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Sep 13, 2021

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8 Steps To Create Employee Newsletter People Want To Read (+19 Ideas)

In the world of extensive information overload, organizations need to define a clear internal employee newsletter strategy to help employees stay...

In the world of extensive information overload, organizations need to define a clear internal employee newsletter strategy to help employees stay informed while eliminating information overload. 

Employee newsletters are electronic communications that inform employees about information that is relevant to them. 

In the past, employee newsletters were just another mass-communications where every employee would receive the same type of information. Lately, companies have realized how inefficient this approach is, and they are now looking for ways to make employee newsletters more engaging and relevant to the readers. 

In this blog, we will go over some best practices for creating a sustainable and efficient employee newsletter strategy. We will also share some great employee newsletter ideas that can help you kickstart your employee newsletter initiative today.

📚Before we dive in, take a look at our ebook “How to Boost Employee Engagement with Communications Tools” 

Why Every Organization Should Have an Employee Newsletter

The world of work has changed drastically over the past 2 years, and internal communications have been transformed forever

Even though hybrid and remote work are forcing organizations to reconsider their internal communications strategies and channels, email continues to be the most widely used channel for internal communications.

A recent survey shows that 50% of employees are using email more now than they did before COVID-19. However, the problem lays behind very low engagement rates. According to Ragan, the Highest click-through rate for employee newsletters is 18%, while the lowest click-through rate is only 2%

email-usage

So why are these numbers so low? Why employees don’t engage with their organizations’ internal newsletters?

Historically, the main goal of an employee newsletter was to inform employees about important company updates. Today, companies are turning more towards employee-focused and employee-generated content

In essence, a well-structured and engaging employee newsletter can help your organization:

  • Keep employees informed about big milestones
  • Celebrate achievements
  • Connect dispersed and remote workers
  • Fill open positions faster
  • Make employees thought leaders
  • Collect valuable feedback from employees
  • Improve talent acquisition efforts
  • Improve company-wide knowledge sharing 
  • Improve organizational culture 
  • Reinforce core company values 

How to Implement a Successful Employee Newsletter Strategy 

Even though email is still heavily used for internal communications, most organizations need to reconsider their employee newsletter approach. The fact that 74% of employees have the feeling they are missing out on company news is alarming.

Thus, employers need to come up with a better long-term strategy around how to make employees more engaged with internal content being delivered to them.  

🎧 Since audience segmentation is one of the most important prerequisites for that, tune in and listen to our podcast about how to segment complex employee audiences. 👇

 

Let's now dig deeper into how to create a good employee newsletter.

1. Define the newsletter owners

Depending on company size, different departments can be responsible for delivering employee newsletters. In smaller companies that don’t have internal communications (IC) departments, marketing or HR may be the owners of the company newsletter, while larger organizations usually have designated IC teams. 

It is important to assign the owners in order to ensure appropriate structure, clarity, accountability, and consistency in the overall strategy. 

2. Understand your audience and build employee personas

Today, most organizations have multigenerational workforces. Meaning, to deliver more value to employees with an internal newsletter, organizations need to better understand and segment internal audiences

Furthermore, companies need to take into consideration employees’ nature of work. For example, frontline employees may consume their employer’s content in a much different way than deskbound employees. 

Defining employee personas is the prerequisite for creating and delivering content more relevant to the end-user. 

3. Create engaging content employees want to read (ask your employees!)

According to previously mentioned research by Ragan, 45% of employees just skim through their organizations’ employee newsletters. This just proves the point that the content delivered doesn’t resonate with the audience. 

employee-newsletter

Besides robust audience segmentation, the best way to ensure high-quality content to employees is by engaging them directly when building the newsletter editorial calendar. 

You can put together a short company-wide survey asking your employees about what kind of content would they find most valuable. 

Furthermore, make sure to test different content formats such as videos, webinars, and podcasts. 

4. Be careful about the content irrelevancy to eliminate information overload

After analyzing feedback collected from your employees, you will probably see many commonalities among various groups based on departments, countries, age, gender, culture, and others. This can help you create and deliver more personalized content

However, many organizations still don’t have a way to segment internal audiences based on such criteria. As the consequence, employees receive content irrelevant for them, resulting in low engagement and readership. 

5. Use the right distribution channels

While email is still widely used across the world, many companies have been adopting solutions that ensure better asynchronous communications. Solutions like Slack (12 million daily active users) and MS Teams (75 million daily active users) are being adopted at an even faster pace since the start of the pandemic. 

Instead of neglecting this fact, companies need to consider integrating their company newsletter solution with these instant messaging apps. 

Such integrations ensure that the right content is delivered via the communications channels where employees spend most of their work time. 

6. Make sure important content gets timely attention

The importance of timely communications in the workplace is inevitable. Many companies have witnessed that in this pandemic during which they had to make some critical decisions in very short time frames

Many frontline employees were at serious health risks, and it was their employer’s responsibility to keep the workplace safe

Even though companies across the world have started delivering employee newsletters with safety tips and best practices, they didn’t achieve much. 

Luckily, employee communications platforms with robust mobile notification systems can help you capture employees’ attention at the right time! 

7. Go mobile

Employee newsletter experience on mobile devices should be the same as on desktop. In fact, 87% of businesses and digital workplaces rely on their employees to use their personal mobile devices to access company apps, according to Syntonic

Therefore, ensuring a seamless mobile experience is not an option anymore - it’s a must!

8. Measure employee engagement

Tracking the success of internal communication is quite complex and the stats speak for themselves: 60% of IC practitioners are still not measuring internal communication.

measuring-internal-communication-1

Luckily the most advanced employee communications apps understand the importance of data more than others. They let you slice and dice newsletter data by team, department, location, language, and more. They give you insights into why a certain team is reading more than another, or why one department prefers video communications over written text. 

The power of this data in improving the overall business communications strategy is priceless!

Now that we have covered best practices for creating internal newsletter employees want to read, let’s take a look at some employee newsletter ideas

To make the next section easier to consume, we have segmented employee newsletter ideas into 4 categories:

  • Employee newsletter ideas about your company
  • Employee newsletter ideas that focus on your employee
  • Newsletters that empower knowledge-sharing in an organization and
  • Fun employee newsletter ideas

6 Employee Newsletter Ideas Featuring Your Company

According to research, 62% of the emails received by employees are not important. This is the main reason why many employees ignore their inboxes and miss important information. 

workplace-emails

It is the employer’s responsibility to improve employee experience by making employee newsletters more engaging, useful, fun, and easy to consume. Below, we will suggest some employee newsletter ideas that feature important content about your organization. 

“From our CEO” newsletter

During COVID-19, we have seen leaders and C-level executives being much more involved in internal communications than they were in the past. 

leadership-communications

Since employees appreciate more visibility and transparency in the workplace, every organization should consider having a company-wide newsletter that features important CEO updates. 

This initiative can go a long way in building more trust in the workplace

Important company updates and milestones

Every employee should be well-informed about what is going on in the organization. If your organization is going through a major change such as a merger or acquisition, a regular employee newsletter about the change should be a part of your change management strategy

Similarly, you can use newsletters to celebrate important company wins, achievements, and milestones such as signing a new big customer, or being listed as a preferred provider on a famous analyst’s report. 

💡 Also take a look at these top 5 change management models!

Invitations to company events

If you are holding an internal event or sponsoring an external event, you can use an employee newsletter to invite your employees to join

Furthermore, if you want your employees to participate as speakers or moderators, include an option for them to apply. 

Open positions newsletter

Most of you probably already know that referrals are the best hires. Therefore, open position announcements are one of the most common sections that many internal newsletters have. Moreover, many HR departments consider referrals and social recruiting a crucial piece of their talent acquisition strategy.  

Whether your goal is more internal mobility or external hiring, newsletters are a great way to raise awareness company-wide

To make this even more personalized for your employees, consider sharing positions on a department level. 

“Sharing is caring” newsletter

Did you know that 84% of consumers value recommendations from friends and family above formal advertising? This is the biggest reason why many companies today have employee advocacy programs

employee-advocacy-importance

You can use your employee newsletter to share important company content that needs more visibility and reach. Since, on average, employees have much bigger audiences on social media, you can leverage the company newsletter to ask employees to distribute content from their social media profiles. 

Core company values newsletter

If you are going through a major organizational change, your major goal may be to reinforce certain behaviors and actions that align with your core company values

Consider sending an occasional newsletter that focuses on reminding your employees what your company stands for. 

6 Newsletter Ideas Focused On Your Employees

71% of employees don’t read or engage with company emails or content. However, when you focus your communications on your employees, you may see much better results. 

employee-newsletter-content

This is why we have put together some employee newsletter ideas that focus on featuring your workforce. 

Welcome and introduce new employees

Even if you have a distributed workforce, it is important to inform the organization about new employees coming in. This is why you should devote a part of your employee newsletter to the newcomers

Include their names, images, job titles, and departments, and briefly describe their duties and responsibilities. 

Also, consider doing the same when your existing employees are leaving your organization. 

Birthdays and anniversaries

You can also use your employee newsletters to invite people to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. This is a great opportunity for employees to connect and build better relationships with their colleagues. 

Pulse surveys

According to research, only a quarter of employees feel like they can freely express themselves at work

employee-bottom-up-feedback

This is why many organizations have implemented regular pulse surveys. Employee surveys are the best and most efficient way to quickly collect feedback from employees and make data-driven decisions for improvements. 

Employee newsletters are a perfect fit for delivering pulse surveys to the people in your organization. 

Employee-generated content

If you have ambassadors who participate in content creation, you should spotlight their content in employee newsletters. This is a great way to show gratitude and encourage others to join your ambassadorship program as well. 

Employee wellbeing newsletter

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are trying to better educate their employee about how to stay safe and healthy. Companies that operate in hybrid or remote work environments have also started creating more content about how to ensure productivity while keeping the right balance between their personal and professional lives. 

You can use your employee newsletter to distribute this content and raise awareness about your employee wellbeing programs

Training opportunities

If career development is an important part of your corporate strategy, your organization may offer various training opportunities for employees. 

If so, use your newsletter to share these opportunities with your employees and make sure to send them only to the employees to whom the content is relevant. 

4 Knowledge-Sharing Employee Newsletter Ideas

Knowledge-sharing is a big challenge for many organizations. According to global market intelligence firm, IDC, Fortune 500 companies lose at least $31.5 billion a year by failing to share knowledge.

knowledge-sharing

So let’s take a look into some employee newsletter ideas that can boost knowledge-sharing in your organization

FAQ newsletter

Many organizations keep track of common employee questions to address them company-wide. Use your company newsletter to share these FAQs with the rest of the organization

Remember that this doesn’t replace an FAQ channel where employees can get answers to important questions in a more timely manner. 

Competitor and market intelligence newsletter

Your product, marketing, sales have probably done extensive competitive and market intelligence research about your industry. To educate the rest of the organization, consider including this content in your internal company newsletter. 

Thought leadership newsletter

Departments such as sales and marketing are expected to act as thought leaders in the market in which they operate. 

To help your employees find content that proves the value of your products and services, consider implementing a thought leadership newsletter

Employee insights newsletter

One of the best ways to share knowledge in your organization is by learning from the ones who are doing things right. 

Encourage your employees to share monthly insights or best practices learned from their own experiences, and then share those in your company-wide newsletter. 

3 Fun Employee Newsletter Ideas

In order to keep readership high, you should also consider including some fun elements in your employee newsletters. Also, consider testing different content formats such as video. 

According to research, employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than read text

employee-content-video

So let’s take a look at some fun employee newsletter ideas. 

Recommendations

If you can segment your internal audiences, you can create some hyper-personalized and useful content for your employees. For example, if you know your employees’ locations, you can send them recommendations about conferences, local events, or wellness programs they could attend. 

If you know your employees’ interests and departments, you could send them a nice “Top 5 books to read” type of newsletter.  

Trivia

To make work more fun, you could organize a company-wide or departmental trivia game. You can include questions about general knowledge or make it more about your company. 

Either way, don’t forget to add some gamification to the entire experience and reward those who are performing best to keep motivation high

Home office spotlights

Funny home office setups, pets, working while kids are home,...we have seen many images and videos showcasing such content since the beginning of the pandemic. 

To make work more fun and improve employer branding initiatives, many employers are collecting this type of content and sharing it via social media. Why not share it via your organization’s employee newsletter as well?

Looking For a Modern Employee Newsletter Solution?

If you are looking for a sophisticated internal communications solution, that allows you to send beautiful employee newsletters people want to read, schedule a Smarp demo. 

Smarp is a mobile-first communications platform that empowers organizations to perform robust audience segmentation, easily build beautiful newsletters, send pulse surveys, and use AI-powered analytics with actionable recommendations for improvements. 

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Written by

Eugenia Koptelova & Kristina Martic

Eugenia Koptelova & Kristina Martic

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