If your business does not issue a monthly newsletter, you are missing out on one of the easiest and most powerful ways to communicate to your employees!
A properly written newsletter can deliver timely and valuable information to employees in a consistent way that is hard to match with other types of media.
I have seen many examples of company newsletters over the years, from large oil companies to small engineering firms . . . from simple one pagers to monstrous 20+ pagers!
My favorite newsletter was one I received at a small employee owned organization. Although this one was not monthly, it did provide a great update on the company health, the money we were making, and where the business leaders thought we were headed.
What does a great newsletter look like and what are the benefits?
A great newsletter should contain;
- A summary of the past months events.
- Some graphics, charts and color. Don’t do just plain text.
- A look forward to the next months events.
- Recognition of employees.
- An update on business goals.
- A teaching moment – this could be technical or it could be related to specific business operations.
- An update on the business financials.
- A safety moment.
A great newsletter must avoid:
- Being too long. Any longer than five pages and the effort to create it is too great and the employees will not read it. I have seen some newsletters that are more than 20 pages long! Nobody is going to read that!
- Grammar and spelling mistakes
- Being irregular. Build a system or systems to have the newsletter come out at the same time each month
- “Airing dirty laundry.” Praise in public but do not criticize in public!
- Repeating the same content month after month
- Including content that no longer is relevant
- Inclusion of information that is confidential or private. Do not break any privacy laws and don’t publish any information that someone could use against your organization.
The benefits of a great newsletter to your organization can be huge. A properly constructed newsletter can be a;
- Tool for defining and building strong culture.
- Channel to emphasize vision, mission and values.
- Way to tie events and goals back to the vision, mission and values.
- Method of staff development by involving them in the writing process.
- Way to educate staff on important components of your business.
- Tool for delivering important information in a timely fashion. This information can then be easily accessed in the future by all employees as they require it.
Take some time this month and review your business newsletter. If you do not have one, create one! If you do have one, how can it be improved? Does it contain all the elements of a great newsletter or are there some things that you should add or remove?
Also, remember to involve your staff in the process and build a culture of communication!
Finally, take a look at these articles for more information:
- 6 Simple Steps to Align Your Staff with Business Objectives
- How a Power Gap Can Destroy You and Your Business
- Seven Steps to Becoming a Better Communicator
- Did Your Organization’s Vision Leak?
- Get Alignment on Organizational Values
“Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively.” Gerald Ford
What experience do you have with company newsletters that would benefit others? leave your comments below.
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