Why your company needs a quarterly newsletter to engage employees
The company newsletter has taken a beating in this economy. It seems that more and more companies are either doing away with them altogether, or they have cut back on the frequency, overall quality or method of distribution in order to save money. This is short-sighted decision making, and the results will definitely be detrimental to the company.
Who needs a newsletter? Any company with more than 50 employees ought to have a quarterly company newsletter. If your company is considerably larger, or if your employees are spread across multiple locations, you should consider producing one more frequently, perhaps six times a year.
Newsletters are important internal communication tools if used properly. They can be used to share information among departments, to recognize superior performance, to celebrate milestones and achievements, to deliver training tips, and to build morale. A newsletter is the most informal “formal communication” between a company and its employees.
It’s All Tied to Achieving Goals
Every company has goals – sales goals, profitability goals, safety goals, etc. Most of these goals require a coordination of effort across department lines. Senior executives often have sizable bonuses tied to the achievement of specific goals.
Achieving difficult goals requires the hard work of a dedicated labor force.
How dedicated is yours? Seriously, you might think everyone is on board, yet one of the most common complaints heard by human resources professionals during exit interviews is that “I don’t know what’s going on outside my own department.” You might think your goals are being clearly communicated throughout the organization, but rarely is this the case. Even companies that paper their walls with slogans and posters find that these items become wallpaper in no time at all. People don’t even notice them anymore.
If you want your employees to be fully engaged on the job, you’ve got to constantly reinforce what you’re trying to do, and you must educate your employees so that they come to understand how their work affects other outcomes downstream.
This doesn’t have to be done in a heavy-handed way, but it has to be part of every newsletter. You must taylor the content of the newsletter to the attainment of specific goals.
Here’s How to Do It
Write one article about what each department has done to facilitate process improvement or increase efficiency. How does this affect customer service, delivery of products, or sales? Find an example of someone going above and beyond and make them a hero! People love to be recognized for their contributions and to get that recognition publicly.
Have the CEO write an overview describing the state of the company. Even in tough times or when facing uncertainty, employees appreciate candor. In fact, that’s precisely when this type of communication is most needed.
Always have a training column in the newsletter. These could include prospecting tips for sales, machining tips for manufacturing, safety tips for warehouse employees, etc. Your HR or communications department should be able to provide you with one story per issue about training.
Definitely celebrate milestones and personal achievements, such as retirements, service anniversaries, births, deaths, weddings, etc. This adds a personal touch that staffers will appreciate.
The newsletter should be photo rich. Learn to document meetings or other activities that happen during the day. Who doesn’t like to see their picture in the paper? Use your employees’ full names and titles. What a lost opportunity it is when employees read about a retirement party for a co-worker, and there isn’t a single photo to go with the story!
Print the newsletter and mail it to each employee at their home. Do NOT email it to them. And please do not distribute the newsletter with the office mail. This is the biggest mistake that you can make, and it’s fatal. Why? Because email newsletters never get passed along to spouses. And newsletters handed out at work too often get thrown away before going home.
Employees who are singled out for recognition want to share that with their families! Why would you deny them that opportunity just to save some postage? The most engaged employees you have are proud of their work and proud of their company, and they carry that pride home with them every day. Spouses are avid readers of company newsletters because it gives them the chance to see the people they hear about every day!
Content and distribution – that’s where companies fail. Work on your content and spend the money to get the newsletter into the home, and you’ll build a better, more engaged workforce than the one you have now.
Where do you start?
The easiest way is to call us. We offer turnkey newsletter services – everything from concept development to writing, design, printing and distribution, both in print and digitally. Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation.