20 Internal Communication Tools your Company Should Have
If you were going to create your own wish list of features that your internal communication platforms should have to function effectively, what would you include? There are certain items that are important to making this internal technology function at its best and we’ve listed the ones that we consider vital.
What is Internal Communications
Internal communications is a way to communicate the distinct story of an organization. It includes the voices of each person who works there. This means of communication relies on all participants being open and transparent. Many companies use internal communication tools to help reach this goal.
Benefits of Internal Communications
Internal communications and employee engagement go hand in hand. Often, companies do not understand how important these two ideas are. A good company culture, where employees feel valued and appreciated, is frequently a key element in attracting top-notch talent. It is also an important factor in keeping team members happy and productive in their work.
Types of Internal Communication
Are you wondering about the types of employee communication tools available to modern employees? There are a number of ways that effective internal communication can take place.
- Company Leaders – Someone has to share news about the company with its workers. This includes new strategies and directions it will be taking and announcements of various kinds (wins and losses, personal and professional milestones for employees, etc.).
- Resource Materials – The company should have specific policies and procedures that it follows. This knowledgebase should be available in one place where employees and managers can access them as needed.
- Project Collaboration – Employees need organized ways to discuss the work they are doing and get tasks accomplished. Updates are usually not the best way to accomplish this.
- Informal Sharing – Peers need to be able to ask questions and support each other professionally and personally. This type of employee communication is important in developing an atmosphere of employee engagement and positive business outcomes.
Develop a Plan for Effective Internal Communication
To be effective, a company must develop a plan to encourage and improve internal communication between workers. There are a number of effective communication tools your company should put in place to make this policy a successful one.
20 Best Internal Communication Tools for your Company
We’ve compiled a list of what we think are the best internal communications tools for employees. When you are considering communication platforms for your company, these are the types of features that should be included to make the most of this technology.
The intranet is one of the most important software for internal communications. It is used for knowledge sharing across large groups of employees. A team or department can use the company intranet to share relevant documents, articles, charts, etc.
One of the most important benefits of an intranet is that it connects all employees from multiple locations. Your intranet easily allows workers in satellite offices and those who work from home to stay up to date on company news and events.
2. Mobile Intranet App
Nowadays remote or work on the road practices are more common than ever. All employees must stay connected, including those working from a home office or in the field. A great way to ensure that your employees have constant access to corporate information is using an intranet mobile application, allowing employees to engage no matter where they are using a mobile phone, tablet, or desktop computer.
This option is especially important for your frontline workers. Your representatives will have access to information at all times, like contact details, locations, purchase history, etc. And at the same time, they will receive real-time updates, which helps them make informed decisions and provide better customer service.
3. Internal Newsletters
Internal newsletters can now be shared with employees in a digital format, highlighting the latest news and valuable content. Newsletters allow internal comms teams to incorporate a variety of assets and updates, making it one of the most commonly used tools for internal communications. An important thing to remember is that people don’t always have time to read long text blocks. Adding photos, graphs or videos in your company newsletter will make it more engaging and memorable. You can also use the newsletter to recognize employees’ accomplishments or the success of team projects. Modern technology makes it easy to share newsletters, via email or company intranet boards on both desktop and mobile devices.
4. Employee Surveys
How do you find out what employees really think about policies or the new training methods at your company? It’s simple, just ask them what they think! But how do you ensure they feel comfortable to freely share their opinion? Try with small steps. Introduce regular anonymous employee internal surveys. Using online tools allows employees to express themselves openly, and you are taking advantage of a very effective feedback management tool. Once the results are in, they can be used to identify gaps, launch change management processes, or luckily confirm that your employees are satisfied with their status quo.
5. Collaboration Tools
Online collaboration tools are growing traction every day. They are enabling employees to connect and exchange while combining professional relations in a more social way. Collaboration tools provide for more effective teamwork and are a powerful tool to link teams from different departments or even time zones and enable them to work together. It is also very handy when small or big groups need to track task progress and depend on good synchronization to reach their common goal.
6. Social Employee Advocacy Tool
By adding a social employee advocacy tool, you are giving your workers the chance to become online ambassadors and brand advocates. It shows your employees that you trust them to convey corporate messages and that they will show a positive face to the public on social media. Keep in mind that participation as an employee advocate for the company is voluntary and that management has no control over what employees post about the company. But using an internal advocacy tool you will be able to provide directions and guidelines for your workers to follow.
7. Instant Messaging Tools
Instant messaging is a handy tool to have in place for your employees at all levels. It can be used to send quick messages between team members to ask questions, confirm meeting dates, and clarify any other points that may be unclear. Don’t overlook this effective internal communication solution, especially when you have team members who are working remotely. It may not always seem practical to pick up the phone for a quick question, but instant messages are a convenient way to quickly exchange information.
8. Community Channels
Do you have employees in your business who have expertise in specific areas? Give them a chance to shine by sharing information on dedicated community channels. This is an example of an internal staff communication tool that gives your workers a platform to discuss new developments within their area of expertise.
The community channel can also be set up around a practice hub so that team members can collaborate easily. Junior members of the company can benefit from the experience of more senior members with problem-solving, and senior staff appreciates collaborating with younger employees.
9. News Center
Employees should not have to find out what is happening in their company by reading long email threads or various group conversations. Streamline company information within a centralized News Center to keep employees always up-to-date. Include company updates, press releases, and any other news affecting your industry. Add updates on assets, blog posts, social media activity, and all new projects your company is working on.
10. Leadership Center or Blog
The company CEO should not be someone who is perched high above employees in a glass tower. Instead, let employees get to know the CEO as someone human by setting up an internal executive blog. This is a company top-down internal communication tool that allows the CEO to share company news with employees and receive feedback directly from them. If appropriate, share the CEO’s thoughts outside the company by including the posts in an RSS feed as well.
11. Employee Recognition Center
An employee recognition center is an integral part of an overall internal communications strategy. It’s a place where you can virtually highlight your employee recognition and reward programs. This space can also be used for “Get to Know Your Coworker” articles where individuals in the organization are profiled regularly or even a “How Well Do You Know Your Coworkers” games. It can also be used to draw attention to the work that groups within the company are engaged in. Lastly, this can serve as a space to announce promotions, farewells or retirements in the company.
12. Job Board
Once, open positions within a company were posted on a physical bulletin board. Interested candidates would browse the listings and apply for a position that attracts them through the company’s Human Resources department.
Modern internal communication software allows current employees to browse virtually through global job listings quickly and easily. They can also share job openings with qualified people in their network and over social media so that available positions get filled more quickly.
13. Onboarding Center
No matter how confident a new employee feels about their abilities, starting a new job can be stressful. An onboarding center has a distinct series of steps for new hires to follow. This is a great example of an essential internal communication tool for employees that helps new workers get well-informed and engaged with the company’s process from the very first day. It creates a logical series of steps for them to follow so they can quickly start contributing to their team.
14. Video Center
Video content is a powerful communication tool for any business. Create a virtual library in your collaboration space or company intranet to ensure long-lasting effective knowledge sharing. Stream product demonstrations, general meetings, training, or other internal initiatives and keep a recording that can be accessed freely by all employees.
This medium can also be used to help build a stronger corporate culture. C-level management and other company executives can shoot short video announcements to introduce policies and objectives to the rest of the company. You can create a dedicated place in your intranet platform to share those streams and allow for direct interaction between management and employees, allowing for more transparent collaboration and communication.
15. Employees Experience Tool
The best communication tools are the ones that can be customized to suit the needs of the company and its employees. For example, you may want your employees to sign into their company computer to see their daily schedule, work e-mail, and the last several documents or apps they worked on prominently displayed. The employee should be able to see their business apps on display. There should also be a global search function that looks across e-mail, blog posts, articles, and other media for search terms.
16. Multilingual Tool
If you are operating in a global enterprise, it stands to reason that your employees speak different languages and you may not have an official global language. A multilingual tool allows you to adapt and translate all your content in various languages so that your employees feel more included in day-to-day corporate activities.
Enhance team collaboration by providing employee communication tools that allow localized experience and enables employees to read and interact with documents in the language they feel most comfortable using. They will appreciate the effort, and on top of all the cultural benefits, this will lead to higher retention rates in all your branch offices.
17. Branded Tool
How important is it to you that your internal communication software is personalized to suit your company’s brand? Don’t overlook the importance of having a customized look to the platform your employees log in daily. Designing a unique and personalized platform improves employees engaged and stimulates their interactions within the platform.
18. Content Approval Workflow
One of the great things about the internet is that it gives a voice to everyone in the organization. Though, if your employees are going to share information on behalf of the company, it’s natural that you want to install a verification or content approval process before the communication is shared with the rest of the company. You can define different contributor groups and grant the access they need. A good practice is to assign a global content administrator that has access to all publications and can ensure the validity of the shared information.
19. Follow and Notifications
If you are working for a large company and want to keep up to date with a particular colleague or a different department, you can select to follow their profiles or work communities or even set push notifications for their activity. By doing this you are creating your own personalized platform that will deliver only the most relevant information. Create your own internal network and be in control of the information flow.
Following colleagues helps improve peer-to-peer recognition as it allows you to keep track of your coworkers’ accomplishments. Don’t forget to interact and post messages of encouragement to those you are following, it means a lot when their hard work is appreciated from both peers and management.
Often return on investment for internal communication is hard to track. You need to be able to measure results to determine which of your internal strategies are giving you the best results. Cloud-based communication platforms often provide integrated analytics that provides you regular upgrades on the performance and adoption of your software. Use your data to drive growth and improve employee interaction with the internal communication tool you installed for them.
Brand Content Writer
September 8, 2020