4 ways internal communication apps can boost productivity

New tools can help you boost collaboration, break down hierarchies and enhance employee engagement.

Employee communication might not register as its own expense line, but it has a clear impact on any company’s bottom line.

The stakes for effective communication are enormous. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) notes that businesses risk losing thousands of dollars per employee annually due to poor communication methods that reduce productivity and efficiency.

The potential losses seem to grow as the company’s employee roster expands, per SHRM. This is where internal communication apps can make a significant difference for small and large businesses alike.

Here’s a look at how internal communication apps can facilitate collaboration, boost productivity and raise profit margins:

Supporting internal collaboration

Workers are more mobile than ever, which makes traditional lines of communication less effective. Most companies emphasize collaboration in the workplace, but getting in-house and remote workers on the same page is no easy task. An internal communication app can facilitate brainstorming, foster meaningful discussions and keep projects on schedule.

Some internal communication apps feature digital phone and video functionality, as well as instant messaging, which gives employees multiple options when choosing the best way to communicate. Unlike a work email account, where all communications get jumbled into one big inbox, digital communication apps can create individual channels for specific projects and conversations. That’s an easy way to boost collaboration.

Breaking down hierarchies

An internal communication app breaks down the traditional top-down flow of information in a workplace. These tools can facilitate communication among employees and between employees and managers.

Poor workplace communication can quickly lead to big business problems. Certain departments may not get the memo about a new software update to install, or workers might be told of a new companywide rule without receiving an explanation for why that rule has been put in place. That’s a recipe for employee discontent and low morale.

A communication app can ensure information reaches the entire company quickly and effectively. Having a centralized platform where people can congregate and chat also provides an outlet for effective internal marketing.

Improved communication, productivity and engagement

Critics of internal communication apps will argue that these solutions are just a reinvention of a different communication tool: email. Email remains an important communication platform for most businesses, but it’s not always the answer.

According to Business 2 Community (B2C), as many as 73 percent of all emails received by employees are not relevant to their roles. Email also presents an increased security risk from phishing schemes and malware attacks.

Productivity is another consideration. B2C suggests that the use of internal communications tools can increase productivity by 20 to 25 percent.

Email can also lack flexibility. Apps that offer video, chat and phone functionality have a better chance at boosting collaboration. It takes a compelling array of content and communication channels to engage a diverse workforce.

Multipurpose integration

Internal communication tools can integrate with third-party apps to consolidate your corporate communications. Slack, for example, integrates with a growing list of third-party apps that employees can use to assign tasks, manage large projects, process payments, share files and provide external customer support. Communications tools can help you establish a go-to command center for news, information and tips.

Poor internal communications can be a drain on employee productivity, but companies have many options to facilitate better communication throughout the organization.

Jonathan Crowl is a writer based in Minnesota. A version of this post first appeared on Mobile Business Insights.


Ragan.com Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from Ragan.com directly in your inbox.