Leveraging the right internal communication tools plays a critical role in a company’s success. These tools not only streamline the flow of information but can also foster a positive corporate culture.
Recognizing the importance of improving internal communications, several recent research documents highlight the importance of prioritizing communication tools. For example, The Harris Poll/Grammarly 2023 State of Business Communication report states that 86% of business leaders are planning to streamline or integrate existing communication tools. This is because so many are feeling the “downsides” of poor communication.
The Axios HQ The 2023 state of essential workplace communications survey report states that, “To improve communication, leaders have to prioritize it — put it at the center of their business strategy, learn what readers need, invest in the tools to deliver it well, and build feedback loops so they can keep calibrating.”
Gallagher’s State of the Sector 2022/23 Internal Communication and Employee Experience report states that the top change program businesses had planned for 2023 was a system and technology change. This was to focus on new information and collaboration tools and a digital experience. “If anything,” the report states, “nearly half of organizations believed current levels of investment in technology were insufficient — and this rose to just over 50% in medium and large organizations.”
In this article, we’re going to provide insights into the importance of internal communication. We’ll explain what an internal communication tool is, and why these tools are vital. We are going to discuss the criteria needed to evaluate tools for internal communications. And finally, we’ll present our top 10 best internal communications tools for 2024. We’re going to briefly describe and evaluate these to help you make a well-informed decision that will suit your unique workplace needs.
What is Internal Communications?
Internal communications is a strategic business function that facilitates the exchange of information between those in any organization, from management to all the employees. This is achieved by using a variety of internal communication tools. They include instant messaging tools, employee communication software, and online collaboration tools. It’s all about creating open lines of communication within a business to ensure that everyone within it, from leaders to individual members of staff, remain connected.
Internal communications is a term that isn’t limited to corporations and large businesses. Whether we’re talking about small businesses, non-profit organizations, communities, or governments, it is a critical element in ensuring smooth operations. Modern internal communication strategies including tools like employee management apps, employee feedback apps, and internal communication platforms, have revolutionized the way we handle internal communications, making them much more efficient, interactive, and productive.
A really good internal communication strategy can lead to enhanced employee engagement, better team collaboration, and effective internal communications throughout the organization. To optimize this, many businesses use a variety of employee communication tools such as community channels, corporate communication tools, and internal newsletters.
Rob Forrester, a Forbes Councils Member and president of Guardian Agency, highlights the importance of keeping employees aligned with the vision, values, and objectives of an organization. ‘It has become increasingly challenging,” he says. “But in today’s era of hybrid work models, diverse career priorities, generational workforce dynamics and rapidly changing technological tools, the value of a strong internal communications culture cannot be overstated.”
At the same time, “When team members feel equipped, they are more productive, happy and committed to your organization.” That means that employees need the right internal communication tool or tools to get it right.
Importance of Internal Communication
It’s impossible to overstate the relevance of internal communication in the current corporate environment. Effective internal communication plays a significant role in increasing employee engagement, morale, and productivity. It also helps build a cohesive culture and enhances the overall efficiency of an organization.
“Effective internal communications play a significant role in developing a common understanding of meaningful work, which is crucial for nurturing a healthy workplace culture,” says Forrester.
Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings, and inefficiencies and can ultimately damage the company’s bottom line. The Harris Poll/Grammarly 2023 The State of Business Communication: The Path to Productivity, Performance, and Profit report states that 43% of business leaders correlate poor communication with decreased productivity. Additionally, 42% say it corresponds with missed deadlines, extended timelines, or increased time to resolution, and 38% say it relates to increased costs. These, they say, are the top three negative impacts of poor communication in the workplace.
But it doesn’t stop there. Business leaders also admit that ineffective communication can damage the top – or bottom – line of business. For example:
- 68% said they lost deals due to miscommunication and estimate it cost the company at least $10K per deal.
- 13% said lost deals cost them at least $50K.
- 1 in 5 said they had experienced an erosion of brand credibility because of poor communication.
While the report doesn’t provide a breakdown in terms of the size of businesses surveyed, it does state that both business leaders and knowledge workers were working full time at “corporations with 150 employees or more.” So, this implies that they were all relatively small organizations.
Nevertheless, it shows how essential it is to integrate effective communication that can help streamline communication, reduce misunderstandings, and maintain clear, consistent messaging.
Benefits of Internal Communication
Internal communication can drive an organization’s success at multiple levels. For instance, by utilizing employee email software, a social employee advocacy tool, or an effective collaboration platform, you can empower your employees to share information freely. At the same time, they can be encouraged to work together towards achieving common goals.
Effective employee communication can lead to increased job satisfaction, thereby reducing turnover rates and recruiting costs. It contributes to employees feeling valued and appreciated, which can significantly improve their levels of engagement and productivity.
There is no doubt that when staff members feel connected and valued, they will experience higher job satisfaction and are less likely to leave the organization.
Furthermore, an effective internal communication strategy will ensure that everyone in the organization is aware of the company’s goals and objectives. This strategy, combined with the right internal communication software, can help to unite team members. It will also ensure that everyone is moving in the same direction and towards the same targets.
Apart from the points mentioned above, there are countless other benefits including improved customer satisfaction, better decision-making, and innovation due to increased collaboration. With access to the right tools and strategies for internal communication, your company stands to gain a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace.
For more insights, check out our informative white paper, The Importance of Internal communication. It talks about the value of employee engagement and the tools we use to maximize its potential. It also gives tips on how to boost productivity and sheds light on how and why internal communications have become increasingly important. Additionally, the value of change communications is discussed with reference to mergers and acquisitions.
What Are Internal Communication Tools?
Tools used to enhance internal communication comprise essential platforms and software that help convey messages within an organization. These corporate communication tools play a pivotal role in ensuring efficient internal communication by allowing team members to share information, collaborate, and give feedback.
There is a broad spectrum of options available to meet a company’s specific needs including email, employee management apps, internal communication platforms, employee feedback apps, surveys, and analytical tools. There are also intranets, digital screens, employee social networks, and software that help companies manage employee communications and streamline communications within the organization.
Another benefit is that these tools can help reduce the need for face-to-face meetings, which ultimately saves time and money, and is a great help for remote workers. When employees want to open company messages as much as personal ones, that’s when you know you’ve done internal communication right.
In its The State of Organizations 2023 report, McKinsey and Company states that organizations are only as resilient as the people who work in it. This is why it’s vital for business leaders to do all they can to develop the adaptability of their employees. Importantly, they must “equip them with tools that allow them to work as quickly as situations dictate.”
Developers of a project management tool, Project.co states that, according to 62% of those canvassed, email is the most widely used tool for client communication. Additionally, 31% of employees say they communicate with their co-workers primarily through email, while 30% say they use online chat tools like Slack. The balance uses a project management tool (15%), phone (7%), or prefer to work face-to-face (also 7%). The remaining 10% use some other type of communication tool.
Why Are Internal Communication Tools Important?
Internal communication tools facilitate effective workplace communication by establishing a seamless platform for sharing information, discussing ideas, and building relationships among team members. These tools fill the gap that might exist due to geographical distribution, different time zones, and varying workflows that we all encounter in most modern-day business operations.
Diverse Aspects of Internal Communications
The essence of internal communication lies not just in an interchange of words but in fostering a culture where every voice matters. Whether it’s a corporate communication tool, an employee SMS tool, or some kind of internal communication software, the primary aim is to promote an open dialogue between management and employees.
Social media currently plays a massive part in this by providing a community channel for interaction. This proves that effective internal communications don’t always need to be formal.
Criteria for Evaluating Internal Communication Tools
Choosing the right tools for internal communication is a crucial step for effective and successful internal communication strategies. The appropriate tools can foster open dialogue and transparency, improve productivity, and increase employee engagement. The best internal communication software needs to fit your organization’s unique needs so it can enhance overall communication.
However, finding the perfect internal communication solution from the myriad of options available can be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve outlined some critical criteria that can guide your decision-making process and ensure you choose the best internal communication and employee management app to fit your organizational needs.
In his Forbes article, Rob Forrester urges organizations to select the right tools for effective internal communications. He points out that there are hundreds of technological options that any internal communicator can use. His advice makes 100% sense,
“Before you gravitate toward the latest platform on the market, take inventory of everything you need in an internal communications tool so that you can choose an option that best addresses your specific needs. Recognize that multiple audiences may exist within your organization, each with different preferences for communication, so several tools might be needed. However, be mindful of not overwhelming your staff with unnecessary communication channels.” Rob Forrester
Here are other important criteria to keep in mind.
In today’s fast-paced world, organizations need intuitive and easy-to-use internal communication tools. A complex tool can put users off, resulting in low adoption rates, and ultimately defeating its purpose. Therefore, user-friendliness is a must-have feature to improve the uptake and effectiveness of your chosen internal communication tool.
Typically, a user-friendly internal communication platform has a clean, intuitive, and interactive interface. It should be easy to navigate and person-friendly for those with varied, and sometimes limited, technical skill sets. Some excellent examples of user-friendly communication tools include instant messaging tools, collaboration tools, and employee feedback apps.
Another vital criterion for choosing the best tools for your internal communications is their ability to seamlessly integrate with other existing systems in your organization. An excellent internal communication tool should not work in isolation but should serve as a unifier that brings together various other tools that your team is working with. It should integrate with social media, email tracking, email lists, and other digital tools to create a unified communication strategy.
For instance, if your organization already uses an email template builder or uses a specific distribution list management tool for internal communications, the best additional tools you can choose will integrate easily with these systems. This functionality will improve workflow and promote efficient data sharing and communication among team members. This, in turn, will boost employee engagement and productivity.
In an era where data breaches are commonplace security cannot be overstated. The communication tools you choose should be designed with excellent security features to protect sensitive internal information. Encryption, two-factor authentication, and advanced permissions are some security implementations worth considering.
Moreover, you should ensure that your provider is able to demonstrate a commitment to user safety through compliance with data protection regulations. An ideal internal communication tool should possess vital features like data encryption and secure file storage and transfer. These types of solutions provide peace of mind by ensuring that internal communications are not an easy target for cyberattacks.
Ultimately, the process of choosing a suitable internal communication tool requires a keen, well-practiced, and educated eye that will identify important specifics. Always focus on the unique needs of your organization coupled with the tool’s ability to meet these needs adequately. User-friendliness, integration capabilities, and security are not just buzzwords. They are crucial factors that will determine the overall effectiveness of your internal communications strategy. Don’t ignore them.
Our Top 10 Best Internal Communication Tools
Effective internal communications are the backbone of a well-functioning organization. With the help of the best internal communication tools, businesses can assure smooth coordination among team members and increase employee engagement.
Here are the top 10 tools we suggest using for your internal communication strategy. We’re going to briefly explain what each one is and then outline its benefits.
1. Internal Email
What is an Internal Email?
There is no doubt that one of the most common internal communication tools is internal email. This corporate communication tool connects employees within an organization using the company’s private email server. Distribution lists make it easy to send tailored messages to specific units or the entire workforce.
Benefits of Internal Email:
Internal email serves as a secure channel for sharing company bulletins, policy updates, or even surveys. This internal communication tool provides clear communication, file-sharing options, and email tracking, and can even be customized using an email template builder. The best platform will enable you to segment your employee audience so that the right people get the right message.
2. Company Newsletter
What is an Employee Newsletter?
A company newsletter is an internal communication tool that organizations use to keep employees informed about company news, changes in the organization, updates to programs and initiatives, recognition, and so on. It is easy to create a wide variety of newsletter types and styles using a reliable template builder. Once complete, employee newsletters are often distributed via email lists in a digital format. Some companies still print newsletters in-house.
Benefits of an Internal Newsletter:
Company newsletters can be used successfully to encourage employer-employee communication and foster a sense of community within an organization. Moreover, they can be used as a vehicle for employee recognition, making them an excellent tool for boosting morale and engagement. They are also a valuable asset for holiday messaging.
3. Employee Mobile App
What is an Employee Mobile App?
A mobile employee communication app is a platform that’s designed specifically to streamline workforce communication. These internal communication software tools provide an array of features including instant messaging, and the ability to share documents, schedules, and surveys. When you opt for an employee mobile app, you can usually base your choice on which features you need.
Benefits of an Employee Mobile App:
Access to an employee management app facilitates real-time updates, promotes engagement, and offers amazing ease of being able to communicate on the go. As a result, team members can stay connected and informed, enhancing collaboration and productivity. It’s also an invaluable tool for organizations with remote workers.
4. Video Conferencing Tool
What is a Video Conferencing Tool?
A video conferencing tool is a specialized type of software used for internal communications. software that enables face-to-face communication over the Internet. These tools often include features such as screen sharing, live chats, and recording capabilities. There are a huge number of options available to suit every type and size of organization.
Benefits of Video Conferencing:
Video conferencing increases the effectiveness of communication. It also helps to foster a strong collaborative environment. Video conferencing also saves time and resources on what used to be essential travel. It helps remote teams feel more connected and engaged with colleagues and management because they can see and identify with each other irrespective of where they are geographically.
5. Employee Surveys
What are Employee Surveys?
Employee surveys are essentially online questionnaires that look for feedback from employees about various workplace-related issues. With the help of employee feedback apps, organizations can circulate employee surveys easily. They can also use analytics to measure feedback.
Benefits of Employee Surveys:
Employee surveys can be incredibly beneficial for internal communications. They provide insight into employee satisfaction, pinpoint areas for improvement, and offer an invaluable channel for anonymous feedback when this is the preferred option.
6. Forums and Chats
What are Forums and Chats?
Forums and chats form an integral part of employee communication software and serve as internal communication platforms. They provide an open platform for employees to share knowledge, have informal conversations, and discuss projects in a relatively informal environment.
Benefits of Forums and Chats:
Forums and chats promote a culture of transparency and collaboration and can be an excellent source of innovation and problem-solving in an organization. They can reduce email clutter and provide for faster, more efficient communication.
7. Project Management Tool
What is a Project Management Tool?
A project management tool is an online collaboration tool that helps teams plan, organize, and manage their work. This platform type commonly offers the ability to assign tasks, track progress, share documents, and collaborate efficiently.
Benefits of Project Management Tools:
Project management tools help maintain transparency, ensuring effective internal communication, and providing a clear view of project timelines and responsibilities. These tools significantly improve productivity and efficiency in a team.
8. Instant Messaging Tool
What is an Instant Messaging Tool?
An instant messaging (IM) tool is an application or type of software that enables real-time communication through text-based messages. IM forms a crucial part of the internal communication strategy by providing a quick and efficient mode of communication.
Benefits of Instant Messaging in the Workplace:
IM tools ensure communication is fast, convenient, and reliable. They can significantly speed up decision-making, ensure fast resolution of queries, and even foster a sense of community and better relationships among team members.
9. Team Collaboration Tool
What is a Team Collaboration Tool?
A team collaboration tool is an application or platform that is designed to facilitate team interaction and work. Whether it’s sharing documents, scheduling meetings, or carrying out brainstorming sessions, these apps are multifunctional.
Benefits of Team Collaboration Tools:
Collaboration tools promote team unity, improve productivity, and facilitate effective internal communication. They can help keep track of conversations, provide a historical record, and ensure everyone is on the same page.
10. Event Management Tool
What is an Event Management Tool?
An event management tool is a platform designed to assist in the organization and execution of corporate events. They aid in tasks such as registration, ticketing, and attendee tracking, among others. While they are designed for organizations that plan, organize, and run events, these tools can also be used for smaller internal organization events.
Benefits of Event Management Tools:
Event management tools offer numerous benefits such as easy organization, oversight of event progress, automated processes, and, most importantly, they help to ensure a successful event.
Importance of Measuring the Success of Communication Tools
Writing for Forbes, Angela Ivey, director of corporate communications at Insperity, says that when teams have spent effort and valuable time on communication tools and other resources, it’s important to assess the results. You need to confirm successful initiatives and identify any areas that were weak and haven’t been performing well. You also need to pursue any opportunities that emerge that will increase all-important employee engagement.
There are various reasons why this is so important. Measuring success:
- Helps business leaders evaluate whether the chosen communication tools are effective in conveying messages. Measuring success allows businesses to determine if the intended messages are reaching the right audience and if they are being understood as intended.
- Is important for the allocation of resources. When you understand the success of communication tools you can allocate resources more effectively. This allows organizations to invest in tools and platforms that are likely to yield the best results and reallocate resources from less effective channels.
- Helps to measure improvement and provide insights into what works and what doesn’t. This information is crucial for adapting and improving communication strategies. By identifying shortcomings, organizations can make necessary adjustments to enhance their communication methods.
- Allows team leaders to assess employee engagement. There is no doubt that effective communication tools foster better engagement among employees. And measuring success helps in identifying the tools and methods that resonate most with the workforce, leading to higher engagement levels.
- Is vital when it comes to measuring and assessing the return on investment (ROI). Management can gauge how well resources and efforts in communication are translating into desired outcomes.
- Will tell whether or not tools align with organizational goals. Measuring their success ensures that the communication strategies are contributing to these broader objectives.
Check out our FREE ROI Calculator for Internal Communications to simplify measuring and assessing your communication tools.
Cerkl Broadcast is user-friendly, reassuringly secure, and designed for seamless integration with other communication systems. The capabilities of the platform offer a combination of “tools” including Email Blasts, dynamic newsletters, surveys, and a powerful employee communication app.
Whether you have a staff contingent that primarily works on-site or a large remote workforce, Broadcast will enable you to take your internal strategy to the next level.
These are tools that help streamline communication, enhance collaboration, and ensure that information flows effectively within the organization.
Writing, speaking, listening, and non-verbal communication are generally considered to be the four tools of communication. Whether used individually or together, they form the basis of how we exchange information and ideas in various contexts.
We use so many communication tools, it’s impossible to highlight the one that is most effective. It depends on specific situations, the preferences of those involved, and the intended outcome of communication. However, email is undoubtedly the most common of all the internal communication tools, and employee apps are the most effective, especially for remote workers. In most cases, organizations opt to use a combination of tools.
Email, Intranet, messaging apps, and collaboration software of various types usually feature in an internal communication system. But there are a myriad of options available.