How to Choose an Internal Communications App for Your Business

Business Management
Denis Yankovsky July 26, 2020 14 min read
Internal communication app

Quick Guide

    Internal communications apps are becoming a go-to solution for employee communication for all businesses and industries. With only 39% of employees engaged in their workforce, now more than ever, companies are looking for the tool that will skyrocket engagement and improve communication company-wide. Businesses are looking away from the traditional methods to find the answer. Companies both small and large are noticing the efficiency that an internal communication app can provide. 

    Employee communication apps help businesses streamline their communication and far more. Your employee has all the information and latest updates right in their back pocket, without having to run to a desk to complete the task. This means employees are able to continue working out in the field and avoid frustration. 

    Employee communication apps are y to use, even for the non-tech savvy. They offer the necessary features which address key organizational needs. In addition, internal communication apps have quick implementation. Hence, it’s no wonder more businesses are making the smart choice to move over to an internal communication app. Furthermore, managers no longer need to feel distant from their workers. They can communicate and engage with their employees via a dedicated and efficient channel in real-time. 

    What is an internal communications app?

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    An internal communications app (also known as an intranet app) is a platform for your employees to communicate, share, and bond with each other more efficiently than traditional methods. 

    Before internal communication apps, business communications took place via email or over the phone. Emails were never intended to be the cornerstone of internal communication. Therefore, as technology has significantly improved, emails have started to show their limitations! You can see that when you take into account that an average inbox takes up to 13 hours a week to read! Yes, re-read that 13 hours a week, that means that any vital information won’t be relevant by the time your employee gets to it! 

    Even if your employee makes it through their overloaded inbox, 62% of the emails are irrelevant. So you are now paying your employee hours to read pointless irrelevant emails. With Connecteam, information arrives in real-time straight into your worker’s hands, instead of waiting for your employee to get to the right email. 

    Internal communications apps like Connecteam let you simplify and centralize your business’s internal communications for all employees. Connecteam offers you much more than just communication. It streamlines your everyday needs via an all-in-one app. 

    In addition, 80% of the world’s workforce today (at least) are deskless or mobile employees. As those workers are on the go, most don’t even have a company email. Without a corporate email, it leaves you no choice but to employ a mobile-friendly solution. An internal communication app helps you and your team stay together, especially when you don’t sit in one office.

    Connecteam – No.1 Employee Communication App

    Reach every member in your team, with fun, dedicated, and measurable communication. Engage your team like never before!

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    Why do you need an internal communications app?

    Non-Desk Employees

    As the majority of the world’s workforce barely spends any time behind the desk, the need for a mobile-first solution for employee communication makes sense! Their daily work is out there in the field. Whether it’s delivering packages, cleaning hotel rooms, fixing appliances, managing hospital floors, waiting tables, driving commercial vehicles, or serving as security personnel. Employee communication apps make communication quick and efficient.

    Low Motivation & Employee Turnover Risk

    According to Gallup, more than 78% of employees are disconnected from their workplace, costing the US economy $350 billion annually. If the majority of your workers don’t sit in front of a computer screen, you have an even greater need to offer them an easy, on-the-go solution. Hence, an employee communication app could retain workers and increase productivity. On the other hand, a solid company culture strategy may significantly reduce employee turnover, and people will be proud to work for you. 

    The best way to create an engaged workforce is through creating a solid company culture of effective communication. If you want to learn and improve your current method, make sure to check our dedicated free ebook on building an effective internal communication strategy.

    Social App Usage

    As we are all on many social apps, an internal communication app has to mimic that simple usability. Employees should be able to claim shifts, upload reports, give feedback, and receive updates on the go right from the field. All these tasks should be achievable from the desktop or mobile device. 

    By ensuring that communication is effortless, you can increase response rates. Employees will be more likely to follow a procedure because it’s simple to do so, instead of feeling that it’s a chore.

    Manual Employee Management Is Time Consuming

    Time is precious, and no one can afford to lose so much of it on cluttered excel spreadsheets, calling or texting employees to make sure they’ve updated the schedule, and spending hours trying to calculate the monthly payroll. Using an internal communications app lets you improve efficiency, avoid communication issues, and get more done in less time, no matter how big or small your business might be.

    How to choose the best internal communications app for your company?

    Know What Your Company Needs

    First, you need to figure out what’s important for your business. You need to answer the following questions:

    1. Do I need a task tracking platform or a group chat app
    2. Do I need a shared calendar for meetings and conference calls? 
    3. Do I require a project management platform for keeping track of milestones and goals? 
    4. Do you want an all-in-one solution?

    Every business will answer those questions differently, and that’s ok. The key thing here is to choose an effective platform that can answer all your requirements. Opting for an internal communication app such as Slack is only useful as a chat platform. Basecamp, on the other hand, is relevant for project management. Connecteam’s internal communication app has all the features rolled into one application. Connecteam lets you tailor the application to your business.

    Learn What Your Employees Want

    Your internal communications app can boast every feature under the corporate moon, but it’s unlikely to improve productivity if your employees don’t like using it.

    According to the latest internal communication industry trends, the best employee app isn’t necessarily the one with the cleanest interface or the best code. Often, the best app is the one that most easily fits into the processes your employees are already used to.

    Before you select an app, ask your employees for their opinions on different tools:

    • Ask if they’re comfortable using a certain tool on an ongoing basis
    • Ask if there are any weak points that affect their ability to use an app to do their jobs or take part in collaborative projects

    Try not just solving your organizational challenges, but rather managing your staff with genuine care,” says Daniel Chambers — the 2020  Manager of the Year, according to The Gallup Workplace Awards. 

    He knows that employees who feel valued and connected to their leaders bring their best to work and reach higher performance levels.

    Employees need to see how relevant the internal communications app is to their own work and interests. The more workers can relate, the more engaged they will be, and the faster they will adopt your intranet app for daily use. 

    Finally, set up a test run with a few of your employees. Let them test out the solution and see if this is something the rest of the company will use.

    Figure Out the Costs

    There are several costs to internal communications tools, such as the product price, training cost, and usage cost.

    If your business hasn’t used an internal communications app before, costs can be significant. A seemingly affordable but complicated solution can often cost more in the long run. This is mainly due to training costs.

    Finally, there’s the price of using the app. By using the built-in smart automation and workflow templates, you can save both time and money.

    When you’re calculating the costs of an internal communications app, look beyond the monthly subscription fee. It has to be quick to set up, easy to use and requires no overhead costs e.g. installation.

    Poor communication costs businesses breakdown by Connecteam

    The great thing about Connecteam is that setting up your employee communication app takes around 15 minutes. Your team, including the non-tech savvy, can be up and running within a day or two. That’s right because it’s that easy to use! No technical team is needed to get everyone onboard. All employees need to do, is download and get going.

    1. Speed
    2. Accuracy
    3. Measurement

    Costs don’t come without their rewards. As you figure out the costs of upgrading your internal communications app, it’s also important to consider all the benefits you’ll receive from taking on an app.

    One of the main benefits is that it’s faster, and produces more accurate internal messaging. Employee communication apps are the new way to communicate. Emails are outdated, often in spam, or simply missed. With an employee communication app, your team will no longer be decentralized. Every employee has the same right to access, whether they work in the office or are deskless. Workers can respond to new events and company updates via desktop or mobile device, anytime and anywhere. Unread messages are counted and highlighted, making it easier for every member of your team to stay up to date as projects develop.

    Furthermore, employee communication apps encourage employees to engage with each other. Connecteam does that by allowing users to share feedback on posts by commenting and liking, very similar to that of most social media apps. 

    If you’re aware of how many hours your employees spend reading emails, they could be putting that time to good use. By adopting an internal communication app you will notice your employees are working on more important tasks, rather than just catching up with emails!

    internal communication apps are a must-have for businesses
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    Once you have implemented your internal communication app, you can determine which features employees are enjoying. You can gain feedback over how much time it has saved employees. You can change and adapt the app to what employees want to see. It’s a win-win situation!

    As a business owner, administrator, or manager, some solutions may require you to:

    • Install the application across your entire network of workstations and mobile devices (or, if it’s a cloud-based app, create and distribute login credentials for each user)
    • Train employees on how to use the app. It’s vital to make sure that they are confident from the first time they log in
    • Establish rules and processes to ensure communication is efficient and effective

    When apps are complicated or challenging to set up, implementation can take a lot of time. One of the first steps you should take when choosing an internal communications app is to look at how long setup takes.

    You should be asking, is it easy to configure? Does it have an intuitive interface, or is finding your way around the app a challenge? Will your employees find it easy to switch from email to the app, or does it require lots of training?

    More importantly, does the app integrate with your existing internal communications and work tools? If it does, implementation could change to a gradual process, instead of a sudden switch from one platform to another. You may have noticed that there is a shift towards mobile applications. These solutions are great for businesses who are looking to customize them to suit the requirements of their business.

    Sufficient Support

    When apps work, they can save your business time and help you generate more revenue. But when they don’t work, particularly when support isn’t immediately available, they can bring your business to a standstill.

    Before you invest in any app, check that good, helpful, timely support is available. Support may not seem like a major factor when you first start using an application. However, in a crisis, you’ll be glad that there are experts available to help you.

    Connecteam received votes for the Best Customer Support and continues to respond to customer inquiries in under 5 minutes!

    Ease Of Use

    Lastly, is the app easy to use? Since internal communication is such an important part of any business, it’s important to prioritize ease of use and user experience when you’re comparing communications apps. Don’t allow your employees to become even more frustrated when you offer them a new solution, only to have them turn around and say, it’s making matters worse! 

    Remember that your employees will use the app you choose on a daily, or even hourly basis over the long term. Investing in an unfriendly, confusing app can cause you to need to switch platforms in the future due to employee frustration.

    So let us recap how exactly your business can benefit from using an internal communication app.

    Streamline Communication

    Time is money, so you need to streamline your employee communication. By streamlining, we understand the ability to send immediate updates, track who actually sees them, assign shift tasks with attached files in one click, collect and approve absence requests, see when and where your employees are clocking into the shift, collect quick feedback and so many more handy features available.

    Reach Remote Workers

    The Financial Express reported that 53% of the US workforce will be working remotely by 2022. However, the biggest challenges employers have with their remote team is effectively communicating with them – not to mention, fostering work relationships, boosting engagement levels, encouraging productivity, keeping everyone on the same page, and so on.

    Additional stats go on to prove that internal communication mobile apps are a must when working with remote employees. For example:

    Your remote employees really need to understand who they’re working for and what the company’s mission is. In order to work at their very best, they need all the necessary information to execute their job role, remain compliant, to provide the best service. Plus, they need to know where to turn to when they need support, share thoughts and ideas, and offer feedback.

    internal communication app for younger generation of workers
    Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

    Managers must make sure they remain transparent, clear communication channels should be established, feedback should be easy to obtain and share, one-on-one chats or check-ins are vital to keeping aligned and to show you are, include them in the company culture, give them shout-outs when they excel, share positive messages like customer feedback or birthdays, and more.

    Adopt team-building games for your remote team to boost engagement and to connect them to their co-workers.

    Reach Your Younger Workforce

    Millennials (or Generation Y) and Generation Z already became the largest generation in the U.S. labor force back in 2016 and are projected to represent 75% of all employees by 2030. And the time they spend on their mobile phone is shocking:

    • The average American spends 5.4 hours a day on their phone
    • Millennials spend slightly more time on their phone, at 5.7 hours
    • Baby boomers spend 5 hours on average on their phones

    However, 13% of millennials and 5% of baby boomers admitted that they usually spend over 12 hours every day on their phones.

    This is where internal communication mobile apps come in. If you don’t have the latest technology in your workplace, you’ll only find that the younger generations are greatly disappointed.

    “Most millennials remember a time when fax machines and landline phones were commonly used and AOL dial-up was the only way to access the internet, but their incoming Gen Z colleagues only know of these things from history books and movies. Bottom line – this new generation of workers expects technology to touch every facet of their life and companies should embrace this sooner than later,” said Jeff Corbin

    The younger generation will download an internal communications app that enables them to receive company news and updates (total transparency is key), access key resources, offer ideas and feedback, interact with management and coworkers, and much more.

    Connecteam – Your Branded Employee App

    Connecteam allows you to customize your own internal communication app. With a multitude of features, you can run your workday via one application. Your employees can look at the desktop or open their mobile devices. The features include:

    • Workflows
    • Schedules
    • Chat
    • Task management
    • Training
    • Forms
    • Reports
    • Updates
    • And much much more

    Connecteam helps you stay connected with your team with its diverse chat feature. Set up smart groups to send team messages, or send direct messages. Unlike emails, employees are notified with push notifications and you can track who’s read the message. Employees receive information in real-time in the palm of their hands, there is no need to search for a desk. 

    Connecteam helps you cut out those 13 hours you are paying for your employee to read mostly pointless emails. Employee communication apps are spam-free and your employee only receives information that is useful to them. With the update feature, you can share when your team smashes their goals or personal milestones. That’s the great thing about Connecteam, we offer the platform you choose how you use it! Take advantage of the free plan and see how it can benefit you!

    Connecteam – Reinvent communication!

    Our internal communication app has the tools to enhance every mode of communication in your business. From live chat, updates, reports, and so much more. Connecteam’s one of a kind employee communication app doesn’t compare to communication apps in its class.

    Learn More!
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