Tag Archives: employee engagement

Want A Newsletter Staff Will Actually Read?

 

Let’s be honest; too often, newsletters are dull, dense and difficult to read. They consist of a few bits of internal comms ‘news’ lumped together with minimal consideration by someone with little copywriting experience.

These are the newsletters that get deleted before even being opened (we’ve all done it, haven’t we?).

But the thing is, research shows that employees actually want newsletters. Yup. Newsletters still have a place in the hearts and inboxes of your staff.

But only if they’re enjoyable, easy-to-understand and accessible. So how do you make that happen?

 

Good copy counts

One of the biggest differences between a newsletter that’s interesting and useful (and effectively creates employee engagement) – and one that’s ignored, is good copywriting.

Just like you wouldn’t engage with a magazine article or blog post that was badly written, you wouldn’t do so with a badly written newsletter.

Unless you have talented writers within your internal comms team, with newsletter writing experience, it makes good business sense to ask a freelance copywriter. Preferably one who knows internal comms.

They can ensure your newsletter copy generates employee engagement and fits in with your company’s values and tone of voice.

But it’s not just about words

Your newsletter should, of course, read brilliantly but don’t be afraid to include videos, infographics and images, too. These make it visually stimulating and increase employee engagement even further.

Avoid information overload

With cluttered facebook and twitter newsfeeds, on top of hundreds of emails a day, text messages and TV adverts, employees are overloaded with information as it is.

To be effective, your newsletter needs to cut through the noise. Be concise. Don’t waffle on about things that aren’t genuinely interesting or relevant.

If you need to include dry or ‘boring’ information, be brief.

Personalise

It also helps to personalise your newsletters. ‘Dear Peter’ is much nicer then ‘Dear employee’. Nobody wants to feel like they are just a cog in the wheel, and an internal comms newsletter is a way of making sure nobody in your company does.

Is it working?

Measure the amount of opens and clicks your newsletter gets, as well as which sections employees really engage with. This will help you hone in on what works best.

Do all of the above and you’ll be well on your way to a newsletter employees love – and love to share.



5 Ways to Create Captivating Internal Comms Content

Once upon a time internal communications was the lesser known (and lesser loved) cousin of HR and PR. Today, forward-thinking companies big and small know that great employee engagement can inspire, motivate and unite. But it’s not enough just to churn out any old content and cross your fingers for results.

It requires time, effort and expertise.

To help, here are five short cuts to creating internal communications content that will inspire your people – and make them want to share it.

1. Tell a story
Never underestimate the importance of including a human interest angle in your content. An anecdote or personal case study creates instant engagement and can help with understanding – but make sure it’s concise and relevant. If you go overboard it quickly gets boring.

2. Invite comments
So your content has created employee engagement. Hooray! Now what? Extend the value of your internal comms by inviting discussion and ideas with a comments box feature, an intranet forum or a group get-together. Include questions to spark further engagement and ask employees to share their ideas on how they can implement what they’ve learned.

3. Use the right tone of voice
Whatever kind of internal comms project you are working on, tone of voice should never be far from your mind. Of course, it depends on the type of business you work for. But it also depends on the type of content. Announcing serious changes or even redundancies requires a carefully considered tone of voice that will differ from the one you might use to share plans for the office Christmas party. It’s worth having tone of voice guidelines in place to help with this.

4. Try something new
Tried and tested approaches to internal comms and employee engagement, like newsletters are all well and good. But don’t be afraid to think of alternative ways to get through to your employees. Holding a corporate event? Capture some of the highlights and turn it into an internal blog post. Has one of your team just been on a course? Share their top five insights in an easy-to-understand ‘listicle’.

5. Write like a pro
Good internal comms content should flow easily and grab attention, deftly moving readers along. Use short, enticing headlines, snappy quotes, questions and calls to action. Take your time and read it out loud when you’re done – how does it sound? Make sure you have time to edit, at least twice. There’s no short cut to creating copy that generates that all important employee engagement. And if your internal comms content isn’t hitting the mark, it’s worth investing in the expertise of a professional freelance copywriter, who’ll be able to help with internal communications that really work for you.

 



Create Must-Read Content from Corporate Events

From large multi-region conferences to smaller internal comms workshops, corporate events are a great way to inspire, inform and engage staff.

But all too often, once the event ends, employees get back to their 9-5 and the connections and learning are lost. And where is the value for those who couldn’t attend?

These are common problems for employee engagement and internal communications teams – but they don’t have to be for you.

 

Make Events Work Harder

By using compelling copywriting, you can avoid these issues. With the right words – and the right creative copywriter – you can maximise the value of your corporate events, and your employee engagement.

Instead of a stand-alone occasion, your event can become a springboard for interesting content, reminding attendees of what they learned, and sharing valuable insights with those who couldn’t be there.

How does it work?

Before your event takes place, set up a meeting with your copywriter to brainstorm ideas based on the topics and structure of the event.

Book your copywriter to attend the event so they can sit in on the presentations and take note of conversations during workshops.

Your copywriter can also interview the speakers from your event separately to get more information about their specialist subject, or to ask for their tops tips on tackling a particular issue within the workplace.

Maximising value

If you take this approach, the opportunities for internal comms content from corporate events that really stimulates employee engagement are huge.

It could be an in-depth article with quotes from speakers. Maybe it’s a short, punchy collection of learnings from a workshop. Or what about a listicle of the top 10 highlights of the day?

All of these can be published as part of a newsletter, on the intranet or turned into a special series of blogs.

Style matters

Of course, it’s important that the copy reads well, has the right tone of voice and reinforces the essential messages from the day, as well as your strategic internal comms / brand messaging.

But get all this right (or find a freelance copywriter with the skills and experience to work with you) and you’ll gain deeper insights from events, create more shareable content and make sure employees who can’t attend feel really involved.

 



6 Internal Comms Content Clangers To Avoid

Internal communications is all about content. With the right words, you can boost productivity, employee engagement – and even profits.

But all too often companies commit cardinal sins when it comes to their content – and, as a result, it fails to get results.

To stop you falling into the same traps, here are six internal comms content clangers to avoid.

1. Using meaningless business-speak

You might hear phrases like ‘blue sky thinking’, ‘mission creep’ and ‘let’s action that’ in meetings but have you ever heard them in real life? Of course not. Internal communications should help you connect with employees, but using business-speak distances you from the very people you want to inspire. Instead, use plain, easy-to-understand language that you’d be more likely to hear in the staffroom than the boardroom.

2.Being critical

Internal communications content should be used as a tool for positive reinforcement – not as a means to be critical. If your sales team has failed to meet their target, or someone’s spending more time on Facebook than their to-do list, save it for a one-to-one meeting rather than your monthly newsletter.

3. Not having an internal comms strategy

A well thought out internal comms strategy is the foundation effective employee engagement is built on. Like all strategies, it should pinpoint where you are now, where you want to be and, most importantly, how you’re going to get there. But keep your strategy simple. A long-winded document that goes into excessive detail will get filed in a drawer and ignored. Instead, use a living document that’s regularly referenced to ensure everything’s on track. It’s also worth revisiting and updating your strategy at least once a year.

4. Information overload

We live in an age when we are constantly bombarded with information from every angle, whether it’s from emails, texts, tweets and Facebook posts or adverts on billboards and television. To effectively create employee engagement, your internal comms content needs to cut through all of this noise and grab the attention of your employees. To do this, keep your content simple, short and to the point. This takes skill and experience. If you’re stuck, a freelance copywriter can help with in creative approaches to framing new procedures, interesting formats to share best practice, and even building a content calendar to help you plan your employee engagement strategy.

5. Not asking for feedback

Having a winning internal communications strategy is important – but equally, so is listening to what the people your content is written for actually want to read. Maybe there’s an expert within the business that they’d like to see interviewed. Or maybe they’d prefer shorter, weekly bulletins rather than one longer update every month. Invite ideas from employees on a regular basis – and explore different ways to implement them.

6. Failure to measure results

If you want your internal comms to be successful, it’s vital that you know what’s working and what’s not. As part of your internal comms strategy, use metrics to track how many clicks your intranet article gets and how many people open your newsletter email. You could even use tools to work out which headlines and subject lines are most effective. The information you glean can then be used to tweak and update your internal comms strategy.