Employee retention is one of the most universal issues companies face. This is especially true for companies that require specialized skills and are located outside of major populations. What to do? Writing a well-defined corporate newsletter not only helps with employee retention, it reinforces company culture.
A report last year by Catalyst supports the use of effective communication to ward off turnover. When employees feel included, they report higher levels of innovation and team citizenship. When inclusive leaders develop high-quality relationships with employees, employees feel more empowered, develop new skills and responsibilities, and are less likely to leave.
A corporate newsletter is the perfect platform for communication to promote retention, while defining and reinforcing the company’s culture. With an intelligent, interesting and even… gasp… entertaining corporate newsletter, employees can get the information they need, feel included and connected to the culture they work in, and stay put at your company.
At SCG we have drafted, designed and distributed newsletters for companies with 10 to 10,000 employees. While no two companies are the same, these guidelines help to captivate employees.
10 Tips to Develop a Corporate Newsletter
- Focus on company culture and values. How are employees embracing the culture and demonstrating the values? If the culture and values are not defined (give us a call), now is the time to do so. Use the newsletter to introduce them.
- Make it about your people, not about the company. They’re the ones who are achieving the accomplishments. Plus, who doesn’t love reading about yourself?
- Use it to communicate the good and bad. It’s intuitively easy to focus on things that are going well, but every company hits rough spots. It’s important to acknowledge difficulties and take charge of communicating them. Tell it like it is, how it’s going to be handled, and what the implications are. Employees will appreciate the candor.
- Measure with metrics. Open, click-through rates (CTR) and read times are easily trackable data to indicate success. If your email is 1,000 words and the average read time is 33 seconds, you can conclude that readers have bailed on you.
- Always make improvements upon the previous edition. The best thing about newsletters is they are repetitive: if something doesn’t work in one edition, it can be removed or edited in the next. With modern tracking technologies, it’s easy to know what needs to be improved.
- Entice employees to open the email. Use tools such as SubjectLine or TestSubject to write the perfect subject for the email. It’s intimidating to have a subject line that runs on past what you can see in the preview. Reduce the likelihood that the email will end up in the trash and give employees a reason to click.
- Don’t let it be ugly—good design transforms. Just because it’s internal doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to look good. Think beyond bulleted lists and bolded headlines. What composition will communicate the information the best?
- Feature new content. Did the homepage of your website, a press release and a company party introduce a new product to your lineup? There’s no need to write 500 words about it in the newsletter as well.
- Consider your audience carefully and create value for them. Does it make sense to have one newsletter for the entire company? Or are multiple editions needed for various divisions? Once you’ve figured out who you’re writing for, focus on delivering a consistent message.
- Market your newsletter. Using word-of-mouth and your company’s social media, ask employees for their genuine feedback. Again, candor is king, make employees comfortable enough to give you their honest critiques.
These guidelines should be considered when compiling every component of the newsletter. Because no two companies are the same, there are no hard-rules for the type of content your company should produce. In the next 41 Stories blog, we will provide content ideas for corporate newsletters.
Developing corporate newsletters can be a daunting task, and getting started is half the battle. Get in touch with us to discuss how SCG can help your corporate newsletter exemplify your culture and retain employees.
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