There are countless options under the umbrella of “internal communication tools": intranets, messaging platforms, surveys, digital signage, newsletters. What combination is right for you? Which ones will genuinely improve your current comms?
Here are our five favorite types of tools, their benefits, and our picks in each category.
1. Inclusive Intranets
An intranet is designed as a centralized channel for internal communications in which employees can share and access information. As such, an intranet is the communicator's multifunctional hub.
In addition to sharing documents, photos, and general information, intranets also function as an internal "homepages," increasing the visibility of important company notifications. Dedicated sections and channels allow employees to access all available, but can focus on the subject areas relevant to them.
Successfully implemented with inclusivity in mind, an intranet improves internal communication, connects a company across locations, helps employees easily find valuable information, simplifies onboarding, provides organizational clarity, and encourages collaboration.
Our Pick: Staffbase Employee Experience Intranet
- Mobile first: Staffbase makes your company intranet accessible on the go with a mobile app, downloaded directly from the app stores onto employee phones.
- Segmented: Beyond targeted news, the Employee Experience Intranet can be tailored to each employee, right down to the menu buttons.
- Easy to learn and manage: No code necessary. Easily add multiple local editors and get them posting in no time.
- Measure impact: Get data-driven reports on employee activity and engagement and prove your communication’s impact using one sleek dashboard.
2. Team Bonding Plugins
Many companies view internal communication as something that’s top down, from executives to employees. But what about lateral communication? The effective use of lateral communication in the workplace can enhance productivity by making information sharing, problem solving, collaboration, and conflict resolution more efficient.
What's more, the way employees communicate with each other is what creates an environment of great work. That’s why tools that actively encourage employees to communicate more effectively are so important, especially at organizations with remote teams, or in companies with steep departmental barriers.
Our Pick: Donut
- Integrates with Slack
- Two employees are randomly matched to take part in a “get to know each other” Slack call.
3. Video Conferencing
I know what you're thinking—no, duh.
However, it stands to reiterate the value of a video chat tool that allows dispersed or remote members of your workforce to collaborate in a way that's more natural and productive than the average voice call or slack message.
Without body language or facial expressions, you limit yourself to information obtained and offered through tone or text, and part of the message could be easily missed.
This is especially true in a group setting, where observing how other members of the group react to a speaker provides valuable information. With video chat, you can see how any person reacts to the speaker at any given time, as well as being able to more clearly understand the speaker yourself through visual clues.
Our Pick: Zoom
- Easy to get started: Offers free, 40-minute conference calls with up to 100 attendees
4. Employee Engagement Analytics
You can't manage what you don't measure, and so data-gathering on the employee experience front is a must.
High-quality analytics make it simple to get clear, easy-to-understand reporting on engagement initiatives and employee satisfaction. Taking action based on these results is the difference between companies that experience positive cultural transformation and those that don’t and risk comms stagnation.
Employee engagement is paramount to attracting and retaining talent – and remaining competitive in the global market. Research shows a direct link between employee engagement and corporate performance.Tim Young, VP of Workday
Our Pick: Peakon
- Improve retention: Customers have reduced turnover by as much as 50%, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in training and recruitment costs each year.
- Manager priorities: Personalized insights managers need to improve their teams, backed up with real data.
- Advanced segmentation: Deep dive on issues by segmenting employee data any way you want; manager, office, tenure, sales performance, and more.
- Real-time dashboards: Instantly identify issues and track the impact of your changes over time.
- Enterprise ready: Translated into over 50 languages. Able to support hundreds of thousands of employees.
5. Employee Apps
In the past, internal communications strategies that relied on low-readership employee magazines or in-house intranet content often earned a reputation for draining resources without having much impact. Leveraging mobile app technology, on the other hand, can play an integral role in reaching employees, connecting strategy with operations, and helping companies thrive.
Employee apps utilizing push notifications can be an effective and secure channel for connecting dispersed workers who lack corporate email addresses or regular access to desktop computers, such as non-desk and/or remote workers, as well as freelancers, non-contract employees, temps, etc.
As more and more people work this way, an employee app can provide them with easy access to corporate information and workplace tools, targeted for practicality and relevance, and promoting alignment and engagement.
Our Pick: Staffbase Employee App
- Frontline engagement: Integrate, engage, and allows for communication with all employees easily and quickly, on a unified platform.
- No training needed: Developed and designed with accessibility in mind. Easily broadcast and manage content with our straightforward publishing system. The analytics dashboard makes measuring your entire communications strategy a snap.
- Branded: Everything from color and icon selection to the app name can be personalized.
- Out-of-the-box integrations: Integrates with the software your organization relies on like, SAP, Office 365 and SharePoint.