Want to know what we think? Relying on internal newsletters is a thing of the past. Not ready to let go just yet? Here’s our internal newsletter template to help tide you over.
How often do you send out your company’s internal newsletter confident that every single person in the organization will read it? Is there a part of your week that you dread because it means you have to slog through another round-up of news, updates, and photos that neither you nor anyone else is especially excited about?
You might think we denounce all internal newsletters, but that’s not true! In fact, an internal newsletter function is one of the exciting new features on the cards for Workvivo users. Just don’t tell anyone I told you that…
But as a standalone, does the internal newsletter really hold up in a working world where tech stacks are ever-growing, employees are ever more disparate, and different types of roles need more access to internal comms than ever before?
The short answer? No.
Here’s the long answer: relying on internal newsletters alone represents a bygone era of internal communication.
They take up a significant amount of one team or one person’s time to curate. They’re a mode of outdated top-down communication. They’re exclusive by their very nature because not every employee has access to an email address – in fact, as many as 83%, according to studies on non-desk workers.
That’s three pretty big strikes in our book.
At its worst, the internal newsletter is a time-consuming process that very few benefit from. At its best, it’s just one piece of the wider internal communications puzzle.
But we’re not just here to complain (as much as we enjoy it). We like solutions! And while we might be a little biased, we really believe Workvivo is a great one.
With our mobile-first internal communications app, you have instant access to every single employee in your organization. If you’re sending out critical information, you can set up a push notification to be assured everyone gets the message. And since there’s no requirement to have an email address to sign up, your company-wide updates will live up to their name and actually reach every kind of employee, whether they’re out in the field, transporting goods, or working in the office.
Workvivo is also a great way to generate two-way conversations that encourage more meaningful connections. Instead of a weekly newsletter, why not live stream the CEO sharing company-wide updates in real time? Every employee can get involved with reactions and comments too. And research shows that employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than read text.
Or you could even host your own internal podcast, giving staff a more engaging way to keep up with company news.
And because of its many (many, many) integrations, you won’t be overwhelming your teams with a bunch of different tools they have to use in their day-to-day. Having everything available all in the one place, all at the touch of a button is key to a great employee experience.
Of course, there’s nothing to say you can’t have both! So if you’re not ready to let go of the internal newsletter just yet, no worries. Here’s what we recommend to get as much as you possibly can from it.
1. Strive for authenticity
Open communication is what employees want, and they’re far more likely to read your newsletter if its authentic. Striking an informal but appropriate tone will help bridge the gaps between the people writing the newsletter and those reading it, particularly if they’re spread out geographically.
While you want your internal newsletter to get important information across, it should also be part of your employee experience strategy and foster familiarity.
2. Use it for recognition and appreciation
A well-rounded internal comms strategy doesn’t end at critical communications. It also needs to champion your people. Reserve a regular spot in your internal newsletter to call out employee, team, and company-wide achievements.
You don’t even have to restrict these to professional achievements; acknowledging employees’ personal milestones – whether it’s welcoming a newborn, congratulating someone on a new home or wishing them a happy birthday – makes for positive imprintable moments.
3. Always give your people a way to feed back
Another aspect of open comms that every workplace should embrace is two-way communication. Particularly since their priorities have largely changed over the past two years, employees want a voice and real opportunities to use it.
While an internal newsletter isn’t the best way to cultivate dialogue between employees and leadership, you can include messaging around wanting to hear back from people about policies being implemented, changes they want to see, ideas they have, and more.
Ideally, an internal comms app would help you keep track of all their feedback in one place. But including a link in the newsletter that allows them to email a specific person in leadership or HR is an okay alternative.
4. Use it to connect voices across the company
Again, one of the biggest drawbacks of the internal newsletter is that it doesn’t facilitate two-way communication. But you can still use it to bring different members of the organization together through community-led content.
Have your CEO or another member of the c-suite occupy a regular spot to speak directly to readers – even a short paragraph can make a difference. You can also bring it a step further and reserve a slot for employees across the company to write a guest piece.
Simple but effective ideas include a ‘Getting To Know You’ section where people fill out a Q&A about themselves and ‘A Day In The Life’ part where colleagues can learn about each other’s roles in the company.
5. Link it to your company values
Another big pro of an internal communications app (for more on how we feel about pros and cons lists, click here) like Workvivo is that you can infuse your company values with every message you put out.
While you can’t automatically link your core values to your newsletter, you could make sure to manually fit them into each issue. This is really important if you want to build a culture in which people are aligned, motivated, and empowered.
Carve out a regular section called ‘Value Spotlight’ and delve deeper into what the value means and how employees are championing through their work.
Bonus tip: Use your internal newsletter as a sneaky way to show off cute pictures of your pet, like I do with any internal comms I produce here at Workvivo. Did I mention I have a Golden Retriever named Tupo? And that she’s the bestest gir- okay, I’ll stop.
With these tips in mind, download our free internal newsletter template here.
Or, you know, book a Workvivo demo…
Or, once again, both! Can you tell we like to have our cake and eat it? Big cake fans, us.