Let’s face it, talking to people outside of your organization is a huge priority. Those are the people who support you and help keep you in forward motion, whether it be through donations or some form of volunteering.
But just as important as talking to people outside your organization is internal communication with the people who form the cogs of your initiatives, your staff.
Causes and campaigns of all sizes face difficulties in making sure that staff are getting relevant and accessible information when they need it. That includes:
- Access to organizational practices and policy
- Updating staff on the field
- Communicating with remote staff
Fortunately, there are tools out there that can help you with internal communication and are also easy for your staff to use- whether you want to communicate at scale or 1 to 1.
Let’s take a look:
Large to Medium Scale Internal Communication Tools
Knowledge Base – Confluence/Sharepoint
Make sure that important information is available to your staff when they need it. Knowledge bases let you share knowledge and policies as well as manage staff and volunteers.
Confluence is a collaborative wiki-esque tool that lets your team share valuable information with each other. Finding, using and updating knowledge becomes much simpler with it’s easy-to-navigate layout.
- Give and get feedback through inline page comments
- @mention team members you need help from
- Powerful search and structured page trees
Price: Starts at $10, scaling depending on the size of your team.
If you’re looking for a more powerful (but harder to set up) platform, you might consider Sharepoint for your organization. It’s an intranet that’s integrated with Microsoft office, letting you use tools like Excel, Word and Powerpoint to collaborate on documents. But if you are a smaller organization, Confluence is your best bet for it’s usability and easy set up process.
Staff SMS updates – CallHub
Reaching staff or volunteers for important updates can be frustrating, especially when they are spread out or on the go. Fortunately there is one constant – mobile phones.
CallHub lets you send SMS messages to your entire staff, letting them know about important organizational updates or urgent notices immediately. The tool also allows you to conduct employee surveys, to collect important feedback from your staff.
- Instantly share collected data with your CRM
- Respond to queries with automated replies
- Reach your entire staff list with a click of a button
Price: Pay as you go. A single text costs $0.016 in the US.
Medium to Small Scale Internal Communication Tools
File Storage and Sharing – Google Drive/Dropbox
Storing and sharing documents is pretty much a daily routine for any organization.
Google Drive lets you work on and save your documents online. It comes integrated with G Suite, including Gmail, Calendar, Hangouts and more, or you can get Google Drive separately. If you’re a nonprofit, you can get Google apps for free.
- Integrates with the rest of Google’s apps like Sheets, Docs, Slides and more
- Scan document with Drive for Android and store them as PDFs
Price: Starts from $8 per user.
Dropbox is an option that has the leg-up when it comes to file synchronization. Block level syncing allows only the changes made to your files to be synced, making it faster for changes to show up across devices.
Project Progress – Asana/Trello
Keeping track of your organization’s progress is necessary to make sure your goals are met on time, especially if you’re working with limited resources.
Asana lets individuals or teams in your organization create tasks, schedule projects and invite collaborators. It makes it easy to monitor individual tasks as they are completed and even communicate with team members directly within the interface.
- View tasks in a variety of formats – lists, on a calendar, cards, you choose
- Setreminders for things like phone calls
- Take account of dependencies for different tasks
Price: Get started for free.
If you prefer to keep things simple, you can try out Trello. You can list tasks under columns, and drag them to other columns to show what stage the task is at. This simplicity is a drawback for larger projects or campaigns, where the column layout becomes more difficult to navigate. They have a generous free plan you can get started on. So try it out and see if it fits in.
1 to 1 or Group Internal Communication Tools
Virtual Meetings and Conferences – Zoom/Skype
Holding training sessions and meetings through video conferencing will go a long way in keeping your staff up to date with the skills and knowledge necessary for the job.
Zoom lets you host video meetings, conduct webinars, and even send instant messages across platforms along with file sharing. Zoom integrates with a ton of applications like Zapier, Salesforce, Dropbox, Slack and more. Some features include:
- HD audio and video streaming
- High-quality desktop and application sharing
- Breakout rooms, allowing attendees to split into smaller groups, then rejoin the main meeting
Price: Free Basic plan.
For daily 1 on 1 communications between staff, Skype is a great option, being one of the simplest voice and video chat options available.
Private and Group communication – Slack
Communication through emails has always been a chore for organizations and it’s easy for important messages to be lost in the chaos.
Slack is basically a chatroom for your whole organization, that lets you replace email as the primary mode of communication among staff. Organize your communications by channels for group discussions or have one on one direct conversations with team members.
- Share files to your teammates through direct or group conversations
- Integrate with countless apps, like Google Drive, Salesforce and Gmail. The Slack app store is a treasure trove of tools that help you get stuff done without leaving Slack
- Favourite messages to review later
Not every organization will need every tool out there in order to implement an effective internal communication strategy. Assess your needs and those of your staff before implementing a tool for your organization.
Are there any internal communication tools that you find useful that are missing on this list? Let me know at [email protected]
Featured Image Credit: Volodymyr Hryshchenko