The best employee communication software enables business owners to easily share company updates with their employees. Most have news feeds and in-app messaging tools, allowing workers to communicate with each other. Some include online surveys, a staff directory, and employee recognition solutions.
In this guide, we evaluated 14 internal communication software and narrowed the options down to our top four recommendations.
- Connecteam: Best overall, especially for small businesses needing free employee communication tools
- Workmates by HR Cloud: Best for recognizing employee achievements and offering reward perks
- Oneteam: Best workforce communications platform for onboarding and engaging employees
- Blink: Best for multilingual company updates and artificial intelligence (AI)-based content creation
Top Employee Communication Software Compared
All of the software we reviewed offer employee messaging features, customization options, analytics, and a news feed for sharing company announcements and updates. Below are some of the standout features, including the providers’ basic pricing details.
Connecteam: Best Overall Employee Communication Software
- Monthly pricing only covers the first 30 employees; charges add-on fees for each additional worker
- Lacks phone support
- User permissions, scheduled news feed posts, and anonymous surveys included in higher tiers
- Has storage limits for its online knowledge base; size varies, depending on plan selected
Connecteam is our top-recommended app because it offers its solid communication tools and free plan for businesses with up to 10 users. It also comes with HR tools for managing onboarding, time tracking, and training programs. With its communications solution, you can send targeted and scheduled announcements, customize posts, deploy online surveys, and store company documents (like forms and policies) in a centralized knowledge base. Your employees also get private and team chat rooms for collaborating with other workers.
In our evaluation, this provider earned an overall score of 4.43 out of 5, given its transparent pricing, data privacy and security features, ease of use, and good customer reviews. However, while it offers efficient solutions for communicating with workers, it lacks phone support and has limited integration options. You also have to subscribe to its free plan or higher paid tiers if you want employee recognition tools.
Connecteam’s free and paid plans cover three products or “hubs” (Communications, HR & Skills, and Operations), and you can choose the product plans you want. For example, you can sign up for its Advanced Communications plan and also get the Basic Operations package for managing employee attendance, job schedules, forms, and tasks.
You can also get the free Small Businesses tiers across all hubs, which grants you access to most of the features included in its Enterprise package. This is perfect for those that need HR and communication tools but don’t plan to add more workers to their 10-employee business any time soon.
- Company news feed: You get an online news feed where you can easily share updates and announcements, including details about company events like team building workshops and training programs. Employees can “like” posts, add comments and replies, and tag or mention other users. However, if you need help writing content for your targeted and scheduled posts, consider Blink, as it has AI-based tools designed to streamline content creation processes.
- Multi-media and file attachments: It supports multiple media files, allowing you to attach videos, images, documents, and GIFs to your updates. You can even add multiple types of media in one post.
- Secure work chats: Connecteam lets you separate work messaging from private chats. System administrators can create specific chat channels for announcements, business news, and general information about the company. People managers can even be granted complete control over team or group chat settings and permissions.
- Birthday and employee recognition notices: If you get Connecteam’s HR & Skills hub (aside from its Communications solution), you can post celebratory messages about your employees’ birthdays, hiring anniversaries, and work accomplishments. You can also highlight employee contributions through recognition badges, such as “team player,” “job well done,” or medal-like badges.
Workmates by HR Cloud: Best for Employee Recognition and Rewards
- Doesn’t offer a free plan or a free trial
- Lacks phone support
- Company announcements, surveys, checklists, and file attachments are available in its higher tiers
With Workmates by HR Cloud, you can acknowledge and celebrate the work accomplishments of your employees without having to get an add-on solution (Connecteam requires you to purchase a separate product plan for this). Its recognition tools are included in the starter tier and come with employee perks you can use to reward eligible workers. Announcements and updates can also be posted through its customizable company portal and employee intranet, provided you upgrade to its Essential plan.
In our evaluation, Workmates by HR Cloud earned an overall rating of 4.14 out of 5. It received scores of 4 and up in ease of use, data privacy and security, platform functionalities, and communication tools. The absence of live phone support and a free plan (or a free trial), including the low number of user reviews on third-party review sites like G2 and Capterra, cost it some points.
You can choose from three plans: Recognition, Essential, and Premium. Note that Workmates by HR Cloud’s pricing is based on the number of employees you have. Monthly fees also go down as your headcount increases.
- Recognition: Fees start at $2 per user monthly for up to 250 employees*
- Includes employee recognition tools, online approvals, a company calendar, and a staff directory
- Essential: Fees start at $3.50 per user monthly for up to 250 employees*
- Recognition + online news feed, multiple channels, file attachments, and analytics
- Premium: Fees start at $5 per user monthly for up to 250 employees*
- Essential + campaigns, surveys, checklists, live stream capabilities, and integration with Zoom and Microsoft Teams
*The above fees show the monthly rates for an annual subscription, which requires upfront and lump sum payment of the annual fees. Contact the provider to request month-to-month pricing.
- Robust recognition tools: What’s great about Workmates by HR Cloud is that it added gamification features to its recognition solution, which helps foster healthy competition between colleagues or teams. Its system allows you to create office challenges for workers, such as achieving specific health goals or having zero late/undertime entries in a calendar year. Similar to Connecteam, you can customize and send badges to recognize employees. You even get leaderboards that highlight and track the progress of individual and/or group goals.
- Employee rewards: Workmates by HR Cloud is the only provider we reviewed that lets you offer online gift cards from various merchants (like Amazon, Target, or Starbucks) as an employee reward. You can also create reward perks that require workers to earn points from badges or challenges in order to get additional vacation leave credits or maybe a free device (such as an iPad or iPhone).
- Intranet with branded pages: Creating customized pages for your company intranet is easy with its intuitive text editor. System administrators can add separate company portals for departments, while workers can set up their own profile page where they can send documents, links, and custom notifications to fellow employees.
- Crisis alerts: Aside from letting you create and send SMS messages during emergencies (e.g., fire or flooding at company premises, weather warnings, etc.), its system enables you to set up recipient lists based on the employees’ work location, department, and more. And, while tracking where your workers are during a crisis can be challenging, Workmates by HR Cloud makes this process easier through customizable alerts that require employees to share their location and confirm that they are safe.
Oneteam: Best for Onboarding & Engaging Employees
- You need to purchase the core platform first before getting other modules (like surveys, onboarding, e-learning tools, and forms)
- Advanced branding options available for an extra fee
- Only offers live chat support
- Charges implementation fees
Oneteam may have a workforce communications platform as its core solution, but it also offers paid add-on tools for onboarding new hires and measuring employee engagement. Its onboarding module is designed to help guide new employees before, during, and after their first day at work. Meanwhile, its survey solution lets you create media-rich questionnaires and send these to targeted employee groups.
The provider earned an overall score of 4.08 in our evaluation, with high points (4 and up) in ease of use, data security and privacy controls, and employee communication tools. It would have ranked higher on our list if it had a free plan, a more robust recognition tool (you can only share celebratory messages), and a higher number of user reviews on third-party sites like G2 and Capterra.
Oneteam’s pricing is based on the modules selected and the number of employees you have, but monthly fees range from $2.50 to $5 per employee. It has a core internal communications platform and add-on solutions for onboarding, online surveys, checklists and forms, and learning courses. To get an accurate quote, contact Oneteam’s sales team to request a demo and share the features that your business needs.
- New hire onboarding: Oneteam adds gamification features to its onboarding modules to make completing tasks fun and engaging for new hires. Points can be earned from providing correct answers to onboarding quiz questions or for finishing required online courses (such as sexual harassment prevention training). You can even create custom onboarding programs with targeted audience lists and learning modules or how-to videos that are spread out over a longer period of time, based on the employees’ days in service.
- Employee satisfaction surveys: Get feedback and insights from employees through surveys deployed via Oneteam’s employee communication app and online platform. It supports several answer types, such as multiple choice, sliders, and text answers. Targeting specific employee groups is possible through its audience selector tool, while its scheduled releases feature helps automate annual survey implementation.
- Secure work chats: Collaborating and communicating with other team members is made easy with Oneteam’s real-time chat. You can create group chats, add colleagues to a team chat, and send private messages.
- Personalized news feed: Oneteam lets your employees create their own personal timeline or online profile. Unlike Connecteam and Workmates by HR Cloud, which offer a company-specific newsfeed or portal, you don’t have a main page that contains all updates and announcements. What the system does is push all notifications to the employees’ personal timelines, and you can mark messages as important so that these will appear at the top of the timeline until the workers mark it as read.
Blink: Best for Multilingual Company Updates & AI-based Content Creation
- Can be pricey for small businesses
- Integration options with API access and on-demand translation are paid add-ons
- Starter tier only comes with quick pulse surveys; you have to upgrade to its Enterprise plan to get full surveys
- Employee recognition tools aren’t robust
Blink’s smart AI-tools make it easy for your HR team’s content creators to manage an internal communications software. If you have difficulties writing a post about the latest federal or state regulations that will impact your company, its GPT-enabled writing assistant will help you create the appropriate content. For businesses with multilingual workers, Blink offers a paid solution for translating your posts so all employees who aren’t well-versed in speaking and reading English can easily understand company announcements. This saves you from doing the translations yourself or getting an expert to do it for you.
In our evaluation, Blink earned an overall rating of 4.05 out of 5. It received scores of 4 and up in pricing, user reviews, and communication functionalities. However, it lost several points because it lacks live phone support and setup assistance, has limited data export options, and you have to upgrade to its Enterprise plan to unlock other features like integrations, automated user management, and a dedicated customer success manager.
How We Chose the Best Employee Communication Software
To find the best app to communicate with employees, we looked at pricing, ease of use, customer support, and user reviews. We also considered data privacy and security controls, including the depth of workforce communication features—whether it offers basic tools like company announcements and an employee directory or advanced functionalities like online surveys and employee recognition solutions.
Click through the tabs below for a more detailed breakdown of our evaluation criteria.
20% of Overall Score
We checked if the provider has transparent pricing, multiple plan options, and either a free tier or a free trial. Those priced at $30 or less per employee monthly were also given extra points.
25% of Overall Score
We looked for employee communication features that make sharing company updates, celebrating employee achievements, running surveys, and creating work chats easy for users. We also gave points to providers that offer content-sharing tools, a staff directory, and an online knowledge base.
20% of Overall Score
In addition to having helpful features like how-to guides, data exports, push notifications, and live phone support options, we checked whether it has an easy learning curve for new users and if setup assistance is offered.
15% of Overall Score
We looked at user reviews from third-party sites like G2 and Capterra. Then, we averaged the ratings on a 5-star scale, wherein an average of 4.5+ stars is ideal. Also, any software with an average of 500 or more reviews on third-party sites is preferred.
10% of Overall Score
We gave points to providers with data privacy tools, role-based access, and two-factor authentication logins.
10% of Overall Score
Most employee communication software help businesses share company updates and announcements with their workforce, but there are also platforms with additional solutions for employee recognition, online surveys, and a secure work chat. Ultimately, all these features make internal communications and employee collaboration easy for companies with remote and highly mobile teams.
In our evaluation, we found Connecteam as the best app to communicate with employees because of its all-in-one app with customization options and robust user permissions. Basic to advanced HR tools are also available to help you manage and train employees. Small businesses with up to 10 employees can even benefit from its free plan, which includes access to all of its features.
Sign up for a Connecteam plan today.