How To Improve Your Employee Newsletter with an Editorial Plan

October 3, 2023

Employee newsletters – they can really be a fan-favorite! They give you, communicators, the power to foster engagement, strengthen company culture and keep employees informed and motivated. However, creating effective employee newsletters doesn’t just happen. To ensure your newsletters hit the mark and truly resonate with your workforce, you need a comprehensive editorial process tailored specifically to your audience and desired outcomes. Here is what we at Brilliant Ink believe are the four key components of an effective employee newsletter editorial process.

Company Values and Goals: Your North Star

Employee newsletters should be more than just corporate announcements; they should reflect your organization's core values and strategic goals. This is not just an opinion; it’s supported by research. A recent Harvard Business study found that 90% of organizations that had a clearly defined and consistently demonstrated purpose saw an increase in growth and profits. Your newsletter is a powerful tool to enhance and reinforce that connection. When your team understands your company’s mission and values, they are more engaged, motivated, and committed to their work.

Your newsletter should serve as a conduit for reinforcing these values and objectives. Consider it your company’s own personal news anchor, responsible for conveying the organization’s mission and vision. This is key when you think about the types of topics you want to include!

If giving back to the community is a pillar for your organization, you may want to include a recurring segment that highlights what employees did this month to give back. Or, you might make sure you have an employee write a quick recap of their recent professional development course if you prioritize learning and development for your teams. Creating alignment of newsletter content with company values and goals ensures that this critical aspect of internal communication is managed with precision and purpose.

And, research in internal communication has demonstrated that employees are more likely to engage with content that feels personally relevant to them. When your newsletter consistently aligns with company values and objectives, (AND features people like them) it becomes a powerful tool for building a sense of shared purpose among your workforce.

A group of people assembling building blocks with icons that represent different company values.

Planning Like a Pro: No More Scrambling

Effective internal communication requires intentional planning – there is no way around it. Imagine you’re planning a surprise party; you need a well-thought-out list detailing who is doing what by when, right? Your editorial calendar is just like that surprise-party plan! This tool serves a few purposes: giving you a look ahead, preparing content owners for their upcoming contribution, and providing a high-level validation of cohesiveness.

An editorial calendar is not just a logistical tool, it is a strategic one. It helps you organize content, maintain consistency, and avoid the stress of last-minute rushes. The calendar will help you to better manage collaborators and consult with various teams and departments to ensure that diverse content ideas are considered and aligned with the overall plan.

Employee engagement research further supports the value of variety in internal communication. Your editorial calendar should include sections for employee spotlights, company updates, industry news, and even light-hearted content to keep employees engaged. We want the newsletter to both draw employees in and be consistent. Leveraging the editorial calendar will definitely help you achieve this.

Editing and Quality Control: Polishing the Gem

Once you have that intentional and well-thought-out content plan in place, the next step is meticulous editing and quality control. This is not just about grammar and spelling; it’s about ensuring that your newsletter maintains a consistent tone and style, which research indicates is crucial for building employee trust and engagement.

Editors play a critical role in this process. They are your polished newsletter’s best friends, conducting a thorough review to check for clarity, accuracy, and adherence to the company’s communication style. You want to make sure your editors are informed well ahead of time as to what their recurring role will be. They need to be armed with content owner contacts and access to your drafts. Informing contributors of necessary revisions and consulting with them to ensure that the content adheres to established guidelines should be the priority. This process ensures that all contributors are aware of their roles and responsibilities in maintaining the newsletter’s quality. And if you’re feeling like this process might be a beast to manage – you’re not wrong! We recommend utilizing one of your internal communication and collaboration channels to work together. A #NewsletterCollab Slack channel or newsletter development Teams group would do the trick!

Beyond linguistic and stylistic elements, editors should also verify the accuracy of the information presented in the newsletter. Misleading or incorrect information can erode trust and damage employee engagement. It is most helpful to onboard editors who have their hands in varying areas of the business. That way they can validate information from content areas across the organization.

Learn how to cure information overload and email fatigue caused by the common newsletter.

Feedback and Involvement: Joining the Party

Your employees are not just the audience of your newsletter; they are active participants in your organization’s success. Employee research consistently highlights the importance of involving employees in internal communication. They possess a wealth of knowledge, experiences and ideas that can enrich your newsletter content.

Establishing feedback mechanisms and encouraging employee involvement is more than just a best practice; it’s a strategic imperative. Creating channels for employees to provide input, suggestion, and even submit their stories or ideas fosters a sense of ownership and belonging. This participation contributes to employee engagement, which research has consistently shown to be linked with increased productivity and organizational commitment. If you’re a Staffbase team, you can easily implement a pulse survey. Creating dedicated feedback channels, such as an email address or a suggestion box, where employees can share their thoughts about the newsletter shows your people that you value their input. Consider running periodic surveys to gauge employee satisfaction with the content and format.

Learn how to get employee surveys right to drive meaningful change.

Crafting a stellar employee newsletter is a multifaceted endeavor that demands careful planning, alignment with company values, meticulous editing, and active involvement of employees. Research on employee communication underscore the importance of these components in achieving the desired outcomes of enhanced employee engagement, alignment with organizational goals and a thriving company culture. By implementing these best practices you’ll not only create a newsletter that is eagerly anticipated but also contribute to the overall success and well-being of your organization. Happy newsletter crafting! 🎉

For more bite-sized brilliance, subscribe to our monthly employee engagement newsletter, The Inkwell, and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest!

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