Sunday, February 8, 2015

Importance of a Company Newsletter


When I first realized the company I recently started with had locations in Pennsylvania, Texas, and California and in South America, I asked how we communicated critical information to our employees.  I was told the owners and executive management met with employees directly or sent emails.
Immediately, I recognized that critical information was not shared on a timely manner if received at all.  So I decided to help out by reviewing the company website and see if I could assist by bridging this gap.  What I found out was that it was difficult to maintain and not user friendly like a blog program.

So I took a personal campaign to develop a company newsletter website through a blog.
What I found out was that I could build what the company needed from a popular internet blog program called Wordpress.  Anybody who can read, follow instructions and cut and paste can learn this program and have a site up and running in very little time without having to learn cumbersome HTML language that in the past was necessary to develop a website.  Wordpress has two platforms.  The beginner basic or Wordpress.com (dot COM) is simple to follow and within minute can get you up and running.  The more complex but still manageable program or Wordpress.org (dot ORG) is similar in format but requires a couple more steps and a hosting program that was my challenge but accomplished within a couple of hours or so.  (At this time, I don’t want to get into the details on how I managed this fete as other sites can provide a better explanation on HOW TO.)
The reason why I’m writing this post is to let you know how beneficial this site is to our employee base.  As the company grew, employees looked for answers that immediate supervisors weren't able to provide, especially out in the field when policies and procedures were of concern.  I knew that a newsletter website could handle this need and discovered ways to secure proprietary information through passwords protections.  Information that I was able to secure included:

  • H.R Manual
  • QMS Manual
  • Safety Manual
  • SOPs
  • Company Calendar of Events
As a result of this function, it relieved the need for employees to take time off to call home office and go through a routine of requesting information and hard copy documentation.  Now information can be accessed anytime of the day through a computer, tablet and even smart phone.
On another note, I was able to provide the following news worthy information such as:

  • Company message
  • Employee recognition
  • Safety alerts
  • Industry news
  • Humor
  • Human interest stories
  • Picture galleries
  • Company products and services
From a marketing standpoint, this type of information provided news and exposure to customers and potential customers not afforded if the site was not available.
Being a Lean Six Sigma black belt and the company Continuous Improvement Manager, I wanted to make sure that what I presented wasn’t cumbersome or heavy handed.
I searched the web and reviewed web newsletters and found that from a readership viewpoint, I had a difficult time accessing posts if the design was intricate (busy) especially if I wanted to access the site from my cell phone.  What I learned was that sites with no more than two columns were easy to read and loaded quicker.  The more impressive but busy sites gave me problems and on some delayed loads I simply quit trying.  So I “Leaned” out the design and did my best to remain appealing but informative.
The results of my efforts earned 5 stars out of 5 from the company employees and from outside visitors.
Moral to this story is that if you don’t have a company newsletter website, put one up right away.  I'm an old baby boomer with limited computer skills; imagine what a hot shot newly graduated college grad can do. 
You won’t be sorry.



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