Are you looking for the best internal communication tools, the most effective employee communication tools or the most popular internal communications software? We’ve compiled a list of the top internal communications tools for you!
The modern workplace is evolving.
With the rise of information technology, employees can now work from any location, making it essential for internal communicators to introduce innovative internal communications tools and tactics that strive to bolster employee engagement.
The problem is there are now so many different types of online communication tools with different functions that it’s often overwhelming to decide which one to pick.
Moreover, it is often difficult to predict whether any of these corporate internal communication tools will increase productivity or cause the workforce to become more distracted.
We feel your pain!
That’s why we’ve compiled and categorized the top online internal communication tools and platforms that are excellent for managing team communication and improving productivity in the workplace.
Moreover, if used in the right way, they can help you create engaging internal communications that can improve employee engagement. If you need creative ways to communicate with employees, read on:
What Types of Internal Communication Tools Are Out There?
Before we reveal our top picks for the best internal communication tools, we think it’s important to acknowledge there are different types of tools that accomplish different goals. For instance, if you’re trying to get a message in front of employees, you don’t need a survey tool, you need a newsletter tool.
That’s why when you’re adding a new communication tool to your internal comms stack, you need to ask yourself, “What goal does this tool help me achieve?
We’ve broken down our list into the following categories and distilled the internal communications goals that each type of tool is good for. We’ve also identified some fantastic tools in each category so you don’t have to!
Types of Corporate Communication Tools:
- Mobile App
- Chat / Forums
- Collaboration Tools
- Social Media
- Recognition and Rewards
- Communications Planning
Disclaimer: This is by no means a comprehensive list. We encourage you to add to this list by telling us which online collaboration tools have worked for your internal communications in the comments below.
1. Newsletter Tools for Internal Communications
When talking about internal communication tools, internal communications email software for email tracking is one of the best investments you can make to improve internal communications.
Email is the cornerstone of any successful internal communications strategy: without it, your other platforms would collapse.
Advantages of Email Newsletters for Corporate Communications
- All employees are already expected to check their work emails, so you have a captive audience for your newsletter
- Newsletters help syndicate every other channel of internal communication, including your videos, podcasts, recognition, and PR
- Regularly scheduled newsletters offer transparency and insight into the company’s performance as a whole
- Mobile proliferation of email means that employees are more likely to be checking their email, with 55% of emails being opened on a mobile device and 40% of workers admitting to checking their work email at least 5 times a day outside of the work day
- Newsletters allow employees to hear news about a company before the news makes the rounds in the media
- Internal-only tools keep your email contacts on your own IT servers rather than going through a third party
- Newsletters are the best way to communicate change to employees.
The Best Internal Newsletter Service On The Market
ContactMonkey should definitely be your go-to platform for company-wide announcements, sending responsive email newsletters, collecting real-time feedback or for any other critical information that requires a serious response. Unlike marketing email tools like Mailchimp, our newsletter tool is specifically designed for internal communicators.
Katie Kraley, Marketing Communications Specialist at Mettler Toldeo, struggled with using external tools for her eNews and newsletters. She was using a variety of tools, but since none of them were designed for internal communications she had to manually transfer her work into Outlook- unfortunately since none of the tools were designed for Outlook, most of her email templates came with rendering issues.
With ContactMonkey, she was able to have a drag and drop HTML email builder, analytics, and tracking features all within Outlook. Having a one-stop-shop for internal communications helped Katie save 4 hours of work per week or 25 days of work in a year! Check out our plans and pricing to find the best plan for your communications needs.
We faced challenges with Mailchimp. Since we had to leave Outlook to use Mailchimp, we found it was double the work to maintain distribution lists in both Outlook and Mailchimp. The HTML build in Mailchimp was also difficult to use as it didn’t work well with older versions of Outlook, compromising the layout.
What’s great about this newsletter tool?
- ContactMonkey seamlessly integrates into your Outlook or Gmail inbox so you stay where you work.
- You can track every email open and link click so you know how many employees are being reached.
- Use our drag-and-drop email template builder to create and send responsive emails to employees.
- Create & send mass personalized emails to your Outlook distribution lists and Google groups.
- Obtain employee feedback by adding pulse surveys, social reactions, star ratings & Like buttons!
- Integrate your own pictures, videos, podcasts, and other media directly into your newsletter AND track their viewership.
2. Video as an Internal Communication Tool
Video Killed the Radio Star back in 1980, and almost 40 years later video is more dominant than ever. With Millenials (born between 1980-1995) representing some 50% of the workforce, and Generation Z (1995-2015) beginning to join the workforce, video is a force to be reckoned with.
A growing segment of your workforce has never held a job when YouTube wasn’t a household name. Plus, with a vast majority of workers carrying a smartphone, access to high quality video production isn’t even a luxury anymore. Considering that 48% of workers consider video to be the most engaging form of communication, you would be remiss not to incorporate video into your internal communications.
How to Use Video for Internal Communications
Luckily, “video” is such a broad category that we can think of several ways to incorporate video into your internal communications strategy.
- Use video to improve onboarding for new hires
- Create “how-to” videos for internal processes
- Design an engaging “explainer” video or internal webinar
- Film “a day in the life” of different functions
- Share conference recaps for those who couldn’t attend in person
- Create video demonstrations of new product releases
- Add a video digest to your internal newsletters
Our Favourite Video Tools for Internal Communications
While the go to brand for video seems to be YouTube, it’s not always a great choice for internal communications since the platform is designed to be public. Enterprise level video hosting is a much better option to secure your content.
We like Vidyard for adding video to corporate communications. Their enterprise solutions have flexible levels of security that are sure to please your IT department, including password protection to keep your internal content internal. Plus, Vidyard can automatically personalize your videos for specific individuals or departments. Not to mention, you can embed your Vidyard videos directly into your employee newsletters for content your employees will love!
3. Video Conferencing for Internal Communications
When it comes to choosing from one of the best internal communication tools, the answer may be to look for an old fashioned video conferencing software. With satellite offices, remote workers, and the odd external freelancer or consultant, it’s important to get it right the first time when it comes to conference calling. Click To Tweet
How to Use Video Conferencing for Internal Communications
- Collaborate with remote teams
- Use face-to-face conferencing to bolster conversations
- Take advantage of screen sharing to easily share data or processes
- For tricky situations, you can help a remote party out by taking over their screen
Our Favourite Conferencing Tool for Employee Communications
We’re a big fan of Zoom Video Communications for video conferencing. Zoom Video Communications is designed to improve communication in the workplace by enabling online collaboration that can enhance team communication.
Some of the best things about Zoom include:
- You can host online meetings, conduct video webinars and use the Business Instant Messaging feature for cross platform messaging and file sharing.
- The Zoom Rooms feature puts high-quality video, audio and web conferencing in any sized room.
- Zoom Rooms digital signage is a great tool for corporate internal communications.
4. Intranet for Internal Communications
Sometimes called “corporate social networks”, intranet can be a powerful tool for fostering internal communication across large organizations. Intranet makes it easy for employees to see new content, and to share relevant articles, guides, and ideas across teams and departments.
How to Use Intranet for Internal Communications
When it comes to intranets, the options are practically limitless. There’s a high degree of customization available, but we’ve helped narrow down some of the key highlights:
- Introduce new ideas via a blog or activity feed
- Discuss new information and foster company wide interaction
- Create a corporate culture across any distance
- Debate and improve company wide initiatives
- Foster employee engagement
Our Favourite Intranet Platform for Internal Communications
Jostle is a cloud-based intranet software that can help boost employee engagement.
Jostle prides itself on providing you with an intranet that strives to provide clear information architecture that helps streamline communication in the workplace.
According to their website, their intuitive intranet helps you “improve employee engagement, express your culture, and make communication happen.”
It’s excellent for team communication and for corporate internal communications. Jostle lets you:
- Connect all your employees regardless of where they’re working from.
- Check out the latest company news with ease.
- Simplify event planning, letting everyone know what’s happening and when via the “Events” tab.
- See who does what while the people tab gives you access to the entire employee directory in the “Teams” tab.
5. Using an App for Internal Communication
Are you working with remote or non-desk workers? Or looking for an online collaboration tool that enables you to streamline your internal communications and increase employee engagement?
There’s an app for that.When your employees are mobile or in non-desk positions, you need a solution that works in any location. Click To Tweet
Enter the employee app, a mobile hub for office and remote employees alike. While an app can house important information for employees, you also have the added benefit of sending push notifications if you have an urgent bulletin.
Ways to Use an App for Internal Communications
- Publish news, articles, and other company updates
- Host resources including employee directories and resources
- Replace or supplement your intranet
- Send push notifications
Our Top Choice for Internal Corporate Apps
Without a doubt, Staffbase is one of the best employee apps to improve workplace communication! It’s an all in one solution for communication, information, and workplace services, which is ultra convenient for employees searching for answers or company updates.
- Publish company news, short updates and documents and get feedback with comments and likes.
- Use plugins for all your internal communications needs including company news, employee directories, chat, maps, surveys, and more!
- Import existing intranets, your blog or social media using the app.
- Send push notifications to make sure everyone gets the message.
- Be customized with your corporate branding.
6. Forums and Chat for Internal Communications
Sometimes, internal communications isn’t about passing news down the chain, sometimes it’s about fostering ways for employees to collaborate, and forums help do exactly that. Rather than be the point person for everything and everything, an effective communicator also facilitates other channels for people to speak to the right person. An open and unrestricted exchange of ideas is just the ticket for teams that need to collaborate across departments and cities. Click To Tweet
Forums can exist within an intranet, or become separate spaces solely for collaboration.
Benefits of Corporate Forums and Chat for Internal Communications
- Allows anyone at the company to share updates or ask questions.
- Empower employees to collaborate and help one another across departments and locations.
- Breaks down physical and perceived barriers between employees.
- Promotes employee engagement.
Our Favourite Corporate Forum for Communicating Internally
Although Slack still hasn’t killed good old email, we have to say that as a collaboration tool, Slack is still pretty effective. Slack allows people to subscribe to channels that are pertinent to their role or interest, helping reduce some of the noise that can come from a traditional chat room or forum. Because users can participate in all kinds of channels, Slack is a powerful tool for facilitating communication in the workplace.
Perhaps one of Slack’s greatest strengths is that it can integrate with plenty of other apps and workflows, including ticketing, support and sales, to ensure the right people see the right messages. But if you want to send important company announcements, the best practice for corporate communication is a more formal platform such as email.
7. Surveys for Measuring Engagement and Internal Communications
Metrics are a subject on every communicator’s mind, and you can be sure surveys are one of the surest ways to get metrics on internal communications and employee engagement. Surveys can mean many different things to many people.
Is the only survey you send your annual eNPS?
A monthly pulse check?
Perhaps a survey is something less formal, such as an event planning poll or an emoji reaction to a company update. Regardless of the type or frequency, surveys are an essential tool for every internal communicator.
A Price Waterhouse Cooper study showed that increased employee engagement leads to better performance and decreased turnover, and can also allow management to pre-emptively intervene before engagement diminishes to disinterest. Surveys are a great way to improve communication between management and employees.
How to Use Surveys to Measure Employee Engagement
- Use eNPS Surveys to gauge employee retention efforts
- Open ended questions can provide insight and feedback regarding the strengths and struggles of a team
- Discover how much or how little recognition workers receive, as well as how much they need to stay engaged
Best Employee Survey Tools for Measuring Employee Engagement
As far as survey tools go, we’re fans of OfficeVibe. While their mission is to make the workplace more human, their model is based on science, simplicity, and safety. This means you can be sure that you receive actionable data while keeping your employee’s anonymity in high regard. Leaders who are trying to improve communication between management and employees can follow up on anonymous feedback without the employee sacrificing their anonymity.
OfficeVibe’s weekly pulse surveys are designed to visualize feedback into data and insights that allow managers to better understand what’s driving or hindering performance. Rather than surveys of old, their quick and minimal approach is non-intrusive and inviting for employees. That said, ContactMonkey’s emoji reactions, pulse surveys and comments features is also a fantastic way to get feedback on a specific topic from your newsletters without having to use separate tools or channels!
7. Using Podcasts for Internal Communication and Engagement
Regardless of where it is your employees work, whether its at a desk, in a factory, or on the road, one thing remains certain: human attention is a scarce resource. Screens are everywhere, but your employees need to keep their eyes on the prize.
Enter the podcast.
The younger, cooler sibling of the radio shows of yore.
Compared to more traditional mediums, podcasts offer a fresh way of delivering content in a more intimate medium. By using real voices, you can cement your internal brand as one that humanizes its people.
Not to mention, podcasts are booming in popularity! Over 42 million people listen to podcasts weekly, and you can bet that some of those people are among the ranks in your workforce. The way you engage your employees should mirror the technologies they use for recreation.
Don’t believe us? Try tracking how your podcast performs from your internal email.
Benefits of Internal Podcasts for Employees
- Podcasts are easy to consume on the go; podcasts are normally consumed during commutes, business travel, at the gym, and all other times employees are not at desks.
- C-Suite executives and senior leadership can speak to the workforce directly, which generates transparency and trust.
- Complex information can be delivered in a more interesting way.
- 73 million Americans listen to podcasts on a regular basis (42 million are listening weekly!)
Tools for Creating an Internal Podcast
While we’ve already created a great guide to creating internal podcasts, we also recommend trying Storyboard. Storyboard was designed specifically for internal communicators to create, manage, and measure enterprise level internal podcasts. With unlimited episode hosting, listener analytics, feedback modules, and privacy features, you can be sure that your podcast is getting the reach you need.
8. Collaboration Tools for Team Communication
Even businesses with the best organization have to deal with plenty of everyday technical, logistical, and communications obstacles to doing business. Getting things done can be particularly tricky in the age of remote collaboration and long-distance clients–this makes it tricky to find solutions.
Project planning and collaboration tools help teams meet these challenges by allowing them to divide up the work in a way that plays to everyone’s strengths, monitor workflow in real-time, and provide feedback to the project manager.
Why Use Collaboration and Project Management Tools?
- File Sharing/Management is made easier when all your contributors are looking for information in the same place. Plus, this transparent workflow ensures each team member understands where each project stands.
- Communication within teams is improved when there is a relevant and clutter free medium to discuss the project. Project management tools help streamline information and avoid bottomless reply-all email threads.
- Task management helps all stakeholders see what work was done, when, and by whom.
Best Collaboration Tools for Project Management
Want to stop the madness of disorganized team correspondence? Trello enables you to know who’s doing what and what needs to get done at one glance. It enables you to have access to a lot of information in one collaborative location.
Trello displays information in a Kanban board so your team can see at a glance what needs to be done and what is still in progress. You are able to comment and share files within each task so the relevant tools and stakeholders are never more than a click away.
9. Digital Signage for Internal Communications
One of the best ways to generate a buzz with your internal communications is to put them on display for the whole team to see! Enter digital signage, which essentially takes over wall mounted screens to display your internal communications messaging.
Digital signage can be extremely productive in high traffic areas such as a cafeteria or near an elevator. Where digital signage shines is its ability to segment messages by location. If you have workers in a factory or lab, you may want to share different messages than what you share with desk staff. Or perhaps you have a message regarding a certain section of the office or a certain department, you can ensure that the message is in front of the right people.
Advantages of Using Digital Signage for Internal Communications
- Always on messages are sure to get both passive and active attention
- Showing performance dashboards can help employees stay aligned with the company goals and vision
Best Tools for Internal Communicators Using Digital Signage
SnapComms is a digital signage provider taking charge in the internal communications space. They offer a scalable hardware solution that is complemented with cloud software. SnapComms allows your team to control company signage from wherever you are situated, not wherever the sign is.
SnapComms offers segmenting, advance scheduling, and display reporting. Best of all, SnapComms plays nice with hardware you already have so you’re not stuck with a dedicated digital signage machine and all the headache that entails.
10. Social Networking as a Company Communication Platform
No, we’re not suggesting that you blast your internal communications all over Facebook or LinkedIn (although if you can, power to you.) Nor are we suggesting you have to build your own social network from scratch like Shopify’s UNICORN.
The fact of the matter is that 73% of adults aged 18-65 using social media regularly, social platforms are one of the go to sources to find information or updates. Though some employees may not want to use their personal profiles for work, intranet based social platforms are easy to set up and offer a host of benefits.
Benefits of Internal Social Networks
- Easily share updates across departments and locations
- Create a more interconnected staff base where members from all departments can ask questions or answer questions
- Foster collaboration and develop interdepartmental relationships
The Best Social Networking Platform for Internal Communications
As a social networking platform, Yammer is great for effective internal communication in the workplace.
It is one of the best internal communication tools for online collaboration. Yammer facilitates team communication and streamlines internal communications by involving various teams on projects and ideas.
It operates much like any social networking platform does. You need to make a profile of yourself, add in your area of expertise, location and contact information and you’re all set. Plus Yammer is part of Office 365, making it easy to create and edit content right from the app.
11. Recognition and Reward Platforms for Employee Engagement
The number one reason people leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated. When there is an absence of recognition, employees lose motivation in their work and look for newer more motivating roles. A study from Deloitte notes that :
“Organizations with recognition programs which are highly effective at enabling employee engagement had 31% lower voluntary turnover than organizations with ineffective recognition programs.”
Which makes sense. On a basic human level, we all want to be seen and appreciated. Timely deliverance of praise and recognition can make the difference between high employee retention and high employee turnover. Click To Tweet We all know that turnover can be costly, which is why C-Suite Executives are looking towards internal communicators to help kill that cost.
There is a misconception that employee recognition has to be lavish or expensive. We won’t argue that incentives and prizes are nice. They may even be warranted for large scale achievements. But even verbal praise has its business benefits.
Benefits of Using an Employee Recognition Platform
- Increases employee productivity
- Retain your top performers
- Build an enviable workplace culture
- Increase employee motivation
Our Favourite Employee Recognition Tool
If you’re searching for an effective recognition and rewards platform you should consider Bucketlist.
Bucketlist makes recognizing the commitment and dedication of employees easy. With Bucketlist, you can easily use one click to recognize hard working employees. Employees can choose their own rewards or select from over 10,000 ideas and share success stories on social media. You can get detailed reporting so you understand the return on investment.
Bucketlist also facilitates internal communication and employee engagement by making it easy for employees and managers to recognize each other for milestones and key achievements.
12. Planning Tools for Internal Communicators
Whether you’ve got an IC team or you’re flying solo and need to stay organized with your internal stakeholders, a good planning tool is paramount to your success!
And while we can all get behind pen and paper for the quick and dirty to do list or reminder, a one stop shop that your team and stakeholders can access is key. For those that like to plan in advance, a planning tool with a calendar can help you keep track of deadlines and events.
Benefits of Planning Tools For Internal Communication Teams
- A transparent workflow ensures that each team member and stakeholder knows where each project stands
- Information is streamlined to reduce unnecessary questions and email threads.
- Task management helps all stakeholders see what work was done, when, and by whom.
Our Recommended Communications Planning Tool
Basecamp is an online collaboration tool that is great for project management. It is a team communication software that can be used easily by internal communicators. It has an easy-to use intuitive interface that enables you to add new projects & check out the latest updates or discussions.
You can use the “catch up” button to see what’s happening or view the next six weeks with all the to-do items using the “calendar” feature. There is also a “progress” button that gives you a breakdown of all the projects and display them to you in a timeline format.
There are multiple to-do lists for each project, making Basecamp one of the ideal internal communication tools for corporate communications.
Sounds like a great way to facilitate two-way communication in the workplace and boost employee engagement!
13. Graphics Creation Software for Internal Communicators
Whether you’re using newsletters or publishing internal blogs, a good graphic can take your copy to the next level!
Even if you’re already using a beautiful responsive HTML newsletter template, you have to remember that your employees are receiving dozens, maybe even hundreds, of emails each day. No matter how well written your copy is, an eye-catching visual or infographic can help anchor your messaging.
Benefits of Using Graphics for Internal Communications:
- Employees are more likely to remember content delivered with images
- Improve storytelling within newsletters
- 90% of information sent to the brain is visual
Our Recommended Graphics Creation Tool for Internal Communicators
When it comes to creating stunning visuals, infographics, and data visualization, it’s hard to beat Venngage. Venngage is one of the most effective internal communication tools on the market for visualizing data and creating graphics. From hundreds of professionally designed templates to their easy to use drag and drop builder, Venngage delivers an amazing experience for content creators.
The tool comes with hundreds of different charts, icons, pictograms and widgets so that you can easily create professional-looking visuals.
I Need Different Internal Communication Software
What, 13 different types of internal communication tools isn’t enough for you?
That’s fine. We’re well aware that when it comes to choosing the best internal communication tools for pro communicators, the list doesn’t end here. In the age of disruption the way we communicate is ever changing. Obviously there are countless other effective online communication and collaboration tools.
We actually have one more handy internal communication resource for you:
G2 Crowd is a helpful resource for those who prefer to delve into in-depth research and gain customer insights before deciding which tool is the right fit for their respective teams and organizations.
If you’re on the hunt for some of the best communication tools for your internal communications team, you should look at G2 Crowd for unbiased user reviews on various tools.
G2 Crowd is a great resource you should check out before deciding to purchase an online collaboration tool.
What’s great about this resource when hunting for internal communications software?
- They have a team software collaboration category for those looking for online collaboration tools ideal for team communication.
- They showcase a handy grid on their team software collaboration category, highlighting customer satisfaction scores of all team software collaboration tools.
- The grid divides all collaboration tools within four categories. You can read further about what each category entails on their team software collaboration page.
No matter which online collaboration tool you decide to use for effective internal communications, you need to ensure it’s the right fit for the way your organization is structured.
Free trials are an excellent way for you to play around with the tool and assess whether it’s the right fit for your internal communications. PSST, we have a free trial for ContactMonkey’s internal communication tool, just get in touch with our reps so we can set up your account!
If you’ve been using any awesome free tools for measuring employee engagement or for enhancing productivity in the workplace, let us know in the comments below! We’d also love to know if you found any tools you love through G2 crowd so we can expand this list!
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Of course, if you’re looking to streamline your internal communications and are just looking for one tool that can do it all, we can’t recommend ContactMonkey enough. Book your free, personalised demo now!
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