Em­ployee news­let­ters ef­fec­tive if done right

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - BUSINESS - By Dar­lene Clabault J.J. Keller & As­so­ciates

Many peo­ple en­joy re­ceiv­ing recog­ni­tion for an achieve­ment or suc­cess, and even more so if it’s in pub­lished form (ei­ther elec­tronic or hard copy). Em­ploy­ees also like be­ing aware of what ac­tions are be­ing taken in the work­place. Par­tic­u­larly for larger com­pa­nies, con­vey­ing such in­for­ma­tion might be chal­leng­ing. Em­ployee news­let­ters can pro­vide an out­let and a source for em­ploy­ees to stay in tune with what’s go­ing on at the com­pany.

While some or­ga­ni­za­tions might post all in­for­ma­tion on an in­tranet, a ded­i­cated em­ployee news­let­ter can help strengthen ties be­tween em­ploy­ees and their em­ployer.

An ef­fec­tive em­ployee news­let­ter can have quite a sub­stan­tial ef­fect on the over­all con­nec­tion and com­mit­ment that em­ploy­ees feel to their com­pany.

Em­ployee news­let­ters are not a new con­cept, and in some or­ga­ni­za­tions, they are tired, trite and even down­right bor­ing. If this is true at your com­pany, your news­let­ter prob­a­bly isn’t help­ing em­ploy­ees to feel con­nected to your or­ga­ni­za­tion. While you might al­ready be aware that em­ploy­ees aren’t ex­actly rav­ing about your news­let­ter, you may want to con­sider whether they are even in­ter­ested in read­ing it.

Iden­tify the goal

Whether your em­ployee news­let­ter is ef­fec­tive de­pends largely on what you want it to ac­com­plish. Is it meant to mo­ti­vate your em­ploy­ees? Help them to do their jobs bet­ter? Make them proud to be a part of your or­ga­ni­za­tion? Care­fully defin­ing a pur­pose for your news­let­ter that is in align­ment with your com­pany’s over­all goals is im­por­tant. Until you’ve done this, it will be dif­fi­cult to de­cide whether it has the po­ten­tial to be ef­fec­tive.

Self­ies in print

The best way to get em­ploy­ees to read your em­ployee news­let­ter is to make sure they are fairly rep­re­sented in it. Some em­ploy­ers don’t dis­cuss em­ploy­ees in their news­let­ters at all, and oth­ers fea­ture only biographies or news about high-level ex­ec­u­tives, with whom em­ploy­ees might have dif­fi­culty re­lat­ing.

Em­ploy­ees are much more likely to pick up an em­ployee news­let­ter if they might see their name, the name of an im­me­di­ate co­worker, or bet­ter yet, a photo of them­selves (with per­mis­sion, of course) in the news­let­ter. You could re­port on star per­form­ers for the month or

quar­ter, or high­light an em­ployee who im­proved a process or did a good deed in the work­place or in the com­mu­nity. You might be sur­prised at how far com­pany-wide recog­ni­tion can go to mo­ti­vate and en­gage em­ploy­ees while also fos­ter­ing re­spect and stronger

re­la­tion­ships be­tween co­work­ers.

Know your au­di­ence

Sim­ple as it may seem, lis­ten­ing to your em­ploy­ees is a sure­fire way to cre­ate a news­let­ter that won’t im­me­di­ately hit the trash can or in­stinc­tively cause em­ploy­ees to hit the delete key. If, for ex­am­ple, you find your­self an­swer­ing the same ques­tions from em­ploy­ees or ad­dress­ing

the same com­plaints on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, con­sider cre­at­ing a fre­quently asked ques­tions (FAQ) sec­tion in your news­let­ter — top­ics can in­clude em­ployee ben­e­fits, com­pany pro­cesses, in­for­ma­tion about cus­tomers, or sell­ing tech­niques. You can also use em­ployee sur­veys to de­ter­mine what might make em­ploy­ees more apt to read your news­let­ters.

Be­cause the news­let­ter

is meant for your en­tire or­ga­ni­za­tion, its cre­ation should not be the sole re­spon­si­bil­ity of one per­son, or even one depart­ment. En­list the help of a va­ri­ety of em­ploy­ees to be sure that you are ad­dress­ing the needs of a di­verse em­ployee pop­u­la­tion. Some em­ploy­ees might even be in­ter­ested in sub­mit­ting ar­ti­cles for the news­let­ter, and they may be in the best po­si­tion

to de­ter­mine what their co­work­ers want to read about.

Dar­lene M. Clabault is a cer­ti­fied pro­fes­sional in hu­man re­sources and a se­nior ed­i­tor at J. J. Keller & As­so­ciates, a na­tion­ally rec­og­nized com­pli­ance re­source com­pany. Clabault spe­cial­izes in top­ics such as the Amer­i­cans with Dis­abil­i­ties Act (ADA), the Fam­ily and Med­i­cal Leave Act (FMLA), and the Af­ford­able Care Act (ACA). She is the au­thor of J. J. Keller’s FMLA Es­sen­tials and ADA Es­sen­tials guid­ance man­u­als, and a con­tent re­source for train­ing, pro­gram ad­min­is­tra­tion ser­vices, and on­line man­age­ment tools. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.jjkeller.com/hr and www.jjkeller­li­brary.com.

CLABAULT

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