March 28, 2023
Good communication is important in any business. Employees need to to exchange information accurately and quickly — like details about assignments, deadlines, and projects.
There's nothing worse than miscommunication causing problems on the job, like a missed deadline (yikes).
This kind of scenario is especially frustrating because poor communication can be avoided! How? With internal communication tools.
Digital communication tools are especially handy for remote or hybrid teams when employees aren't all in one place. They make it easy for employees who aren't sitting side by side to stay in contact, improving employee engagement.
As a result, people can work together better — a pro for any business.
This guide highlights some of the best internal communication tools you can use within your organization or team.
Internal communication refers to the exchange of information and messages within an organization or company. It encompasses all the communication channels and strategies used to ensure that employees are informed, engaged, and aligned with the organization's goals and objectives. Effective internal communication is crucial for promoting collaboration, productivity, and a positive work culture.
Internal communication is important for several reasons.
Firstly, it helps to ensure that employees are informed and up-to-date with company news, policies, and goals. This can increase engagement and help to build a positive company culture. Secondly, effective internal communication can facilitate collaboration and teamwork, as well as improving productivity and efficiency. Finally, it can help to identify and address potential issues or concerns before they become major problems. Overall, investing in strong internal communication is crucial for creating a happy and productive workplace.
Recommended reading: 40 inspiring quotes on teamwork and collaboration
When talking about business communications, there are two main types—internal and external.
External communications refers to messages the company transmits externally, for example to customers and shareholders. This includes content like press releases, marketing materials, and public social media posts.
An internal communication strategy refers to the "behind the scenes" messaging that happens within the company, between the people and teams working there. This includes emails and direct chat messages to video conferences and company newsletters.
Internal communication tools are technologies that help support these behind-the-scenes discussions. They create clarity for employees, keeping them up-to-date on what's happening within their teams, around their projects, and in the company at large.
Employee communication tools help keep employees informed. Employees can perform better when they have the information they need to complete their job — like project background details.
Internal comms tools also make it easier for employees to work together. They can easily touch base on project updates, for example, or stay up-to-date on company news.
When employees perform better as individuals and as teams, the whole business benefits. For instance, a well-functioning team can get tasks done faster, improving efficiency and boosting the entire company's output.
By equipping your teams with the tools they need to communicate and collaborate, you are equipping them for success. That also means setting up your company to achieve results.
Of course, getting the right tools is just half the battle. You also have to implement internal communications best practices.
Let's say you introduce a new tech tool to the work environment. You need to get employee buy-in, making sure they actually use it. Towards this end, you might:
The term "internal communication tools" is pretty broad. Don't stress! We'll break it down for you.
Here's a list of the types of internal communication tools and channels we're talking about, plus examples.
A company newsletter is usually an email-based internal communication tool. It consists of a digital newsletter sent to employees' work email addresses. This is a great tool for sharing company information with far-reaching impact, from news about a new hire to benefits scheme updates and upcoming company-wide events (announce that holiday party!).
One great tool for creating and sending company newsletters is Constant Contact. It features pre-made templates so that you can create and edit emails fast.
Other perks include the ability to:
Videos can serve various purposes for internal communications in companies. For example, human resources could make videos for onboarding purposes, while teams may use videos for task-specific training. Videos can also be used as internal marketing tools — a video of everyone having a blast at that aforementioned holiday party? A great way to boost morale!
We like Vidyard and VEED as internal communication tools for online video creation. First developed with remote sales in mind, these multipurpose tools let you record and send videos in just a few clicks.
Video conferencing has almost replaced face-to-face meetings in the wake of the pandemic. Video is a great internal communication tool because it demands people to be attentive and present — unlike, say, an email. Video meetings are interactive and keep people engaged. They're great for everything from weekly team updates to one-on-one check-ins from managers.
For video conferencing, our weapon of choice is Zoom (sorry to Google Meet and Skype)! Zoom is user-friendly and versatile, allowing meetings of up to 500 people.
Plus, it offers:
Recommended reading: Guide to effective communication in the new remote world
A messaging app is a must for any hybrid or remote workforce. Messaging apps allow for quick, direct contact and are faster than sending emails back and forth. Messaging apps can be used to discuss work topics — but they can also be used for personal chats, a great way to boost engagement. For instance, a "water cooler" forum lets employees bond personally.
When it comes to workplace messaging apps, it's hard to beat Slack. With this internal communication tool, you can create multiple channels for different projects and teams, keeping organized.
Plus, you can:
Surveys can be a great way to collect employee feedback, helping you get the information you need to improve the office environment, processes, management, and more. Digital surveys are also great internal communication tools because they can also be done anonymously. Let's face it, you're more likely to get honest answers about the employee experience this way!
We love OfficeVibe for internal surveys. The online platform lets employees complete surveys and provide anonymous feedback, while also setting personal goals.
Other perks include:
Project management tools make it easy to track projects according to specific deliverables. You can assign tasks to people, give them deadlines, and monitor their progress — all without micromanaging. Project management tools usually allow you to share information like files and chat within teams, ensuring everyone is up-to-date on a project's or deliverable's status.
In our view, it's hard to beat Asana when it comes to project management and internal communication tools for remote teams. You can create project-specific workspaces, assign duties, and track tasks.
Plus, you can:
We also like ProofHub as an all-in-one project management tool, especially for its flat learning curve and simple pricing plans.
Recommended reading: 7 effective ways of increasing team productivity
You might think we're crazy mentioning social media on this list. Although plenty of social media tools are used for external communications, you might be surprised to learn there are also internal social platforms. These are great for sharing quick updates with staff, boosting morale, and increasing engagement.
An intranet-based social media platform like Yammer is a great example of an internal communication tool. Yammer lets coworkers join conversations and communities across the Microsoft 365 suite.
What is one of the most important things you can do to keep employees engaged and satisfied at work (and, hopefully, improve retention)? Recognize their efforts and reward their successes! An essential part of this process is to recognize the employee's work and their contribution to the team. With remote teams, this gets especially challenging. You can't simply stop by their desk for a pep talk. Luckily, there are digital reward and recognition platforms to help.
Our personal favorite is Bonusly. With this internal communication tool, you can create a company culture of recognition by making individual team member's successes visible to all.
You should also consider looking into Mo and its employment engagement software. With Mo, you can create employee reward and recognition programs that improve retention and increase productivity.
Recommended reading: Guide to being a good manager in a remote workplace
Planning tools are another good internal communication tool that can make remote work easier. These tools allow for two-way communication in an organized fashion: You can create workspaces for specific projects, deliverables, or individuals, tracking deliverables to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
In this category, we especially love Basecamp. It allows for effective internal communication with message boards, group chats, and to-do lists all in one place.
Other perks include:
Planning tools can also be more specialized. Ignition is an amazing internal communication tool for Go-to-Market planning for example — it makes launch communication a breeze via launch calendars, roadmaps, and strategic plans, which can easily be pushed to stakeholders through personalized Slack updates.
Collaboration tools are another great internal communication tool worth implementing. These tools simplify processes for employees, saving them time and stress. They make it easier for employees to work together seamlessly with others. For example, they might enhance information sharing.
OSlash is a great example. OSlash makes information and knowledge accessible to all employees so that they can go from where they are to where they want to be in under a second. OSlash takes complicated URLs and boils them down into easy-to-remember and share shortcuts such as o/roadmap or o/daily-standup for the whole team.
Other advantages of OSlash include:
Any list of internal communication tools is incomplete without the mention of an intranet, of course. An intranet is a private network that enables employees within an organization to access various resources and information. This includes company news, policies, and HR information, as well as tools for collaboration like forums, chat rooms, and shared calendars.
Many famous organizations have adopted intranets as an essential part of their communication strategy. For instance, Google's MOMA is a well-known intranet that's famous for being "Google Search for Google". It helps Googlers locate everything from the right go-links for documents to an obscure email thread within their inbox.
Another popular example is CONA (Coke One North America), "an IT Platform for the North American Coca-Cola bottling business". It provides Coke's participating bottlers "a common set of processes, data standards, manufacturing and customer solutions".
Advantages of an intranet include:
Strong internal communication benefits both individual employees and companies. With the tools mentioned above, it's easier than ever to ensure your frontline workers can communicate and work together effectively.
These internal communication tools save time, avoid confusion, and enhance transparency. What's not to love?
Take OSlash, for example. Nobody wants to spend valuable time in their workday searching for confusing, complicated links. With OSlash, it's easy to find and share the info your employees need in a snap. What's more? You can also convert your most-used pieces of text into snippet shortcuts that will auto-type the text for you on cue!
Get all your links and text at your fingertips, quite literally!
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