Ahhh…internal communication. The cornerstone of understanding and productivity in the workplace. Why? According to Wikipedia, internal communications is “the function responsible for effective communications among participants within an organization.”
Long story short, internal comms is all about managing the overall communications across various mediums among team members (a.k.a. employees). Surely, you will need the right tools for that and we will discuss the best employee communication apps shortly.
- 1 How can you properly manage internal communications?
- 2 The Best Employee Communication Apps
- 3 Internal Communications Case Study #1: Google
- 4 Internal Communications Case Study #2: Microsoft
- 5 Putting It All Together
- 6 References and Further Reading
How can you properly manage internal communications?
One simple solution is to enlist the help of an employee communications app.
They weren’t lying when they said there’s an app for everything and apps for team communication prove it. We’ve decided to put together a comprehensive list of the best internal communications tools worth trying.
These apps stretch across a wide range of uses and abilities with one thing being constant; their purpose. The sole purpose of business communication apps is to eliminate the challenges that come with staff communication. So before we get into this list, let’s explore a few of these challenges.
Internal Communications Challenges
|Lack of overall communication||In a company of hundreds of individuals, staying connected with all of them can be difficult, and often times it becomes burdensome to the point that many may refuse to communicate at all.|
|Wasting time with email||Emailing formal letters is a big waste of time. It’s not unlikely that a good percentage of those emails are not clear or convey the wrong message. In the end, emailing can create more confusion than it ought to.|
|Minimal feedback||When team members are spread all across the globe, they are typically working at their own pace, on their own schedule. Essentially, they’re working alone. This seclusion is worsened by the fact that employers rarely take the time to give employees feedback on the work that is submitted.|
|Unclear instructions||Not knowing exactly what to do creates a terrible cycle of miscommunication, misinformation, and reduced productivity.|
|Delayed updates||Information moves fast in organizations, but that speed can make important updates become lost in the shuffle. Before you know it, these updates are reaching certain team members days later.|
|Irrelevant information||Everyone has their own role that comes with information and updates that are specific to them. Yet, more times than not, team members will receive an overload of info and updates that do not pertain to them or the projects they are working on.|
The Best Employee Communication Apps
Now that we have an idea of the type of challenges companies face, let’s jump into our list of apps that strive to eliminate these challenges and improve the employee experience.
1. ScreenRec for video messaging
It’s no surprise that many organizations are moving away from the traditional emailing technique in order to communicate. They’re opting for something much more faster and efficient, and that is, surprisingly or not, screen recording. ScreenRec is a free screen recorder with instant sharing that allows you to take screenshots and capture screen videos. You can use it to give proper feedback to a team member or record a video to report a bug, provide customer support, or record a video conference.
All of that, plus you can share those videos or shots via an automatically created sharing link. ScreenRec can be a very effective employee communication tool when you need to show something. Pair it with one of these following apps, and your communications will be unstoppable.
- Private and secure sharing link
- Easy screenshot and recording with the press of a simple hotkey
- 2 GB of free cloud storage
2. Yammer for chatting
One could say that Yammer is basically social networking for businesses. As a part of the Microsoft Suite, Yammer is a good way to stay connected and updated on company news. Yammer can be integrated with the abundant apps offered by Microsoft, like Office 365, Skype, Microsoft Teams and more. Its messaging system goes hand in hand with its newsfeed, so you’ll never miss the opportunity to comment on news updates and project completions.
- Real-time notifications
- Social media feed accessed by the entire organization
- Integrates with all Microsoft products
Pricing: $8 per user per month for Office 365 (Yammer is included)
3. SnapComms for chatting
Similar to Yammer, SnapComms uses a social media-type of news feed. Any member of an organization can post updates or information and it will reach ALL members, including the higher-ups. What makes SnapComms special is that all posts are permanent, meaning they won’t disappear and they are easily searchable.
- Social media feed that connects all members of the company
- Searchable posts and comments
- Always searchable content
Pricing: Basic package starts at $7 per user per month
4. Contact Monkey for mass messaging
Emailing got a major upgrade with Contact Monkey. This corporate team communication app allows you to internally create, send and track mass emails from Outlook and Gmail. With features like email templates and survey add-ons, Contact Monkey takes over the company emailing game.
You can create company newsletters, receive deep analytics on viewed emails (Who viewed, from where, IP address, action taken,) track forwarded emails, create polls. Just about anything you’ve ever wanted to do with your email, you can do with Contact Monkey.
- Deeeeeeeep (very deep) analytics available for emails
- Marketing features including newsletters and templates
- Works with two popular emailing systems
Pricing: Request a quote
5. Communifire for intranet
Communifire is a general communication and team collaboration tool that includes chatting, instant messaging, social networking, and more. These are all of your basic internal communication app features.
But Communifire does something that other general communication apps fail to achieve. They promote ideas, meaning, they’ve created a designated space for employees to list and hash out project ideas. One space shared by all members to view, discuss and decide.
- All necessary communication features (chatting, video calling, real-time notifications, etc.)
- Unique space specifically for creative thinking and planning
Pricing: $10 per user per month
6. Crises Control for eventualities
It’s all in the name! Remember those interoffice communication challenges we talked about? Crises Control gives you solutions for when you don’t want to leave your communications up to chance.
Crises Control claims that with their services, there’s never any hitches or downtime. That plus they protect your content and communications should any eventualities occur. This includes cyber attack, app failure, power outage, and more.
- Guaranteed continuous communications without failures
- Protects against unplanned incidents
- Still offers basic communication features
Pricing: Request a quote
7. Brosix for team collaboration
Brosix takes team collaboration and puts it at the forefront of everything they do. This business instant messaging app doubles as a productivity app because it offers many different ways to stay in touch and up to date. This includes text messaging, group messaging, P2P file transfers and screen sharing with remote desktop control.
Let’s not forget about visual whiteboarding and video chatting. Everything a team needs to stay connected, Brosix has the solution.
- Messaging powerhouse
- Collaboration features include whiteboarding, co-browsing, file sharing, etc.
- Antivirus and updates available
Pricing: $4 per user per month
Now that we have our list of the best internal communication tools, but do they really make a difference? Does good communication really affect the success of a company? Well, we’ve found two companies with great internal communication that proves that it really does matter.
Internal Communications Case Study #1: Google
There’s no doubting the success of Google. With over 100,000 employees, how does this tech giant keep everyone in the loop and excited to work? One technique was nabbed from multinational conglomerate 3M, because, well… if it works, it works.
Google calls it “20% time” (3M’s is 15%). This gives employees paid time to work on something creative that may be useful to Google. Consider this a suggestion box revamp. How does this affect company communication?
20% Time allows Google employees to contribute significantly to the overall success of the company, meaning everyone shares the same stakes and responsibility. Not to mention that all members need to stay in constant communication to foster these ideas. We have 20% Time to thank for Gmail and Google Earth.
Internal Communications Case Study #2: Microsoft
Microsoft is another HUGE tech company, with 40,000 more employees than Google, the task of keeping everyone on the same page seems greater in difficulty. In order to battle communication issues, Microsoft has enlisted the help of Ralph.
Ralph is a famous rubber chicken who enjoys short trips in the air and connecting with others. In other words, Ralph is present at group meetings and is used as a podium of sorts. That rubber bird flies through the air from person to person as they speak to the group about their ideas or concerns. This may seem a bit simplistic, but giving team members a platform to speak can go a long way in a company this size.
Putting It All Together
In the end, internal communications may be the most important aspect of a successful business. While many companies may have their own unique way of inspiring and fostering communication, apps like these are certainly a welcomed help.
In our opinion, combining these employee communication apps and allowing them to work in tandem is the best way to expand their potential. Since the features available vary from one app to the next, it would be wise to utilize two very different software.
We suggest combining ScreenRec, the screen recording app with Communifire. Communifire has all of the features one would need to open, and keep open, the lines of communication.
All it’s missing is a recording app. Pair it with ScreenRec, and you’re good to go. Try them out for yourself and see how well it works for you and your company.