How To Nail Your Year-End Internal Comms

Caitlin Kirwan

Internal Comms & Engagement Expert

13 Dec 2023

Year-end internal comms.

As the end of the calendar year draws ever closer, the time has arrived for professionals to begin drafting their year-end internal comms. But with ‘silly season’ taking hold, it can feel as though we’re fielding endless content requests with only a dwindling number of days left to communicate. Here, Caitlin Kirwan explores what content should be included in your end-of-year messaging, and how to communicate it.

While the end of each organization’s financial year might fall at different times, the majority acknowledge the end of the calendar year as a time to pause, reflect, and celebrate. And despite only around 32% of the global population identifying as Christian, Christmas is celebrated in some shape and form across most countries around the world.

Regardless of whether your employees celebrate Christmas or not, the festive season and turn of a new calendar year present an opportunity to recognize the previous 12 months’ performance, have some fun, and realign priorities for the year ahead. But this isn’t always as simple as it sounds, given the high volumes of content and information that IC teams are asked to share at this time of year.

Let’s start by considering what should and should not be communicated at this time of year.  

What content should be shared?

It can be helpful to group your end-of-year internal comms into 3 categories:

  • Look back and recognize 
  • Festive fun
  • Look forward and prioritize

Considering how each piece of content for the final few weeks of the year fits into each category can help you to filter communication requests and avoid bombarding employees with information.  


Look back and recognize

Taking a step away from the day-to-day operation to look back at the past 12 months and focus on employee recognition is one of the most important categories for your year-end internal communications.

Recognizing the work of the organization and thanking employees for their contributions should sit at the top of the priority list, ahead of diving into new campaigns or looking forward to the year ahead. Data shows that effective employee recognition leads to a more engaged and productive workforce, with lower employee turnover and an improved customer experience.

Reflect upon and summarize key milestones from the previous year, such as new business wins, team changes, new employees, new products, and leadership changes. All of these events form important parts of your year in review, which helps employees take stock of what they’ve worked on and achieved over the last 12 months.

On top of reflecting on the company-wide goals and ambitions that were achieved, it’s important to acknowledge the things that weren’t achieved, and why. Perhaps targets needed to change mid-way through the year due to a change in market conditions, or perhaps a change in circumstances prompted a re-organization during the year. Highlighting the things that didn’t happen is incredibly valuable, as it demonstrates the importance of flexibility and adaptability in order to succeed.          


Festive fun

No end-of-year comms would be complete without a bit of festive fun!

As we get further into December, employees are beginning to wrap up their work and wind down for the holidays. Priorities are changing, and people are starting to care more about which recipe to use for this year’s turkey than organizational strategies for the new year. Now is not the time to launch a new strategy, begin communicating a change program, or introduce a new platform.

Engagement and participation are guaranteed to be low, and important information will be missed. So pause on this type of content until the year, practice saying ‘no’ to your stakeholders, and explain the reasons why.

Instead of the heavy stuff, why not take the opportunity to create a sense of community and build engagement with a bit of light-hearted festive fun?

We’re big fans of festive photo competitions here at Workvivo! You could pull together a company trivia quiz, invite employees to add their favorite Christmas tunes to a shared company playlist or rally the troops for a charity Christmas Jumper Day.

It’s also a great time to remind employees of the perks, benefits, and discounts that are available to them. And with families around the world set to spend 24% more on Christmas this year, don’t forget to highlight information about the financial wellbeing supports that are available.


Look forward and prioritize

The final category of your end-of-year communications is to look forward to the new year and highlight the initial priorities.

It’s important to touch on the strategy in a way that is informative, without being too heavy. Messaging should link back to the overarching strategy and touch on objectives for the new year to get teams in the right frame of mind as they head into the festive break.

Getting the balance right means sharing inspirational content that motivates employees and aligns them with the organization’s vision and priorities for the year ahead. Reflect back on the learnings from the past 12 months, and share what the company will be taking forward into the new year.  

Aim to craft content that will leave employees feeling excited to come back to work after the festive break!

How to share year-end internal comms

We’ve talked about what type of messaging to include in your year-end content, so let’s turn our attention to how to share it.

With so much information flying around the business in the final few weeks of the year, it’s important to think critically about the best comms channels to use to avoid bombarding employees. Here are some of the best options.

Leadership message – share a written or recorded year-end message from the CEO or other members of the Executive Leadership Team presents an opportunity to share an honest reflection on the year and a genuine ‘thank you’.    

Year-end video – an engaging way to share highlights and snippets of key achievements from the year, particularly if you can compile clips from employees right across the organization.

Intranet and employee app – use your intranet and employee app to create a central ‘year-end communications hub’ where all messaging, festive fun, and videos can be published and engaged with.

Round-up email – circulate a final end-of-year email with a round-up of all your festive content and links, and to ‘sign off’ until the new year.

As always, using the right mix of communication channels is key to reaching your audience and giving them the opportunity to engage with the content.

Nailing your year-end internal comms

If you’re looking for an employee experience platform that brings your company together and increases engagement in 2024, add Workvivo to your wish list before you send it off to Santa Claus.

We’re sure you’re on the nice list. But if you have any doubt that Santa might not be delivering the goods this year, bypass the middleman and come directly to us to schedule a demo. Those on the naughty list are more than welcome here! 

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