Small business internal communications software is a team communication platform that provides users within small businesses with a real-time, versatile means of communicating with internal and external teams.
Instant messaging, direct voice communication, file/data sharing, video conferencing, etc. with team members and other personnel within an organization are among the main purposes of this kind of software solution. This type of software is designed to be intuitive and easy to use, allowing for faster and more convenient conversations between team members, individuals and collaborators.
There is a dramatic shift in today’s workplace environment, especially when it comes to the way people communicate and collaborate. The technological advancements and changing the culture within the workplace are among the major catalysts to this rapid shift. With small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs)—as well as larger companies—putting more emphasis on efficiency and productivity, there is a growing need for top-tier collaboration platforms and effective internal communications solutions.
Companies and organizations around the world are rushing to add new ways to enhance their collaboration and communication process, resulting in a sudden surge of internal communications software and other similar products.
According to a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, there is a great increase in collaboration between employees and managers by as much as 50% or more in the last couple of decades. The same study also highlights the fact that employees nowadays are spending nearly 80% of their work time on collaborative projects and activities. This includes tasks like answering queries, receiving and providing feedback, making voice calls and replying to emails.
The study provides valuable insights into why collaboration platforms and internal communications software have become staples among SMBs and large corporations across the globe. It also gives us a glimpse into the importance of such software solutions for increasing efficiency and productivity in the workforce.
Internal communications software can be used by small businesses to facilitate increased productivity, collaboration and process improvement through your company. Being a small business, communication is essential and using an internal communications platform helps teams stay on track with tasks, up-to-date with relevant information and work better as a team.
This type of software also offers many features to users, including:
In small business, many common tasks can take up a significant chunk of time from your employees and managers. Unfortunately, they are necessary and unavoidable. These routine tasks may range from filling out HR forms to managing attendance, payroll, scheduling and booking reservations.
With feature-rich internal communications tools, which come with additional features like automation, communicating and collaborating with internal teams becomes easier and more efficient. Using a platform that enables you to communicate directly to the person that can help you accomplish a task, and not have to wait too long for a response or the appropriate action to be taken, will significantly cut down the time you have to spend on finishing your job.
File sharing, knowledge sharing and info dissemination all have to be a purposeful initiative in order for them to be effective and yield positive results for the organization.
Collaboration platforms facilitate seamless file sharing and knowledge sharing by providing a robust internal communications tool for employees, managers, teams and decision-makers. Using internal communications solutions such as social networks are an optimal choice if you’re trying to maximize workforce productivity.
These enable employees to organically build communities based on different purposes and categories. They can then share knowledge and information relevant to those niches.
Small businesses can have staff located worldwide, working remotely and away from the office. Most businesses today have employees and teams spread over multiple geographical locations and in different time zones. Even if you have a local operation and your workforce are all within the same area, telecommuting or remote work is becoming more prevalent. Businesses allowing employees to work from home, to provide significant flexibility, is undeniably becoming the norm.
This presents a unique opportunity for purposeful collaboration to ensure a level of efficiency and productivity among remote workers. This is achieved by making sure project managers and all team members, while they are working in different locations, are effectively connected to each other through a robust internal communications tool which facilitates great collaboration.
There are many different types of small business internal communications software with the main categories being standalone products, embedded internal communications tools and industry-specific solutions.
Some internal communications software solutions are developed for a specific purpose, to serve a certain industry and their unique needs. For example, an internal communications tool that is specifically designed for businesses in manufacturing and field-services will most likely come with built-in push-to-talk (PTT) software to provide field workers different avenues for instant communication.
In the healthcare industry, effective internal communications systems will often include clinical communication and collaboration platforms, as well as HIPAA compliant messaging features.
Compared to industry-specific software, there is a lot more standalone internal communications software designed with integration capabilities. These are products dedicated to providing robust internal communications solutions.
These platforms often come with a variety of additional features like limited Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) capabilities, employee directories, video conferencing as well as instant messaging, audio and video communications. The right standalone product can be utilized as a full internal communications solution for any organization, regardless of size or industry.
These are internal communications software solutions that are embedded or offered as additional features in other types of systems or larger more comprehensive collaboration suites. Instant messaging, VoIP, video calls and conferencing, a mobile app for internal communications functionality, screen sharing, etc. are features that you might find in most top-tier collaboration platforms.
These examples fall under the internal communications umbrella and they are often found in other software solutions such as employee engagement software, employee intranet software, or virtual workspaces.
There are more complete products out there as well. These are internal communications software systems that do more than your typical instant messaging platform.
Slack, more specifically, is a multipurpose platform designed to facilitate project management with instant messaging and video conferencing capabilities, among other things. It allows users to create multiple channels of communication for different teams. It is also designed for ease-of-use, enabling employees and managers to easily create new channels and add team members to these channels with just a few clicks. From here on, users can instant message any member of their team, share information, store files, do screen sharing and start video calls.
The money you invest in software products like internal communications software should prove to be a good investment, as long as you find the right product to match your needs as an organization. These types of products are meant to deliver that vital component that keeps an organization’s workforce running smoothly.
The many features of this type of platform, such as instant messaging, push-to-talk, audio and video comms and social media integrations provide employees and managers with a variety of options for real-time collaboration and communication.
The following are the key benefits of using internal communications solutions for small businesses:
Streamlining the flow of information throughout your company is pretty important if you want to increase the efficiency and productivity of your workforce. With a robust internal communications tool, you can streamline the flow of data from operations up to the strategic level. This will help create a more realistic expectation setting and allows you to determine KPI or key performance indicators more efficiently.
If you create and nurture a working environment that allows employees and managers to communicate directly with each other and for team members to easily share their concerns and ideas to their team leaders, you will gain valuable insights about the different processes involved on every level. Workers can also gain real-time information based on key performance indicators.
An effective internal communications platform connects every employee within an organization in a seamless and practical manner. This creates a dynamic working environment where concerns and ideas of every person in the company can flow unhindered. As a result, project managers, and the business as a whole can experience a significant boost in performance and operational efficiency.
Internal communications software through instant messaging, discussion forums, social networks and other additional features designed for collaboration have the power to connect all employees, decision-makers and stakeholders of a company in a more organic and effective way.
If there’s one thing in common with most top-tier internal communications software and collaboration platforms in the market, it would most likely be ease-of-use.
One of the main goals of effective internal communications platforms is to make communications tools easy to understand and utilize and most platforms achieve this.
Internal communications software typically has interactive yet simple communication features and tools to provide users with easier and highly efficient means of sharing messages, files, important information and knowledge.
Internal communications software allows for the use of automation technology with certain tasks associated with team collaboration. The organization’s different departments and divisions can rely on the internal communications tool to keep communication lines open and vital operational data readily accessible to authorized personnel.
A common example of team collaboration is when one department needs to internally outsource a few tasks to other departments, i.e. the finance department could ask the marketing team to submit their budget proposal for an upcoming project, HR may require technical support from the IT department about software or hardware issues. Live chat tools, screen sharing, social intranet software and other additional features can help make sure this kind of interdepartmental collaboration happens with ease and without a hitch.
Small businesses using internal communications software will find better productivity and collaboration between teams, healthier communication throughout the organization and a user-friendly platform that is simple and easy to use for all teams within your small business.