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Essential Internal Communication Tools 2021

Essential Internal Communication Tools For 2021

2020 has seen an explosion in the number of internal comms tools adopted by companies as workforces went remote almost overnight. And while tools can’t fix a broken strategy or make sense of an unclear message, having the right ones in place is an essential part of the internal comms plan. 

In this blog and accompanying infographic, we have highlighted five of the most popular tools across eleven categories. The selections were made using data from sites such as G2 and Capterra and take into account thousands of customer reviews. Take a moment to review the graphic and start 2021 with the best tools on the market.

Essential Internal CommunicationTools 2021

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Employee Apps

Perfect for communicating to employees wherever they are. During a time of crisis mobile apps perhaps represent the quickest way to notify employees. With more of the workforce going and staying remote, employee apps are bound to continue to grow in popularity. As with other channels, it’s important to be mindful of when the app should be used so as to provide a healthy work-life balance. Access anywhere doesn’t have to mean access anytime.

WorkvivoBeekeeper | Smarp | Staffbase | Poppulo

Email Campaigns

No-one wants to get involved in a reply-all email scenario, but yet we all have. As well as easily handling list email campaigns, using a dedicated email campaign tool can help internal comms teams segment their audience to provide a more personalised message. These tools also come with a range of reports that can be used to help find the right subject line and timing to boost engagement.

HubSpot | AcitveCampaign | Mailchimp | Bananatag | ContactMonkey

Virtual Events

Companies have turned to virtual events as 2020 laid waste to all-hands meetings, town halls, and more. By taking these mass-employee events online, companies have been able to reach even more of their workforce – especially in global organisations. Tools that offer live polls, questions, on-demand access, and can provide engagement analytics can really help make the transition to virtual events smoother for internal comms teams.

streamGo | Hopin | Cvent | Whova | Bizzabo

Employee Communication Platforms

These platforms usually feature a whole range of tools and can help internal communications teams keep a lot of their plans and activities in one system. From emails to intranet posts these platforms can be really powerful to help effective internal communications

Smarp | Staffbase | SnapComms | Poppulo | Sociabble

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement software can be a vital part of the internal communications team’s toolkit. When used well, the feedback gathered can be used to make an impactful change at the business. These tools can be used to gauge the general mood of a workforce and provide insight into employee engagement and experience.

15Five | Lattice | Hive | Officevibe | Qualtrics

Employee Recognition

Perhaps an area that had the potential to be overlooked as employees went remote, was how to replace an over-the-desk “thank you” or “well done”. Integrating an employee recognition tool is one way to make sure this positive culture doesn’t disappear. Recognition from peers, managers, and even external stakeholders can go a long way to reinforce employee engagement and these tools make this much easier.

Fond | Bonusly | Kudos | Hi5 | Awardco

Idea Management

Sometimes known as innovation management, software in this category aims to make it simple for businesses to collect ideas and feedback to help develop systems, products, and even their strategy. This information can come from employees, stakeholders, and customers, all with the aim to drive the business forward.

Sideways 6  | Brightidea | Qmarkets | Ideanote | IdeaScale

Instant Messaging

Having originally been a hit way back when with MSN Messenger (lol), instant messaging has been a staple of internal communication toolkits for a number of years now. Helping colleagues stay in touch quickly and asynchronously, or helping teams coordinate on projects are key uses of such tools (as is arranging after-work socials or fantasy football leagues).

Microsoft Teams | Slack | Google Chat | Workplace from Facebook | Cisco Jabber

Intranet

Once a place where comms would go to die, intranets have had a significant revival in recent years as workforces have become more and more spread across different locations and time zones. These platforms often encompass a number of different categories and integrate with a range of other internal communication tools to help make the employee experience consistent.

Yammer | Workplace by Facebook | Interact | Simpplr  | Blink

Planning

Although these tools may not be strictly internal communications focused, they can be crucial to the success of a plan or campaign. As well as helping internal communication teams coordinate campaign plans, planning software can also help collaboration and communication amongst other teams in the business. Having a shared planning space can be especially helpful for remote teams.

Asana | Airtable | Basecamp | Trello | monday.com

Video Calls

Literally, everyone and their gran, dog, cat, laundry pile have found themselves on video calls in 2020. With companies continuing to encourage remote working, it seems likely that video calls are set to be part of internal communications until the mass roll-out of teleportation. Whether you’re a waver, an on muter, or a background changer, having a consistent tool across the company will make it easier for employees to become comfortable with this two-way comms channel.

Zoom | Skype | Microsoft Teams | Google Meet | GoToMeeting

By looking through this list you should have found some inspiration for tools to review, and while it’s not exhaustive, this list highlights the most popular software across the eleven categories. 2021; here we come!

Have you listened to Remote Control yet?

In this podcast mini-series, Internal Comms leaders discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the profession as the workforce goes remote.

2020 has seen businesses forced to embrace remote working, whether they were ready or not. But is it working well for internal comms? These conversations uncover insight and tips on how internal communication practitioners can navigate the tech and cultural changes that come with remote working.

Featuring leaders from the IOIC, CIPR, CIPR Inside, and global organisations. Listen now or subscribe on your favourite podcast channel below.

Remote Control Podcast

Apple Podcasts

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Jack Ford

Author Jack Ford

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