It’s well known that employees who are happy and engaged do better work and are more satisfied with their jobs. The trick is finding new ways to promote that level of satisfaction and engagement. The tools of email marketing have some suggestions for engaging with internal staff as well as with customers, and one of them is with an internal newsletter. A regular internal publication gives companies the chance to speak to all employees about broad company news and to express appreciation for what employees contribute to help the business succeed. Internal newsletters can benefit all kinds of other organizations too, not just businesses. Volunteers at a charity, members of a club or fraternal organization, or all kinds of groups benefit from internal communications via newsletters.
An internal newsletter needs to be as carefully crafted and considered as any external marketing campaign if it is going to be successful. With that in mind, here are some tips to think about if you believe an internal newsletter could benefit your organization.
Define Your Goals
If you wouldn’t start a new marketing campaign aimed at customers without defining your goals and how you will measure them, don’t start an internal newsletter without the same thing. You aren’t trying to sell your products or services to your employees, but there still needs to be some clear purpose behind the publication. Otherwise, the lack of purpose and clarity will quickly become apparent.
Sometimes internal initiatives take second place in a business, because the needs of customers or product development are so pressing. This is exactly the wrong way to set about creating an internal newsletter, because it will give your employees the impression that they are not important enough to merit a quality product, even though they are expected to produce quality products for clients or customers. If you recognize how important your employees are to the success of your organization, a high-quality newsletter is one way you can show them that.
One big difference between an internal publication like an employee newsletter and an external campaign is that your employees know the score inside your company — in their areas of expertise, they probably know the score better than anyone else! Use a conversational tone in writing the newsletter, and avoid buzzwords and marketing jargon. In choosing content, include information that your employees care about. Identify what they need to know and what they want to know more about, and focus your efforts there. Some topic ideas to consider are product launches, bio pieces on new hires, major organizational and staff changes, department or staff highlights, and wider industry news that will impact your company.
Setting the Tone
An employee newsletter, as with any kind of organizational communication, is a chance to set the tone and expectations you want your entire organization to embrace. For example, if you insist on high quality and professionalism, produce a high-quality, polished newsletter. If you want to encourage cooperation between different levels and departments in your company, take the opportunity to highlight what all of the different departments do and commend cooperative efforts. Whatever values you want your company to reflect should be the values underlying your newsletter content and publication.
Keep it Positive
Use an internal newsletter as an opportunity to express appreciation and to inspire new effort, not to harp on problems or point out negative issues. Your employees are busy working to fix problems already. Everyone needs to hear that their efforts are noticed and appreciated, and the newsletter is a prime opportunity to tell the entire company about great efforts and initiatives. Doing so can boost morale and increase engagement among your employees, where negative stories generally have exactly the opposite effect.
Short and Sweet
A newsletter doesn’t need to be long to be effective. The people in your organization may not have time to read long pages of material, and they may also need to intersperse reading throughout their day as they also handle their responsibilities. Instead of lengthy essays, keep the items short, focused, and full of great information. Don’t make the writing so short that it becomes sharp and impersonal in tone, but don’t fill up the newsletter with fluff either. A publication equivalent to a page or two of material should be sufficient. If you find more information you want to share with employees, consider a more frequent publication schedule to break things up.
Solicit Feedback and Story Ideas
Since an internal newsletter is intended to be an employee-focused publication, listen to ideas from your staff. Ask them what kind of information they would like to read about. Managers or department heads may be willing to write an occasional item to provide a different voice and perspective. Also accept feedback from your employees regarding whether the newsletter is meeting their needs and how it could be improved.
An internal newsletter gives you the chance to both share valuable information with all the members of your organization and to show your appreciation for the hard work they contribute to your organization’s success. A well-crafted newsletter can help to bolster employee morale, keep everyone “in the know” about important company and industry news, and foster a greater sense of teamwork and engagement throughout the organization.