Those who have risen through the ranks in human resources know the field is historically high touch and low tech. Navigating the transition from white boards and PowerPoints to iPads and mobile apps can be tough. To ease the transition, companies such as Qualcomm have created technical teams within their HR departments to lead mobile program development.
“Having this team has been a huge help because it helps build bridges with other teams,” said Geoff Stead, senior director of mobile learning at Qualcomm. His team implements mobile learning across the business. “I’ve spoken with other organizations, and they have quite a difficult relationship with IT. It’s more of a blocking relationship.”
To avoid that, Stead and his team created a common language and set of requirements to ensure every department’s needs are met. From this collaborative effort an internal mobile app store was born. It houses some 40 apps that range from learning to productivity tools. Qualcomm negotiated a licensing agreement, so employees can download them for free. Since its launch, 14,000 employees have done so.
“The store is structured by people recommending them,” Stead said. “The social aspect is quite strong. You impose your own structure by deciding which apps to install.”
These rankings give Stead and his team daily feedback about what mobile programs employees find most useful. Based on recommendations, they produce several versions of different apps to have a range of choices that employees can navigate through and create their own structures on. “We’re quite intrigued at the moment,” he said. “We’re finding it to be a useful and refreshing way of looking at how an organization structures what it offers its employees.”
— Sarah Sipek
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