“What is your Mobile Strategy?” 5 Ways Progressive Web Apps (“PWA”) are Changing the Game

Posted by Cary Schuler on October 10, 2018

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“What is your mobile strategy?”
A question that has no doubt been asked of HR leaders and HR Technology providers alike.  But with 80% of global Internet usage driven by mobile devices[1] the word mobile is becoming redundant in that question. Your mobile strategy is your strategy.

The conversation has rapidly moved from discussion of needing to consider mobile to “Mobile-First” design to a “Mobile Only” user requirement.  Mobile devices might be the only way people are accessing different applications, information and content. We need to be thinking about the fact our talent may only ever connect to our systems using a mobile device.   What does that experience look like?

Companies that don’t plan for mobile may not get a chance to hire top talent because those recruits are moving on to other opportunities that more closely reflect their values, expectations and lifestyles. Millennials, and those who work in blue collar and/or no collar industries, are more likely to identify with companies with a superior recruiting experience accessible on their mobile device. Once onboard, these employees are unlikely to partake in company communications, networking & collaboration, business processes and knowledge sharing unless they are optimized for mobile. As a result, adoption of your workforce technology platform suffers and your ability to impact strategic employee engagement initiatives is negatively impacted.

Challenges with the Current Landscape

Organizations have tried to address the mobile phenomenon with things like responsive web design and native mobile apps, however, both present significant challenges. The mobile experience on responsive sites is uninspiring; it’s slow, requires multiple page refreshes, and is spotty based on your Internet coverage. Native apps often present limited functionality and have high drop off rates resulting from the need to download specific apps and continually update. 53% of users will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load![2]

Introducing Progressive Web Apps (“PWA”)

A progressive web app (PWA) is a website that looks and behaves as if it is a mobile app, but without limits to functionality or high drop-off rates. PWA are an enhancement of existing web technology and are typically a shortcut that lives on the home screen (no requirement to download or visit an app store).

PWA do not require separate bundling or distribution. Publication of a PWA is as it would be for any other web page. PWA leverage a new web technology called “service workers” – allowing a PWA experience to always be up-to-date, responsive and enable offline work.

Mobile Tech Spectrum

5 of the key benefits of PWA include:

    Studies show native apps lose 20% of its users before they even get started (must find it in app store, download, install and finally open)
    No need for multiple different native apps and browser versions – PWA takes advantage of specific device and browser.
    PWA functions like a native app – doesn’t require multiple page refreshes, supports push notifications and the ability to work offline
    Automatically adjusts the UI to optimize for the specific device and available screen size – desktop, mobile, tablet; loads very quickly – even on weak networks / connectivity
    No need to push continuous updates through the App Store. PWA delivers the latest content whenever the user logs on.


What does it all mean?

The #1 challenge companies face around the world is employee engagement; 85% of employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged at work.[3]

Adoption certainly does not equal engagement, but it is a prerequisite of it; you cannot have engagement without adoption. Organizations that leverage PWA are at a significant advantage in connecting all employees on one platform. Strong adoption, paired with the right information and tools (a blog post for another day) drives real ROI and the ability to impact positive business outcomes.

[1] Sources: “Digital in 2018”, We Are Social & Hootsuite; Zenith

[2] Source: Google Web Developer

[3] Sources: . 2017, Gallup State of the Global Workplace, 2015, Deloitte, Global Human Capital Trends


Cary Schuler, SVP Marketing & Product Strategy at Vibe HCM is a business strategist passionate about redefining the way companies leverage technology to maximize the potential of its people. Intent upon transforming workforce applications to recognize and harness the inherently social nature of its people.


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