Good internal communication is the glue that holds organizations together. It’s how you keep everyone in the loop, informing them of important updates and helping them to feel connected to your company.
Done right, an internal communication strategy covers all types of internal communication – top-down, bottom-up, and peer-to-peer. Employees find it easy to collaborate because everyone is on the same page. Information flows smoothly between teams and departments.
For larger organizations and dispersed teams this level of company communication can feel like a tall order. But whatever your company structure, making a success of your internal communication strategy is much easier when you have the right tools at your disposal.
Luckily, there are lots of internal communication tools available. They promise to move your company away from a messy company noticeboard or a clunky old intranet towards a streamlined and more effective style of internal communication.
But which tools are worth the investment? Here we look at 10 of the best internal communication tools for 2024 to help you decide which of them best meet the needs of your business.
10 best internal communication tools
A mobile employee app
A mobile employee app provides all internal communication tools in one easy-to-access place. It makes life easy for your employees because, as long as they have a smartphone, they can dip into company comms wherever and whenever they need to.
- An employee app puts a range of internal communication tools — including surveys, worker recognition, instant messaging, and a social media feed — at employee’s fingertips
- A mobile-first app helps you reach team members, no matter where they work or the device they use
- A mobile app mirrors the style of the social media platforms employees already enjoy using — information is presented in a familiar format so employees find it easier to engage with content
Tool of choice: Blink
Blink is a super-app offering a range of internal communications features. It provides many of the communication tools we list below in a single, accessible location.
As a mobile-first employee communication tool, Blink was created with frontline organizations in mind. Employees can keep up-to-date with company news — and stay connected to their peers — no matter where they are located on the job.
As well as offering employees a social feed and content hub that they can access via their smartphones, Blink helps you to improve employee engagement with a range of other tools. You can launch pulse surveys to gain insight into the employee experience and motivate employees by publicly recognizing their hard work.
A traditional intranet has long been the backbone of a company’s internal communication strategy. It’s a desktop-based software that supports file sharing. This means that everyone across your company can access documents, articles, and the latest company news.
- A traditional intranet enhances company communication, particularly when all employees are desk-based
- Employees working in satellite offices can access the same, centralized information hub
- An intranet supports collaboration — thanks to file sharing features, all employees can edit intranet documents
Tool of choice: Microsoft Sharepoint
Microsoft Sharepoint is a file-sharing software that integrates seamlessly with the other Microsoft tools you may already use. You can create branded document libraries, called sites, customizing them for document collaboration or top-down comms.
Teams get to share news, documents, and data. They can also edit documents collaboratively — setting notifications so they know when a co-worker makes changes.
If you, like 80% of executives around the world, rate the employee experience as important or very important, you need tools that help you measure it. You need to regularly assess employee sentiment and satisfaction to find out what you’re doing well — and where you can improve.
Employee surveys and feedback forms are, therefore, an essential part of any internal communication toolkit. They support bottom-up communication and give you valuable insight into how employees really feel about working for your firm.
- You get to take the pulse of your organization with qualitative and quantitative employee feedback –and don’t have to rely on guesswork
- Employees can give feedback anonymously so they’re more likely to give honest opinions that give you real insight
- You get to understand the issues that really impact the employee experience and take targeted action
Tool of choice: SurveyMonkey
SurveyMonkey has made it to our employee survey top spot for its ease of use. This platform has lots of survey templates to choose from and, if speed is your priority, lots of features that help you get employee feedback fast.
You can choose from hundreds of expert-written questions, or write your own. And with the help of custom templates, you can find or create surveys for any situation, whether you want to conduct 360 reviews, find out your Net Promoter score, or seek feedback on your employee engagement efforts.
Instant messaging tool
Internal communication isn’t just about top-down information sharing. A good internal comms strategy thinks about lateral connection too. Tools that support co-worker communication are an important part of the picture.
Enter the instant messaging tool, which allows employees to chat — collaborating, supporting, and championing one another — in an informal way throughout the workday.
- A communication tool that allows employees to chat and share information (along with emojis and GIFs)
- Most instant messaging tools are available on both desktop and mobile
- Messaging tools can be used for communication between co-workers, but also for information-sharing between leadership and employees
Tool of choice: Slack
Slack is an instant messaging tool that supports asynchronous communication. Slack works well for desk-based employees who have access to other platforms, like Google Drive. Slack doesn’t work as well for on-the-go field-based employees, who don’t have such easy access to separate cloud storage.
People within your organization can launch chat threads, including as many or as few team members as they like. They can create threads for different projects, departments, and topics. Teams also get access to little extras, like file sharing, message search, and a task reminder function.
Now delivered in a digital format, the internal newsletter is a really useful way to communicate company updates. Regular newsletters, sent via email, provide employees with key information about their organization.
- You can send the most important news, along with videos and images, straight to every employee’s inbox
- A regular newsletter keeps employees informed — they get to hear what leadership is up to and find out about successes and developments taking place beyond their department
- A well-crafted newsletter becomes an essential resource for employees. Instead of trawling through the intranet, they can find need-to-know information in one single document
Tool of choice: ContactMonkey
ContactMonkey is one of the best newsletter platforms available. Unlike some of its competitors, ContactMonkey integrates with both Outlook and Gmail so you can send emails from and receive replies to your usual inbox.
The platform provides an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop email builder. Multiple team members can collaborate on the same email. And analytics tools help you to judge which newsletter content is engaging your workforce, so you can create more of the same.
An internal blog written by your company, leadership team, or CEO is another top-down internal communication tool that may benefit your business.
Leaders within your organization can share company news. They can also offer their thoughts and opinions on business topics, informing employees about the wider industry and cementing the company vision.
- A blog is similar to a newsletter in that leaders get to regularly share need-to-know information with employees
- Unlike a newsletter, a leadership blog, written by a member of the leadership team, can help employees feel more connected to the top tier of your organization
- By writing a regular CEO blog or newsletter, you reinforce company culture, communicate the company vision, and help to keep your whole organization on the same page
Tool of choice: Axero
You can put leadership team blog posts in a dedicated category on the company blog. But then posts are publicly available. And you can’t be sure that employees will even check in and read them. So it’s better to establish an internal company blog, exclusively for people within your organization.
Axero provides an internal blogging tool, designed to do just that. You can have as many blogs as your company needs, all with comments and RSS feeds.
Employee recognition center
An employee recognition center helps you to incentivize and motivate employees. It’s the best internal communication tool for highlighting employee successes, anniversaries, and above-and-beyond efforts. Most recognition tools use a combination of social recognition and real-world rewards.
- Managers have a forum in which to thank employees. This is particularly useful for remote teams who sometimes miss out on informal, impromptu praise
- You improve employee motivation and engagement by recognizing high performance and promoting peer recognition
- A recognition center increases workplace productivity because employees understand their goals and are incentivized to meet them
Tool of choice: Bonusly
Bonusly gives you all of the tools you need to run a successful recognition program. Via an intuitive platform, employees can tag peers and congratulate them on their accomplishments. Congratulated employees earn points, which they can then use to claim their preferred reward — a gift card, cash, or a charitable donation.
Reporting tools give leaders insight into team dynamics and patterns of recognition. It helps you to discover top performers and identify people who haven’t had any recognition in a while.
Rewind half a decade and video conferencing probably wouldn’t be one of the top internal communication tools on your list. Today, however, in a world of remote and hybrid teams, video conferencing tools are a workplace essential. They allow employees to talk face-to-face, even when they’re not based in the same office.
- Teams enjoy face-to-face communication — they get the clarity and understanding that you can’t always achieve in a long thread of emails
- Video conferencing brings hybrid and remote teams together, helping to foster better employee communication and collaboration
- You can use video conferencing software to run small team catch-ups as well as big meetings that include the whole of your organization
Tool of choice: Zoom
Zoom is often listed as one of the most reliable video conferencing platforms. It offers excellent audio and visual quality, even during times when internet connection is patchy, and it’s really easy to use.
You can record meetings, direct meeting participants to breakout rooms, and make use of a meeting annotation function. Zoom offers a range of other useful features too, including an online whiteboard and virtual working spaces (known as Zoom Huddles).
Project management tool
Whether your team is based in the same office or works remotely, the right collaboration tools help them to manage projects much more effectively.
Project management software makes project progress visible to every member of the team. It also provides tools for task management, so employees understand the project schedule and what they can do to move a project forward.
- Teams can work collaboratively on projects even when they’re working in separate locations
- Project management software presents project progress visually, making task management easy
- Employee productivity improves because it’s always clear what needs to happen next — and who is responsible for each new task
Tool of choice: Asana
Asana is a well-known project management tool and, if you use it, you’re in good company. Around 80% of Fortune 100 companies say they use Asana.
With this collaboration platform, you can create, prioritize, and allocate tasks. You can view tasks in timeline, board, and list formats — and track your progress toward milestones.
The visual format makes it easy to see which tasks your team needs to complete first. And the process of identifying and remedying project bottlenecks becomes much easier too.
Enterprise social network
An enterprise social network is a private social platform, only available to members of your organization. It’s a dedicated space for team members to communicate and share ideas, collaborate on projects, share documents, and connect with their co-workers.
- An enterprise social network helps you to create a vibrant organizational culture, where ideas can be shared easily
- Conversations take place over a familiar, social-media-style platform, so employees find it easy to engage
- Co-workers can chat in real time and share their conversations in an easy-to-follow feed format
Tool of choice: Jive
Jive is a community-building communication tool that you can use for top-down, bottom-up, and peer-to-peer connection. Team members can share photos, videos, documents, status updates, and blog posts. They can also decide whether their post gets seen by one team member, a specific group, or the whole organization.
Another great feature of Jive is its People Directory. Here, employees can search for co-workers they want to connect with, based on their skills, endorsements, and favorite activities.
Choosing an internal communication tool for your frontline organization
There are lots of internal communication tools out there. Some help you manage all types of internal communication. Some specialize in one or two key areas. So which tool — or combination of tools — makes most sense for your frontline organization?
It comes down to the unique communication challenges facing your company. For frontline organizations, the biggest challenges are linked to the dispersed nature of your team. Frontline workers get less opportunity for informal communication. So all communication has to be intentional.
Everyone should receive critical information and opportunities for connection, even if they rarely set foot in HQ. Fostering company culture and a sense of togetherness in a frontline environment relies on internal communication tools that can be used easily and on the go.
So when deciding which tool to use, ask yourself the following questions. They’ll help narrow down your options and find the best internal communication tool for your frontline company.
Is your organization office-based, or do you have deskless workers to consider?
Some internal communication tools work well for office-based teams. A company intranet, for example, is a great resource when teams are working from a desktop computer. But these tools tend to fall down when it comes to deskless workers.
Deskless, frontline workers usually only have access to a smartphone. So when tools or tool features aren’t available via a mobile device, you risk creating a two-tier structure.
Frontline workers miss out on the information, connection, and opportunities available to their desk-based peers. It becomes much harder to keep everyone on the same page — and part of the workforce. Bear in mind that 52% of frontline workers say they would leave their jobs because the tech tools in use aren’t up to scratch.
To ensure equal access and a good user experience for everyone, look for internal communication tools that work as well on a smartphone as they do on a desktop screen. A mobile-first solution with a dedicated mobile app is a surefire way to level the internal communication playing field.
Do your employees have regular opportunities to connect during the workday?
We do our best work when we feel like part of the team. A sense of belonging can increase job performance by 56% and reduce turnover risk by 50%. That’s why chatting around the water cooler is more important an activity than it might at first seem.
When within frontline teams, opportunities for water cooler chat are minimal, if not non-existent. So you have to engineer those opportunities for co-worker connection. You have to bridge the physical gap between your employees.
An internal communication tool with user-friendly, social-media-style chat functions provides that essential link between frontline employees and your office-based team. Co-workers can message each other informally, building the relationships and connections that make work more meaningful.
How much time can your employees spend on internal comms each day?
Frontline teams are generally out in the field, on the warehouse floor, or dealing directly with customers. There’s little time during the working day for them to sit and wade their way through company comms.
So when choosing an internal communication tool, ease of use and ease of adoption are paramount. Your frontline employees need to quickly and easily get to grips with your chosen platform. Otherwise, amid a busy day, they’re very unlikely to use it.
Similarly, your chosen internal communication tools should allow important messages to cut through. If critical information gets lost in a long thread of posts, frontline employees won’t always get to see it.
When looking for a communication tool, look for rates of adoption and engagement. If other companies have persuaded a high proportion of their frontline employees to use a particular tool, you can be confident that it fits easily into their workflow — and that it can produce similar results for you.
How many internal communication strategy goals do you want to cover?
A lot of internal communication tools specialize in one area of employee communication. They help you to tackle a single challenge – whether that’s gathering employee feedback, introducing instant messaging functions, or setting up a document-sharing hub.
So when deciding which is the best communication tool for your organization, consider whether your teams will be happy using multiple platforms and logins. And whether subscriptions to multiple communication tools fall within budget.
If you have several internal communication goals to tackle, and you want to make the process as streamlined as possible for your teams, pick an internal communication tool that covers as many bases as possible.
When your tool supports multiple channels and various types of internal communication, you can build a well-rounded strategy without overloading your employees.
When employees feel connected – to your organization and each other – they’re more likely to bring their A-game. An internal communication strategy amplifies company culture and helps to foster a sense of belonging, both of which improve employee engagement.
When there are big changes taking place within your organization, you need to take everyone with you. Internal communication channels help you to explain upcoming changes and get employee buy-in.
There will always be bumps in the road. A clear communication strategy prevents the rumor mill from turning. You get to explain challenges to the wider organization quickly – and enlist employee support in tackling them.
Internal communication empowers team members to do their best work. They understand the company mission and hey have all of the information and resources they need. This makes them more effective and more productive.
The importance of internal communications in an organization
Every organization — frontline or otherwise — needs a solid strategy for internal communication.
Good internal communication helps you to build stronger, happier, more engaged teams. It helps you attract and retain staff and make your workers more productive. It also unites everyone behind company culture, mission, and values – which means everyone pulls in the same direction.
There are lots of communication tools that help build internal communications into your every day. From instant messaging to a company newsletter, employee surveys to collaboration tools, you’ll find platforms that help information flow between all members of your organization.
But for frontline teams, an internal communication strategy requires extra-careful thought. Teams don’t get informal interaction opportunities. So internal communication tools play a pivotal role within your organization.
Your employees need mobile-first tools that make remote connection and information sharing easy and intuitive. And the right tool really can make all the difference. (Just take a look at how Blink transformed comms at the transport company, Go North West.)
When you find the best internal communication tool for your organization, you transform a fragmented, out-of-the-loop team into a close-knit community who become much more effective at what they do.
Benefits of an internal communication strategy
Every organization needs an internal communications strategy. It helps you to pinpoint the unique communication challenges you face — and the goals you want to achieve. But a strategy is particularly important for frontline teams.
80% of frontline workers say their company provides too few connection opportunities. And 40% say that management communications are “out of touch”. This may help to explain why 45% of frontline employees plan to leave their jobs within the next 3-6 months.
Because frontline teams work away from HQ for some or all of each working day, you need a clear strategy for maintaining communication and a sense of team togetherness.
A solid internal communication strategy helps you inform, motivate, engage, and support your workforce, which makes them more likely to stay working for your company. But besides employee retention, effective internal communication brings other benefits for your company too.
Interested in learning more about how Blink can transform your internal communications strategy in 2024? Schedule a demo here.