Company Culture

How to Make an Engaging Employee Newsletter That Drives Retention

December 21, 2020
November 7, 2023
John Allen
Lattice Team

This story is a guest contribution from RingCentral, a global video messaging and virtual phone systems provider. Learn more about their offerings here.

When your team feels engaged and appreciated, they’re motivated to do their best work. The problem? Only 15% of employees worldwide are actually engaged in their roles.

While there are various engagement “hacks” worth trying, creating an internal employee newsletter can go a long way in boosting morale and bringing your team together. These newsletters offer an opportunity to recognize peers, share company news, and make employees feel like stakeholders in the business’s success. Here’s how to create an employee newsletter that’s both engaging and informative.

Creating an Engaging Employee Newsletter

1. Include employee surveys.

Employees are more inclined to open an email when they’re expected to act on the information enclosed. Give employees a chance to offer their feedback on the company, organizational changes, or policy updates by including a link to an employee survey in your email. Follow through by sharing the anonymous results in a future newsletter.

2. Experiment with video and audio.

While email may be your primary means of distribution, you don’t have to limit your company newsletter to just the written word. Consider incorporating other mediums, like using a video platform., to keep newsletters fresh and engaging. You can also give employees something to listen to as they work, like an internal podcast featuring interviews with clients or company leaders.

3. Recognize employees.

Want to recognize a teammate for going above and beyond or living by your organization’s values? While you should do this on an ongoing basis, you can make the gesture extra special by calling out top performers in your employee newsletter every month or quarter. In addition to celebrating accomplishments, you can also include work anniversaries, birthdays, and other milestones. Here are some other fun employee recognition ideas.

4. Share training opportunities.

Your employees are looking for opportunities to grow. Use your newsletter to share online courses, workshops, local events, or any other training opportunities available. This is a great way to encourage ongoing education and show employees that your organization values their development.

5. Feature a message from the CEO.

If you want your employees to follow the company’s vision, they need to know where the company is heading. An internal newsletter is your chance to share the company’s plans, business results, news, and leadership changes. A personal message from leadership is a great way to maintain a spirit of transparency and keep everyone up-to-date on what’s next.

6. Spotlight upcoming events.

Use the newsletter to announce company-wide events, like upcoming team-building exercises or office parties. Company events like these can help employees get to know their colleagues and encourage a sense of community. These may be physical events, or they can take place on online webinar platforms.

7. Include something fun. 

Your employee newsletter doesn’t have to be just about work. Consider including book recommendations, restaurant reviews, or upcoming TV shows worth watching. Not only does this help connect employees with common interests, but it could also spur healthy debate and give your team something to discuss.

8. Share competitive intel.

Sharing news about the competition gives employees additional perspective on how their work impacts the broader company. For example, if a competitor's sales team uses preview dialing software, but your company isn’t, that might be something for your IT team to explore. Including updates about competitors also helps put your company’s product launches in context. 

How Newsletters Improve Employee Retention

1. They reduce email overload.

Employees want company news, but it can quickly become overwhelming when it’s coming from multiple sources at different times of the week. Rather than cram employee inboxes with separate email updates from various departments, consolidate news into one employee newsletter to give employees less email clutter to sort through. Providing that bird's-eye view not only promotes transparency, it helps employees keep up with organizational change.

2. Employee onboarding is easier.

A newsletter is a quick way to get new employees up to speed with everything going on in the company. It’s wrong to assume every new employee has the same skill set when it comes to technology to email etiquette, for example. Make this base information accessible to everyone with topics such as “What is online conferencing?” or “5 Best Practices When it Comes to Email Signatures.” This is just as important for the recruits as it is for the organization itself. The faster your new employees feel like they’re part of the team, the happier they feel about their decision to sign on.

3. Communication is streamlined.

Where do your employees go for company updates? There’s a good chance that information disseminates a handful of different ways at your organization, whether it’s by email, instant message, or traditional word-of-mouth. All of that can result in a great deal of confusion across departments and locations. Centralizing news in a central “source of truth” like an employee newsletter gives your team a clearer picture of what’s happening.

4. They provide a channel for feedback.

Collecting and subsequently sharing employee feedback in your newsletter doesn’t just improve its open rate — it shows your team you care. While you should try to promote survey participation through various means, doing so in the newsletter can be incredibly impactful since it gets sent to everyone at the company.

Effective company newsletters can encourage retention and help bolster your employee engagement strategy. When done well, newsletters become part of employees’ routine — and if you include interactive elements, they become an engaging element of that routine.