Choosing the right set of internal communication tools has been one of the biggest priorities for organizations across the globe. 

As nicely written in a Forbes article:

“When internal communicators have the tools they need to enable and inform employees throughout an entire organization, communication can become more than a megaphone for announcements; it can transform company culture, create positive business outcomes and enable business leaders to guide employees through uncertain times.”

This has become particularly important with the emergence of remote and hybrid work, which made it harder for employees to communicate and collaborate.

Moreover, nearly 81% of employees indicated that miscommunication occurred in their organization very frequently, frequently, or occasionally.

a quote from quantum workplace

So companies are looking for better ways to keep their people connected and informed and to enable them to collaborate on their projects. 

This blog will review the list of different types of internal communication tools that can eliminate the biggest challenges caused by inefficient communication in the workplace. We will also cover some of the biggest reasons why every organization needs IC technology. And at the end of the article, you can also find a detailed comparative analysis of some of the leading software in the internal communications category. 

Book a Haiilo demo to learn how it can improve your internal communications strategy!

The Ultimate List of Internal Communication Tools 

There are dozens of different communication and collaboration tools that claim to improve your employees’ productivity at work and boost virtual communication. Just keep in mind that implementing too many various solutions can have a counter effect and seriously decrease your employees’ productivity and morale. 

Let’s take a look at the list of different internal communication tools to consider for your organization. 

1. Instant messaging software

Instant messaging software such as Slack and Microsoft Teams are absolutely necessary for effective communication in the workplace. With the increase of remote and hybrid work, their importance became even more significant. 

Today, we can almost surely claim that there is no tech company that doesn’t have instant messaging software implemented. 

However, in some cases, these systems can create communication silos, where teams highly integrated into one platform cannot collaborate with departments rooted in another.

💡 If you are looking for best IM practices for your workplace, check out this great guide by Harward Business Review. 

2. Social intranet

When we say intranet, many people think of old and outdated solutions that were everything but intuitive. Today, however, social intranets mimic our favorite social media platforms that we use to find relevant information and stay connected with our friends. 

Social intranet serves the same purpose at work. It enables employees to easily find relevant information, collaborate on projects, create groups of people with common interests and organizational goals, and efficiently share knowledge

💡 Also learn about how to make asynchronous communication work in your organization!

3. Employee surveys

Employee surveys (often called employee feedback apps) are the best communication tools for enabling bottom-up employee feedback and encouraging employees’ share of voice.

a quote from quantum workplace

What separates the best survey tools from the average ones is powerful analytics. Collecting feedback just for the sake of it means nothing if there are no insights with actionable recommendations for improvement. When automated survey analytics exist, you can easily anticipate problems and identify the best practices to support and engage your teams.

💡 Related: 16 Experts Share Their Favorite Employee Engagement Survey Questions

4. Employee collaboration and project management tools

Even though some people may not list collaboration software as a communication tool, they certainly are an important communication channel in the workplace

Moreover, most communication tools can also be considered collaboration tools. 

But software solutions such as Trello, Monday.com, or Jira are the technologies we are referring to, and they are some of the widely used workplace technologies. 

5. Document sharing and management software

Document-sharing software can also be considered communication and collaboration tools. This type of communication mostly happens through comments within Word Documents, Excel spreadsheets, Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, or similar. 

Furthermore, fully-featured intranets also have document storing and sharing capabilities and serve as a central repository of all important company information. 

6. Video conferencing

Video conferencing solutions have become a must for most organizations since the start of the pandemic (30% of global companies started using video conferencing for the first time during COVID-19). Google Hangouts, Zoom, GoToMeeting, Jitsi, and similar tools fall under this category. 

7. Employee newsletter

An internal employee newsletter is a great way to inform and engage your employees. Every organization should consider having a monthly or weekly internal newsletter with the most important information every employee should be aware of. 

Regarding newsletter tools, there are some marketing solutions such as Mailchimp and HubSpot. However, in the IC world, employee newsletters are usually available within a more comprehensive internal communication platform. 

8. Employee advocacy software

Employee advocacy solutions enable employees to share company information with their own networks to improve the company’s reach, brand awareness, and sales. We included employee advocacy solutions under this list for multiple reasons:

  • They should have a central, easily searchable place with information that is relevant to employees
  • They should have features to easily distribute company content to multiple internal communication channels and reach every employee
  • They should enable employees to share company content on their own social profiles with a few clicks. 

💡 Looking to expand your workplace tech stack? Learn about why every company needs an employee app and an employee engagement software!

The Importance of Internal Communication Tools for Your Organization

Before we dig deeper into the list of internal communication tools, let’s see why this software category is crucial for your employees’ work experience, productivity, and overall business success. 

💡 Related: What is an Employee Experience Platform and Why Your Company Needs One

Improve employee engagement and productivity

McKinsey Global Institute found that employees spend nearly 20% of their workweek looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks. Another research showed that over 29% of employees say poor internal communication is the main reason projects fail. 

a quote from workamajiq

Boost team and cross-functional collaboration

In the research about remote work by Buffer employees were asked about what has changed since they started working remotely. The majority (54%) of employees said “how I communicate and collaborate”.

Many remote and hybrid workplaces were, therefore, forced to enable their teams to communicate better virtually by implementing proper internal communication solutions. 

Improve knowledge sharing

According to this academic research about internal communication technology, there is a big correlation between knowledge sharing and technology in the workplace. 

Meaning, a proper tech stack in your organization can enable your people to share valuable knowledge with each other and encourage knowledge workers to share their expertise with their peers.

Decrease employee turnover

Research has also proved that connected workplaces are better at attracting and retaining talent – teamwork and good relationships within a workplace can be the most powerful weapon to fight high employee turnover. One research showed that 37% of employees say “working with a great team” is their primary reason for staying.

Furthermore, 54% of employees say a strong sense of community (great coworkers, celebrating milestones, a common mission) kept them at a company longer than was in their best interest. 

The right communication technology at work is critical for creating communities and improving the sense of belongingness. 

Build trust and better company culture

Internal communication is vital in any organization as it is the building block of the organization’s culture.

Frequent, honest, and open communication in the workplace are prerequisites for building and nurturing positive company culture. Yet, 4 out of 5 employees want to hear more frequently from their bosses about how their company is doing, and more than 90% of employees say they would rather hear bad news than no news.

Implementing communication tools such as social intranets can help companies become more transparent and make information easily accessible to every employee. 

💡 Related: 18 Leadership Communication Trends to Look For in 2022

Improve employee wellbeing

One of the main benefits of proper internal communication technology is to eliminate information overload, which is one of the main causes of stress in the workplace.

According to research:

  • 25% of workers experienced significant stress and poor health due to the volume of information they were required to process.
  • 36% of managers reported poor health due to the excessive information they were required to process in the workplace.

Modern tools are designed to deliver the right information to the right employees at the right time. The times when every piece of information is delivered to every employee are dead!

Measure the impact of internal communications

60% of communication professionals don’t have a concrete strategy in place to measure their internal communication efforts. In fact, calculating the ROI of internal communication initiatives is impossible without the right technology. 

a quote from iabc

Advanced employee communication platforms make it possible to tie internal communication initiatives to the ultimate business goals and understand the impact of internal communication on business success. 

How to Choose the Best Internal Communication Tool

In the previous section, we have listed multiple types of internal communication solutions a workplace can have. Now, we will dig deeper into how to choose the right solution. 

1. Features and functionalities

Different internal communication tools can have very different features and functionalities. When reviewing those, consider software with a more comprehensive list of functionalities. 

Also, think of things you may need in the future as well. For example, even though you may not need advanced analytics for your internal communications campaigns just yet, this is probably something you will want to have in the future. 

So look for a solution that can help you track your communications KPIs and align them with your biggest business goals such as employee engagement and productivity. 

2. Ease of use (user-friendliness)

User-friendliness is critical for user adoption. Unfortunately, many workplace technologies are still outdated, unintuitive, and not suitable for multigenerational workplaces

In his study, Josh Bersin found that while 59% of companies expected their new workplace platform to be easier to use, only 35% actually achieved that benefit.

a quick stat from josh bersin

Also, the solution you choose should be mobile-first so that frontline workers without a designated working space are never left out. 

3. Integrations

Having integrated workplace technology is one of the main priorities for CIOs and other IT professionals managing the communication and security aspects of the business.

In his annual report, Josh Bersin, the world’s well-known HR tech analyst, predicted that:

the industry’s emphasis this year will be on improving the employee experience through apps that are easy to use and integrate with existing tools. This “EX layer” includes communications, surveys, case and knowledge management…

Integrations are critical here!

When choosing an internal communication tool for your company, make sure that it easily integrates with crucial applications of your digital workplace or enables you to build your very own custom plug-ins by leveraging APIs

If you are using Microsoft 365 or Google Workspaces, make sure that your internal communications platform integrates well with them. 

4. Analytics

Tracking the success of internal communication is quite complex, and the stats speak for themselves: 60% of IC practitioners are still not measuring internal communication.

So look for a solution that offers robust analytics and insights with actionable recommendations for improvement. 

Such solutions can help you understand your audience and get employee engagement insights through reach and interaction tracking on posts, articles, and events. Furthermore, they should enable you to track employee sentiment through intelligent surveys and measure the understanding of company goals and values. 

5. White labeling

The look and feel of your internal communication tool should follow your company’s brand guidelines and corporate values. 

When choosing an IC tool for your company, look for a solution that offers white labeling. 

6. Security and compliance

Security and compliance are growing challenges for many internal communications professionals. Your employee communication software should at least be ISO27001-certified and GDPR-compliant

You, as the buyer, should be the data controller within the meaning of the GDPR and decide on the purpose and means of this data.

7. Future product directions

Trends in the internal communications space are ever-changing. The demand for employee communications technology has been growing rapidly, and it continues to grow. More and more, workplace technology has started to look like tools we got used to using in our private lives. People expect more personalization and bigger convenience than ever before.  

So when evaluating internal communication tools, make sure that you consider and investigate the company’s future product roadmap. Look for an innovative organization with a forward-looking mindset and vision. 

Top 5 Solutions In the Internal Communications Software Category

If you are in the phase of evaluating or choosing the right IC tool for your company, we can make your life easier. 

Recently, we did a detailed analysis of the 5 most prominent players in the internal communications app market. In this analysis, we used G2’s criteria for ranking internal communications tools. Here is an example:

current satisfaction ratings

The article offers a comprehensive review of some of the leading players in the internal communications app market:

  • Haiilo
  • Firstup
  • Staffbase
  • Beekeeper
  • Poppulo

In this article, you will also see a detailed explanation of this software category and why solutions such as Teams, Slack, Sharepoint, and others may not necessarily fall under this category. 

If you are looking for a powerful solution to improve your internal communication efforts and boost your employees’engagement at work, schedule a Haiilo demo today!

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