Instituting an employee newsletter can help boost morale and give your small business an inexpensive informational and motivational tool. Newsletters are an effective way to recognize excellence, address common issues, solicit help and share company views.

The Advantages of Publishing a Company Newsletter

Spread the word. One major employee complaint in companies of all sizes is a lack of good communication. Whether you’re spreading the word to multiple locations or trying to create a unifying link among departments, a regular employee newsletter can be an informal venue for announcements that don’t merit a big confab.

Announce benchmarks. Keeping score about benchmarks within your company is a valuable way to let employees know when they’re on target — and when they’re not. Establishing benchmarks and then tracking them in an employee publication on a regular basis can help you make your point when things aren’t going well and also acknowledge good performance easily, and consistently by a shout-out where everyone can see it.

Start a dialogue and get ideas flowing. If you want to stimulate an exchange of ideas, send out a blanket request for comments and feedback about specific issues in a company newsletter (and include an anonymous way to respond). Employees may feel more comfortable about expressing their ideas without feeling “on point” when the request comes from an internal, friendly, written source. There’s less potential stress involved than herding everyone into the conference room for a monthly face off, so you’ll probably get more candid reactions that way too.

Tips and Tricks for Your Employee Newsletter

  • Include interviews. Nothing gets to the heart of a subject like an interview. From the CEO to the shipping clerk, getting up close and personal with employees, and writing about it so everyone can see the company and its processes from a different angle can help turn a motley crew into a team.
  • Keep it short. Think of the way internet blogs are structured to provide information quickly and make it easy to scan for the gold in an article. Avoid long-winded and pedantic content. Use short paragraphs, sub-headers, and lots of action verbs.
  • Add pictures, and whether you’re distributing a company newsletter as a hard copy, in an email, or on an intranet webpage, start with the most important news first. Take a hint from the newspaper industry and focus on the: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. If you’re explaining something complex, add a succinct “How” as well.
  • Spell everyone’s name right.
  • Be consistent. Establish a timeframe and stick to it. A quarterly or monthly newsletter is often a good rotation for small business news and views.

Your company newsletter can be witty and funny, but don’t forget to add some “meat” to the mix. Employees want substance as well as entertainment, so give them more than fluff. Including quotes from top executives, information about competitors, a heads up about future plans, and a “state of the company” address in each issue is a good way to keep your newsletter on the top of everyone’s list of favorite lunchtime reading.