Employee newsletters effective if done right
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.