Why Your Company Needs an Internal Newsletter
As many a boss has said, employees are an organization's most valuable asset. They keep operations running smoothly and ensure the business continues to grow.
However, sometimes it can be difficult for managers to connect with employees regularly, creating a significant communication gap that can lead to performance problems. According to Gallup, nearly three-quarters (74%) of employees feel like they're missing out on company information and news.
Internal newsletters are a one way to keep employees informed. With a company newsletter just for employees, managers can share their thoughts with the team in a personal tone that helps close the communication gap. Here are some ideas for how to start a newsletter and what to include.
Why Start an Internal Newsletter?
Internal communication can motivate, inspire and connect employees in addition to keeping them up to date with what's going on in the organization. The frequency can vary from weekly to monthly, semi-annual to annual. The important thing is to prioritize open communication.
"Employees who feel more involved in their company may also be more likely to remain loyal to the company," said Amber Reed-Johnson, content marketer at Portsmouth, UK-based Giraffe Social Media. "An internal newsletter is just one piece in the employee retention and happiness puzzle, but it's a good one to implement."
Usually, internal newsletters incorporate several types of information including:
- Special events
- New job openings
- Training opportunities
- Praises and accolades
- Messages from the CEO
- Competitions and contests
That being said, a good newsletter starts with a purpose. That could be simply to inform, introduce employees to one another or to bring a product to worker's attention. Once there's a purpose, the newsletter becomes easier to put together.
The Anatomy of a Successful Internal Newsletter
Just as they nurture customers, companies need to nurture employees, moving them along from prospective new hire to passionate and engaged brand advocate. While company newsletters vary in scope, they have common elements that help them become successful:
- Customized Messages from Company Leaders: An internal newsletter should include messages from C-suite executives, but ensure it's not solely about one-way communication from leadership to employees. Add one leadership message per newsletter and make sure they're saying something valuable for employees and not just mouthing empty words.
- Employee-Generated Content: Ask employees to write a couple of lines about something interesting that happened to them. It could be an event at work, an experience with a client, or a new process they learned. By asking employees to contribute to the internal newsletter, employers gain a better perspective on the employee experience and help them connect with one another.
- Employee Spotlights: The New York Times internal newsletter is a good example here. It usually starts with celebrating employee milestones and commemorating team achievements. By celebrating employee achievements, companies show they care about what employees have done and achieved.
Tips for Creating an Internal Newsletter
Internal newsletters can be a great way to foster communication in the workplace, which is particularly important while many are still working remotely and feel the effects of isolation. Here are a few tips to communicate effectively:
- Make it short: Nobody wants to read a long wall of text, which is why Reed-Johnson suggests that "your newsletter should be short, fun and easy to read, and contain engaging content that will interest employees."
- Be consistent: Creating an internal newsletter takes effort so don't start if you're not going to follow through. "Newsletters are a visible initiative that will cause employee disappointment if it fails, and would be easy to criticize by your employees," said Saurabh Jindal, CEO at Gurugam, India-based Talk Travel App, a mobile voice translation app for travelers.
- Go easy on the metrics: Employees would like to see some metrics but that's not what matters most to them. Make the internal newsletter more human and less like a sales report.
- Embrace newer formats: Integrate new formats like podcasts into your newsletters. Give audio a try, said Mariel Davis, chief marketing officer at New York-based Spokn, a provider of internal audio services to companies. "Audio gives a more personal tone than email, it's easier to produce, and employees can tune in while they take a break from their screens," she said.
- Tell stories: Storytelling is necessary or else the newsletter is just more dull information. "People like to tell and listen to stories about other people," said Tatiana Gavrilina, content marketer at Kiev, Ukraine-based software developer DDI Development. "Do that in your internal newsletter." Just be sure to do it respectfully.
An internal newsletter can be the place where employees learn about what's new and exchange stories about what's happening in their work lives. Make it human and relatable and employees will not only read it, but will also want to be a part of it.