Successful organizations rely on excellent communication. The benefits of strong internal structure extend beyond just profit—it builds a stronger community of engaged employees inspired to achieve high levels of performance. Historically, companies believed that the easiest way to boost internal connections was through the distribution of a corporate newsletter. However, as Millennials continue to infiltrate the workforce and employee preferences change, that might not be enough anymore.
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, productivity improves by up to 25% in businesses with “connected” employees. To put that number into perspective, 25% more productivity could lead to increased revenues as high as $1.3 trillion per year—proving that internal communications is essential to brand success.
While the traditional corporate newsletter can still play a role in employee communication, it’s crucial for the modern employer to consider how their employees want to consume content, and then create an approach to matches those preferences.
The Problem With Traditional Corporate Newsletters
As businesses around the world evolve to keep pace with the age of digital transformation, one factor has always remained the same: Employees want to be kept in the loop by their employers. and while they still want this level of communication, the way they want to receive it has changed.
Today’s professionals, particularly those from the Millennial generation, want to access the latest tools and tech to simplify their access to information. In fact, one report suggests that companies with highly effective strategies for internal communication are 7x more likely to use cutting-edge tools like intranets and employee advocacy platforms. The effects of better communication speak for themselves:
The key to effective communications is looking beyond company newsletter ideas, and beginning to consider new vehicles for delivering news to the masses. While companies from different industries will need different strategies, effective communication tools can:
- Quickly and accurately provide employees with internal business updates without drowning them in information they don’t need.
- Connect with a range of different groups and demographics in today’s multi-generational workforce.
- Communicate any important information that requires action, while providing guidance on how to perform those actions.
- Build loyalty among employees and establish a stronger sense of community between new and seasoned team members.
The old-fashioned solution of pouring all the information generated by a company over the course of a month or a quarter into a single company newsletter simply doesn’t work anymore.
The question is, how can you redesign the online newsletter to meet the expectations and needs of your team members?
Redesigning the Corporate Newsletter for Better Internal Comms
A recent study by Survata found that over 70% of employees crave better communication from their employers. Stats like this show that the one-size-fits-all approach simply isn’t as effective as it once was.
Since newsletters are frequently overlooked, ignored or too jam-packed with information to capture an employee’s attention in the first place, companies need to rethink the way they communicate information—here are a few tips.
1. Know Your Approach & Develop a Strategy
The first step is defining your strategy. If you’re going to stick to the corporate newsletter, then you’ll need to organize that newsletter to be relevant to a range of different employees with different priorities. By giving people a choice on how they can access the content available, you reduce the risk of leaving employees misinformed, and unsatisfied.
While following best practices for your internal communications program is always a good place to start, it can also be as easy as asking employees how they want to consume internal and external news. This will help you to uncover whether a single channel of communication is more effective than another.
Often, businesses will find that they need to offer their news in a range of formats—particularly if you have different generations to cater to.
2. Share the News Employees Want
While it might be tempting to pour as much information on top of your employees as possible, information overload is one of the main reasons why e-newsletters are growing increasingly less popular.
Think about which pieces of news your employees really need to receive at the end of each month or week, then share it with them concisely—all while addressing the “what’s in it for me” ethos. You’ll generate more engagement if your team understands how consuming this information will make them better at their job.
Remember that multiple platforms can work together here, too. You might share industry blogs, data reports and sharable content in your newsletter, and direct employees to the intranet for business updates or policy changes. You can always store extra details in your company intranet for your employees to access as, and when they choose.
3. Make Communication Two-Way
One of the biggest problems with the traditional corporate newsletter is the fact that it’s a one-way approach to sharing information. You’re simply giving people access to news, without offering them a productive way to respond to the content available.
Rooting your approach in employee advocacy makes it easier for employees to take the action needed to in order for you to achieve maximum results.
An Alternate Approach Within Employee Advocacy
Developing a stronger solution for employee connections will involve a process of examining some of the best communication tools on the market. The arrival of new technology means that the company newsletter is no longer the only way to collaborate and engage with your employees.
Although corporate newsletters can be important for updating employees on recent developments or changes, their format makes it difficult for employees to actively choose how they want to engage with that communications. This is why it’s often easier to supply your organization with an employee advocacy solution instead—something that can empower them to read and share information in a format that feels natural to them.
Break Down Organizational Silos & Surface Information
An employee advocacy program can offer a valuable way for your workers to stay up to date about company announcements, while breaking down the gaps between groups, and helping people to communicate more freely on a two-way basis.
This approach can also facilitate cross-departmental collaboration when trying to execute campaigns that span teams from Content Marketing, to Brand Development, all the way to Sales Reps. Employee advocacy programs make this social selling component much easier by allowing your team to educate themselves first and foremost, and then share that message with their network across social media.
Additionally, by integrating platforms that simplify and centralize this business component, you’ll increase the effectiveness and overall return of your program while ensuring the right information is surfaced to the most relevant teams.
Evolving the Corporate Newsletter
In today’s fast-paced business environment, it’s crucial for teams to effectively consume and share information relevant to their role in a company. Your team wants to feel informed about the brand that they’re working for, and whether you choose a newsletter or not, it’s important to consider their diverse needs and create a solution that appeals to everyone.
Properly employees people are more productive and more oriented towards key business goals. It’s more important today than ever before to ensure your information flow is dynamic, natural and relevant if you want to keep engaged and happy.
Kevin King is the Marketing Lead for Bambu by Sprout Social and film lover turned SEO geek. When he isn’t poring over massive Excel files, he can be found enjoying live music, superhero movies and select craft beers.
Replacing the Corporate Newsletter: How to Recapture Employee Attention & Engagement
Written by Kevin King on December 04, 2017