Hands up, who looks forward to their monthly internal company newsletter? Didn’t quite rush to get your hand in the air there? Don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. When produced incorrectly, an internal newsletter can be a lot like that well-meaning aunt who corners you at family get-togethers for a chat but keeps confusing you with your cousin Dave who lives in Potch – there’s a lot of sharing happening, but none of it really feels like it applies to you.

At a time when nearly half of young South African professionals are unhappy in their careers and are looking to change jobs within the next 12 months (these stats are for real, go read more about the 2019 Universum market research), an ongoing focus on employee engagement is becoming increasingly important, and it all starts with internal communication.

So what is a forward-thinking company to do to ensure that their internal newsletters don’t receive the straight-to-trashcan treatment? Here are a few tips to get you started:

Find a consistency sweet spot

Don’t bombard your employees with constant emails. We live in a time of information fatigue, so if you want your people to open your carefully crafted newsletters, you need to find the sweet spot in terms of frequency and delivery time. Try sending out the newsletter on different days and at different times, and ask your IT team to measure the success of each drop. Use the resultant data to streamline your timing.

Keep it brief but interesting

Big, chunky reems of text don’t work anymore. Our exposure to digital media, especially on hand-held devices, has predisposed us to expecting short, punchy text that gets straight to the point. Bonus marks if it’s mildly entertaining, of course! Imagine the kind of thing you would take the time to read, and base the tone and text density on that.

Prepare inspiring, read-worthy content

If your goal is to help your employees be more informed and engaged, you need to rope them in with inspiring content. The themes that get your team going will differ from one company to the next, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Recognition to people who did a great job throughout the month (think smashes sales targets, innovative news ideas, etc.).
  • Introductions of new employees and celebrations of big job anniversaries.
  • Info on open positions and incentives for talent recommendations.
  • Fun pictures of company events.
  • Results of internal surveys.
  • Monthly competitions that encourage behaviour in line with company values.

Following these guidelines will pave the way for some morale-boosting, culture-defining internal communication in the long run. Keep an eye on the HolyCow blog in the coming weeks and months for more insider tips on keeping those lines of communication wide open and reaping the rewards of super-charged employee engagement.