04 Oct How to improve employee engagement with a compelling company newsletter
We’ve heard the term frequently these days—employee engagement—and with the demand for talent on the rise, it’s no longer a “nice to have” but becoming a critical business focus in order to retain and keep employees. Consider this alarming stat from a recent Gallup report: 51% of employees are disengaged in the workplace. Keeping employees engaged can no longer be ignored.
An internal employee newsletter is a simple tactic to keep employees engaged and motivated, but how do you get your team to actually read it? According to Trade Press Services, 85% of employees are most motivated when internal communications are effective and 74% of employees feel they are missing out on company information and news. What better way to keep them informed but through a compelling employee newsletter?
We know that an internal communications strategy is reflective of a strong organization and its culture. Utilizing an internal newsletter that focuses on getting the right messages out to your team can lead to higher employee satisfaction and, in turn, business success.
Use your company newsletter to drive employee engagement
Employee engagement is key to building a successful company and culture which is critical at a time when retaining top talent is a challenge for all businesses. According to HRCloud, Inc., a leading HR software and HR solutions company, businesses who have high employee engagement rates see higher productivity, higher job satisfaction, even more sales and higher revenue. Even amidst the rise of virtual work, staying connected with your entire workforce is key to building engagement, loyalty and retention.
A purposeful employee newsletter as part of your internal communications strategy can help team members feel less isolated by providing regular company updates, especially when relevant information is distributed consistently. Internal company newsletters allow your business to share key updates, announcements and news to keep the entire team on the same page which, in turn, helps build loyal champions for your business.
Share culture and employee stories in your newsletter to build excitement
Identify the best content for your internal company newsletter by tying it back to your strategic plan or core values and use key milestones to share so you can get the right messages to your team at the right time. Make your employees and culture the focus of the articles by showcasing how they are living out your culture and core values. While it may be challenging to captivate your broad employee audience, especially with many working remote as of late, consider content that your employees want to read. Ask for input and ideas.
As you develop your content plan, keep your employees involved and build story ideas around all areas of your business. For instance, one of our clients focuses their internal newsletter content on each of their strategic pillars of business such as operations, sales and people, plus an update directly from leadership in each issue. Allow your employee newsletter to build camaraderie and break down silos between departments. (Bonus: featuring your employees prominently—with photos—can give your teams something—or someone—to look for in each issue.)
Providing transparency to your workforce by sharing updates relating to company projects and initiatives can build loyalty, increase retention and keep your employees motivated.
- Provide readers with authentic stories straight from the production floor, out in the field or wherever your employees are working. Did one of your employee recently recommend a new process or procedure that you’ve implemented that’s made a difference? How about recognizing a team member who helped keep another worker safe or provided assistance? These are some of the stories that can help demonstrate how culture lives in your hallways or facilities.
- A mix of employee-focused, company-focused and customer-focused content will intrigue a mass audience across various departments such as celebrating recent personal successes such as earning a college degree or highlighting a new customer that has recently been added to your company’s portfolio of work.
- Give your employees the inside story about things happening in the company while staying true to your company’s mission, vision and values through updates like spotlight a recent company award and how your company was able to receive the outstanding accomplishment. Get input from team members to share their thoughts on the honor, too!
- Keep your company newsletter content relevant and timely. Consider the frequency for your new internal communication such as monthly or quarterly. How often should news be shared with your company? A more frequent newsletter such as monthly may require additional resources due to a shorter production time but the stories would be current whereas a quarterly internal newsletter would allow for more production time but not include content as timely as a monthly alternative.
- Lastly, encourage your team to further connect with colleagues upon reading stories by sharing congratulations for a recent accomplishment or inquiring to learn more about a new project that was launched. Allow your company newsletter to build camaraderie among all departments and levels of the organization.
Use standard journalist principles to capture your readers, in this case—employee’s—attention.
Channel your inner journalist with these tips to write your internal newsletter content
The addition of an internal company newsletter can be an effective tactic to share company news, celebrate employee milestones, provide project updates and more. It is a great opportunity to put the spotlight on your employees—your greatest asset. Has your company received a recent award? Get feelings and input directly from team members from a variety of departments and roles to hear how the award recognition makes them feel.
Use these standard journalist principles as you begin your employee newsletter (even for those who aren’t journalists at heart!):
- Develop a content plan/strategy for your newsletter. How often will the newsletter go out? Will your internal newsletter be printed for distribution or shared digitally with your team? Will you develop a quarterly newsletter with all of the articles and then share individual articles from that newsletter on your intranet site throughout the following months to increase visibility? Is a shorter weekly eNewsletter a better fit for your team? What stories, stats and updates are most important (or timely) to highlight? Who will write the stories? Who will design the publication? There’s a lot to plan at this step before you start.
- Identify employees (also known as subject matter experts—SMEs) who are at the heart of each story. Consider interviewing these key individuals to get their direct perspective. This is also helpful to hear straight from the source what is most important and should be highlighted in the story.
- Dig in and start some research. Investigate and research the story like a journalist would, Draft questions for each SME interview and be sure you have a solid understanding of the topic before the interview in order to lead a purposeful dialogue.
- Conduct the SME interview. Ask open-ended questions and be a journalist for your business. Allow your employee’s voice to lead the authentic story as you draft the article.
- Draft the story to captivate your team’s attention. Communicate what’s new and exciting to build that dynamite content that will keep people reading. Focus on people—and don’t forget to include photos when possible! Keep in mind that too high of a reading level along with the use of jargon and other complex words may cause readers to lose interest if they can’t comprehend the content.
Develop an internal newsletter that will keep your employees engaged
An employee newsletter is a simple tactic to share open and transparent content across the entire organization as part of your internal communications strategy in an effort to build employee engagement. Be purposeful with the stories and allow your employees to be the focus (and faces) of the newsletter. Compelling content will help build employee engagement—a key to business success—to engage and motivate your workforce to become champions for the business.
Are you ready to share improve employee engagement by launching an employee newsletter and need help getting started? We’d love to help! If you’re seeking assistance with developing an internal communications strategy or looking for help to interview your employees and write compelling articles, Writing by Design is here for you. Schedule a free consult or check out our blog for more marketing and communications tips.
Emily Feagles has more than ten years of experience in product manufacturing and not-for-profit industries leading marketing and communications initiatives. Her expertise includes communications strategy, public relations, brand management, printed publications, email marketing, website and social media management, event planning and promotion, product marketing and research, process development, writing, editing and more. When she’s not working, Emily enjoys spending time with her husband and two young children, chasing their wanderlust and dreaming of ways to transform their home.