Employee Communication Tools: Everything You Need to Know
Employee communication matters, and it takes time to get it right (especially since the increase of hybrid working!), but many tools can make the journey easier and the results better. As 97% of workers believe that internal communication can impact tasks daily, it’s something that you have to strategise, review and invest in. Fortunately, many communication software options can help the process and ensure that daily employee communication increases engagement and productivity at your company.
What is internal communication?
Internal communication is how an organisation speaks and communicates with those who work there, and it can help you achieve your company objectives. But it goes beyond management speaking to employees. For optimal effectiveness, communication must be wider as employees should provide their feedback, and teams need to speak to other teams.
In addition, businesses have the additional challenge of ensuring that communication channels don’t stop within the workplace. Those working remotely and in different global locations will often need the same communication as those physically in the workplace.
If communication between your company and people is transparent, timely, and accessible, it can help contribute to a positive employee experience.
What can help with internal communication?
Several factors can help improve and maintain effective internal communication within your company, including specific tools including:
- Mobile intranet – the intranet is something many businesses have and is an essential tool for communication in the workplace. However, it must be appropriately used and regularly updated; otherwise, it will fail to share timely and accurate information. You can use it to share documents, results, articles, etc. It connects employees as they should be able to access it regardless of their location.
If you use a mobile intranet application, your people can access it on their phone, tablet, etc., meaning that they don’t need to physically be in the office or at a desk to see updates. This is essential for remote workers, those in different time zones, and shift workers.
- Employee surveys – every company needs feedback from its people! You can’t initiate change or improvements if you don’t know how employees feel about working there. Annual or biannual employee surveys, or periodic pulse surveys, effectively gain employee input. Various online apps allow you to create, send and analyse the survey and results.
- Recognition and reward programs – shouldn’t you commend employees or teams for a job well-done? Rewards and recognition can engage groups and individuals, and recognition tools may motivate your people to strive for recognition. Recognition programs should be all-inclusive.
One report showed that companies that spent 1% or more of their payroll on recognition schemes were almost three times as likely to rate the program as excellent. Furthermore, those HR teams who invest in their recognition programs are over three times more likely to say their program helps attract new job candidates and two times more likely to help retain employees (compared to those who don’t invest).
- Internal newsletters – shared digitally, newsletters are a great way to communicate with all employees. Such a communication channel means that all recipients receive the same information simultaneously. Newsletter content, frequency, and style will vary by company and culture but may include updates, event reminders, photographs, team spotlights, achievements, recognition, and videos. They can also be posted on the intranet.
- Announcements and special days reminders – again, there is technology that communicates special days and other information. This is ideal because information like special days and events can be set up in advance to schedule the communication, and announcements can be communicated quickly, easily, and across locations when they occur. In addition, online suggestion boxes can be an easy (and confidential) way for employees to give feedback.
- Onboarding – it can be daunting when you start a new job at a new company, and if employees can clearly communicate the onboarding process, it can be an excellent start for new employees. An onboarding centre can highlight company processes and starter information, giving all new starters consistent communication. Plus, it creates a great impression and offers communication before someone has even started!
- Online collaboration – includes instant messenger and other tools that can manage tasks and projects across teams. Since 2019 there has been a 44% increase in the use of online collaboration tools, and in 2021, almost 80% of workers were using them. They are essential for hybrid and remote working and are accessible on laptops and mobile devices.
What should the tools include?
In the post-pandemic world of work, it’s been proven that not only can individuals work well remotely or in a hybrid work pattern, but technology must be used to support and enhance this way of working.
Therefore, internal communication tools need to be:
- Mobile – tools should be accessible wherever your people are located. Not only this, but information needs to be real-time.
For example, if there is a company announcement that a senior manager is leaving the business. In that case, each employee needs to receive this information simultaneously as colleagues in different locations (apart from if it’s their manager, then good practice would be to ensure the direct team knows first!). Therefore, internal communication tools need to be mobile to access all employees simultaneously.
- Encourage – it’s all well and good for your people to receive communication updates. But they need to encourage employees and motivate them rather than being demotivational and having a negative impact on employees.
- Personalised – every company culture will be different, and there is no one size fits all approach to internal communications, but specific principles apply. Therefore, select a communication tool that you can personalise not only to fit your brand but for your culture. Consider your audience, who they are, what will work best for them, what you need to achieve from the tool, and then ensure it’s personalised to fit as many of your cultural specifics as possible.
- From one place/app – this may not be entirely possible as your company presentations and your surveys may not come from the same place, but a lot of your communication can come from one place.
For example, suppose you have a communication app that creates and manages surveys (including sending them to employees, sending reminders, collating results, etc.). In that case, it’s a lot easier for your people to receive the information. If they know where to look and where to expect communication, they are less likely to become overloaded or confused with information sources.
- Analytical – if you’re sending out surveys for employee feedback and have a tool that creates and sends the surveys, take it one step further and ensure the device also analyses the results. This can be a time-consuming task for HR, so a tool that collates and analyses results will be consistent and save time.
Done well, a carefully planned and initiated internal communication strategy can improve engagement, trust, and loyalty. But perhaps most importantly, it allows your people to have a voice. There are many different communication and HR tools to enhance your internal communication. Many digital tools can ensure that all the people receive the same information at the same time regardless of role, location, or time zones. If you use a variety of communication channels and tools, you can be assured that every eventuality is covered, from onboarding to promotions and events to significant company changes.
Choose a tool that your people will love to use! Communication tool by Sorwe allows you to publish stories or hear from the company in a personalised way for different target audiences. You can follow different audiences' interactions with your message in real-time. For more information contact us.