This was a weekly, text-based newsletter that I developed for my software development organization (called the Services organization) at the Swiss Federal Railways.
Here I had an interesting challenge: my organization was one of three organizations which totaled about 150 employees altogether. As much as I wanted to write my own newsletter, doing so could have negatively affected our neighbor organizations, which didn’t have such newsletters. I felt I could avoid these negative consequences but still reap the benefits by sending out a text-based weekly newsletter, directly addressed to the some 50 people and direct partners of the team.
The tricks I used were the following:
- keep the text short and simple (because otherwise a weekly newsletter takes too much work to write)
- write little “chunks” periodically during the week, when something interesting occurred; and
- always highlight the names of the team members – so that even if the newsletter was not really read, at least everyone could see I was trying to recognize the team members.
You don’t need much more than tiny blurbs, because — and this is where most managers or newsletter owners get it wrong: it is not primarily about the information in each blurb. It is about showing the team on a regular basis that employees are valued and recognized, as well as providing some fun entertainment.