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Updated Apr 02, 2024

9 Most Effective Apps for Internal Communication

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Sean Peek, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Ownership

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In today’s era of 24/7 connectivity, internal communication tools can make or break a team, especially when so many companies are embracing remote work plans and distributed workforces. Gone are the days when co-workers simply walked down the hall to talk to one another. Fortunately, the right internal communication tools can improve employee efficiency, productivity and communication skills, no matter their location.

Below, discover the types of internal communications tools available, the benefits of using these apps and our choices for the most effective software.

What are internal communication tools?

Internal communication tools are typically software solutions or mobile apps that help employees communicate with each other for work-related conversations. These tools help teams collaborate, brainstorm and exchange feedback digitally instead of relying on in-person and face-to-face conversations. 

Whether they’re leading a remote team or a hybrid one, business owners should establish a preferred method of communication with their employees and ensure everyone has access to it. Managers must also reinforce its use. After all, internal communication tools will only be effective if your staff uses them. 

FYIDid you know

Information technology (IT) departments can only protect data on the company’s networks. Asking employees to communicate about work on their personal laptops or smartphones creates serious cyber risks.

What are the most effective internal communication tools? 

While all internal communication tools foster communication within a company, many of the best apps have an additional purpose, such as facilitating collaboration. The tool that’s best for your business will depend on your objectives beyond communication.

Internal communication tools for instant messaging

Businesses use internal communication tools primarily to ensure employees can converse with one another throughout the workday, whether they work in the same location. These apps allow team members to talk to each other online through intuitive programs that show just how far we’ve come since the days of AOL Instant Messenger.

Slack

Using Slack for workplace communication is becoming ubiquitous. This platform is easy to adopt and boasts a straightforward interface, helping teams communicate efficiently. Employees can direct message one another or converse in channels created for specific teams or projects. For businesses partnering with other organizations or working with clients, Slack Connect helps users collaborate with teams or employees at other companies. In addition to instant messaging, users can conduct effective video conference calls with each other via the platform. 

Flock

Flock offers instant messaging and allows teams to collaborate through channels, video and voice conferencing and voice notes. External associates, such as clients or shareholders, can see a team’s projects and work and provide feedback without any extra fees. Employees can also share their opinions in polls or write notes within the app.

Connecteam

Connecteam prioritizes coordination for deskless teams working in the field or at multiple locations. The app allows managers to schedule employee shifts and assign tasks. Team members can communicate with each other and receive updates through the app. This platform provides connectivity for businesses that don’t have their employees working in one place or at the same time. 

TipBottom line

Ensure every employee has access to a device that supports your chosen communication software and create an acceptable use policy when providing company-issued devices.

Internal communication tools for collaboration

Internal communication tools that emphasize workplace collaboration help teams communicate and seamlessly share resources like documents and videos. 

Google Drive

Through Google Drive, a cloud-based storage solution that’s part of Google Workspace, teams can share files and folders with one another. Businesses that use Google Drive can access Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides to view, comment on and edit shared work. Google provides encrypted and secure protection to all files uploaded to Drive. 

Basecamp

Basecamp is a project management tool that provides teams with a dashboard that organizes all their projects. On this project dashboard, employees can see a chain of communication, a to-do list and a schedule so they know where they are in a project’s pipeline and what comes next. Team members can also upload files directly to the dashboard for colleagues to view and work on. 

Did You Know?Did you know

Basecamp can also help managers measure employee performance and see their teams’ task progress in real time.

Help Scout

Help Scout assists companies with scaling their productivity and addressing their customers’ needs. The platform has many customer service features, including shared team inboxes, messaging and real-time data reporting. Help Scout lets businesses offer customers instant, helpful service anytime by increasing communication among workers behind the scenes.

Internal communication tools for video, onboarding and more

Some internal communication apps emphasize visual communication, successful onboarding and even social media.

Zoom

Zoom rocketed to prominence during the pandemic and is now ubiquitous. This video conferencing technology lets teams meet virtually through high-definition video and audio and helps them collaborate through screen shares and an in-app group chat. Employees can connect in any meeting size, whether a one-on-one chat or a companywide seminar. The platform offers a free version and scalable pricing options.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams enables easy communication via tools for video calls, chats and project collaboration. Its videos provide virtual backgrounds, recordings, transcriptions and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered summaries. Microsoft Teams can also integrate with webinars and team presentations that use PowerPoint Live and Excel Live. Closed captioning is available for deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals or those who need quiet while participating.

LumApps

LumApps helps organizations build a strong company culture within an internal social network where employees can post professional and personal updates. Similar to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, the software encourages users to engage with one another by liking and commenting on posts. Other features that connect team members include a virtual town hall, a news center and customizable communities.

Did You Know?Did you know

Establishing a communication plan is one of the key steps in building a successful remote company.

What are the benefits of internal communication tools?

The above apps offer far more benefits than just improved communication. Here are some of the many reasons companies should invest in adopting or upgrading their internal communication tools to empower their staff and enrich the workplace.

1. Internal communication tools build team alignment and trust.

Getting an entire workforce on the same page can be challenging, even with the best company culture. If team members aren’t regularly talking to one another, confusion, alienation and resentment can fester. Communication apps prevent this by increasing transparency between employees and leadership. The more employees and leaders talk to one another, the more trust and camaraderie they build. A strong sense of trust among your team members leads to increased engagement and greater collaboration on projects.

2. Internal communication tools foster transparent and honest communication.

Some employees are afraid to speak up if they believe an unpopular opinion may upset someone or adversely affect their career. When few face-to-face conversations or check-ins occur, employees may feel they must tell supervisors what they want to hear and skip over important issues. Communication apps remove this concern by providing a platform for constant discussion. Managers can schedule recurring meetings with their teams and employees can reach out to peers with questions or suggestions. There is no limitation when everyone is accessible throughout the workday.

Did You Know?Did you know

According to Gallup, employees are 2.8 times more likely to be engaged with their company when their manager takes time to regularly discuss their performance goals and wins.

3. Internal communication tools improve retention rates.

Among the reasons employees quit, many cite feeling disengaged, undervalued and underused. Workers want to grow with a company where they feel heard, appreciated and needed. Communication apps allow managers to check in with their employees on projects, listen to them and provide feedback. The more engagement co-workers of all levels have with one another, the less potential there is for turnover in a company

4. Internal communication tools increase employee engagement.

If a company doesn’t require employees to interact with one another, they may not feel compelled to do so. However, team members who actively communicate with one another and their supervisors become more engaged with their work and tend to have higher productivity. Because internal communication tools offer the ability to start a conversation with any employee in any location, they create a more collaborative workplace, improving work engagement and relationships.

Jennifer Dublino contributed to this article.

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Sean Peek, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Ownership
Sean Peek has written more than 100 B2B-focused articles on various subjects including business technology, marketing and business finance. In addition to researching trends, reviewing products and writing articles that help small business owners, Sean runs a content marketing agency that creates high-quality editorial content for both B2B and B2C businesses.
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