Internal communications software solutions have been one of the most in-demand workplace technologies in 2020 and 2021. The emergence of remote work and distributed workforce are requiring employers to redefine their communication strategies in order to better support their employees and keep them connected.
In this blog, we will explain what internal communications software is, what are the benefits of using such software, and what are the best steps for choosing a solution perfect for your organization’s needs and challenges.
What is Internal Communications Software
Internal communications software is a technology that enables employers and company communicators to better manage and streamline their employee communications efforts while ensuring that the right information reaches the right employees at the right time.
Furthermore, modern solutions are designed to consolidate various communication channels into a single platform, making workplace communication much more efficient and transparent.
In general, some of the must-have features every internal communications software should have include:
- Content personalization based on employees’ locations, job functions, languages, interests, and preferences
- Easy content creation, management and distribution
- Integration with various communication channels such as intranets, email, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and others
- Integration with HRIS systems for easier user management
- Integrations with the majority of social media channels for enabling employee advocacy
- Mobile-friendly user interface
- Robust analytics and suggestions for improvement
The Benefits of Using Internal Communications Software
Implementing internal communications software in an organization can have a very positive impact on individual employees as well as on organizations as a whole. More precisely, on the business side, these solutions are designed to enable employers to reach every employee with relevant information no matter their location. On the employee side, they enable workers to be more productive, improve collaboration, and stay aligned with the business strategy.
Let’s now take a look into some of the main benefits of using a proper internal communications software solution.
Reaching every employee with targeted communications
According to research by Gallup, 74% of employees have the feeling they are missing out on company information. For organizations that care about aligning their workforce, this is a huge concern.
Luckily, internal communications software is designed to eliminate this growing challenge among internal communications professionals. Using robust segmentation, targeting, push notifications, scheduling, and other features, communicators can make sure to reach the right employee at the right time with the right content.
Sophisticated internal communications software also provides a mobile app, which enables keeping frontline workers engaged and informed. According to research, 80% of the world’s workers don’t sit at desks every day, that is why it’s so important to make sure they can get access to relevant company information on their smartphones.
Improving digital employee experience (DEX)
Among other features and functionalities, one of the main benefits of internal communications tools is to consolidate various workplace technologies into a single platform. Such integrations can go a long way in improving employees’ digital experience in the workplace. As the workplace tech ecosystem is becoming extremely complex, consolidation of various tools can make employees happier and more productive.
Eliminating information overload
According to research, 25% of workers experienced significant stress and poor health due to the volume of information they’re required to process, and 68% of managers felt that information overload has had a negative impact on their personal and professional relationships.
The role of internal communications software is to eliminate information overload by enabling communicators to only send information that is relevant to their target audience.
Driving employee advocacy
Best internal communications apps are designed to drive employee advocacy in the workplace. In other words, employee communication platforms should have functionalities that enable and encourage employees to share content externally.
As employee advocacy can drive significant results in marketing, sales, and HR departments, it is no surprise that internal communications software buyers are expecting built-in brand ambassadorship features.
Employee advocacy is also a great way for companies to save money in advertising. For example, KPMG Sweden has achieved 420% ROI by utilizing the employee advocacy features their internal communications software provides.
Enabling knowledge sharing and interdepartmental collaboration
Today, many organizations are experiencing significant skill gaps in the workplace. Therefore, knowledge sharing is becoming extremely valuable. However, not many organizations are confident about managing and distributing knowledge in the workplace.
Proper internal communications software can be the best solution for enabling and streamlining knowledge sharing within organizations. Centralized content storing and consolidation of various document sharing and communication solutions can make knowledge transfer much faster and more efficient.
Streamlining communications infrastructure and reducing total cost of ownership
Large enterprises are often struggling to seamlessly manage their local and global communication efforts under one roof. Here, it is important to have a clear understanding of your company’s current communication infrastructure and what it takes to bring it to the next level.
Good internal communications software providers offer technologies that enable organizations to implement and manage all their communication efforts under a single platform. This can reduce the total cost of ownership as manual interventions by IT departments can be significantly reduced.
How to Choose the Best Solution for Your Organization: 6 Questions to Answer
Today, there are plenty of internal communications solutions on the market. This can make it extremely hard to find, evaluate, and choose a solution that best fits your current company’s processes and organizational structure, and that can eliminate your biggest communication challenges.
However, there is a set of questions that can make this process much easier. Let’s take a look at them.
Does the software meet your requirements?
When looking for an appropriate employee communications tool, it is important to understand your organization’s current information infrastructure, bottlenecks, and the challenges you are looking to eliminate.
Write those down and make a checklist of must-have features and functionalities necessary for the software to provide the most value for your organization.
Instead of trying to figure out what are those functionalities by yourself, consider connecting with your shortlisted vendors early on in the process. Best vendors are the ones who will listen to your requirements and show you how their solution satisfies your needs.
Is the software easy to use for admin users?
An internal communications solution should be easily managed and administered. Moreover, it should provide self-admin capabilities where administrators can seamlessly manage all their communication efforts without manual interventions from IT departments.
Furthermore, large organizations are likely to look for a solution that can support their global workforce. Therefore, it is crucial to look for a vendor that can support the needs of multinational corporations with thousands of employees and make content production and distribution seamless and streamlined for various stakeholders.
Is it easy to use for end-users?
One of the most common reasons why digital transformation initiatives fail is because of a lack of intuitiveness and user-friendliness of the new technology. Hence, making sure that your internal communications platform is easy and fun to use is critical.
Furthermore, with the rise of remote work, employees use their smartphones during working hours more than ever before. Therefore, you should make sure that the platform is mobile-first and built having your multigenerational workforce in mind.
Is the solution easy to implement?
New software implementation in large organizations can take months, sometimes even years. On the other side, modern SaaS solutions can get implemented much faster. One of the main reasons for that are open APIs which enable seamless integration with other solutions used in your organization.
Integration with HRIS systems, for example, is very important for setting up users, role-based permissions, and various workflows.
Does the vendor act as a long-term partner for success?
Buying an internal communications solution is not like buying a car. In other words, the relationship with the seller shouldn’t stop once you purchase the product. Moreover, the vendor should act as a long-term partner and should take ownership over your organization’s success.
Best vendors are the ones that act as a one-stop-shop vendor for all of your communication needs. Some of the services to look for may include:
- Strategic services and consulting around how to implement a successful communication strategy
- Designated customer success and technical support teams
- Implementation and integration services
- Creative and design services
What are existing customers saying about the software?
Existing customers are usually the best reference when it comes to choosing new software for your organization. Moreover, according to Brightlocal, 91% of millennials trust online reviews as much as friends and family.
Luckily, there are trusted software review sites such as G2 that provide credible and useful information about users’ own experience with various internal communications tools. Additionally, such websites provide users’ satisfaction with specific, must-have, employee communications features and functionalities.
Quality of employee communication has a significant impact on employees’ experience and engagement in the workplace. Moreover, communication plays a significant role in driving organizational alignment with the organization’s strategy, purpose, and goals. Yet, only 40% of IC professionals believe that employees understand “well” or “very well” the contribution they’re making to their organization’s strategy.
Therefore, building a good internal communications strategy is one of the main prerequisites for empowering employees to be the best versions of themselves and for driving business success.
If your goal is to optimize communication efforts in your workplace, download the eBook.