Employee Communications ~ 19 min

Employee Communication Software: The 20 Features Your Company Needs

Communication Team, Experts in Internal Communication, Sociabble
Communication Team Experts in Internal Communication

Employee communication software is no longer just a nice bonus–in the digital world of today, it’s practically a necessity, a crucial tool for creating a digital hub and managing the complex flow of targeted information. But where is the best place to start when deciding which software to go with? How do you know which solution is best for your business?

In this article, we’ll tackle those questions and more, explaining what employee communication software is, the differences regarding employee communication apps, why it’s important for effective internal communication and employee engagement, and what key features you should look for.

worker looking at employee communication software on his phone

What is employee communication software?

Employee communication software is a tool used to streamline and optimize communication in the workplace. It allows companies to easily share information and resources with employees, reducing the amount of time needed to coordinate tasks within teams.

These tools also enable and encourage better collaboration between individual departments and units, as well as across different locations. In effect, they take the complex task of managing digital communications between individuals and departments, and centralize and streamline the entire process. 

What is the difference between employee communication software and an employee communication app?

Sometimes these terms can feel a bit interchangeable, so it’s worthwhile explaining the fundamental difference. An employee communication app is a mobile-based solution that allows employees to access company information, resources and notifications directly from their phones.

This adds an extra layer of convenience for workers on the frontlines, who need to access important documents or messages quickly, or on the go. An employee communication app is often just one component of a larger communication platform, which is itself powered by employee communication software.

Why is employee communication software important for a company?

Once upon a time, paper newsletters and photocopied memos left in mailboxes were enough. Those days, however, are long gone. Given the constant flow of digital information most companies deal with, a solution is required to manage and facilitate the various streams of information.

The advantages of adopting an internal communication software platform are numerous, and include:

  • Improved overall communication:

Employee communication software can facilitate efficient and effective communication between different departments and teams. This can help to prevent misunderstandings, reduce the likelihood of errors, and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

  • Increased productivity:

When employees can communicate with each other seamlessly, they can collaborate more easily on projects and tasks. This can lead to increased efficiency and productivity, as individuals are able to work together more smoothly.

  • Enhanced engagement:

Employee communication software can help to keep everyone at the company informed about important news, updates, and events. This can help to foster a sense of community and enhance employee engagement.

  • Better feedback and recognition:

Employee communication software can provide a platform for employees to offer feedback on their experiences at work and receive recognition for their efforts. This can help to boost morale and promote a positive work environment all around.

  • Cost savings:

By streamlining communication among employees, employee communication software can reduce the amount of time and resources that companies spend on inefficient communication channels, such as phone calls, emails, or in-person meetings.

Overall, employee communication software can help companies to achieve more effective internal communication, increase productivity, engage employees, recognize good work, and save money. It only makes sense that a business would employ such tools, in the interest of productivity and increased profits, if nothing else. In the following article, you will also find other internal communications statistics.

employee communication software quote

Why an internal communication app is key for frontline workers.

Frontline workers, such as those in retail, manufacturing or service industries, often feel disconnected and isolated from the rest of the company. They may work long hours in a fast-paced environment with little interaction with colleagues in other departments, making it difficult for them to stay informed about company news and updates, and challenging to feel connected to the organization as a whole.

An employee communication app can help to address these challenges and improve their engagement by providing a platform for communication and collaboration across different teams, departments, and locations. The mobile app can also offer features such as company news feeds, event calendars, recognition programs, and employee surveys, all of which can help to foster a sense of community and connection.

For example, a retail employee might use the app to access training materials, receive updates on new products, and give feedback to managers about their work experiences. Similarly, an employee who works in a manufacturing facility might use the app to receive safety alerts and to report issues or concerns to their supervisors.

By providing field workers. who often don’t have a workstation or professional email address, with a reliable and accessible means of communication, an employee communication app can help to improve engagement among this important group of employees and foster a more cohesive and collaborative work environment for the entire organization.

What is important is that the internal communication app is easily available on the personal mobile devices of employees, in a secure and compliant way.

For example, Sociabble offers a totally secure, GDPR-compliant mobile-native app that can be branded with company colors and fonts, empowering employees to stay connected to company news and updates no matter where they are.

Which means that disorganized WhatsApp groups and Facebook chats quickly become a thing of the past, as frontline workers have a common, centralized, and completely safe way to receive important notifications and communicate with colleagues. 

employee communication software on mobile

What are the best internal communication software features to look for?

We’ve already seen how having internal communication software is positive as it can strengthen employee engagement and streamline work environment interactions, while offering users quick and easy access to crucial documents.

But choosing the right one from among the many employee communication apps and tools isn’t always easy. Let’s examine the key features you should look for when choosing the most effective employee communications software.

1. Mobile App

We’ve already discussed the importance of connecting workers in the field to company culture and news, and indeed, a mobile employee communication app makes this possible.

But it’s not just helpful for those on the frontlines. Even office employees are sometimes on the go, or need to check in while traveling on their mobile devices. A mobile app is essential for this. 

As mentioned, this is why Sociabble comes with a mobile-native app, designed to connect all employees in a secure and compliant way. And they don’t need to have an office-issued device, either. Their own mobile phone offers the same level of connectivity and project management capabilities as a desk station at HQ.

2. In-App Chat

Today, we’re all used to instant messaging, and we all have our favorite app for chatting: WhatsApp, Telegram, or just simple text messages. The problem, however, is that this kind of exchange is not always secure, and team messaging can put the organization at risk.

Frontline workers, in particular, often use third-party apps and chat groups to communicate with colleagues, because they have no common, company-approved channel for engaging in real-time internal communications. 

Sociabble’s instant messaging chat feature remedies this, allowing employees to send direct messages, as well as audio and video calls, in a secure environment protected by end-to-end encryption. Employees from remote teams can communicate via one-on-one chats, or create groups consisting of team members or other relevant colleagues.

This allows for a seamless team communication and collaboration wherever they’re located, and helps keep employees productive and focused on their work, without compromising the security of company information. In fact, Sociabble chat is even more secure than WhatsApp or any other chat solution, in addition to being based on a world-class UX that supports emojis, reactions and likes, mobile push notifications, and more.

employee communication software in app

3. Internal Newsletters

Newsletters have been around for decades, and for a good reason: they still work. When it comes to creating a sense of team spirit, generating employee engagement, and providing crucial updates, there are few better all-around methods.

Nevertheless, newsletters are often time-consuming for communication professionals to write and send. Putting them together can take up serious amounts of time, sometimes involving third-party software and employee communication tools that are a hassle to use.

Sociabble resolves this with an easy-to-use newsletter feature that incorporates dynamic content options, segmented audiences, drag-and-drop content, and helpful templates, all of which turns a time-consuming activity into a quick and easy process involving little more than a few clicks. Scheduling ensures that employees receive their newsletter at the right time, and advanced analytics allows you to check that they’re actually being read.

4. Employee Surveys

Employee communication is a two-way street. Issuing directives and updates is important, but so is receiving feedback. Indeed, bottom-up communication can play just as important a role as top-down. And one of the best ways to collect employee feedback is with surveys. Employee engagement surveys offer the chance to collect unique insights and ideas from people with on-the-ground experience and know-how. 

Sociabble’s survey module is designed to make creating and sending out surveys quick and painless, while also providing critical insights. Customized, branded surveys can be created, with a targeted audience based on multiple criteria, and with the opportunity for employees to answer anonymously.

Participation can be rewarded with points or badges, and results can be analyzed and easily shared. It is especially useful for delegating survey-taking project management responsibilities to local managers, who can create and send surveys targeted to their own teams. 

5. Employee Advocacy

The internet and social media have allowed for employees to take on a new role: that of online ambassadors. And employee advocacy is a way of harnessing the power of their influence across their networks to build positive brand awareness for the company. It’s an effective technique, and the best employee communication software will contain an employee advocacy element to encourage and monitor engagement with company news. 

Sociabble encourages employees to engage in employee advocacy by offering a simple two-click process for sharing across all major social media platforms, as well as the scheduling of posts, delegation features for top management, analytics to monitor and reward the sharing of content, and admin features to control what can and cannot be shared. 

At Sociabble, we’ve worked hard for more than 5 years with social networks and our clients to make sure you get the most from sharing–while fully respecting social media policies. 

6. Community Channels and Audience Targeting

Effective employee communication is about sending the right messages, to the right people, at the right time. Content needs to be relevant to the audience that receives it. Which is why targeting and audience segmentation play such a critical role in choosing the best employee communication software for your business.. 

The ability to create segmented audiences and targeted communication channels is built into Sociabble’s project management tools to facilitate exactly this kind of effective communication. Criteria can include hierarchy structure, region, department, role, personal preference–essentially, any defining characteristic.

Groups can be combined to create granular audiences, and targeting can be expanded to include channels, newsletters, challenges, notifications, analytics, etc. All of this ensures that employees receive information that is relevant to them and that they are not bogged down by unnecessary updates. 

7. Document Center/Media Drive

It’s important for employees in general, but especially frontline workers, to be able to reference important documents and databases quickly and easily. This might be in regards to product features, safety protocols, employee directories–the information that counts.

And the right employee communication tools should come with some kind of document center or media drive that gives employees instant access to reference materials and archives that they need.

Sociabble does this via a media drive and document repository that users can access in just a few simple clicks.

Features include:

  • Ability to centralize your most used materials directly on Sociabble, which is useful for large, dispersed organizations that use common assets and products. 
  • Ability to add and download media, documents and procedures in a hierarchical and dedicated document repository with access control from desktop (photos, videos, PDFs, PowerPoints, Word files, Excel files, etc.)​
  • Power to manage the access rights (read, import, edit, delete) of documents and folders using the sophisticated Sociabble audience builder.

8. Employee Recognition

Employees are more engaged with company news and information when morale is good. And morale is at its best when employees feel that their efforts are recognized and rewarded. One way employee communication software can help with this is by offering recognition functions that celebrate individual accomplishments.

Sociabble’s “Praise” feature, for example, encourages peer-to-peer employee recognition, and gives every employee the ability to call out and recognize the contributions of their colleagues, offering congratulations and appreciation for a job well done. Team spirit is built and morale is improved, as employee accomplishments are given the recognition they deserve.

employee recognition feature for employee comm software

9. Video Center

The days of only having text-based communications are over. Today, video, audio, and other forms of media are the norm for making announcements and explaining changes. Your employee communication software should not only accommodate, but encourage the use of video for internal communication.

For example, with Sociabble, users can embed videos into feeds, allowing you to incorporate your video platform into your communication hub; videos are fully integrated within the Sociabble platform and can be played directly on the mobile app or web.

Video calls and conferencing are also possible, to host your live event directly and promote it on Sociabble. This includes pre-live broadcast teasing, automatic notifications, and the power to schedule the live broadcast in employees’ calendars. Live broadcasts can be watched from a desktop or mobile divide, with real-time comment capabilities for audience participation. 

10. A Multilingual Tool

Languages can pose a challenge for global organizations with offices located in multiple countries. It’s important to facilitate the seamless flow of information in a multicultural and multilingual landscape which isn’t always easy. Although if your employee communication software has the right translation feature, it can definitely help.

To accomplish this, Sociabble’s real-time translation feature offers instant translations in more than 50 languages. Users choose the language they prefer, meaning that no information falls through the cracks, and employees don’t feel left out. Translations can be modified by platform admins, giving control over specific terms and words; specific company words can be bookmarked to not be translated at all.

employee communication software with translation feature

11. A Branded Tool

Team spirit plays an important role in engagement, and branding is a must have for any internal team communication apps or software. It helps to develop internal pride, a sense of belonging, and company culture. Employees should feel like they’re at home on the platform they’re using; that they’re part of something bigger.

For this reason, Sociabble can be customized in terms of look and feel, name, fonts, and colors. It can be personalized to include the features that you need, so that your tool fits your company’s specific needs, to share stories, company information, and whatever else is needed to foster a sense of strong corporate identity and belonging.

12. Notifications and Must-Read Content

An overload of information is a common symptom of the Digital Age in general, and project management apps specifically. When employees receive too many messages, critical updates can get lost in the clutter. The most important messages need to be highlighted in some way, to ensure that employees don’t miss out.

Sociabble does this with push notifications, which can be targeted to the whole company, or just a specific audience. For the most important announcements, admins can require acknowledgement (a click on “Must-Read” to confirm reading the content), and even mark it as pinnable content to keep it at the top of the newsfeed.

13. Content Approval Workflow

Consistency is key in communication. The more you are consistent through all your touchpoints, the stronger your message will be in general. Effective business communication software should encourage this kind of consistency, according to content and timing. 

With Sociabble, not only can admins manage all the content published on the platform according to audience, format, etc., they can also orchestrate social media content accordingly, thanks to the integrated social media management tool, allowing for complete control over content sharing.

For example, admins can create and schedule native content publication on LinkedIn & Twitter personal accounts, as well as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook company pages. The employees themselves can create content from scratch or use content pre-approved by admins (i.e. the image library),and schedule it using a dedicated interface with a calendar view to collaborate on publication scheduling, and advanced analytics to measure its effectiveness.

14. Analytics

Which brings us to the next point: analytics. Employee communication needs to be managed through the smart use of data, to measure effectiveness and make necessary adjustments. For example, examining open rates to determine the best time of the day to send messages; examining comments to determine which multimedia formats generate the most engagement. This kind of data is necessary for getting the most out of your platform. 

Sociabble is powered by the following philosophy regarding analytics: measure, understand, improve. It is designed to give admins the power to measure everything from sentiment analysis to open rates to sharing metrics, giving you the power to fully understand and fully adjust the management of your platform for optimal results. 

15. CSR Features

Employees look for a purpose, now more than ever before. And they want to work for a company that shares their values, and that does its own part to make the world a better place. CSR features, built into your employee communication software, are an effective way to empower employees and generate engagement, while also doing something to help the planet. 

Sociabble Trees is a CSR feature built into the platform that encourages employee engagement by rewarding them with real trees planted in their name, in more than 40 reforestation projects worldwide. At all times, companies and employees have access to their forests with a unique shareable URL.

For other kinds of CSR initiatives, there is also Support My Cause, a Sociabble module designed to help companies propose, vote for, and manage CSR programs via the communication platform, giving employees the choice to support local or global causes that they genuinely care about and feel relevant to them.

employee communication software with csr feature

16. Fun Activities

Incorporating the elements of games, such as points, badges, and leaderboards, to motivate employees in regards to internal communications, can be an extremely effective means of increasing engagement. Using game-like tactics and rewards, employees become more involved with what’s happening in the company, leading to increased participation, communication, and teamwork.

Sociabble has gamification features built into the platform, all of which are designed to boost employee engagement. This includes, for instance, a customizable badge system to reward employees for achievements and engagement, and also the possibility to launch  challenges and campaigns when needed, to encourage friendly competition. 

17. Teams Integration

Microsoft Teams is a collaborative tool essential to many organizations; rather than keeping it separate from an employee communication platform, the smarter option is to integrate it directly into the user experience. 

Sociabble can be integrated with Microsoft Teams, allowing for instant access to Sociabble from a simple tab in the Microsoft Teams interface. End-Users never have to leave the environment they work in to access the information, and content can be automatically pushed via Sociabble bots into Microsoft Teams channels.

18. UGC Management

Employees want stories; they want to share their experiences, and they want to give their point of view. It’s crucial that your employee communication software enables them to do this, giving them a voice and the ability to create content. 

Sociabble does precisely this, providing a channel for employees to share their stories with colleagues via user generated content, including embedded pictures, videos, gifs, etc. Administrators can manage UGC in terms of content distribution (channels, audience, etc.) and even offer the ability to share content instantly across social media. 

19. Social Wall

When it comes to news and announcements, many companies benefit from having their newsfeed displayed on public screens where people gather, i.e. cafeterias, lobbies, break rooms, etc. Creating a public forum ensures that all employees have access and can keep tabs on what’s happening at the company.

And no, you don’t need specific software for this–with a platform like Sociabble, you can push content directly to flatscreens and live workplace displays. This works very well for live broadcast events as well, giving all employees the opportunity to gather together for the announcements or presentation. With the social wall, companies can showcase content and drive visibility from brand websites throughout the workplace and at promotional events and trade shows. This is what L’Oréal chose to enable in order to enhance the visibility of its internal news.

20. Consulting & CSM Support

Having powerful employee communication software is great, but having it come with support is even better. At Sociabble, we provide consulting services and CSM team member support as well, sharing the best practices we’ve learned from over 500 successful Sociabble deployments.

Our techniques are based on proven methodology, and our CSM’s are there offering training for administrators and users of the platform, from installation, to launch, and over the lifespan of your program. 

Sociabble, the employee communication platform designed to bring your internal comms to a whole new level.

When it comes to employee communication software, Sociabble is a total internal comms solution that incorporates all of the above and more.

We’ve already worked with industry leaders like the Renault Group, Coca-Cola CCEP, and L’Occitane en Provence to enhance their internal communications, and we’d be happy to discuss ways we can help your company do the same. If you’d like to learn more, just get in touch! You can sign up here for a free personalized Sociabble demo.

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