Effective communication among team members is vital for the productivity and success of any organization.
Surprisingly, 60% of companies lack a long-term internal communication strategy, which puts them at risk. Inadequate internal communication can have detrimental effects, such as decreased morale, lower employee productivity, and increased employee turnover.
Fortunately, there are numerous employee communication tools available to address these challenges. Implementing these tools can enhance employee satisfaction and engagement while reducing the clutter in their inboxes.
However, with the abundance of options, selecting the most suitable tool for your team can be a daunting task.
In this article, I will evaluate waht is an employee communication app, and the problems it solves and a few tools, providing insights to help you choose the right functionality that aligns with your specific needs.
What is an Employee Communication App?
Employee Communication App
Employee communication applications are online platforms designed to connect businesses with their workforce, primarily through mobile devices. These applications serve as collaborative tools, offering various features such as personalization, two-way communication chat, and interactive elements.
Their importance lies in ensuring that all employees can access materials that actively engage them in their work and contribute to their overall performance. Studies indicate that a lack of employee engagement results in an annual loss of over $4 million.
According to research, the average office worker receives a staggering 90 emails per day. It is expected that employees spend around 28% of their workweek reading and responding to emails.
However, the implementation of a communication application can significantly reduce this number.
What challenges does an employee communication platforms solve in the workplace
Employee communication platforms
- Traditional methods of communication such as emails, memos, or notice boards can be inefficient and result in important information being missed or misunderstood. An Employee Communication App provides a centralized platform for seamless and instant communication between employees and employers, ensuring that messages are delivered and received promptly.
- In organizations with remote workers or multiple locations, it can be challenging to foster a sense of unity and collaboration. An Employee communication platforms bridges this gap by creating a virtual space where all employees can connect, share updates, collaborate on projects, and engage in discussions, regardless of their physical location.
- With the abundance of emails, messages, and documents, employees often struggle to filter through the noise and find relevant information. An Employee Communication App allows for targeted and personalized content delivery, ensuring that employees receive the right information at the right time, reducing information overload and improving productivity.
- Engaged employees are more motivated, productive, and likely to stay with the company. An Employee Communication App facilitates employee engagement by providing interactive features, such as surveys, polls, and feedback mechanisms, enabling employees to actively participate and provide their input. This promotes a sense of involvement and fosters a positive work culture.
- Valuable knowledge and expertise within an organization can often be siloed, making it difficult for employees to access and leverage. An Employee Communication App promotes knowledge sharing by providing a platform for sharing best practices, success stories, and resources, fostering a collaborative environment and enabling employees to learn from one another.
- Employees may feel disconnected from the organization's goals, strategies, and updates, leading to a lack of trust and engagement. An Employee Communication App enhances transparency by providing real-time updates, announcements, and insights into company initiatives, ensuring that employees are well-informed and aligned with the organization's vision and objectives.
Overall, an Employee Communication App addresses these challenges by improving communication, fostering collaboration, enhancing employee engagement, facilitating knowledge sharing, promoting transparency, and ultimately contributing to a more connected and productive workforce.
How to select an employee communication for your company
Select an employee communication
The selection of employee communication apps for staff communication should be based on your specific goals. Various applications excel in different areas such as sharing up-to-date business news, fostering collaboration, or building communities.
Start by determining the purpose you want your app to serve. Then conduct thorough research to compare each app's offerings with your requirements. It's important to always keep your goals in mind as each app has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Consider the budget you have in mind. Cost often plays a significant role in app selection, as prices can vary. By prioritizing the functionality that aligns with your goals, you can allocate your budget wisely and invest in the features that are essential for your communication needs.
Remember to consider scalability. Choose an app that can accommodate your organization's future growth and changing communication demands. A scalable solution ensures the app remains effective and adaptable as your workforce expands.
Here are a few point to consider:
- Clearly identify the objectives you want to achieve with the app. Whether it's improved communication, enhanced collaboration, or community building, understanding your goals will help you narrow down the options and choose the most suitable app.
- Take the time to study and compare different communication apps available in the market. Assess their features, functionalities, and compatibility with your organization's needs. Consider reading reviews, seeking recommendations, and exploring demos or trial versions to get a firsthand experience.
- Evaluate each app based on how well it aligns with your specific requirements. Look for features that directly address your goals and ensure the app can cater to the size of your workforce, preferred communication channels, and integration capabilities with other existing tools or systems.
- Set a budget for the app and consider the cost implications. Some apps may have higher prices due to additional features or advanced functionalities. Prioritize investing in the functionality that directly supports your goals, avoiding unnecessary expenses on features that won't contribute significantly to your communication needs.
- Consider the future growth and scalability of your organization. Choose an app that can accommodate increasing numbers of employees and evolving communication needs. Scalability ensures that the app remains effective and relevant even as your workforce expands or your communication requirements evolve.
By following these tips, you can make an informed decision and select an employee communication app that aligns with your goals, fits your budget, meets your specific requirements, and supports the future growth of your organization.
Employee Communication Software: Key Features
- Instant Messaging - The fundamental component of any modern communication software is the ability to engage in direct, real-time messaging, enabling team members to communicate one-on-one or in groups instantly.
- Notifications - Clear and timely notifications are essential to ensure that employees are promptly informed when they receive new messages or when relevant updates are posted within a group.
- File Sharing - The capability to share files is crucial, allowing users to distribute documents by easily sharing them from cloud storage or uploading them from their own devices.
- Status Updates - Team members should have the option to provide clear indications of their current availability, enabling others to know if they are free, busy, or away.
- Activity Feed - An activity feed keeps employees updated with messages directed specifically to them or within their groups, ensuring that they stay informed about relevant conversations.
- Search Functionality - Robust search capabilities enable users to efficiently search for and locate old messages using keywords, ensuring quick retrieval of relevant information.
- Surveys and Polls - Interactive tools such as surveys and polls allow managers to gather opinions from team members, facilitating informed decision-making and promoting active participation.
- Knowledge Base - Access to a company-wide knowledge base helps reduce repetitive questions and assists individuals in finding the information they need more efficiently, improving productivity.
These key features are vital considerations when selecting communication software, as they enhance collaboration, streamline information sharing, and promote effective communication within teams and across the organization.
Employeee Communication Software: Comparison Criteria
So you may ask yourself what do you look for when selecting the best employee communication software?
Here's a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI) - The employee communication tools should prioritize intuitiveness and appeal to a wide range of users across all departments and levels within the organization.
- Usability - It is important to ensure that employees can easily use the tools both in the office and while on the go. The onboarding, training, and support should cater to employees at all levels of the organization.
- Integrations - The software should seamlessly connect with productivity and collaboration tools that employees use on a daily basis. It should also have pre-existing integrations with popular workforce apps.
- Value for Money - The pricing structure should make sense for both small and large organizations, taking into consideration the number of employees. The pricing should be transparent, clear, and easy for everyone to understand.
5 Top Examples of Employee Communication apps
Below are several employee communication apps that can be utilized to foster collaboration and connections across your organization. These apps provide a diverse range of features, cater to various forms of communication, and offer different pricing options. You are likely to find an app that meets your specific needs among the options listed below.
Employee Communication apps
- AgilityPortal is an internal communication tool designed to enhance employee engagement and retention by utilizing a familiar newsfeed-style social environment. It allows companies to connect with their employees through a social experience, where they can share internal company news and updates in a format that people are accustomed to.
- In addition to serving remote and in-house personnel, AgilityPortal also provides a mobile app, ensuring that it can be accessed without limitations by frontline workers and those in a mobile workforce.
- Key features of AgilityPortal include team surveys and polls, community groups, event information, and public "shout-outs" to recognize individual achievements. It supports multimedia uploads, including live-streamed videos and podcasts. AgilityPortal also offers audience engagement statistics for the shared content, helping leaders gain insights into what motivates their employees best. The platform aims to foster team collaboration and productivity by intelligently disseminating relevant information.
- The questions and comments features enable team members to share detailed information, which is particularly valuable in fast-paced industries like hospitality where prompt and precise instructions are essential.
- AgilityPortal's intranet feature serves as a hosting platform for company content such as podcasts, articles, and other media formats. The people directory and events calendar assist staff in finding the information and individuals they need. Email digests summarize the most important new content of the week or day. Shout-outs to celebrate success are a great feature that contributes to higher employee satisfaction levels.
- File sharing
- Collaboration groups
- Multimedia news feed
- Individual and team goals
- Chat, Events, Meetings
- This application is accessible on the web, as well as on iOS and Android mobile devices. Microsoft Teams simplifies internal communication, providing a user-friendly chat-based hub for seamless collaboration among teams. It is a tool that can be set up quickly and easily, requiring little time to become familiar with. With Microsoft Teams, you can engage in real-time chats, video calls, and screen sharing all from a single platform.
- Microsoft Teams is ideal for large teams, particularly those working in office-based organizations. It caters to various communication needs, whether it's a quick conversation or an end-of-day update, offering both one-on-one and group chats, as well as audio and video calls with up to 300 participants. Chat groups can be created specifically for projects, fostering accountability and teamwork.
- The app provides advanced video calling features such as screen sharing, the ability to break into smaller groups for in-depth discussions, and conference recording and transcription. Moreover, you have the option to add your business phone number to your Teams account, which is especially beneficial for remote workers who handle customer calls.
- It can be integrated with all Microsoft applications
- It is a unified platform for all communication methods.
- It is simple to set up and use
- In-app schedule
- One effective solution for addressing communication challenges in the workplace is utilizing Slack, a popular internal messaging platform designed to facilitate both work-related and personal conversations. With its user-friendly interface and organized structure, Slack offers various features to enhance communication. It enables individuals to focus on relevant information by utilizing channels, which are group chats dedicated to specific projects or teams.
- Slack was specifically created to foster effective communication among coworkers, allowing them to exchange ideas, share opinions, and collaborate on projects. It provides a convenient way to engage with the team, whether individuals are working from the office or remotely. Moreover, Slack enables users to form multiple groups, facilitating communication across teams and beyond.
- This versatile communication app empowers coworkers to connect, discuss options, and work together towards achieving their goals. Notably, Slack is utilized by over 65 Fortune 500 companies for their business needs.
- Within Slack, users can conduct in-app meetings with one or more colleagues using the audio and video call feature. User profiles indicate their availability status, making it easy to determine if someone is free or busy.
- Furthermore, Slack offers the ability to share files directly within channels and private messages, supporting integration with online storage services like Dropbox as well as local disk storage.
- To enhance the user experience, Slack provides customization options such as advanced notification settings and chat text formatting. Additionally, it allows for automation through third-party connectors, enhancing team efficiency.
- For example, by integrating Slack with Trello, users can receive alerts whenever new tasks are assigned to team members. However, it's important to note that task or schedule management tools are not available within the Slack app.
- Audio and video calls
- Integration tools
- Workflow automation
- Private and public chat channels
- Trello is an exceptional tool for project management, offering remarkable features to aid in task organization, tracking, and reviewing previous team activities.
- Upon launching the program, you can create multiple boards consisting of cards that hold individual tasks. These tasks can be easily relocated between cards and assigned to team members as needed.
- Trello proves to be highly effective in providing an overview of the project status and facilitating the management of completed and pending tasks, along with identifying responsible individuals.
- Moreover, tasks come equipped with supplementary functionalities such as file uploads, labels, checkboxes, and commenting, enabling efficient project management and seamless collaboration within the team.
- Visual boards
- Storage feature
- File management feature
- Checklist and scheduling
- Integrates with email
Trello has a basic plan which is free. It also has a paid plan that starts from US$5 per user per month.
- Zoom emerged as one of the most widely adopted applications during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its user-friendly interface, capacity to accommodate large groups, and the provision of crisis-related extensions for its free services have contributed to its immense popularity.
- This application enables seamless interaction with your audience on a single platform, offering an extensive range of remarkable accessibility options. It can be accessed through your laptop or any Android or iOS mobile device. Furthermore, during video conferences, you can engage in unrestricted conversations with your team.
- The PC version of Zoom boasts incredible features, such as the ability to change your backdrop in real-time. Additionally, it provides supplementary tools like whiteboarding and screen-sharing for effective demonstrations.
- End-to-end encryption
- Password protection
- Participant camera feed
- HD video and audio
- Zoom scheduling
Zoom has a free plan with limited features
There are numerous exceptional employee communication applications to choose from. I have mentioned only a few that are commonly utilized by organizations.
Regardless of your choice, ensure that you select the app that aligns best with your needs and fosters a cohesive team with outstanding communication, engagement, and loyalty!