Whether you're in a specific communications role or in a leadership position, chances are you've experienced the frustration of communicating information to employees. From relaying company strategy, to recognizing employees, to letting people know the kitchen needs attention, there'll always be the need to communicate in the workplace. The key is to ensure that all this information reaches the right audience, at the right time, and is actually read.
However, with the number of communication channels increasing and employees suffering from email and information overload, it's becoming harder to connect the right people to the relevant information. Newsletters have traditionally been used for communicating company-wide, but they too often get lost in the clutter. So how can you rise above this to deliver engaging content that actually gets read?
Here are ten tips to help:
Create value. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised by the number of newsletters that hold no relevance to their audience. Consider your readership and create content that appeals to various departments and personalities. Target your content if possible to cut the clutter and deliver only content relevant to each person or team.
Include a survey. Whether you're enquiring about attendance for the next holiday party or are curious as to employee job satisfaction, a survey or poll is an easy way to increase participation. Be sure to share poll results once known.
Add a trivia contest. A contest is one of the easiest and most obvious ways to increase readership. Ask questions relating to the company, or something found in the current issue of the newsletter and reward a prize.
Include employee features. People love reading about themselves and their coworkers. If you don't already have an employee feature, it's a good way to generate interest.
Keep it web-based. PDFs don’t allow for the flexibility or click-through opportunities like a web-based message. An electronic format will also allow you to analyze results to better tailor future newsletters.
Make it readable. Whether your employees are well educated or not, the language you use needs to be simple. You should aim for a Flesch–Kincaid grade level of 7 or lower with a reading ease of over 70%. Be clear, remove clichés, use the active voice, and avoid words with multiple syllables.
Add photos. Office parties aren't the only reason to share photos. Even if your newsletter is product focused, a picture will increase the readability.
Add video. Video is one of the most expressive and engaging ways to communicate news and updates. Get your leadership team involved and rotate the responsibility month over month.
Recruit some ambassadors. Find a few champions to spread the word about and contribute to the newsletter. Encourage department managers to remind staff to read any valuable and relevant content that may be located in the newsletter.
Consider a collaborative intranet tool. Finally, consider using a modern intranet platform to target and share information. This will also allow authors to focus on developing content rather than worrying about template design and production. And your audience will love it too!