5 excellent internal communication tools

Want to increase collaboration and cut down on email? Try a collaboration platform like Brosix, BaseCamp, Wrike or Redbooth.


What’s the most effective way to reach a diverse group of employees with wildly different communication preferences?

It’s a struggle for every company, but some are taking drastic measures to find a better way. When Atos CEO Thierry Breton declared a zero-email policy for his company in 2011, many people thought he was crazy. This was no PR exercise, however.

Breton realized that email was wasting hundreds of hours in employee productivity, so he initiated a project to replace internal email within three years. Today, it’s been more than six years, and Atos is still striving to achieve a companywide “inbox zero.” This speaks to the immense challenge of getting a dispersed, diverse workforce on the same digital page.

Will we ever truly replace email? If not, what are the best complementary platforms to keep people in sync?

Here are five tools that can help with companywide communication and collaboration:

Brosix

Brosix has been developing an easy-to-use, secure communication tool since 2006. The company’s messaging solutions are suitable for small businesses and large enterprises.

Brosix provides real-time business collaboration across a secure team network. Administrators can manage user and group permissions from a web control panel.

With Brosix contact management, you can control who converses with whom, on various internal levels. For example, if you have a 20-person marketing team and a 10-person sales team, you could allow only the marketing manager to communicate with the sales manager. You could also ensure certain staff members communicate strictly inside their respective departments, if you wish.

You can also create custom groups for projects or special interests.

Brosix’s platform offers text chat, as well as voice and video functionality for more personalized communication.



There’s also a digital “whiteboard” to visualize concepts and ideas as you chat, and you can keep your team updated with the latest company news with the ” Welcome Plugin.”

BaseCamp

Since launching in 2004, Basecamp has streamlined project management and internal communication for businesses of all sizes. According to its website: Basecamp organizes your projects, internal communications, and client work in one place so you have a central source of truth.”

BaseCamp lets you consolidate project management in one central location. There’s a repository for documents, files and images, as well as a “to-do” list where tasks are assigned to individuals. There’s also a calendar with important milestones or deadlines, a group chat function and an instant messaging tool.

This is a helpful resource that keeps everyone updated on the status of projects.

Redbooth

Redbooth is a simple project management app that helps your team plan and track your work. The dashboard divides tasks into status lists: “To-Do,” “In Progress,” and “Completed.” Each task is assigned to an individual with a due date, so it’s easy to prioritize them.

When you start a new project, you can use templates of your internal processes, such as “New Employee Onboarding” or “Weekly Meetings.” This tool should help cut email clutter and keep your team on the same page.

Redbooth integrates with many apps, including Outlook and Gmail. You can transform an email into a task, assign an owner and set the status right from your email inbox.

Wrike

Wrike is a cloud-based collaboration tool. This platform has solutions tailored for different departments, including marketing, design, product development, business operations and professional services. Whatever your team, the core features remain the same.

Start by creating a project and adding tasks to it. Then you can assign an individual to those tasks, add comments to the task and set deadlines.

Wrike also features visual Gantt charts and a resource workload overview. You can check your project schedule and set dependencies to keep your team on track.

Bitrix24

This platform offers a suite of more than 35 social collaboration, communication and management tools for your team.

Inspired by Facebook, Bitrix24 developed a social media-style interface to improve communication.

The Activity Stream uses an interactive update feed that displays all the latest changes and announcements from your organization. Each employee chooses what types of updates to display in their personalized feed. There’s even a “Like” button. Users can view, comment on and interact with content in their stream.

Bitrix24 includes functionality for instant messaging, group chats, video calls and video conferencing.

Georgi Todorov is a digital marketing expert. A version of this post first appeared on Business 2 Community.

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