With so many different employee communication software available, figuring out which is right for your company is tough. You know you want to enhance your internal communications to keep all your employees aligned and informed, but you need to figure out which tool is best. In this article, I'll help you make your choice easy by sharing my insights on the best employee communication software to break down communication barriers and enhance internal information exchange.
What is Employee Communication Software?
Employee communication software refers to digital software systems and apps that help companies communicate internally with their staff through instant messaging, text messaging (SMS), phone calls, or video calls. To further improve team collaboration, these platforms offer additional features such as group chat channels, file sharing, and automatic notifications and alerts to ensure all employees are informed of important information or updates promptly.
By streamlining your internal comms through a dedicated platform, you'll be able to improve the flow of information within your organization. By communicating more effectively, your employees will feel more engaged and able to collaborate, increasing overall productivity levels. This is true for all types of workforces, whether your team is office-based, hybrid, fully remote, field-based, or a blend.
Deel is a comprehensive workforce management platform for global businesses, with local expertise in over 150 countries. It has HR tools to help you manage a remote or distributed workforce of both employees and contractors. Some of its core features are contract management, expense management, and payroll and benefits administration.
As a communications tool, the software can bring core HR tasks directly into your company's Slack environment. Employees can manage their one-on-one meetings with their manager and complete pulse surveys directly through Slack. The Slack plugin also facilitates social discussions to build connections across global teams, and allows you to make timely announcements with important news and information.
Beyond these core communication functions, you can also setup workflows through the Slack plugin for common HR tasks. For example, employees can complete their onboarding, fill out time off requests, and submit referrals through Slack.
Deel offers flat rate user pricing, with a free version for businesses with up to 200 people. You can also get a free demo via their website.
PeopleOne is an employee communication and engagement platform that aims to improve internal communications. It comes with pre-defined features for HR, IT, facilities, and business teams, helping to deliver tailored news, holiday calendars, wellness information, events, and leadership communications. The software ensures clear ownership of content creation, permissions, and approval mechanisms.
This solution is a solid choice for corporate communications, as it can accommodate custom workflows to help organizations operate more effectively. Using Microsoft Office 365’s SharePoint, PeopleOne enables the distribution of corporate news, events, and announcements, while the document management system provides access to processes, policies, and procedures. Leaders can also use the software to connect with employees to share information, thoughts, and insights.
PeopleOne lets you customize your corporate branding, including the colors, logo, and themes, to create a sense of association with your organization for your employees. In addition to this, there are built-in themes available for different occasions and festivals to bring holidays cheer to every employee.
PeopleOne has pre-built integrations with major email and messaging platforms, Office 365, and social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. They also have an iOS and Android app that empowers teams to communicate, collaborate and engage seamlessly, anywhere and anytime.
PeopleOne offers customized pricing upon request, as well as a free demo.
Workvivo is an employee experience app designed to foster engagement and emotional connection between employees and your company culture, no matter where they're located. Their platform functions as a modern intranet, engagement platform and communications hub, blended into a single social network experience.
Their system supports traditional communication features like company news and event updates, and SMS push notifications to all staff for critical communications. As well, you can use their platform to host live video streams, such as town hall meetings, to improve leadership transparency through multimedia interactions with all staff. Their system can even host podcasts, which offer a deeper window into your corporate culture and have been shown to foster higher engagement than traditional company newsletters or emails.
Workvivo integrates with many commonly used HR tools, including payroll software, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.
Connecteam is an internal communication software designed for HR people, employee managers, and business owners, to communicate, manage, onboard, and train non-desk employees and new hires, wherever they might be.
Available on mobile, desktop, or as a kiosk app for tablets, Connecteam was built for deskless and remote teams. From retail and restaurants to manufacturing, construction, field services, and healthcare — Connecteam is being used by thousands of businesses across dozens of industries, to communicate with and manage their mobile workforce.
Connecteam comes with a dedicated employee communication channel with targeted updates, team engagement features, surveys, polls, group or 1:1 chat features, a suggestion box to collect employee feedback, searchable company directory, an organizational chat, training and onboarding capabilities, a company library, time management, digital forms and checklists, and quick tasks.
Connecteam is designed to streamline communication for out-of-office use, even on the run. It's easy to use, customizable, and quick to set up.
Integrations include Paychex, Xero, Gusto, QuickBooks Payroll (online + desktop), Zapier, Google Calendar, API access, and others.
Workmates, by HR Cloud, is an employee engagement platform with a built-in org chart and customizable communications channels to facilitate cross-departmental collaboration. It comes with a content management system (CMS) to make managing and sharing company information easier. Additionally, you can push through important announcements to segmented audience lists and even flag them as mandatory reads.
Workmates boasts individualized newsfeeds, employee profiles, event and calendar notifications, messaging and chat — basically everything you need to manifest a connected and engaged workforce. You can make their solution as comprehensive of lean as you desire. For example, you could just use their rewards and recognition system for communicating company wins. Or, you could leverage their workplace intranet for a more holistic approach to communications and security.
Workmates can even help you set up an enterprise social network platform, where you can connect with colleagues, share news and updates, and recognize high performers. It works across all devices, either through any web browser on by using their dedicated iOS or Android apps.
Workmates integrates with Staffbase, ADP, Quickbooks, Ultipro, SAP, LEVER, Compas, Greenhouse, JazzHR, Workable, TalentLyft, Smart Recruiters, Checkr, Indeed, Ziprecruiter, Glassdoor, Slack, Twilio, and other tools.
Homebase is an employee management software tailored for small businesses with hourly workers. It has internal communication tools as well as scheduling, time tracking, payroll, and other HR tools. The app has a built-in messenger tool whrtr users can send direct messages to individuals or the entire organization. Users can also create groups for a specific projects, job functions, seniority, or shift schedules.
Teams and individual staff can use the messenger tool to share documents, files, and images, while team leaders and managers can leave specific notes for employees and team members. The team communication software can also be used to share feedback.
Some of the top team communication features include team announcements and shout-outs, shift notes and employee feedback, data and analytics, automated reminders and notifications, and file sharing and storage.
Axero Solutions provides a modern intranet platform designed to facilitate communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing within organizations. It stands out for its flexibility, integration capabilities, and exceptional customer support, positioning it as a top choice for enterprises seeking a contemporary solution for their intranet collaboration requirements.
I chose Axero as the employee communication software after careful consideration of its highly rated platform and the positive feedback it has received from companies that use it for communication and collaboration. I believe Axero is best for modern intranet collaboration because it not only offers a comprehensive set of features but also integrates AI-powered assistance and mobile accessibility, ensuring that employees have the resources they need at their fingertips, regardless of their location.
Axero's platform is designed to improve workplace collaboration and communication through a variety of features. It offers personalized news feeds, company announcements, and targeted content delivery for effective internal communication. For collaboration, it provides workspaces for file sharing, task management, and real-time project collaboration.
Axero integrates with a variety of essential services including communication platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom; productivity suites such as Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace; and cloud storage solutions like Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, and Box. It also supports integration with IT and security tools such as ServiceNow, Twilio, Splunk, Active Directory, ADFS/SAML 2.0, and Azure AD, as well as content platforms like Vimeo, Unsplash, and WordPress.
Axero costs From $2,000/month for up to 200 users and comes with a 14-day free trial.
Staffbase aims to solve employee communications challenges by uniting diverse teams in multiple locations. This end-to-end internal communications platform helps with distributing important content to employees across an entire organization.
Using the Staffbase Experience Studio, editors can plan, create and publish content, then measure its impact. Distributed editors can add local content with no tech skills required.
Staffbase is a mobile-first solution designed to optimize effective internal communication within larger distributed organizations. The employee mobile app integrates with company intranet software to facilitate company-wide communications. As a result, frontline team members get the fast response they need, while management gets detailed insights and reporting.
Staffbase integrates with Microsoft 365, major HR applications, and other SaaS software.
Blink is an employee communications software that works on desktop computers, tablets, and mobile devices. It features an extensive directory of employees complete with profile pictures, job title, department, location, skills, contact information, and others to help build professional relationships and foster engagement. Blink has a workplace analytics feature allowing users to assess the effectiveness of internal communication methods through the number of views, likes, comments, and reach, helping you determine which communication methods yield results and which ones need improvement.
Blink is the best employee communication software if you have many remote or field employees. The software allows you to publish updates, news, and schedules that employees can view on their mobile devices, ensuring everybody is always on the same page. It has a Teams feature allowing employees working on sensitive projects to communicate privately with other team members and share files and documents visible only to those with proper access permissions.
Blink supports rich media allowing users to embed videos, images, audios, newsletters, and blog posts into feeds making employee communication multi-faceted and more attractive.
SnapComms is an employee communication solution that supports both workplace communications and employee engagement through a single platform. Their software uses visual displays in prominent locations to bypass email, so that key information can be delivered to update teams in the workplace.
All of this is achieved through their branded app that works on any device, including mobile phones, tablets, or desktop devices. You can keep remote employees in the loop and easily connect them to the broader organization.
SnapComms integrates with Slack and Google Workspace.
Best channel-based communication
Best for mapping team relationships
Best for engagement and deep insights
- Mango Connect
Best for top-down communications
Best for project communication and collaboration
- Cerkl Broadcast
Best for time-sensitive communications
Best for a simple workplace engagement and productivity tool
Best for those already in the Google ecosystem
Best for project-specific collaboration and communication
Best for centralized internal communications
Selection Criteria for Employee Communication Software
Wondering how I selected the best employee communication software for this list? I'm happy to satisfy your curiosity by walking you through my process. I started off by creating a long list of employee communication systems based on recent market data and positive user ratings. I then dug into the details of each system to see how each one compared to the next.
Here's a summary of the main features I evaluated during my assessment, to satisfy your curiosity even more:
These are the main features I assessed in detail when making my final selections for this list of the best cloud-based employee communication software:
- Instant Messaging: the core feature of any communication software today is direct, instant messaging that allows team members to interact one-on-one or in groups
- Notifications: employees need clear notifications when messages are received or when relevant messages are posted in a group
- File sharing: this allows users to distribute files by sharing from the cloud or uploading from their device
- Status updates: team members should be able to leave a clear indication of their current availability
- Activity feed: this keeps employees up to date with messages sent to them personally or in their groups
- Search: users must be able to search for old messages by keyword and find them quickly
- Surveys and polls: managers can use interactive tools to canvas opinions and make informed team decisions
- Knowledge base: access to a company-wide knowledge base reduces repetitive questions and helps people find the information they need faster
Employee communication tools will be used by every level of every department. That's why a clean and clear user interface (UI) is so important. It must prioritize intuitiveness and user appeal that speaks to the masses.
Will employees find it easy to use both in the office and while on the move? Does the onboarding, training and support work for employees at all levels?
Does the software connect easily to productivity and collaboration tools employees use every day? Are there existing integrations with popular workforce apps?
Value for Price
Does the pricing make sense on a per-employee basis for both small and large organizations? Is pricing clear, transparent, and easy for everyone to understand?
Why is employee communication important?
Internal communication with your employees is important for numerous reasons:
- Improved teamwork and collaboration: When it’s easy for employee to communicate with each other, they’ll share ideas, information and feedback more efficiently, which can lead to better problem-solving, improved decision-making, and increased productivity.
- Improved organizational goal alignment: Regular communication about what your organizational goals are and why they are important will help ensure your employees at all levels stay aligned on their priorities and strategy. It also helps employees understand how their individual role contributes to the larger corporate picture too.
- Increased employee engagement and satisfaction: Research has shown that transparent communication contributes to higher levels of employee engagement, satisfaction, and well-being, with one study citing a 66% increase overall. When employees feel they are informed about what’s going on in their organization, they’re more likely to form a deeper connection to their employer and feel more valued.
- It will increase the attractiveness of your workplace: Employees are your biggest brand ambassadors, and they talk about their work issues with friends and family all the time. You may be shocked to hear that 60% of companies don’t have a long-term internal communication strategy in place. However, this makes the organizations that do communicate effectively stand out in the talent marketplace. If your turnover is running high, solving your internal communication issues might be just what you need to turn things around.
Why are employee communication apps better than email?
There are several reasons why employee communication apps are better than traditional email. First off, research has shown that 60.8% of employees ignore emails at work. That explains why you’re only getting responses half of the time!
The truth is, email volume can quickly become overwhelming. In fact, 1 out of 2 employees say fewer emails would increase their happiness levels. That alone makes a strong case for avoiding emails altogether (unless you enjoy sending messages into digital black holes).
Team communication apps are better than email because they can inject some fun back into your internal communications. Many of the communication tools reviewed in this article are part of larger employee engagement software platforms focused on improving the employee experience. Features such as tagging, liking, and responding with emojis makes communication feel less like work, and more like engaging over social media.
The nature of app-based communication is also faster and more efficient, thanks to alerts, push notifications, and group chat features. Chances are you’ll get a faster response from a colleague in a direct chat rather than sending a formal email. Furthermore, research has shown that most people do check mobile alerts in real-time, whereas 30% of employees don’t check their work email after hours.
At the end of the day, any tools to help improve your employee satisfaction and engagement will also improve your retention and reduce employee turnover. That alone is another solid reason to move away from email.
What are the best free employee communication platforms?
Facilitating good employee communications doesn’t have to be expensive, as there are many great free options to choose from. Smaller organizations can get along fine with basic Google offerings such as Gmail, Hangouts, and Meet.
Companies that are Microsoft-centric may prefer to choose Outlook and Skype to stay within a single platform. For video communications, Zoom is easy to use and offers meetings up to 40 minutes in length on the basic free plan.
Other Communication and Collaboration Software Reviews
With employee communication at the top of your mind already, you may also want to take a peek at these other software systems too:
- Team Communication Apps for Hybrid Teams
- Communications Software & Communication Apps
- Intranet Software Solutions To Connect Teams
- Document Management Systems
- Employee Engagement Software
- Employee Experience Platforms
- Remote Working Software for Distributed Teams
- Remote Collaboration Software for Hybrid Teams
- Brainstorming Tools for Sparking Creativity
- Video Conferencing Software for Engaging with Remote Teams
Do current internal communication tools get everything done, or are we still waiting for the ‘killer app’ to rule them all? Is your team focused on one software, or are you communicating using multiple apps?
Let us know what you think in the comments below. And remember to sign up for our newsletter to get news of the latest developments in employee communication software and beyond.
For those of you who regularly conduct board meetings, check this list out: 10 Best Board Meeting Software For Board Management Online
Related Read: Thinking About An Employee Intranet? Read This First