People Directory

The People Directory is a searchable employee directory, displaying contact details of all your employees who have been added as users to your app.












The People Directory is currently searchable by:

  • Name
  • Job Title

When activated in your app, it will appear in the sidebar menu beside the app settings and logout buttons.

Where the data comes from

The user’s name, department and job title will automatically be pulled from your user upload file, while the phone number, email address and profile photo need to be added manually by the user in their own user profile screen (at the top of the sidebar menu).


Call or Email from the app

One of the big benefits of the People Directory is that if a user adds their email address or phone number to their profile, then ‘Call’ and ‘Email’ buttons will be added to their profile in the directory, allowing them to be called or emailed directly from the app. Upon tapping call or email, the phone’s dialler, or default email client will be called to complete the call or email.

Activating the People Directory in your app

To turn on your People Directory, click the Cog Icon at the top of the CMS to access your administration settings. Then click on the channels menu, and on the channel for which you want to enable the directory:

Now tick the ‘People Directory’ feature, and save your changes:


After you save, refresh the menu in your app, you’ll see the ‘People’ option appear at the bottom of the main menu, beside the settings and logout options.

Please Note: Although you can enable the People Directory on a per-channel basis, the directory itself will always show all users from across your organisation, regardless of which channels those users have access to.



User Generated Content

User Generated Content is a great way to allow your employees to get involved, and engage with your app. With this feature, you can allow your users to post directly from their phones – in specific designated sections of the app. Users can add images and text, and you can moderate the posts before they go live if you want to.

Some of our customers use this feature to create a ‘selfie wall’ in their app, as a place to encourage the sharing of best practice, or even as a ‘buy and sell’ section.

Users make posts from their phones, and others can like and comment. Share pictures, run competitions, share best practice, create a Q&A section – UGC has loads of use cases.



Any time you need your users to post to the app, you can use our User Generated Content feature. You can even choose if you want only specific groups of people to see the ‘Post’ button. For example, you could have a section that your employees can read, but managers can post to – giving your managers a way to quickly disseminate information in the app without having access to the Content Management System!


Setting up User Generated Content

  1. Choose List Type

In your new list, go to the ‘List Type’ tab and choose ‘User Publishing List’. This tells the CMS that it’s a list that’s going to receive its content from users in the app itself, so there will be a button in the app for users to press to make a new post.

The default list (posting only from the CMS) is on by default, and you can find more information about the Recognition List by clicking here.


2. Choose who can post

Next, you get to decide if everyone can post in this list, or if only specific user groups get to see the button to post. Remember though, the List’s ‘Audience’ tab still governs who can see the list – this bit below just governs who can post to the list.

If you want everyone to be able to post, you don’t need to do anything:


But if you want to restrict who can post, you’ll need to choose those user groups. This is useful if you wanted to create a section where senior managers can post directly – where you want everyone to be able to read the posts,  but only for the senior managers user group to be able to post there.


3. Choose your button text

Now, choose what the button in the app is going to say. If your list is a selfie wall for example, it might say ‘Post a Selfie’ or if’s a Buy & Sell section, it might say ‘Post an Ad’:


4. Choose your posting options

First choose whether you want to make it mandatory for users to include text or images with their posts.

Allowing users to send push notifications will automatically send a push notification out to all users every time there’s a new post to this section of your app. So we don’t recommend enabling this unless you have chosen  for only a small group of people to be able post.

Enabling post moderation means that the posts will appear in the content management system in ‘Draft’ status. Once you have approved the post in the CMS, simply press Save and Publish Now to make the post visible to all users.








Purchasing your iOS Redemption Codes

After your iOS app has passed Apple’s review, you’ll need to purchase redemption codes, to allow your employees to download the app.

Your Client Success Manager will let you know when it’s time to do this, and here’s the process to follow:

  1. Log in to your Apple Business Manager account, and click on custom apps in the menu on the left. Then click on your app:



2. Now in the license type option, choose ‘Redemption Codes‘ then enter the amount that you need, and click ‘Buy’:

It’s really important that you choose the correct option here, so please ensure that you have selected Redemption Codes before completing your purchase.


3. Now you need to send your Redemption Codes to your Client Success Manager. In your Apple Business Manager account, go to:

Settings > Apps and Books > Purchase History

In here, you’ll see your recent purchase, with a download link to download a spreadsheet of your redemption codes. Download the file and send it to your Client Success Manager at TheAppBuilder.

We’ll then be able to make the app downloadable from your page, and one of your unique redemption codes will be redeemed when your users click on ‘download’.

Apple Business Manager Account Housekeeping

After you’ve created your Apple Business Manager Account, there’s a little bit of housekeeping to do

  1. Let us know your organisation ID
  2. Let us know the name of your organisation exactly as it appears in your account
  3. Enable custom apps for your account
  4. Add your credit card payment details to your account


Where to find your organisation ID and the name of your organisation:

You’ll find these in Settings > Enrolment Information. Once you’ve found these, please send them to your Client Success Manager at TheAppBuilder.


How to Enable Custom Apps for your account:

You can also find this setting in Settings > Enrolment Information


How to enter your payment details:

You can do this in Settings > Apps and Books > My Payment Information


That’s it! After we build your app, you’ll be able to log in to your Apple Business Manager account to purchase your redemption codes.




Content Segmentation Overview

By default, any of the content you add will be visible to everyone in your organisation. However, you can give your users a more streamlined experience by using content segmentation.

This works by creating user groups, and then using the CMS to choose which user groups you want to be able to see that content. This allows you to create entire sections of your app that are visible only to specific people.

For example, if there’s information that you want to be visible only to managers, or to a specific department, you can achieve this using user groups.

All Signal. No Noise.

It’s not always about ‘hiding’ information that you don’t want others to see though. Using content segmentation intelligently has big impacts on perception of your app, especially if you’re in a large organisation. There will be plenty of content in your app that, while you don’t mind everyone seeing it, it’s maybe only relevant to subsets of your staff – so why not just segment it so that only they see it?

If you’re an employee and you’re opening each section of the app to be presented with stuff that’s just not relevant to you or your job, and you’re scrolling past quite a few items to find something relevant to you, it gets a bit tiresome. However, if you open the app and the vast majority of what you see is actually something that applies to you, then you’re more likely to want to keep coming back to the app, and to engage with the content you’re reading via the social features.

If you’re adding content to your app that’s only relevant to your employees in Scotland, why not create a user group for your Scottish employees and segment that content so that they’re the only ones who see it?

Segmenting in this way to streamline the content for end-users rather than just using it to hide ‘super secret stuff’, is all about user perception.

Ideally, you’d love to be able to communicate with people individually. In the absence of that, one of the great things about your app is its ability to at least dive a little bit deeper so you can communicate directly with the people that a piece of information relates to, rather than scatter-gunning and hoping that the relevant people see it.

Employees are often overloaded with emails, meetings, targets, and if they perceive this app as another thing that’s overloading them with information, they simply won’t use it.

Your app can be a nice set of noise-cancelling earphones for your staff – not a megaphone!

See the link below to get it set up in your app!

Segment Content

Peer Recognition

Our native Peer to Peer Recognition feature allows your employees to say thanks to each other in your app, and the person who’s been thanked will receive a push notification to their phone to let them know!


When saying thanks, they’ll choose one of your company’s core values to associate with the ‘thanks’, and they can add in their own comments.

There are loads of amazing, but small things going on every single day across your organisation. This feature in your app gives everyone visibility to these everyday heroes, and it encourages your employees to live your organisational values.

A lot of formal employee recognition programmes are all about the outstanding achievements. This feature though, is all about celebrating the small stuff!

Getting it set up

You’ll need to send your company’s list of values to your Customer Success Manger, who will get everything configured in the background. You can also send a list of teams if you want people to be able to thank entire teams of people rather than only individuals.

Once we’ve confirmed that the setup has been completed on this side, you’ll need to create a list in your app where people will go to say thanks, and see the thanks left for others.

You can call the list whatever you like – some examples are “Say Thanks” “Peer Shout-Outs” “Cheers to your Peers”.

In the “List Type” tab, you’ll need to choose ‘Recognition List’, then choose what you want the button at the bottom of the list to say. (This is where users will tap to thank someone).

You can also choose if you want to be able to say thanks to individuals, teams, or both.

Likes & Comments Overview

By default, your users can like and comment on your content (unless you disable it completely or for a specific post). Allowing likes and comments on your content is a great way to encourage employee engagement, foster a culture of openness, and bring your employees closer together.


Users can:

  • Like a piece of content
  • Comment on a piece of content
  • Like a comment made by another user
  • Reply to a comment made by another user
  • Receive an in-app notification when someone replies to their comment
  • Receive and in-app notification when someone likes their comment
  • Report inappropriate comments to the app administrators
  • See a list of ‘who liked’ a piece on content
  • See a list of ‘who liked’ a comment
  • Edit their own comments
  • Delete their own comments

In addition, app administrators can delete comments made by other users.

Comments and likes appear at the bottom of your pages. Tapping on the heart icon allows the user to like the page, and tapping on the speech bubble icon allows the user to add a comment. Below each comment there are also Like and Reply options.

When someone likes or replies to a comment, they’ll get an in-app notification. The bell icon will get a red badge, and if they tap on it they’ll see a list of all likes and replies to their comments. They can tap on one of those notifications to go straight there and continue the conversation!

Reporting Inappropriate Comments & Editing Comments

There’s a ‘three dot’ icon beside each comment, which allows users to edit or delete their own comments. In addition, they can tap the three dots beside someone else’s comment and choose ‘report’, if they feel that the comment is inappropriate:

This generates an email report to app administrators, so that you can take action. To set which email addresses receive these reports, in the CMS go to Cog Icon > Channels > [channel name] > Recipients of Flagged Comment Emails. Enter your email address(es) and press Save.



8. Continuous Improvement

Now that your app has been launched, it’s important to keep thinking about how you keep your employees coming back time and time again.

You can continue to get face to face feedback from your users, or you might also want to consider having a feedback form embedded in to a page your app. It’s easy to create web forms and embed them by following the instructions here.

The most powerful tools that you have at your disposal however, are the statistics from Google Analytics.

As part of the technical setup for your app, you should have created a Google Analytics property and added your tracking code to the Content Management System. When your app launches, and your employees begin to download and use it, you’ll start to collect valuable stats about how many users you have, how loyal they are, and which kinds of content are the most popular in your app.

This information isn’t just useful for reporting to management. It should be informing your ongoing content and app promotion strategy.

Get an Overview of Your Audience

You can use this report (click here for instructions) to find out how many employees have accessed your app during a particular date range, how may are new vs existing users, how long on average people are spending in the app, and how many times on average each individual has accessed the app in any given period.

Please see the guide here for full explanations of each aspect of the Audience report, with advice on what to look for and how to turn stats in to action.

Do note that we don’t track individual users. You’ll see how many users accessed the app, but that information is not in any way associated with their unique app account.

Find Out What They Like

In Google Analytics, you can run a simple report to see which screens are most popular in your app over a given date range.

This is where you can tailor your content to your employees. It’s not always just about the ‘type of content’ though. If you see that a particular piece of content had a lot of hits this week, ask yourself what’s different about it from other content?

  • The subject matter
  • The tone of voice it’s written with
  • Is it user generated content?
  • The time of day it was posted

These are just examples, but you’re looking for patterns to find out what plays best with your audience. Tailoring your content in this way allows your employees to enjoy the content more, and keeps them coming back.

You can also report on the social engagement in the app. If you’re concerned with trying to increase engagement, use this report to find out what content has the most comments and likes.

Figure Out If They’re Really That into You

User loyalty is a great metric to gauge how much your staff are enjoying the app, and whether they’re finding the content useful.

You can’t tell how many times a particular user has accessed the app, but there are a couple of reports here you can use to get an average across your userbase.

If you have a high number of users, but a low percentage of returning users, then you know that your problem isn’t with promotion or letting people know that the app is available. In this case, you have plenty of people trying out the app, but they’re not finding a reason to come back.

If the opposite is true, and you have a small total number of users who are using the app often – think about your app promotion efforts. Have a look again at Step 7 – Launching with Purpose for some ideas on how to effectively promote your app to your employees.


Using analytics to inform your content strategy means that everything you do is evidence-based. Take the guesswork out of app improvement!



7. Launch With Purpose

A strong launch with lots of fanfare is a great way to get an initial audience. Your content, and the usefulness of the app is what’s going to keep them coming back, but your launch will be the driver of the first-time downloads.

Here are some ideas to make a real event out of your app launch.

Promotional Items

Posters, Desk-Toppers, Mugs, Pens and Banners can all be used in staff areas to generate awareness. If you’re designing your own posters, make sure to include information about:

  • Where to download the app
  • How to Log In to the app
  • Why you should download the app

We’ll be happy to design some posters and desk-toppers on your behalf, so that you can get them printed ahead of your launch.


Launch Events

Launch events are a great way to create a bit of fanfare. It might be something as simple as setting up a stall in your staff canteen, or  going all-out and organising a roadshow to visit your various sites. The aim here is to get out and about and talk directly with staff about the app now that it’s available. You’ll be there to answer questions, and to help the less tech-savvy employees to download and register.

If you’ve been following our advice from the beginning, you’ll already have plenty of people across the business aware that the app is coming, and you will have taken their feedback onboard when creating your content. This is your chance to make a big deal of going out and showing them that you listened!

Props such as phone cutouts for people to get their pictures taken, balloons and so on, tend to work well. You could even bake some cupcakes and put QR codes on them with the app download link!

Just don’t forget to post pics of your launch events to the app. Or even better, if you have a ‘User Generated Content’ section in the app, get others to post them there too.



If you have some budget, you might want to consider offering an incentive prize via an in-app launch competition.

Here are a few ideas for in-app competitions:

Selfie Competition: Post a selfie to the user generated content section of the app. Whichever gets the most likes wins.

Caption Competition: You post a picture in the app, and employees leave a caption in the comments. Either best caption is chosen by the admins, or the one with the most likes wins.

Complete Your Profile Competition: This one works if you want to encourage users to complete their in-app profile pic and contact info. ‘Those with completed profiles by X date are entered in to a prize draw’.


Putting the above advice in to action will ensure that your app really makes a splash!

6. Reflect on your Culture

This step of the journey is all about reflecting on the culture of your organisation and your other, existing internal communications channels.

Having an employee app is a totally different way of communicating than emails, noticeboards or a staff magazine, so try not to approach your content in the same way.

People are used to spending ‘bite-sized’ amounts of time on their phone, so you need to make sure that you’re getting your point across quickly and succinctly. Whereas longer features can work well in an employee magazine, they tend not to fare so well in an app.

The main difference between an app and your other channels however, is that while someone might pick up your staff magazine in the canteen at lunch time, with an app you’re potentially in that person’s pocket at all times.

You have the ability to send out push notifications and alerts, to ask that person to reach in their pocket and pull out their phone to read your content at any time of the day. That’s a big responsibility to have. And it might be a huge departure from what your employees are used to.

Evolution or Revolution?

Ask yourself:

  1. What existing channels do we have for comms?
  2. Do any of them already allow for two-way communication?

If the answer to the second question is ‘yes’, and you already have a culture of two-way communication and people getting involved, then your app is a way to nurture and develop that.

If not, it’s important to realise that this app represents a radical departure from the norm for your staff. You’re not just leading a change in ‘how you do comms’. You’re leading a cultural change throughout your organisation!

Be aware that your current organisational culture might take time to adapt to an app where staff can get involved, make posts, and comment on the latest news. If it’s new for them, they might be reluctant to get involved. This is why it’s so important to involve stakeholders across the business, and identify people to be champions for your app. Set realistic targets for growth and engagement, depending on how ‘new’ this way of doing things is for your business.

Every business that we work with is at a different stage of the journey. Some will launch their app and have all their staff in there on day one making posts and comments, while others need to work a bit harder to get to that stage.

It’s important to reflect, and recognise where your organisation is on this journey – and to think about the cultural aspects of your business that might hold you back.

What are you afraid of?

An employee app is a great way for you to engage your staff, but the next thing you need to ask yourself:

Are we afraid to really let our employees engage with us?

Answering this question will reveal a lot about your organisational culture. Are you afraid of what your staff might say if they’re allowed to make comments? Are you afraid that they’re going to post inappropriate content? Are you wondering if it’s possible to moderate comments before they’re visible to everyone? If there’s a profanity filter in the app? If someone might post something negative that questions our strategy?

These are valid concerns, and you know your own business better than we do. But our advice is – if these kinds of questions are at the forefront of your mind, and you’re afraid of what staff might say, now that they have the chance to say it – you need to be the one to break the cycle.

You have a chance here to create a real sense of community amongst your employees. Encourage and nurture that, and try to place trust in them.

You have moderation tools at your disposal – you can delete comments, you’ll know who posted each comment, and the community can report objectionable comments to you using the ‘report’ function in the app.


If someone is complaining or being negative in the comments – reply to them and engage with them. Be the leader of cultural change!

Imagine that you’ve spent a few years working for a company that doesn’t hear your voice, and has no vehicle for engagement. Now you get an app and let others know about your frustrations, and someone simply deletes your comment. It’s not a good look.

Now imagine that instead of having your comment deleted, someone actually replied to it – a manager, or someone from the comms team has read what you had to say, and is using the app to respond and explain. You now feel like your voice is being heard, your attitude is likely to improve, and other employees will read it too. They realise that the business really is making a shift towards openness, and they feel more comfortable about engaging.

This is just one small example of the type of cultural shift that you need to lead to make your app a success.

An app for your employees – or any kind of two-way comms channel, will only be as successful as the mindset of your business allows it to be.

Don’t let fear hold you back!