Your Employee newsletter is the place for your team to hear about important company updates, build employee relationships, and company culture. A company newsletter has a lot of workplace communication power.
Internal newsletters should be engaging and informative, with a healthy dose of wit thrown in for good measure. We know that not everyone loves reading work-related content, so make sure internal emails are anything but boring. In fact, you want to get them to be enjoyable!
Know how to nail that tone, and your internal communication becomes that much better.
Internal newsletters are different from marketing emails. So before sharing all the internal email marketing ideas and examples, take a second to review the objectives/goals of your employee newsletters.
7 Employee Newsletter Goals
Your objectives determine what your internal emails will look like. The goals justify any spending and answer the “why” of sending engaging newsletters internally.
Why send a company newsletter to your employees? Here are the 7 main goals of employee newsletters. A quick look and you’ll see why they are so popular for Human Resources, Employer Branding, and organisations in general:
1. Inform the internal organisation
A company newsletter delivers important information through the organisation. The content is relevant and useful for the departments and employees. Internal topics can overlap with a customer newsletter, but often topics are way different than a (conversion-oriented) newsletter for clients and customers. So a newsletter is an info distribution channel.
2. Encourage camaraderie and break down silos
A great company newsletter encourages camaraderie among employees and adds just a tad of loyalty. Not every employee has a strong everyday feeling of belonging. Especially for remote and part-time workers. Make them feel like a valued part of a bigger family. Use the employee newsletter to break down silos between cubicles, teams and departments.
3. Centralise messaging and reduce email overload
Use the internal email newsletters to centralise messaging for more efficient, structured communication. Instead of sending multiple (separate) memo’s, endless Slack threads, ad-hoc announcements, etc, save their inbox from info overload. The company newsletter is not for day-to-day communication but can work very well together with other channels, bringing us to:
4. Tell your Company’s story
Storytelling is a mainstay. Company storytelling allows you to give meaning, pass on knowledge, change behaviour, and understand history and future. Explaining why you do what you do shares a narrative, making it easier to be proud of your company. It is even better to let the employees share their stories, what they do, what they care about. Your employees combined have mega-reach. For example, Cisco employees had 10 times more followers than corporate accounts.
5. Amplify other internal communication
Internal communication can do with a bit more “omnichannel” philosophy. An employee newsletter doesn’t live on an island. Think of linking to other channels like an intranet, Slack, a bulletin board or the company website. Employees can find more details and information there and encourage engagement in those places, interaction that otherwise might be missed.
6. Onboard new employees the right way
Effective employee onboarding can improve employee commitment up to 18x (Bamboo HR). Getting new employees up to speed is important for the recruits and rest of the organisation. You want your new hires to feel that they’re part of the team as quickly as possible. And get settled, so they jump in and make a killer 100 first days.
7. Get employee feedback and improve satisfaction
With off-site, distributed teams and multiple projects it is easy to lose contact. Company newsletters help to learn from, engage with and retain your employees longer. Keep a pulse on employee satisfaction and ask for feedback through employee email surveys. Show you care, and highlight actions on points raised. Email can be or part of a feedback loop for employee happiness and retention.
Here is an example of an employee survey email:
Making an engaging employee newsletter with the Gold and Gone formula
Just because employees work at your company is no guarantee for engagement with your internal newsletter. For that to happen you need to make your emails interesting. Add some spice. Employee newsletters aren’t strictly business-related.
Use the “gold and gone” formula for email engagement:
A rule of thumb to get your emails opened and read, is using 80% “golden topics” and 20% surprise. Then rotate and switch them up every once in a while.
Here are 21 employee newsletter examples and ideas to get started. Most can be used as a standalone email or as a recurring topic in your company newsletter.
21 Company-focused Newsletter Content Ideas
1. New employee introductions
A new hire joining the marketing team? An employee newsletter is the perfect place to present themselves. For a new employee intro, a personal, informal tone usually works best. The ideal way to stimulate people to connect on for instance Linkedin as well.
Besides sharing a bit about their professional backgrounds, things like hobbies, favourite music, or how they like to spend their free time can help bond and make a connection with colleagues and shared interests.
These introductions lend themselves very well for either written in Q&A format or a video post.
2. Share successes and milestones
Public recognition is the #1 most valued way to celebrate wins big and small. It brings the most visibility. When an individual or project team “achieves a commendable feat”, or a sales team hits a milestone let others know through the internal newsletter and they can serve as an inspiration and inform about the value of the work.
Projects are filled with small victories and moments leading up to bigger accomplishments. And, both are equally valuable and impactful to share. The earlier recognition is shared, the better. Use the COIN framework to clearly communicate inside and outside of your employee newsletter.
A company newsletter is a great place to highlight the “Employee of the Month”. Building up team spirit, some additional likability and they are happy to cheer and congratulate each other on their achievements. This newsletter example is great inspiration if you want to include an acknowledgement block in your newsletters.
Whether they’ve been with your company for over 10 years or they’ve run their first ultramarathon, let others join in on the celebration.
3. Personal anniversaries and other celebrations
If one of your employees got married, had a baby, or it’s their birthday, add congratulations and best wishes through the employee newsletter. You don’t have to offer standard gifts like cake or spa vouchers to celebrate your employees’ birthdays. Think about an internal birthday calendar.
An anniversary is the yearly celebration of an event. Anniversaries and the way it is celebrated varies between cultures. Making it a building block of company culture. Looking back is a reminder that team members’ lives change over the years. A reminder of work-life balance and keeping things human.
4. Recommendations and must-sees
Some companies organise (optional) outings to go see concerts, sporting events with others from the company.
Top recommendations on places, shows, or restaurants to visit is an interesting topic. Some employees might have relocated to join your company or they’re working remotely and are just in town for a few days to visit company HQ.
Alternatively you can give different kinds of recommendations. For example, books, movies, or interesting music / playlists. This type of communication can inspire spare time outside of the company.
And who knows, they may even choose to organise a team get-away to catch a few drinks or visit a concert after hours?
5. Team spotlight
It is hard to keep track of what all teams are working on. New hires often don’t know who to ask about certain projects. Colleagues might have a vague idea, but not necessarily the details. Including a team spotlight in your company newsletter can help bridge the knowledge gap and increase employee engagement.
Team spotlights are more common in enterprises, but aren’t exclusive to big companies. Introduce a project team – team members, what they’re working on, and how others can reach out.
This can additionally spring a bit of coffee machine chatter: “Hey weren’t you in the company newsletter?”
6. Special days and company events in the office
Why not bring the party to the team? Organising a special day at the office. There are plenty of excuses to do something at the office. Plan them based on special dates like Earth Day, Animal Day, International Coffee Day, Star Wars Day (May the 4th), etc.
There is a whole calendar of days to inspire you. A special day event can be one time, or yearly.
For example of recurring events: Do a movie night, board game afternoon every couple of weeks. Or less frequently, invite members to a Friday Pizza.
7. Team party
Company retreats, parties, and getaways are a popular way to bring people together and improve employee engagement. For small teams, organising them is pretty easy, but with a few hundred employees, planning requires a lot of effort from HR or a commission.
Avoid some hassle with regular inclusion on upcoming parties and details to join on a trip. This info should also live in a single space, like the company intranet, to point to from your internal newsletter.
Remember post-event internal communications. Send an impression with a summary, pictures, and videos. Ask for feedback so your next company celebration will be even better.
8. Competitions and contests
We all have that one (a bit too) competitive colleague. Why not channel that competitive spirit and plan a competition or invite employees to represent your company during a race or other type of contest.
Brainstorming isn’t too hard, use sports – running, swimming, cycling, etc or around other hobbies like baking, photography, or charities.
You’d be surprised how enthusiastic people can get, especially if it touches something they care about.
Feedback is an essential part of any business that wants to improve. Add an email / online survey as a direct, structured way to learn about employees’ preferences and opinions.
The low engagement version is a quick poll. You can ask about any subject: workplace satisfaction, company benefits, training and education, or a recent company event.
Online surveys have the benefit over face-to-face that they can be anonymous. Create a space where people feel safe to share and aren’t judged by outcomes.
Add a free form as a recurring item to your periodic internal newsletter and encourage employees to fill this in. This is a great challenge for creativity and helps keep things lively and engaging. To increase submissions offer incentives to people who fill it out or use a bit of gamification.
10. Recruitment: New job openings and open positions
Internal recruitment is a good way for employees to grow and develop new skills. It reduces costs on training new hires. Let your employees know first when there’s a new job opening.
Some might want to apply for the role. Or they have someone in their network who’d fit the role perfectly and could recommend them to you.
Especially for recruitment in very competitive industries (e.g. IT Development) where there are big premiums paid for even finding suitable candidates or where the access to experts is limited.
11. Training opportunities
If you’re already running workshops and training, this is a no-brainer. Add an agenda or list of learning opportunities to your employee email.
There’s way more possible:
1. Invite your employees to talk about their areas of expertise. You’ll be surprised how many people enjoy sharing their knowledge with others. This can be something specific or more general “business skills” like creating amazing powerpoints. And possibly it will motivate them to develop new skills and become a bit more T-shaped.
2. If your colleague just visited a boot camp or international event, they can share their learnings. It is an opportunity for team members to learn about new topics. Some companies use the AMA (Ask Me Anything) format. One employee does a (short) presentation and all attendees discuss.
12. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Many companies take corporate social responsibility (CSR) seriously and develop programs to do good and give back to the community and tackle ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) issues.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals from the UN can be an inspiration for your own agenda. Companies aim to contribute on issues and actively work towards a sustainable and better world.
This can take many forms:
- Charity donations or Fundraising
- Raise awareness around social issues
- Sponsor local associations, merchants clubs, and sports
- Donate part of time or resources to do some good.
Employees value an authentic message. Your company can make a difference. Whatever the CSR cause, include the topics in your employee newsletter and a nudge to encourage involvement.
13. Important industry events, updates, news and competitors
You are running a business. Knowledge is growth. Internal communications aren’t restricted to internal topics. Company-wide updates on trends and changes are super interesting, as is a review of what the competition is up to.
A summary of industry developments, top insights, legislative changes or just a digest of blogs and articles for internal reading – they all make great content for your internal newsletter.
Share an agenda of upcoming events where employees are speaking or the company is attending / has a presence. This will help boost the presence of the company at these events because the more employees know about it the more people from your company will attend.
Also, this tactic improves employer branding. Having the company and its executives at prestigious events and conferences shows the employees that the company is strong, has authority in the industry and is heading in the right direction.
14. Changes in Products
Everyone on the payroll should know the latest about your products and services. Keep employees informed about new releases, roadmap and issues that are being worked on:
- The Marketing Team uses the roadmap and recent launches to develop a marketing calendar.
- Customer Service Team can assist customers better if up to snuff on all that is product and services.
- The Sales Team will be able to close more deals, with top of mind answers to use-cases for your (new) products, collections, product drops.
The list goes on, especially in product-led growth environments, keeping everyone informed on your products is a biggy.
15. Share your company vision and results
Unlock boardroom information and share your brand vision and view on future direction. Transparency is a sign of effective leadership.
An internal newsletter is a perfect place to share this type of information.If your organisation is large you won’t be able to have a 1-on-1 with everybody or even chat with them in the hallway, you’ll need to get it across in another way. In your employee newsletter for example.
16. Internal PR and Bad News Show
Sometimes the news your CEO will have to share won’t be positive at all, and time-sensitive. If something is affecting the company and its customers in a negative way, employees better learn about it so they can prepare and know the facts. (Internal PR)
Imagine a scenario where your customer data leaked or your company was hit by a DDoS attack. Better to rip that band-aid off. Your employees need to be quickly informed, so that’s worth an internal (email) update.
17. Changes in personnel and people moving on
Every company has people leaving. Retirees that go with well-earned pension, people that were just there for a project, that great intern. If it is someone in a key function, beloved company evangelist.
Or just someone moving to another city or job. It is good to send them off with a proper goodbye.
When people change positions internally or leave the company, the company newsletter is a good place to let others know and maybe organise a send-off – some last day activity. (and let’s face it, there are always going to be some last-minute handover questions).
18. Legal and money changes affecting employees
Legislation and fiscal policies can change at least yearly. New tax laws might come into effect and influence their compensation packages. The 401K, Brexit, income tax, travel deductions, etc. Maybe it is not the sexiest topic, but it is important to keep employees updated.
Employees can have real worries about their taxes, or miss out on extra compensation. It may not sound like breaking news, but it saves employees a lot of hassle and gives extra benefits.
19. Customer reviews and feedback from the frontline
Customer service and sales teams get to talk a lot to customers day-to-day. They hear feedback and get a pulse on what is going on.
Others don’t see the frontline and how their work helps customers every day. Perfect material for an internal newsletter. And customers usually have interesting stories as well!
Share some customer service stories, feedback – or some shoutouts from social media, etc.
Seeing that everyone is working and customers appreciate it, is a great motivator.
Fun and some entertainment might not be the first things that come to mind when you think of a company newsletter. But it makes way more sense than most serious topics.
A joke, a pun, or a game will put a smile on your employees’ faces.
Some companies had a print employee magazine – with a cartoon somewhere in there – think of this as the digital equivalent.
Humor can be tricky, if distasteful, but as long as it is done in an appropriate (non-toxic) way, it can be the secret behind an “I always open the email because…”.
A regular piece of fun content (for instance at the bottom of your internal newsletter) breathes an open and fun company culture. The variations and opportunities are endless.
21. Here we are on social
Including your social links in the footer is a must for an employee newsletter. Take this further and show social media snippets of the most popular, successful, interesting posts of recent times and stimulate employee engagement on social media.
Make sure all of the snippets you share in your internal newsletters have links to the post on social media. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on this additional employee engagement.
How to craft an effective employee newsletter
An effective internal email newsletter can take many forms. Be sure to take note of the following best practice elements:
- Your internal audience and segmentation
The target audience for internal newsletters seems clear cut; your employees. But take care to cater to the different sub-groups in your newsletter file. In bigger companies or business units, think about segmentation for your content.
What is your audience interested in? What is important for them to know? For instance, segmenting your emails by role, department, or interests is a solid starting point.
- Relevant content that isn’t boring
Every newsletter should have a purpose. But that isn’t restricted to exclusively business goals. Readers should feel that they got something out of the employee newsletter every time. Or engagement will take a nosedive after a few disappointing newsletters. The secret is to mix engaging content with content that is driving the goals for your business – everybody wins.
- Layout and email template.
A consistent layout and email template make newsletters familiar and easy to read/digest. A great email marketing system allows you to use corporate identity / branding. It saves lots of time to keep the format in a similar layout, style, and content elements. For instance, you only need to add your own brand colors once to have them correct every time. Use a flexible, but standard email template, so you don’t have to think about that each and every time.
- The right tone of voice
We often think about company culture as something that just is. But an internal newsletter is a tangible representation of company culture. Pick a writing style that fits your company. It can be light-hearted, ambitious, passionate or more formal. But don’t make the mistake to think B2B equals “formal or complex writing”. Why would you? The right tone of voice will pull readers in.
How to write better internal newsletters
Writing internal newsletters has a lot in common with best practises for writing “normal” email marketing campaigns – but it is not exactly the same. How to write a better employee digest?
- Balance the amount of information
Where in customer email campaigns your emails might want to be a bit of a tease to elicit more engagement, in employee newsletters you want to balance it out.
Your readers shouldn’t feel like it is a commercial email, and they are only teased with clickbait.
Try to balance the amount of info – but don’t make it overcomplete (and looong). The text length is probably shorter than you expect – if you have a compact writing style.
Link to other places for more info / detail, like your intranet. Or point to the person that has that topic under their wings. Like: “ask John if you want to join in.”
- Give it a KISS, (Keep It Short & Simple)
Make your newsletters simple. Make them easy to understand. Keep it short. Everyone in your company is busy (or they should be!) No one has the time for wordy, long-winded newsletters.
Short sentences, short paragraphs. This means spending more time on getting the headlines juuuusssstttt right. And using bullet points to indicate lists. Brevity is key. The point in making things concise and simple is avoiding that people skip the info altogether.
- Make the writing conversational or casual
Unless it’s a strict company policy, skip the formal writing. A more conversational or casual tone will make your newsletters more engaging. Your newsletter texts should flow, so reading them is easy and feels natural.
- Be creative and candid
Be a bit creative in your texts. For example, when reporting on a recent company getaway, don’t do the expected powerpoint-to-bullet-point fact only overload.
Try to add in some wordsmithing, a humorous comment and some candid pictures. (Just don’t overdo it.)
- Use images, photos and visuals
Humans are visual animals. Reading alongside the right images is a much better experience. According to a recent study, images are processed 6-600x faster.
Visuals are a MUST when writing otherwise boring (but important) updates or numbers. Your own (non-stock) pictures are obviously the best, but there are plenty of other sources for imagery you can use.
- Keep improving
There are a number of email newsletter tests you can consider in doing A/B tests. Think mostly about the topics and changes or tweaks that lead to better KPI’s.
Internal email newsletters might not have the volume to give you statistically significant results. So personal feedback is an important indicator. Just open the door and ask your colleagues (to be critical), or get feedback and ideas through an employee questionnaire.
Conclusion: Your internal employee newsletter, worth its weight in gold.
In writing effective internal email newsletters, get the tone right. Find your mix of topics and share appropriate content that fits with objectives. It’s good to have a consistent format and an engaging and empowering tone.
Writing newsletters isn’t serious journalism or creative writing either, but when you are trying to engage the whole company, it’s inevitable to try doing different things every once in a while. I’m sure the employee newsletter ideas in this article will help you. Feel free to share in the comments how you plan your employee newsletters!
Looking for internal newsletter templates?
It is a great idea to use Internal newsletter templates. Generally, you can use the same template design for external and internal newsletters. But with some layout changes to best fit the content.
All the newsletter examples in this article are based on free email newsletter templates with some minor, minor changes. I just changed the text and deleted some blocks to create them.
These HR email templates are great to get started with internal newsletter. Just add your copy and make sure it fits your brand. Here’s a list of templates we used for this article: