7 reasons to get a team messaging app for your business

  • It’s important to choose a team chat app that keeps your staff members connected in real-time
  • The Homebase messaging system lets small business owners check who’s on shift and easily start a chat with them
  • Using the Homebase team chat app free of charge is the best way to keep your employees up to speed on the ins and outs of your business

7 reasons why your small business needs a team messaging app

There are plenty of great messaging apps and collaboration tools out there, like Microsoft Teams and Google Chat. But these apps aren’t the most efficient or effective way for small business owners to communicate with their employees. That’s because they prioritize video conferencing, customer support chatbots, and other features that are specific to remote teams and larger businesses. 

Here are seven reasons why you should consider a team communication app dedicated to small businesses like Homebase instead.

1. Stay organized and in the loop

Messaging apps let you manage your small business when you’re not actually at the premises. That’s essential if you frequently have to step out to run errands like meeting with suppliers or recruiting new employees at job fairs.

But standard messaging apps have a limited reach. They only let you direct message individuals or the entire team. That means you have to message everyone at once and risk your question getting lost in the chat, or deal with the extra hassle of looking up who’s on shift and messaging them all directly.

Team chat apps make it easier to communicate by showing you who’s working and letting you send them messages as a group. And because everyone who’s on shift will get your message, you have a much higher chance of getting a quick response. You can create custom chat rooms based on roles, tiers, locations, and projects as well, so you can keep up with everything that’s happening at your business without having to stay there around the clock.

2. Streamline your workflow

A great team messaging app should integrate with your other human resources (HR) tools so you can move between tasks seamlessly. That way, you won’t have to split your attention between your smartphone, different computer windows, and all your paperwork.

For instance, Homebase’s all-in-one solution means you can go from requesting your team’s availability to working on employee scheduling to publishing your final timetable in one place. 

Handy team messaging apps also include a dashboard feature that gives you an overview of everything happening at your business — including employee messages. So, you can receive updates and important information as you handle your day-to-day tasks and factor them into your operations more easily.

3. Improve team collaboration

Team messaging apps can also improve the way your staff members work together and cooperate in your business. Because with app-based messaging, your employees can message one another without:

  • Knowing anyone’s phone numbers
  • Paying for text messaging or phone calls
  • Wondering whether they’ve chosen the most direct line of communication

Instead, when your whole team is using the same team chat app, you can be confident that everyone can both send and receive messages quickly. And effective communication plays a critical role in team collaboration. When a problem arises at your business and an employee needs help, they can expect fast responses from their team members and management, meaning they can resolve the issue faster.

As an owner or manager, you can also rest assured that if any problems come up while you’re not on your small business premises, you’ll get informed right away.

4. Hold everyone accountable

Having a team messaging app means your employees always have a way to contact you. So, when staff members have an attendance issue or trouble finishing their to-do lists, they won’t be able to blame it on communication issues. This also gives you an excellent opportunity to pinpoint internal problems sooner and look for ways to support employees through whatever challenges are preventing them from carrying out their work properly.

Team messaging apps also make it easier for you to share important details with your staff. When everyone has the information they need to do their jobs, it’s clearer when performance issues come up. You can then step in and offer more training or guidance when an employee is consistently missing the mark.

And having a reliable messaging system also makes management more accountable internally. If you fail to send information or read messages from employees, you know you need to adjust the way you work. Perhaps you’re too busy to check your phone and need to delegate more responsibilities to your other team members. Or you might need to build time into your day where you check your work-related mobile notifications.

5. Keep team communication secure and private

Employees may not wish to give out their personal contact information to their professional colleagues for a variety of reasons. But instant messaging with an app lets people communicate with each other without having to share their phone numbers or social media account information.

This is especially important when you’re introducing a new hire to the team during the onboarding process. At that point, the employee probably doesn’t know anyone they work with yet. Messaging apps allow them to withhold their contact details until they feel more comfortable sharing them.

The best messaging apps also encrypt messages so third parties can’t read anything your team sends each other without permission. This is vital as your employees may have to send you personal details or documents with your team chat app.

6. Make messaging affordable for all your staff

When you rely on standard text messaging and phone calls, your employees may have to pay for their extra smartphone usage. While that might not be a huge issue depending on their phone plan, it doesn’t mean you can’t offer them a better deal. Use a dedicated messaging app and your employees can communicate at no extra cost using their home or work internet connection.

Not all messaging apps involve signing up for a paid plan either! Homebase’s messaging system is included within the free Basic plan because we know how essential seamless communication is. Bonus: You don’t have to pay for features that are unnecessary for small businesses, like screen sharing or video calls.

7. Boost your team’s job satisfaction

All the benefits we’ve discussed so far can contribute to higher levels of employee engagement. Your staff members will appreciate:

  • Working for a well-organized business
  • Having a responsive manager
  • Being able to rely on their team members
  • Not having to work harder to compensate for underperforming coworkers
  • Feeling safe to talk to each other via chat
  • Not using their own money for work-related messaging

This increases staff’s mental and emotional connection to their jobs. And engagement is important as engaged employees are more productive and have higher job satisfaction. That means they’ll be more likely to keep working for you in the long term. So team chat apps can ultimately help with staff turnover and your work culture, too.

Team chat apps also often have other messaging tools that your staff can enjoy. For example, Homebase has granular settings so you can quickly send messages to custom groups of employees. We also already have a pre-made group for employees who are currently on shift, which prevents your employees from getting work-related messages — and potentially stressful reminders of what’s happening at their jobs — on their days off. Instead, your whole team will have a chance to switch off and relax properly.

Why Homebase is the best team chat app for small businesses

Now that you know how a team chat app can help your business, let’s discuss why Homebase is the best fit for small teams with hourly workers.

Homebase understands how small business teams communicate

Staying connected can be make or break for a small business. All your employees need to be able to communicate effectively, even if they’re on different shifts or spread out over multiple locations. And while there are many messaging apps on the market, not all of them have collaboration features that were specifically designed for small businesses like yours.

At Homebase, we pride ourselves on our ability to make communication and general business operations easier for small businesses. Our all-in-one HR solution combines tools for:

That means you can manage all these tasks in one place on either your smartphone or your desktop computer. Then, you can message employees right from any Homebase feature you’re using instead of searching through your text message history. Don’t forget, we have built-in integrations with popular tools like Quickbooks and Paychex, too.

Homebase also takes team communication a step further and allows you to see who’s seen your messages as soon as they read them. Read receipts let you know whether everyone’s up to speed on all your important business matters. That means spending less time having to chase after your staff. 

And the communication features don’t stop there. Small businesses can use custom groups on the messenger to:

  • Send a quick request to everyone who’s currently working
  • Message an employee on a one-on-one basis to discuss task management or any issues they might be having
  • Leave shift notes for employees within their schedules
  • Take advantage of our multi-media support to send images for extra clarity
  • Let the entire team contact each other as much as they need with unlimited messages

Homebase gives the entire team instant access to key information

Since Homebase consolidates all its tools into one platform, you can store all your business information in the same place. Our file-sharing feature also means that employees just have to log into the app to access details like:

  • Onboarding information
  • Their schedules for the upcoming weeks
  • Their tax forms and other essential documents
  • Their timesheets and payroll details

Instant access to schedules is crucial for employees, as they need as much time as possible to arrange childcare, study sessions, and doctor’s appointments. It’s just as important for employees to be able to plan leisure activities, family time, and relaxation to ensure their mental and physical well-being. Scheduling in advance also reduces the number of last-minute changes you need to make to accommodate employees, too.

File storage also helps management a great deal. You can get fast access to all the information you need, like your team’s availability and who’s approaching overtime. There’s also the option to use the manager’s logbook to make notes on different shifts and topics. 

And when you’ve got some especially interesting news or an important update, you can use our announcements and shoutouts features. These are messages that you can pin to the dashboard to ensure that your employees see them as soon as they log into the app. They’re also perfect for shouting out employees who’ve done excellent work that day.

Homebase sends out handy reminders and alerts about shifts

Having to track each employee’s shifts and remind them to complete essential tasks can be time-consuming and tiring. So why not let Homebase pick up the slack? One of our messaging platform’s best features is the ability to send out alerts, notifications, and reminders. You can send them to employees about:

  • Upcoming shifts: Your staff are only human and might occasionally forget when they’re working. That’s especially true of small businesses with shift patterns that are constantly changing. Support your staff and prevent no-shows from happening by giving your employees warnings when their shift is about to start.
  • Break times: There are strict federal and state laws about working hours and breaks. So, missed breaks could result in compliance issues like fines and penalties for your business. Plus, you want your employees to be well-rested. Break reminders help you by making sure all your staff members take time out when they’re supposed to.
  • Clock ins and outs: When an employee forgets to clock in, you have to deal with the hassle of going into your time tracking system and manually changing their hours. If you don’t, you may end up paying them for less time than they worked. Alerts prevent these situations from happening so often by advising employees when they’ve missed their clock-in time.

Best of all, Homebase automates all these alerts and reminders, so you don’t have to focus on managing them. Instead, you can use your time to boost your business, keep your team happy, and form community connections.