Providing helpful employee communication can be a challenge. According to Gallup, only 7% of employees in the United States feel like their company’s communication is timely and open. One way to improve workplace communication is through an employee newsletter.
At Pyn, we help companies support their employees by offering timely and relevant communications. Automation of one-to-one HR communications is one of the main benefits of Pyn (think an automated welcome email, or a Slack to a new manager). Companies can also use Pyn to send one-to-many communications like employee newsletters.
This article will provide employee newsletter ideas, considerations for starting your newsletter, and real-world examples of companies using Pyn for their newsletter.
If you're ready to build consistent employee communication practices, dive into our insights for inspiration.
What is an employee newsletter?
An employee newsletter is a regular communication sent to your employees that relays events, updates, and changes.
Newsletters come in all lengths, formats, and frequencies, but companies use employee newsletters to educate and entertain staff members. Most organizations use email newsletters because they are easy to distribute, manage, and scale unlike printed newsletters.
10 topic ideas for your employee newsletter
The best newsletters provide timely and relevant information to help staff members understand personnel changes, keep up to date with developments across the company, and celebrate wins.
When building out your company newsletter, consistency is critical. Whatever topics you decide to cover in your newsletter, you should create templates and sections to keep it consistent. Here are a few ideas to get your wheels turning:
1. Communicate company/department-level changes
Will one of your teams be OOO at a team retreat? Did your company just win an award? Employees want to know what’s happening at the company and department level, especially if it impacts their day-to-day work.
2. Provide seasonal guidance and tips for employees
The best employee newsletters aren’t just about listing dates and sharing news. You need to create engaging content. One quick way to do this is to take a seasonal topic that employees care about and give some tips on it. For example, an employee newsletter for a doctor’s office might include information on getting over flu season.
3. Engage readers with a contest
You aren’t sending newsletters to check a box. You are sending a newsletter to keep employees informed. Contests can ensure employees read and understand what’s happening in the newsletter. For example, you can bury a secret word in one of the newsletter stories and give a Starbucks gift card to the first employee to hit reply and share the word with you.
4. Highlight job openings
Internal mobility is vital for your staff members. According to a study by SHRM, employees promoted within three years of being hired had 70% of staying with the organization after five years. Employees who made lateral moves had a 62% chance of staying. The number dropped to 45% for employees who didn’t change jobs.
Current employees are a great source of candidates for new roles. Newsletters make it easy to highlight new positions so that employees can get promoted or move to a different team.
5. Collect insight with pulse surveys
Human resources professionals thrive when given new information. Is there a new initiative that you’d like help with? Do you want to check how employees feel about a new policy? Try putting a quick 1-3 question pulse survey in your next employee newsletter to get feedback.
6. Remind employees of upcoming deadlines
Open enrollment is one of the most stressful times for HR professionals. Many questions need to be answered, and forms must be filled out. Companies can use some real estate in newsletters to send gentle reminders to staff about upcoming deadlines like open enrollment.
You can also use Pyn to automate messages about Open Enrollment on an individual basis. See more comms you can automate through our Open Library.
7. Welcome your new hires
Employee onboarding is a memorable experience - you only have one chance to make a great first impression. How you treat staff members during their first few weeks at your organization defines their experience with you. As you welcome new employees into your organization, highlight newcomers in the company newsletter. Encourage other staff members to reach out and say hello if they haven’t already met them.
Check out other new hire messages you can automate with Pyn.
8. Showcase wins for different departments
Did your marketing department finish a successful campaign? Is your sales team celebrating the close of a big account? Your company is celebrating wins big and small every day. Work with the head of each department to see what incredible wins you can highlight in the employee newsletter.
9. Shine a light on employees doing amazing things
Your team members do amazing things outside of work too. If you notice any employees giving back to causes they care about or working on a side hustle, don’t be afraid to share. Employees want to work for companies that celebrate their hard work in and out of the office.
10. Celebrate birthdays/work anniversaries
Last, celebrate your employees for being a part of your workforce. There are three days that employees are most likely to quit: class reunions, significant birthday celebrations like their 50th, and work anniversaries. So highlighting employee birthdays/work anniversaries in your newsletter and following up the experience with appreciation and a nice gift can mean a lot for team members. Maybe you can even share your appreciation for employees with a fun meme or a video message.
Considerations for starting an employee newsletter
Now that we’ve covered what topics you could include in your employee newsletter, we’ll look at other considerations that might be on your mind as you’re getting started, like at what size should you start an employee newsletter, and how often should you send a newsletter.
What size should companies start an employee newsletter?
Depending on the size of your organization, you might want to send at a different frequency or use specific tools to send your newsletter.
Small companies (<250 employees) tend to rely on more manual newsletter sending experiences. You may not be as consistent as you like because your HR department is busy working on other tasks.
As you grow into a mid-sized company (250-1,000 employees), your company newsletter will likely become more consistent, but you might not need to send lengthy emails. Organizations at this size typically invest in free sending tools to make the process more automated.
Large (1,001-5,000 employees) and enterprise-level (>5,000 employees) can find it most challenging to keep information flowing across departments and between levels of the organization. Companies of this magnitude need a reliable and secure way to manage communication and employee data.
Remember that at any size, employees are looking for clarity as companies grow. In addition to employee newsletters, personalized one-on-one communication is important to make sure your employees are informed and feel supported.
How often should you send an employee newsletter?
Most organizations, regardless of size, can benefit from a monthly employee newsletter. However, weekly newsletters are a great option if you have a lot going on in your organization or want to create a more asynchronous work environment.
What software can you use to send an employee newsletter?
When you are ready to deliver your newsletter via email you can use Mailchimp or Pyn.
Mailchimp isn’t tailor-made for employee communication, but it does have a free plan for up to 2,000 contacts. Since it lacks integrations with HRIS data, you’ll need to manually update your distribution list as employees join or leave your organization.
Once you are ready to streamline the employee newsletter process, you can use Pyn to send newsletters. Pyn directly integrates with your HRIS data, so you can send email newsletters to all employees without having to manually update your data. You could also easily segment by demographics, like an issue just for managers, or by office location.
When should you send an employee newsletter?
Companies should send employee newsletters when employees are most likely to read and comprehend what is shared.
According to data collected by CoSchedule, the best time to send an email is Tuesday at 10 AM. The reasoning being that people are catching up on Monday and distracted on Friday and 10 AM lets workers settle in for the morning while leaving enough room to ask questions before the work day is over.
The most important consideration for timing is to send to employees in their time zone. For companies with employees across the world, you want people to get important communications when they’re awake.
Pyn-powered employee newsletter examples
Arctic Wolf - Monthly Newsletter, The Howler
Each month, Mary Newville, Arctic Wolf’s Senior People Experience Manager uses Pyn to send out The Howler. It’s their monthly newsletter designed to keep everyone in the loop on new hires, recent events, and updates at Arctic Wolf.
“To keep employees connected and informed, we already had a consistent practice of sending a biweekly email of new hires, events, and updates, and then also making sure all events were on the Corporate Calendar and Events page in Confluence,” explains Mary. “Despite that, we would consistently hear from pack members things like ‘I had no idea this was going on…’ or ‘I didn’t know we did this,’ things along those lines.”
The People Team brainstormed how to make company-wide updates more compelling. They decided to display all events on TVs around the office and uplevel their bimonthly new hire email and increase readership.
“We thought of it as our own internal news outlet. We came up with the name the Howler and asked our marketing team to create a logo for us,” Mary shares. Each issue includes an update on new wolves who have joined the pack (aka new employees), upcoming events, and observed holidays by country for the month in which the newsletter is sent. Sometimes they include fun sections like:
- Overheard on Slack (we intentionally share something from every office location and country – fun things like an update from our sports teams)
- Spotlight on Pack Gives Back (employee volunteer stories from using their volunteer time off)
- Kudos of the month (meaningful recognitions from our employee recognition platform)
Mary is using Pyn to experiment with different subject lines (taking inspiration from the Obama Campaign, Mary adds) and personalization to see what helps increase readership. “After we sent the first newsletter with Pyn, we immediately received several emails back with pack members sharing how much they liked the format and how nice the email itself looked,” explains Mary. Some readers even sent in their own updates, like how the new Australia team went axe throwing together. “It helps bring visibility and a personal connection to other locations, teams, offices, that otherwise people may not know much about.”
Amplitude - Weekly Wellbeing Newsletter
Makenzie LaBare, Senior Program Manager, Talent Success at Amplitude uses Pyn to send a weekly wellbeing newsletter. “Typically each month we'll follow a theme, often highlighting a specific community or need within the company. An example is showcasing women's wellbeing topics during Women's History Month. Each week we share two different ways to learn and explore the theme. This can be reading an article, listening to a podcast, a TedTalk, even an invitation to attend an internal event or workshop,” she says.
The employee newsletter launched in February of 2021, and their main measurement of success is building awareness. Makenzie explains, “Pyn allows us to see how many people are engaging with our content, and we've made some tweaks to how we organize and present that content to increase that engagement.”
The best part about using Pyn for Amplitude’s employee newsletter, says Makenzie, is the ability to set up the campaign and let it run on its own. She adds, “This takes a lot of pressure off and allows me to spend time on other things. The second best part is having people come up to me and tell me how much they appreciate and enjoy the newsletter!”