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Employee Newsletter
Imparting information to employees is a consistent challenge. One proven method is to publish a newsletter. Read on to learn best practices and the opportunities that newsletters offer.

What Is an Employee Newsletter?

Employee newsletters are a chance to engage and inform your employees about whatever topics you want, from company news and events to updates, spotlights, and culture. Most employee newsletters are for employee's eyes only. This allows you to regularly give direct information and enhance your employees’ experience.

Why Is an Employee Newsletter Beneficial?

Employee newsletters are not only a great way to touch base with your employees on a regular basis but are also informative, engaging, reliable, and convenient.
  • Informative. Newsletters are excellent tools for sharing information across an organization. The average open rate (the percentage rate at which an email is opened) of virtual employee newsletters is 68% across multiple industries. This means that employee newsletters have the potential to deliver your content to the majority of staff.
  • Engaging. While the average open rate is 68% for newsletters, many organizations are able to engage their workforce further and increase their open rate. Examples of engaging content include spotlighting employees, highlighting new opportunities, and reminding employees of initiatives and programs.
  • Culture-affirming. Additionally, employee newsletters provide an opportunity to reinforce company culture. For example, if your culture is centered on a collaborative work environment, you can spotlight employees for their collaboration or even announce collaborative get-togethers. If your culture is centered on working hard and having fun, you can outline opportunities for fun alongside highlights of employees putting their all into their work.
  • Reliable. Employees can trust that newsletters will be published on a regular basis and convey useful information. For the employer, newsletters are reliable in that they can trust that employees have easy access to important information.
  • Convenient. Sharing information organization-wide is much easier with newsletters. They serve as a place to add anything from important news to small interesting tidbits of information leaders wish to share with their staff.

10 Employee Newsletter Ideas

There are many ways to take your newsletter to the next level. Use these ideas to increase engagement.

Employee Spotlights

Highlight current, retiring, or new employees to personalize to your newsletter. Recognizing employees is a great way to increase engagement. Spotlights may include:
  • Background. Introduce your spotlights with a little background on the employee, including their position and how long they have been with the organization.
  • Interesting facts. Include fun facts and hobbies to bring life and energy to your spotlights.
  • Accomplishments. Share how your spotlights have succeeded in their roles or demonstrated creativity and leadership.
However, it is essential to ensure that employees do not feel left out. If you highlight a team, ensure that each member of the team is recognized. If you rotate through spotlighting individuals in a department, don't skip anyone, as this would likely frustrate them or make them feel excluded. This is much more important in smaller organizations where there are fewer employees to spotlight. In larger organizations, this is less of a concern.

Birthdays and Anniversaries

Setting aside space for highlighting birthdays or work anniversaries is another great way to recognize employees in a newsletter.
  • Be consistent. If you decide to include birthdays or anniversaries, ensure that you are consistent and do not leave employees out. This could result in frustration or hurt feelings.
  • Be creative. Add another personal touch by including a fun fact about the month.

Top Ten Lists

From top ten movies to top ten tricks to brighten the workday, roundup lists are a great way to creatively engage your workforce with your newsletter.
  • Get employee opinions. Publish surveys in one newsletter to get employee opinions on the top favorites for a list; then publish the results in the next issue. This not only adds a personal touch but also encourages employees to check in each month to see the results that they contributed to.
  • Change it up. Top ten lists can vary from practical and informative to fun and exciting. Each time you send out a newsletter, change it up to minimize the monotony.
  • This or that. A “this or that” section could replace a top ten list and include a survey of if employees prefer cats or dogs, tea or coffee, and so much more. When the results are in, display them in the newsletter to see what the majority decides.
When choosing a list to highlight, be careful to keep it professional, clean, and non-controversial.

Learning Opportunities

Employee development opportunities are well known to increase employee engagement. Including links and information to training and development opportunities in a newsletter is a great way to spread awareness and increase engagement.
  • Discounts. If your organization has coupon codes or connections to training courses, include them in your newsletter. This will encourage staff to utilize the programs available.
  • Internal opportunities. If your organization offers optional training courses for career development, highlight them in your newsletter to encourage participation.

Feedback

Ask for employee feedback. A section in a newsletter that allows employees to provide feedback on systems within the organization is a great way to gain active participation with your newsletter.

Share Staff Interests

Apart from spotlighting employees, you can include many different staff interests in a hobbies and highlights section.
  • Recipes. Each newsletter can highlight a recipe or something new for employees to try.
  • Art. Display works of art by employees to showcase how you care about their personal lives.
  • Books, movies, or TV shows. Highlight books, movies, and TV shows that are popular among employees. This can increase discussion and bonding between employees during their breaks.

Innovations and Company Wins

A common newsletter component includes company wins and innovations. This is a great way to keep employees informed on great things the organization is doing.
  • Positive press coverage. Highlight any positive press coverage to inform employees on how the company is recognized in the media.

Contests

Games and contests are a great way to engage employees through a newsletter. The possibilities are endless.
  • Guess the desk. Employees can send in photos of their desk, and their peers can vote on who they think the desk belongs to.
  • Health initiatives. Highlight health initiatives or competitions on your newsletter to spread awareness and increase engagement.
  • Productivity related contests. Include results of sales or customer-service rating competitions.
Make sure that the contests you create are inclusive. Contests that exclude individuals, either intentionally or unintentionally, run the risk of damaging morale, weakening culture, and being discriminatory.

Company Events

Inform employees of company events through your newsletter. Including a calendar or flyers can also help employees visualize activities coming up.

Volunteer and Community Opportunities

Showcase how your organization is involved in the community by highlighting volunteer opportunities and community initiatives.
  • Opportunities. If your organization works directly with a charitable organization or community program, highlight volunteer events (especially if you offer volunteer time off).
  • Spotlights. Spotlight employees who do good in their community and recognize what their work does for the community.

Tips for Writing an Engaging Employee Newsletter

There are many ways to develop a strong and engaging employee newsletter. Increase your open rate by utilizing the following tips.

Tip 1: Keep It Simple

Long, wordy newsletters are harder for readers to digest than simple ones that are to the point. Newsletters are meant to be a quick overview of important information. Keeping them simple increases the likelihood that they will be read.

Tip 2: Use Engaging Email Subject Titles

Catching readers’ attention helps improve newsletter engagement. Subject lines are a fantastic way to quickly grab readers’ attention, as they are the first thing seen on a newsletter. Unique subject lines may include questions, emojis, alliterations, and plays on words.

Tip 3: Be Inclusive

Send your newsletter to every employee. Don’t leave anyone out. Newsletters are a great way to create a community environment in your organization. Being exclusive does not help create a sense of strong community.

Tip 4: Keep It Casual and Friendly

Tone of voice is critical in newsletters. Employees receive professional communication on a regular basis. Newsletters are an opportunity to communicate with employees in a casual way that encourages fun and engagement.

Tip 5: Make It Visually Appealing

Utilize a pop of color, photos, and visually appealing organization to maintain your readers’ attention. Pictures are worth a thousand words, so why not utilize them? Additionally, the formatting should be consistent and easy to read. This encourages readership and lets employees quickly find information. Your newsletter will shine with a little creativity and simple graphic design.
Topics
Raelynn Randall, MHR, MBA

Raelynn Randall, MHR, MBA

Rae has acquired HR experience in team leadership, research, training, recruiting, project management, and mentoring upcoming HR professionals. She is fascinated by workplace culture and the many implications it has on the world of business, especially HR. When possible, she seeks out opportunities to expand her knowledge and give back to her community.
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Frequently asked questions
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