10 Best Employee Communication Software for Internal Comms Featured Image

10 Best Employee Communication Software For Internal Comms

Good communication between team members is critical to the productivity and success of any organization. Yet 60% of companies don’t have a long-term internal communication strategy and 

60.8% of employees ignore emails at work—they say fewer emails would increase their happiness levels.

There is a lot of room for improvement and thankfully there are many online tools designed to help. But with so much employee communication software available, selecting the right option for your team can be a challenge. 

In this article, I review the top communication tools to help you find the right functionality for the right price. 

The Best Employee Communication Software

Here’s a shortlist of the best employee communication software:

  1. Gmail + Hangouts - Best for those already in the Google ecosystem
  2. Staffbase - Best for a mobile-first intranet
  3. HubEngage - Best for engagement and deep insights
  4. Appspace - Best for a simple workplace engagement and productivity tool
  5. PeopleONE - Best for comprehensive corporate communications
  6. Cerkl Broadcast - Best for time-sensitive communications
  7. Happeo - Best channel-based communication
  8. SnapComms - Best for a branded employee app
  9. Connecteam - Best for communicating with non-desk employees
  10. Jive - Best for mapping team relationships

Team Communication Software: Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best employee communication software? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria: 

  1. User Interface (UI): Employee communication tools will be used by every level of every department (ideally) so it must prioritize intuitiveness and focus that speaks to the masses.
  2. Usability: 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? 
  3. Integrations: Does the software connect easily to productivity and collaboration tools employees use every day? Are there existing integrations with popular workforce apps? 
  4. Value for $: 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?

Internal Communication Software: Key Features

  1. 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
  2. Notifications: employees need clear notifications when messages are received or when relevant messages are posted in a group
  3. File sharing: this allows users to distribute files by sharing from the cloud or uploading from their device
  4. Status updates: team members should be able to leave a clear indication of their current availability
  5. Activity feed: this keeps employees up to date with messages sent to them personally or in their groups
  6. Search: users must be able to search for old messages by keyword and find them quickly
  7. Surveys and polls: managers can use interactive tools to canvas opinions and make informed team decisions
  8. Knowledge base: access to a company-wide knowledge base reduces repetitive questions and helps people find the information they need faster

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Overviews Of The 10 Best Employee Communication Software

Here’s a brief description of each employee communication software to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the interface.

  • From $6/user/month

Gmail + Hangouts - Best for those already in the Google ecosystem

Google offers email, chat, and video conferencing integrated into one free employee communication software.

Google has built a suite of communication and collaboration tools around its wildly popular Gmail solution for email. Thanks to continuing investment and innovation, these apps have become the de facto choice for millions of organizations worldwide. Built for the cloud and backed by Google’s immense resources, these tools have proved their worth in a competitive environment.

Google apps are perfect for startups who need a free employee communication software option. Almost everyone has a Google account and knows how to use basic functions such as Gmail. But the paid Google Workspace solution can scale with their business, even up to enterprise level.

This solution scores very highly in terms of integration possibilities, as almost every workforce app is designed to work with Google.

Google Workspace costs from $6/user/month. Basic Gmail/Hangouts accounts are free for up to 15GB of storage.
  • From $88/user/month

Staffbase - Best for a mobile-first intranet

Staffbase keeps all your employees up to date with company news and events, from the back office to the frontline.

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 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.

The software costs from $88/user/month and a free demo option is offered.

  • From $1/user/month

HubEngage - Best for engagement and deep insights

HubEngage connects employees company-wide with features focused on engagement.

HubEngage set out to offer a better working experience to employees. The software is designed to distribute content such as news, videos and documents to employees, while also allowing team members to submit ideas and stories for consideration. HubEngage is used by organizations ranging from small hospitals to large global manufacturers.

Features such as gamification help maximize employee interaction and engagement while also providing incentives to perform well. Team members can engage with likes, comments, and sharing while earning points and rewards. The software encourages both top-down distribution of company news feeds and other information, plus bottom-up feedback from employees.

The software integrates with SSO, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Workday, ADP, Ultipro, and similar software.

HubEngage costs from $1/user/month. There is no free trial option.

  • From $28.80/user/month

Appspace - Best for a simple workplace engagement and productivity tool

With Appspace, you can easily see who is actively contributing to your success.

Appspace offers employee communications tools designed to connect all your employees, no matter where or when they work. The software aims to cut through the noise of emails, chat, and oversaturated communications channels to highlight critical information employees need to know. Updates can be scheduled and shared anywhere, with options to communicate critical and emergency messages immediately.

Appspace can be used to send messages over popular communications channels to reach everyone in the organization effectively. Managers can measure and analyze engagement and keep track of how published information is performing. These insights can then be used to drive a better communications strategy and enhance retention.

The software integrates easily with Slack, Webex, Microsoft Teams, and other communications platforms.

Appspace costs from $28.80/user/month. A free trial plan for up to 2 users is available.

  • Pricing upon request

PeopleONE - Best for comprehensive corporate communications

PeopleONE keeps your workforce up to date with news, events, and key information.

PeopleONE is a digital workspace software solution 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.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 connect with employees to share information, thoughts, and insights.

PeopleONE has pre-built integrations with major email and messaging platforms, Office 365, and social media networks.

PeopleONE offers customized pricing upon request. There is no free trial option.

  • From $500/month for an unlimited number of users

Cerkl Broadcast - Best for time-sensitive communications

Cerkl allows you to prioritize critical news items for increased distribution and exposure.

Cerkl helps organizations streamline the channels they use to communicate and engage with audiences. Features include content management, dedicated email, and business insights. The power of artificial intelligence is used to ensure the right message is delivered to the right person at the right time.

Managers can distribute internal content using email, messaging, or mobile apps. A centralized dashboard gives real-time data which can be used to optimize communications. Businesses around the world are using Cerkl to inform management and ignite the potential of their workforce.

The software integrates with SSO, Slack, Teams, Sharepoint, and other popular software platforms.

Cerkl costs from $500/month for an unlimited number of users. A free demo plan is available.

  • Pricing upon request

Happeo - Best channel-based communication

Happeo uses channels to sort communication by theme: company news, onboarding welcomes, drafts & approvals—all with widget enhancement options.

Happeo is a social intranet that aims to make employee communications more dynamic and collaborative. The software is designed for businesses that use Google Workspace. Combining a social network with a team collaboration platform, Happeo improves employee engagement, two-way communications, and workflows.

All employee communication happens in Channels, the digital workplaces where team members meet, socialize, and collaborate. Channels offer a secure, social environment where communicators can post messages, share initiatives, and like posts.

Happeo integrations include Google Workspace, Trello, Slack, and Salesforce.

Happeo offers customized pricing upon request. There is no free trial.

  • 30 days free trial
  • From $3.33/user/month

SnapComms - Best for a branded employee app

Reach employees using multiple devices and platforms through a single, branded app.

SnapComms is a critical event management and employee communication solution. The 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 delivered using a branded app that works on any device. You can keep remote employees in the loop and connect them to the broader organization. Employees can receive messages on mobile, tablet, or desktop devices.

Software integrations include Slack and Google Workspace.

SnapComms pricing starts from $3.33/user/month. A 30-day free trial is available.

  • 14 days free trial
  • From $0.78/user/month

Connecteam - Best for communicating with non-desk employees

Connecteam keeps you in touch with employees, whether they work on site or in the field.

Connecteam is a workforce project management system used by companies in industries such as retail, food and beverage, transportation, construction, and healthcare. It facilitates real-time communication through chats, updates, and notifications. The app can be customized to suit the needs of each organization.

The Connecteam dashboard allows managers to run their business from a single location, regardless of where employees are. The dashboard includes features such as asset management, employee directory, productivity tracking, and real-time workforce insights. Collaboration within teams is possible using one-on-one chat, file sharing, real-time text messaging, and push notifications.

The software integrates with enterprise applications such as QuickBooks and other popular software.

Connecteam pricing starts from $0.78/user/month. A 14-day free trial is available.

  • 30 days free trial
  • From $19.95/user/month

Jive - Best for mapping team relationships

Jive Software graphs the important connections within your organization.

Jive is a social collaboration tool that interlinks employees and managers, using ORG mapping to highlight critical connections. PeopleGraph offers data-driven insights into people, their jobs, and their needs by measuring employee sentiment, behaviors and trends. This information allows you to fine-tune employee programs and improve performance across your organization. Team members can easily access data, receive updates, communicate and collaborate across departments.

Jive analyzes the intricacies of ongoing projects and recommends subject matter experts who may be able to assist. With a better understanding of how employees can best work together, organizations can enhance communication and get more done.

Popular integrations include Gmail, Google Drive, Office, SalesForce, SharePoint, and LucidChart.

Jive costs from $19.95/user/month, and a 30-day free trial is available.

Other Internal Communication Software Options

Here are a few more apps that didn’t make the top list.

  1. Mango Connect – Best for top-down communications
  2. Blink – Best for reaching a deskless workforce
  3. theEMPLOYEEapp – Best for connecting frontline teams to internal departments
  4. Workvivo – Best for encouraging employee engagement and social interaction
  5. Simpplr – Best for helping employees collaborate across departments
  6. Groupe.io – Best for an all-in-one employee app that connects your entire workforce
  7. The Hub – Best for feature-rich collaboration software
  8. DeskAlerts – Best for multi-channel alerts from a single interface
  9. Reach by IC Thrive – Best for reaching employees using their preferred channel
  10. Jostle – Best for bringing your company culture to life
  11. Bitrix24 – Best for a complete suite of social collaboration, communication, and management tools
  12. Claromentis – Best for an intranet portal that brings teams together

What is employee communication software?

Employee communication software is a suite of online tools designed to facilitate messaging, file sharing, and collaboration between team members in any organization. Companies can keep teams in sync and working productively by using such apps, regardless of individual employees’ location or time zones.

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. 

What Do You Think About These Employee Communication Tools?

Do current employee 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 do you find employees 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.