It’s time to trade in e-mails and phone calls for more effective ways to let your employees communicate with each other. Here are the best internal communication tools to boost employee engagement.
Table of contents
There was a time when internal communication tools weren’t a high priority for most businesses. At most, managers appreciated these tools for improving cross-company transparency and sharing information. But with more employees working remotely or on the field than ever before, you need to find easier ways to reach out to them.
Some businesses are better off using classic communication tools such as e-mails and phone calls. While other businesses are better suited to more advanced tools such as digital communication software, social media networks, and employee intranets.
Whatever the case, most workforces require tools that help simplify brainstorming, submitting feedback, and collaboration, while also boosting employee engagement and productivity.
We’ve put together a comprehensive list of the very best internal communication tools. And we recommend reading up on all of them to help you understand which tools are the best fit for your business’s communication needs.
What Should You Get From Internal Communication Tools?
Any great internal communication software solution should bring the following benefits to both you and your employees:
- It’s simple to use and can be customized so that your employees can understand the features.
- It saves time and eliminates needless back and forth through organized, instant messaging facilities.
- It boosts employee engagement and productivity, giving you a platform to make communication fun and enjoyable.
- It ensures that all forms of communication are safe and secure, protecting all data and private information.
- It empowers collaboration, making it easy for you and your employees to share feedback with each other. It’s also easy to find employees with some kind of search tool.
And if you want to dive deeper, check out our guide on creating and implementing an internal communication strategy for your business.
Types of Internal Communication
While there are many different internal communication tools to choose from (more on that later), these can often be categorized as a specific type of internal communication.
- Project collaboration: Employees require internal communication tools to help them efficiently work on projects and tasks together.
- Company leading: Internal communication tools can be used to share news about the company with the workforce. This news can range from announcements and employee milestones to new strategies and policies.
- Informal communication: Personnel should have the ability to communicate even about non-work-related matters, whether that be through public forums or private messaging.
It’s also worth noting that some internal communication tools are designed to be used by employees, while others are specifically for managers to use.
Types of Internal Communication Tools
Internal Communication Tools Used by Employees
According to Gallup, companies with highly engaged employees are 21% more profitable than those whose employees are not.
Employees should have internal communication tools and methods to share resources and connect with one another. These should empower workers to ask relevant questions to upper management, collaborate on projects and give feedback on all work-related matters.
Internal Communication Tools Used by Managers
According to studies, teams are more likely to be organized if they are receiving top-down company information and guidance.
Managers require administrative internal communication tools that help them implement their communication methods. For example, building and customizing communication features like surveys, newsletters, company updates, and more.
Now that you’re aware of the main types of internal communication tools, let’s take a deeper look at the types of features that should be included when considering internal communication software solutions for your business.
18 Best Internal Communication Tools for 2022
Mobile Employee App
With more and more employees working remotely or in the field, it’s imperative for companies to make the most of their workforce’s access to their mobile devices.
Why? Because employees often don’t have instant access to a computer during their day-to-day, reducing productivity in the process. Access to a mobile employee app can help address this problem and keep employees engaged. Moreover, employees can communicate with their managers from any location.
With an employee mobile application, teams always have instant access to company information and can communicate with each other on mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops.
Connecteam is an ideal example of a software solution with an employee communication app that simplifies employee management. Workers can easily reach co-workers or managers via an online directory, communicate through 1:1 or team chats, receive real-time updates, and have instant access to all essential information for their job.
For businesses with huge teams, an intranet can be extremely useful for internal communications. This kind of software can be used to share knowledge across departments, as well as articles, documents, charts, and more. Most importantly, all employees, whether working in the main office, at satellite locations, or at home, can all stay on the same page regarding company news.
Also known as “corporate social networks,” Intranets can be used in a seemingly unlimited number of ways due to their customizability. With this kind of tool, users can engage in transparent dialogue about any work-related topic, build employee engagement, and store as many documents as required, so that both remote and in-house workers can feel connected at all times.
An all-in-one software that essentially works as a company intranet app is Connecteam. Primarily designed for deskless workers, users can read all company-related news, undergo employee training, access any uploaded documents, fill in surveys, and much more.
While it’s important to give your employees a voice to share their thoughts about company-related topics, policies, and processes, many would prefer to stay anonymous. So giving the workforce a safe space where they can namelessly voice themselves, like an online employee engagement survey, is a surefire way to receive feedback that truly makes a difference.
Managers can then analyze employee submissions to identify common pain points and ways they can change aspects of the company, both big and small.
Apps like Connecteam provide employees with surveys that they can fill in directly from their mobile devices. It’s also possible to create polls that are easy for employees to vote in, or the option to comment on provide emoji reactions to company updates.
Instead of sending out an internal newsletter in the post and not guaranteeing that every recipient reads, companies can now share them digitally. This can be shared with employees, either via an app or email, compiling the most relevant updates and news items and only including engaging text and imagery.
Businesses can also use digital company newsletters to recognize employees’ or teams’ achievements. These can be shared either on desktop or mobile devices, ensuring that everyone receives them on the device that suits them.
Employee apps like Connecteam have the option of sending out company-wide updates in real-time, which can essentially work as a digital newsletter.
Instant Messaging Tools
Probably the most obvious type of communication tool is an instant messaging app. From household names like WhatsApp and Messenger to employee management apps with employee team chat features like Connecteam, this kind of technology helps people stay in touch with each other, whether that be for professional or personal reasons.
In the world of business, employees need to be able to reach each other, as well as their managers.
Some questions are easier to ask over a quick message as opposed to a phone call. And messaging apps ensure that all work-related discussions are conducted on the same platform, as opposed to getting mixed up with personal message threads.
Instant messaging is also a quicker, more convenient form of written communication than emails, which are often longer and take more time to respond to.
Some internal communication tools can provide a lot more than simply the ability for employees to message each other. With collaboration tools, employees can actually work on projects with co-workers, regardless of where they might be in the world. Large groups who need to track progress and sync easily can benefit immensely from this kind of technology.
Collaboration tools allow managers to divide work amongst employees, assign tasks to specific employees and comment on files in real-time.
Other typical functions of collaboration tools include file-sharing and task management, two capabilities that apps like Connecteam are capable of.
Employee Recognition and Reward Centers
One of the best ways to communicate with the workforce is to give employees recognition where it’s due. Whether for going above and beyond or setting a good example for coworkers, a digital employee recognition center allows companies to easily put an employee in the spotlight.
According to a study, businesses with effective recognition tools had 31% less turnover than those with ineffective tools or without ones completely.
Recognizing employees and giving others the chance to show appreciation for their efforts helps to build a positive company culture and gives employees incentives to be more productive. Managers can also share employee of the month programs, promotions, retirements, and farewells in this capacity.
Connecteam’s employee recognition and rewards feature perfectly demonstrate what this kind of tool is capable of.
Social Employee Advocacy Tools
With a social employee advocacy tool, employees have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills as online brand ambassadors for their company. This kind of tool proves to employees that you trust that they can be positive voices of the organization, with the freedom to express their messages and product updates as they see fit.
With that said, this type of internal communication tool can be used to provide employees with guidelines and directions in how to maximize their advocacy duties. The ability to share posts to social media channels from such a tool in one click makes employee advocacy even easier to participate in.
Employee Feedback Apps
Shockingly, more than one-third of employees need to wait more than three years to receive any kind of feedback from their managers. And yet, constructive feedback is such an important method of helping employees grow and become independent contributors to company operations.
Many software solutions provide features in which employees can request feedback, and managers can provide it, such as through 1:1 chats, customizable surveys, and suggestion boxes. This helps managers get a better idea of their employees’ satisfaction levels and helps improve future business decisions.
With Connecteam, you can:
- Open a suggestion box to gather feedback from your team.
- Collect real-time feedback via 1:1 and team chats.
- Share updates, company announcements, and more while receiving feedback via comments and reactions
- Use surveys and live polls to improve business decision-making.
The #1 All-In-One Internal Communication Tool for Your Business
14-day free trial, no credit card required!
Seeing that Millenials and Gen Z will represent a combined 71.6% of the global workforce by 2030, that is a huge chunk of the workforce who are used to accessing information through videos.
Video content is a powerful way to communicate ideas and share information with the workforce.
With a video library, knowledge sharing is visual and audial, meaning that training resources, meetings and demonstrations can be taught more efficiently. What’s more is that employees can access all uploaded videos at their own discretion, from any location. At a corporate level, organizations can use video libraries to share instant announcements regarding new company goals and policies.
Apps like Connecteam allow admins to instantly share videos with teams and individuals for training purposes, company announcements, and more.
Starting a new job without the right knowledge or guidance can be an absolute nightmare. Having an onboarding center provides new hires with logical steps, ensuring that they learn all of the key basics to ease into their new role. Not only that, but onboarding centers help new employees get accustomed to their new company’s processes and culture.
With this kind of internal communication tool, managers can customize their training resources for specific hires and teams, build knowledge bases and add new hires to the employee directory, in which they can locate contact details of all relevant figures in the company.
Apps such as Connecteam allow managers to set up effective employee training programs for new hires.
It’s not enough to just provide employees with internal communication tools. It’s also important to track just how interactive, engaged and productive your employees are.
With analytical and reporting systems, you can track exactly how your team are interacting with content posted within your digital platform of choosing.
For example, you can measure employee engagement with company announcements, policy updates, live polling, or informal posts.
Document/File Sharing and Storage
Having a platform in which users can upload, share, and manage documents and files is essential for effective team collaboration.
Internal communication tools which include central libraries for documentation storage give employees a clear space in which they can see which documents they need to upload, whether that be for administrative or work purposes. For the former – managers can easily keep policies, licenses and employee documents up to date.
Connecteam’s documents feature makes it easy for HR managers to keep track of all employees’ important documentation, with the ability to approve and reject documents depending on their status.
With podcasts now being one of the most popular media forms in the world (100+ million people at least once a month, according to Forbes), there’s no reason why companies can’t use them internally to engage their employees.
Podcasts can deliver valuable, albeit complex information to workers, in a more simplified way, which they can listen to even while on the job.
With Connecteam, you can upload audio files and brand them as podcasts, adding them to your assets, which employees can easily access with the click of a button.
No matter how big or small your company is, you need to give your teams the chance to identify and contact any person in the company, in order to improve company transparency and accessibility.
Employee directory software is a useful internal communication tool for this. Also, organizational charts are great visual aids in order to see exactly who each employee is and what department they work under.
Through Connecteam’s employee directory, employees can submit personal details, contact information, profile photos, and more.
Social Media Networks
Understandably, many companies believe that social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram can be distracting and counterproductive for their teams. However, an internal communication tool that looks and feels like a social media outlet can actually have positive effects on your employees.
An internal social network combines work-related information with the community aspect of social media. What’s more, is that employees have grown accustomed to using social media. So an employee app designed with a familiar interface can make work processes easier and more palatable.
Connecteam’s employee mobile app has a user interface reminiscent of a social media platform. Also, managers can share instant updates via a social feed, and employees can interact with each other via a Messenger-esque 1:1 or team chat.
Providing teams with a digital knowledge base is a great way to supply them with all of the information they need to solve any work-related problem.
An effective knowledge center (like Connecteam’s) should be customizable, allowing managers to add all resources their teams need to troubleshoot any potential problem that might arise in the workplace. This might include manuals, employee handbooks, policies, and legal documents.
Providing long, tedious email threads or letters that get lost in the post is no way to provide the workforce with company news. Not too dissimilar to a company newsletter, a digital news center is a great way for employees to instantly learn about the latest things happening in the company.
What makes a news center different from a newsletter is that employees can simply access a centralized hub that includes all of the latest company updates, blog posts, press releases, project news, and more. Businesses can also use news centers to shine light on high-performing employees (Employee of the Month programs, for example).
While it isn’t referred to as a news center, Connecteam’s updates on its social feed allow businesses to share many of the news items mentioned above.
More Internal Communication Tools Worth Checking Out
There are plenty of other internal communication tools that businesses should consider implementing depending on their needs. These include:
What Are Employee Communication Tools?
An internal communication tool is a resource designed to improve communication between managers and employees in a business.
These can include software solutions, features, and methods of communication that promote transparency and collaboration across the company in question. Internal communication tools are designed to address any communication problems that the workforce may be facing.
Today, there is an unprecedented number of internal communication tools to choose from – and these can handle various types of communication, from workplace chat and file-sharing to collaboration and feedback.
The Bottom Line on Internal Communication Tools
When choosing the best employee management software for your company, you need to consider which solution includes the widest range of internal communication tools. At the very least, it should feature the ones that your business requires.
With that in mind, our pro tip is to try out Connecteam as it includes all of the 18 aforementioned internal communication tools in some shape or form. Through its Communications hub, this all-in-one solution provides a rich array of internal communication tools to help managers and employees reach each other instantly.
Connecteam’s communication features maximize employee productivity, engagement, and transparency all at once. We recommend trying out its free trial to get a clearer idea of which internal communications tools within the software best suit your business.
All of Your Internal Communication Tools in One Place
Boost employee engagement and productivity in your business with Connecteam’s dynamic internal communications hub.