Any organization’s success and productivity highly depend on communication amongst its employees. Yet, a lot of companies do not have a communication strategy in place. That’s a bit of a risk as having poor internal communication can lead to low productivity, reduced morale, and increased employee turnover.
However, with communication tools, you don’t have to worry about any of them. These tools are specially designed to deal with inbox clutter and increase employee engagement. In this article, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about communication tools and the top 10 tools in the market.
What is Communication Software?
Employee communication software is a collection of web tools that are specially designed to make it easier for employees in any organization to collaborate, message, and share files with one another. Regardless of the location or time zone of individual employees, businesses can use such tools to keep teams in communication and working successfully.
Comparison Criteria for Communication Tools
Let's discuss what the evaluation criteria should be while choosing a communication tool-
- User Interface (UI)- When it comes to any app, UI is one of the most important factors, and this is especially true for communication tools. The tool you select will be used by every employee of your organization for communication, so make sure it’s something your employees would enjoy using. Make sure the UI of the tool is intuitive and has a mass user appeal.
- Usability- The app you’re choosing needs to be easy to use, in the office and on the move. Your employees shouldn’t find it a hassle to use the app. It should also provide onboarding, support, and training facilities for employees at all levels.
- Integrations- The communication tool that you’re selecting should integrate seamlessly with the other productivity and collaboration tools that employees use on a daily basis.
- Value for money- You need to make sure that the tool you’re selecting makes sense for your company budget-wise. The pricing should make sense per employee wise for both large and small corporations. Also, make sure the pricing is transparent and easy to understand for everyone.
Key Features of Communication Tools
- Instant Messaging- The main feature of any communication software is to allow instant messaging. With good software, it should be easier for employees to send one-on-one or group instant messages.
- Notifications- Good communication should send instant notifications to employees whenever they receive a new message or reply to their message, both one-on-one and in-group notifications.
- File Sharing- It should allow a user to send files to other employees by either uploading the files from the computer or sharing them directly from the cloud.
- Status Updates- It should allow the user to give a clear indication of their availability on the tool with status updates such as Available, Busy, do not disturb, Away, etc.
- Activity Feed- Having the activity feed feature allows the users to keep up to date with all the messages sent to them one-on-one or in multiple groups.
- Search- The tool should have a feature where users can search for their old messages with the help of a few keywords and get an instant result.
10 Best Communication Tools for Employees
Let's look at the 10 best communication tools that will help make it easier for your employees to communicate in-house. We’ve tried to highlight all the key features and best use cases of the tools. Have a look-
Although Monday.com primarily markets itself as a workflow tool for growing a company, it also has a number of HR capabilities. Despite not being full HR software, they are a handy tool that contains many of the fundamentals, especially when it comes to cooperation and internal communication (in which they very much excel).
With built-in communication features like commenting, approvals, @-tagging, notifications & alerts, customizable dashboards, a built-in inbox, social media-esc "likes," and email integration, Monday.com can be your day-to-day workflow management tool for deadlines, HR workflows, and resource tracking.
Use their "documents" technology to develop collaborative or read-only company manuals, checklists, or wikis for the greatest staff communication functionality. Additionally, you can create "request forms" that give your staff a simple way to submit problems or suggestions directly within the platform.
Project management tools including Slack, Google Workspace, Gmail, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform, and many more are integrated with Monday.com and are available through a paid Zapier subscription.
Monday.com offers a free trial and prices start at $8 per user every month.
SnapComms is a single platform communication software that helps with both workplace communication and employee engagement. Their software uses visual displays in visible places in the place of emails so that important information can be delivered to keep teams updated at work.
All of this is made possible by their branded app, which is compatible with mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers. You may quickly connect distant workers to the larger organization and keep them informed.
Google Workspace and Slack are both integrated with SnapComms. The monthly price for SnapComms users is $2. There is also a free trial that lasts 30 days that doesn't require a credit card.
Empuls is a tool for employee engagement that seeks to enhance corporate culture and liven up the entire digital workplace. Empuls is a tool that leaders can use to create a culture of appreciation, unite teams, and give each employee a voice.
One-on-one feedback, peer and societal recognition, and a variety of incentives and bonuses are just a few of the features that come with Empuls. With the help of this team, your HR team can avoid becoming bogged down in complicated operational issues and concentrate on strategizing awards and recognitions.
Empuls also enables you to centralize internal communications and recognize staff members that go above and beyond expectations. Additionally, you may implement employee recognition programs that support business outcomes, harmonize them with company culture and values, and make recognition effortless, open-minded, sociable, and enjoyable. Real-time feedback can also be used to gauge the effectiveness of your activities for increasing staff engagement and employee mood. Empuls connects with single sign-on tools, HRIS, HRMS, and HCM systems.
Empuls offers a 30-day free trial and prices start at $2 per user per month.
A platform for employee engagement and communication called PeopleOne seeks to enhance internal communications. It has pre-defined features for HR, IT, facilities, and business teams that make it easier to send news, holiday calendars, wellness data, events, and leadership communications that are specifically tailored to your needs. The program makes sure that content production, authorization, and review processes are owned.
This option is a good one for corporate communications because it supports tailored workflows that make businesses run more efficiently.
While the document management system gives users access to processes, policies, and procedures, PeopleOne uses the SharePoint component of Microsoft Office 365 to enable the dissemination of corporate news, events, and announcements. The program enables managers to communicate with staff members and exchange knowledge, ideas, and insights.
You may design your corporate branding with PeopleOne, including the colors, logo, and themes, to give your employees a sense of affiliation with your business. In addition, there are pre-installed themes for various celebrations and occasions to make everyone at work happy during the holidays.
Office 365, popular email and messaging services, as well as social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, all have pre-built connections with PeopleOne. They also have an iOS and Android app that enables teams to engage in seamless communication, collaboration, and engagement anytime, anywhere.
PeopleOne provides a free demo and tailored price upon request.
To communicate, manage, onboard, and train non-desk staff and new hires wherever they may be, Connecteam is internal communication software created for HR professionals, employee supervisors, and business owners.
Connecteam was designed for mobile and remote teams and is accessible on mobile, desktop, and as a kiosk app for tablets. To interact with and manage their mobile workforce, Connecteam is used by thousands of organizations across dozens of industries, from retail and restaurants to manufacturing, construction, field services, and healthcare.
A dedicated employee communication channel is included with Connecteam, along with features for team engagement, surveys, polls, group or 1:1 chat, a searchable company directory, a suggestion box to gather employee feedback, training & onboarding capabilities, an organizational chat, quick tasks, and digital forms & checklists.
Connecteam is intended to make communication easier for use outside of the workplace or when traveling. It is quick and simple to set up, adaptable, and straightforward to use.
Costs for Connecteam start at a monthly flat rate of $39. A 14-day trial is also available for free. There is also a freemium plan with constrained features.
Project management and increasing productivity are two of ClickUp's many well-known uses as a flexible productivity tool. All team members may interact, share data, and keep each other informed about job progress using the platform's integrated Chat function, which serves as a primary communication hub for the team.
They provide @mentions in their real-time chat channels so that team members can tag one another and more quickly advance as a unit. Users can insert external documents like spreadsheets or internet links as well as share resources like photographs or movies within the Chat view. Users will also value their contemporary formatting options, such as emoticons, banners, code blocks, and bulleted lists!
As with many other platforms for employee communication, ClickUp enables you to divide your chats into many groups as necessary, whether they are for certain teams, projects, or company-wide updates. Additionally, users can easily manage who can access each discussion, ensuring privacy as necessary. Users never miss an update thanks to their Notifications stream, regardless of the chat group it was posted in.
Clockify, Dropbox, Everhour, Google Calendar, Harvest, Loom, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Miro, Slack, Toggl, and Zendesk are just a few of the 45+ software programs that ClickUp offers native connections with. By linking ClickUp to a paying Zapier account, you can gain access to more than 1,000 more apps.
ClickUp offers a free trial and prices start at $5 per user per month. For personal usage, they also offer a free, perpetual plan.
7. Gmail + Hangouts
Around its enormously popular Gmail email service, Google has created a collection of communication and collaboration tools. These apps are now the standard option for millions of businesses globally due to ongoing innovation and investment. These tools have proven their value in a cutthroat environment since they were created for the cloud and supported by Google's vast resources.
Startups in need of a free employee communication software solution will love Google Apps. Almost everyone has a Google account and is familiar with using the most fundamental features, such as Gmail. The premium Google Workspace alternative, however, can grow with their company and reach the enterprise level.
Given that practically all workforce apps are built to integrate with Google, this solution performs exceptionally well in terms of integration opportunities.
Google Workspace starts at $6 per user per month. Basic Gmail/Hangouts accounts come with 15GB of storage at no additional cost.
By bringing together several teams spread across various places, Staffbase strives to address issues with employee communications. This platform for end-to-end internal communications aids in getting crucial information out to staff members throughout a complete firm.
Editors can design, develop, and publish content using the Staffbase Experience Studio, then assess its effectiveness. Local material can be added by distributed editors without any technical knowledge.
In order to maximize efficient internal communication inside bigger spread enterprises, Staffbase is a mobile-first solution. To improve internal communications, the employee mobile app interfaces with the company intranet platform. As a result, management receives thorough insights and reports while frontline team members receive the quick response they require.
Major HR applications, SaaS software, and Microsoft 365 are all integrated with Staffbase. There is a free demo option available, and the software has a monthly subscription of $88 per user.
HubEngage set out to provide workers with a superior working environment. The program is made to allow team members to submit ideas and stories for consideration as well as to disseminate content to employees like news, videos, and papers. Small hospitals to major international manufacturing all employ HubEngage in their operations.
Gamification features, for example, increase workplace interaction and engagement while simultaneously encouraging performance. Members of the team can interact by sharing, liking, and commenting while accruing points and incentives. The program promotes both bottom-up employee feedback and top-down dissemination of corporate news feeds and other information.
Software like SSO, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Workday, ADP, Ultipro, and others are integrated with this one. HubEngage starts at $1 per user each month. There is no option for a free trial.
No matter where or when they work, Appspace delivers employee communications capabilities that will keep all of your staff members in touch. The program tries to emphasize important information that employees need to know by cutting through the clutter of emails, chat, and clogged communication channels. Updates can be shared and planned anywhere, and there are options for sending urgent and crucial messages right away.
To efficiently communicate with everyone in the workplace, use Appspace to send messages using well-liked communication channels. Managers can monitor the effectiveness of published content and measure and analyze employee engagement. Following that, a better communications plan and improved retention can be driven by these findings.
Slack, Webex, Microsoft Teams, and other communication systems are all simply integrated with the program. Appspace starts at $28.80 per user per month. There is a free trial plan for a maximum of two people.
Why You Must Choose Communication Tools Over Email
There are a lot of reasons why communication tools are considered far superior to emails. First off, studies have found that 60.8% of workers disregard emails at work. That explains why you only hear back from people around half the time.
The truth is that an excessive number of emails can be quite overwhelming. There’s nothing more daunting than an inbox filled with unread emails. In fact, 1 in 2 employees claims that having fewer emails would make them happier and more focused on work, without having to worry about the barrage of emails. That alone is a compelling argument against using emails at all.
Now, communication tools are preferable to email since they can add some humor to your internal conversations. Many of the communication tools discussed in this article are components of broader employee engagement software platforms that aim to enhance the working environment. Communication becomes less like work and more like social media engagement when features like tagging, liking, and responding with emoticons are used.
Thanks to alerts, push notifications, and group chat features, the nature of app-based communication is also quicker and more effective. Instead of writing a formal email, you'll probably get a quicker answer from a colleague in a direct conversation. Additionally, studies have revealed that the majority of individuals check cellphone alerts in real-time, whereas 30% of workers don't check work email after hours.
In the end, any solutions that will help you increase employee engagement and satisfaction will also increase retention and lower staff turnover. That is sufficient justification to stop using email for internal communication.
Choosing a communication tool for your organization becomes easy if you keep all the aforementioned information in mind. Every company has unique requirements of its own, so make sure to go through each software choice and compare it to the needs of your business.