Employee directory software is the digital equivalent of a paper-based employee directory, but with powerful features such as advanced search, real-time record updates, and, in some cases, communication tools like chat and calls. You can store and access details such as name, location, email address, job title, and more.

Having meaningful employee data at your fingertips, accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, is faster, more reliable, and more secure than relying on word-of-mouth or locally-stored spreadsheets. As a result, you can expect greater collaboration among coworkers and more efficient, streamlined HR operations.

Keep reading for a breakdown of employee directory software benefits and features, and how to choose the right one for your business.

Employee Directory Software: Benefits

Using employee directory software brings a lot of benefits to an organization, including the convenience and speed of accessing information, and the resulting time savings for HR teams that have fewer admin tasks. 

Here are the top benefits you can expect.

  • Convenience of use: Employee directory software makes access to data more convenient for both employees and senior management. Employees can instantly access and search for colleagues’ details, while managers can also view sensitive information such as salaries, thus supporting HR processes like promotion.
  • Finding contacts faster: If you know a coworker’s full name, the search function will bring up their records, but you can also search for those whose full names you don’t know. For example, a remote worker needing input from a colleague they met briefly can filter the directory by first name and geographic location.
  • Higher data reliability: Having reliable data about employees can make or break business decisions, particularly when clients are involved. If data is stored in silos—such as locally-saved spreadsheets or team members’ personal phones—it may not be easily accessible or up-to-date. By contrast, data stored in a digital employee directory is more reliable, because the information is consistent across the platform and employees can update their own records, or get them updated by HR.
  • Increased team collaboration: Offering employees access to each other’s contact information can help increase collaboration. For example, a new starter can ask a more experienced colleague for advice and a manager can provide task instructions to a remote team member. Some employee directory solutions integrate easily with communication software, so you can call or message colleagues with one click. Even more conveniently, some providers, including Connecteam, have both employee directory and chat features. 
  • Smoother onboarding: Onboarding is a critical time in employee engagement. Offering new starters the required resources to understand the business—including organizational charts and team members’ contact details—can lower turnover rates and increase productivity in the long run. For HR teams, having easy access to key employee information can lead to better onboarding decisions – for example, knowing a remote worker’s home address and local branch can help assign a mentor that lives or works nearby.
  • Increased data security: If you’re not using employee directory software, it’s likely that sensitive employee data, such as date of birth and telephone number, is stored either in spreadsheets, on mobile phones, or in physical documents. Such alternative data storing methods don’t have a high level of security and are susceptible to hacking or misuse. For example, ex-employees may still have access to colleagues’ mobile phones, which could lead to unwanted communications. In contrast, employee directory software protects your data through methods such as advanced encryption and two-factor authentication (2FA), keeping critical data safer. 
  • Better decision-making: Having easily accessible, reliable, and comprehensive employee data helps management make effective HR decisions on issues like compensation, promotion, and project assignment. For example, you can filter your employee directory by job seniority and previous project experience, and export the candidate shortlist for a new client project. This can lead to better customer outcomes, compared to relying on word-of-mouth.

Employee Directory Software: Features

Employee directory software solutions may vary in features, but most offer basic ones like displaying contact records and having a search function. Advanced features like management view and chat may be offered in higher-tiered plans.

Here are some of the most common features of employee directory software.

Employee information

A core feature of employee directory software is displaying employee information. Basic fields in contact records should include name, email address, telephone number, job title, department, and company—if your organization has subsidiaries or contractors.

Some solutions may allow you to store additional details, such as home address, start date, specialty, skills, previous projects, and more. Advanced functionality can allow you to display more sensitive data only to certain groups of people. For instance, employee salaries should only be accessed by HR and hiring managers.

User updates

Letting employees update their own records—when they change their home address, for example—can save your HR team admin time and ensure data is up-to-date. Employees should each have their own login and be given permission to modify specific fields, such as telephone number and home address.

With certain software solutions, only HR and senior management are allowed to modify employee directory data, and employees must ask them to update details such as home address, emergency contacts, and skills.

Search function

Most employee directory products include a search function, which allows you to find an individual’s records using their name or other known characteristics, like job title or location.

Advanced search tools include applying several filters at once, sorting results alphabetically, and exporting results to a spreadsheet. 

Organizational chart

An employee directory solution that includes an organizational chart can be extremely valuable when onboarding new staff. A simple visual representation of the company structure, including departments, chain of command, and job titles, can help new starters understand where their role sits in the grand scheme of things. 

Equally, more long-term employees can benefit from an organizational chart if they’re up for a promotion or moving to a different department.

Management view

On top of the functionality available to staff, such as searching for and viewing records, employee directory software can also include a management view with more sensitive information, such as salaries and home addresses.

Some solutions allow line managers and HR teams to store information about employees’ performance, such as team and client feedback, past promotions, and career goals.

Messages and calls

Being able to call or text an individual straight from your employee directory app is much more convenient than copying their number into another app. Providers like Connecteam allow you to chat with a coworker without leaving the platform, while others integrate easily with certain communication solutions.

While this is an advanced feature, it’s worth having if your organization requires real-time remote collaboration.

Reports

Reports allow you to visualize and export a specific set of data, which is useful if you’re narrowing down a person or group with certain characteristics, or need an overview of a department or region.

For example, you can export a report including email addresses of senior directors to send them a bespoke communication, or one including a particular branch’s employee salaries while preparing a budget.

Integrations

Many employee directory solutions integrate with third-party HR tools, such as payroll, scheduling, training, and internal communications software. For example, integrating with a payroll solution can enable you to automate payment notifications to employees’ email addresses.

While integrations can add useful functionality, it’s best to look for an employee directory solution that already includes the HR features that are critical to your business.

How to Choose Employee Directory Software

Create a shortlist of employee directory software solutions based on the non-negotiable features your team needs access to, as well as business characteristics including company size, number of departments, and geographical spread. 

For example, on top of basic employee information and search features, you may want to offer specific management permissions to sensitive data like salaries and performance. Large businesses needing collaboration could benefit from advanced features like in-app chat, organizational charts, and integrations with calling apps.

If, on top of employee directory features, you’re looking for other HR tools such as schedule and shift management, providers like Connecteam offer one all-encompassing platform for managing your remote workforce.

Finally, pay attention to how different providers charge for their services, as some billing methods may suit you more than others. Connecteam, for example, charges a fixed amount monthly or yearly for the first 30 users, and a per-user fee for each additional user. Other companies have a per-user fee only, charged monthly or annually, or quote their prices after you’ve booked a demo with them. 

Conclusion

Employee directory software lets you store, view, and search employee information such as their name, email address, and telephone number, leading to greater collaboration and productivity in your organization. 

Staff members can usually update their own records—saving your HR team some admin—while providing new starters with a way to locate and contact coworkers who can support them. Look for solutions, such as Connecteam, that combine employee directory with chat, shift management, and other HR tools, to streamline your people management processes using one platform.

Supercharge Your Employee Directory

Make finding contact details a breeze and safeguard sensitive information from prying eyes with Connecteam.