Communication is the heart of most organizations.
It’s how you relay instructions. It’s how you solve problems. It’s how you voice concerns. It’s how you build bonds.
So if your internal communication strategy isn’t working – or if it’s not working as effectively as you’d like – it can cause big problems for your business.
Fortunately, there are plenty of internal communication tools available to help you solve those problems.
Table of Contents
- The Best Internal Communication Tools
- 1. Slack (best chat app).
- 2. Gmail (best email client).
- 3. Jostle (best intranet tool).
- 4. Google Groups (for company newsletters).
- 5. Dropbox (for file sharing).
- 6. Google Workspace (for task collaboration).
- 7. Loom (for screen recording).
- 8. Zoom (for video chatting).
- 9. Asana (for project collaboration & management).
- 10. Joomla (for forums).
- 11. Audacity (best tool for creating a podcast).
- 12. Donut (for bringing back watercooler conversations in a remote-work world).
- 13. TinyPulse (for employee surveys).
- The Benefits of Better Internal Communication
The Best Internal Communication Tools
So what are the best internal communication tools?
1. Slack (best chat app).
Sometimes, it’s nice to ask a quick question and get a quick answer. Or start an open discussion about a trivial issue with your closest group of coworkers. Whenever you need to have a fast, informal conversation, chat apps are ideal.
These days, Slack is the king of business chat – it’s not perfect for everyone, and it only offers some communication tools, but it’s a great way to get started.
2. Gmail (best email client).
I’m a big fan of email, since it’s reliable, it leaves a permanent record of the conversation, and it’s easily trackable. For my money, Gmail is still the preeminent player in the email realm.
Check out my ranking of the best email clients.
And if you want to get the most out of Gmail, an analytics tool like EmailAnalytics is perfect – it can help you track and analyze all your team’s email activity, ultimately helping your team (or even your entire organization) be more productive.
3. Jostle (best intranet tool).
An intranet functions like a centralized hub where all employees can communicate in any ways they choose. In the intranet, you can share files, such as photos, documents, and videos, you can set up specific channels for different groups of people within your organization, and you can streamline messaging when it comes to procedural updates and other high-level changes.
One of the best examples of intranet software is Jostle, which offers comprehensive internal business communication functionality.
Often, you’ll need to communicate a specific message to your entire team simultaneously, via an employee newsletter.
You don’t need a specific platform to help you do this; you can manage your company newsletters with a basic template and your existing email platform.
5. Dropbox (for file sharing).
You’ll also need some way to share files with your employees (and with your clients and external partners as well).
Storing files, making backups, inviting other collaborators to a file, and even sending files to others can often be handled in the same location.
If you have a suite of tools available to you, like through Google Workspace or Office 365, you’ll likely have multiple file sharing options; otherwise, you can aim to get a dedicated file sharing platform like Dropbox.
6. Google Workspace (for task collaboration).
Collaboration platforms are ideal for working on projects simultaneously. If you have two employees who need to work on the same spreadsheet at the same time, or put together a shared slideshow presentation, they need tools that can help them avoid duplicating efforts and, instead, coordinate their work.
Google Workspace is arguably the dominant competitor in this space, since they offer intuitive collaboration tools for Google documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more.
7. Loom (for screen recording).
Want to talk to your employees directly without opening a conversation or writing a company newsletter? You can create, stream and/or host videos to get the job done.
Record a statement to the company or create training videos; your employees can watch and rewatch those videos at their convenience.
Loom is a great choice here.
8. Zoom (for video chatting).
Email conversations and written chats don’t have the body language and tonal cues present in a typical conversation – which is why video chatting is such a great addition for most teams.
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As long as your video feeds aren’t compromised with latency and technical issues, it’s a fast and rewarding way to communicate.
Right now, Zoom is one of the most popular internal company communication tools for video-based communication.
9. Asana (for project collaboration & management).
A project management platform allows you to centralize your internal communication, establishing tasks (and deadlines), talking about the projects as they unfold, and even relaying instructions.
10. Joomla (for forums).
Internal forums function just like public forums, giving employees a chance to ask questions, start discussion threads, and work together to solve problems.
You might be able to use your intranet platform for this, but you can also create a forum website specifically for this purpose using a tool like Joomla!
11. Audacity (best tool for creating a podcast).
Podcasts are a great tool to communicate with the masses. But it’s often neglected as one of the best internal communication tools for employees, too.
Your company’s CEO or other leaders could regularly host a podcast to talk about the future of the company, recent impactful decisions, or even interview various employees so the internal culture can grow stronger.
Best of all, you don’t need any fancy tools to get started – just some basic recording and editing software (like Audacity).
12. Donut (for bringing back watercooler conversations in a remote-work world).
Do you ever miss the “water cooler” conversations with random coworkers that helped you build bonds and get to know your coworkers better?
Certain team bonding plugins and other internal communication tools are focused on restoring that serendipity – and improving the strength of your company culture in the process.
For example, Donut can be used to help employees in your company connect to each other and have real, human conversations in a situation that wouldn’t arise otherwise.
13. TinyPulse (for employee surveys).
Employee surveys enable you to get critical feedback about the business, figure out how your employees are feeling, and ultimately, get direction for how to make more positive changes to the organization.
Even a handful of simple questions, distributed regularly, can fundamentally change your business for the better.
If you have Google Workspace, Forms is a great tool to use; otherwise, you can use a dedicated survey tool like TinyPulse.
The Benefits of Better Internal Communication
It’s hard to overstate just how valuable internal communication tools can be.
With better internal communication, you’ll see:
- Productivity. People work faster and get more done when they have good communication tools to ground themselves and connect with other people.
- Efficiency. Bad communication tools, or the lack of internal communication tools, can result in wasted time and wasted effort. Everything runs much smoother when you have the right infrastructure in place.
- Fewer mistakes. How many times have you missed a deadline or messed up an order because of a communication mistake? Better internal communication tools won’t reduce your error rate to zero, but they can reduce that error rate dramatically.
- Company culture reinforcement. Internal communication is also about building and reinforcing your company culture, building team bonding and strengthening your organization’s core values at every level.
- Consistency. The more your employees are communicating, the more consistency you’ll see within the workforce – and in your bottom-line results.
- Employee morale. Good internal communication tools can even boost employee morale. With more connections and more communication options, employees feel more confident and feel a better “fit” with the workplace.
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Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before selling it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics.