content to the business, and to the employee using the app.
For example, see a completed palette below which builds an argument for including our Peer to Peer recognition feature in your app:
Your app is going to have its own identity, and it’s likely to be sitting alongside the other comms channels that you’re already using. Having a strong sense of ‘what the app is for’ and ‘what the app is not for’, is going to really help you to decide what content is useful and provides value to your business and to your employees.
Now you’ve made a plan and you’ve reflected on it to trim the fat, you can start to build that content in the Content Management System.