Internal newsletters have long offered a great way to share information inside a company. Published by employees, for employees, these publications can help workers feel more involved in the business’s day-to-day operations, boosting overall morale. But as attention has shifted toward the internet, the company intranet has taken the place of those newsletters.
Enter the internal blog. Usually posted on a company’s intranet, internal blogs can be updated by one or two select employees or they can be communal, with posting open to everyone. A light, informal tone is often best, encouraging employees to openly discuss issues that are important to them. These blogs can also serve the purpose of cutting down on meetings and e-mail communications, with workers able to communicate one idea to many in just a few short paragraphs. All of that can help boost employee morale by making employees feel their ideas are being heard.
An internal blog is only as good as its content, however. To ensure your blog is as engaging as possible, here are a few helpful tips:
- Get employees involved. At first, you may notice some employees are hesitant to pitch in. Encourage top management to write posts as a good example for their workers. If participation continues to be a problem, consider generating topics regularly to inspire employees to post. It’s important that employees voluntarily participate; forced participation can actually lower morale.
- Require approval. Require all posts to be posted in “draft” or “pending” status until a designated employee can approve them. That person should be someone you trust to oversee all posts and check for errors or possible problematic posts. While you will want to allow employees to post freely, you’ll also want to put safeties in place in case an employee posts something inappropriate.
- Include photos. Having your designated editor add photos from a site like iStockPhoto can liven up your internal blog. Long paragraphs of text can cause readers’ attention to drift, but even one related photo can add visual interest.
- Avoid too much editing. Some companies require every communication, inside or out, to go through public relations professionals or upper management. The result is a stiff tone that erases the employee’s natural voice. Make sure any editing is light-handed, geared toward preserving the author’s natural voice.
- Reward participation. The best way to help grow your internal blog is to regularly give positive acknowledgment (or even small rewards) to participants. Others will notice the accolades and a natural sense of competition will prompt them to participate, as well.
An internal blog is a great way to communicate with employees and share ideas, as well as get a better feel for your corporate environment. Often business owners find they learn things from their employees when they’re writing freely they never would have imagined. By providing a forum that encourages free communication, employees can share ideas and learn from each other, strengthening overall morale within the organization.