Everyone has heard the saying, “A happy employee is a productive employee,” but it isn’t always easy to keep your employees focused and motivated. One simple way to inform and inspire your staff is to create an internal newsletter.

“An internal company newsletter can be an important tool to keep employees in the loop about company activities, policies, products, and services,” Mario Almonte, a partner at Manhattan-based Herman & Almonte Public Relations, says.

Among its many services, Almonte’s company handles internal public relations for businesses, which includes the creation of employee newsletters.

“Done right, it can be effective in strengthening the company messaging and creating a sense of family among employees,” he says.

Here are a few tips to create an internal newsletter that your employees will look forward to reading.

Aim the content at employees

First and foremost, all content in an internal newsletter should be about employees and things they care about.

“An internal newsletter is not a propaganda piece,” Almonte says. “A company should remember, ‘It’s not about you, it’s about them.’”

Company product launches and any kind of news that impacts employees should be included. Articles about new hires are also a great idea, Almonte says.

One popular feature is to mention an employee who has been promoted or recognized for their service or spotlight employees’ lives outside the workplace to foster personal connections. The city of Ozark, Missouri does this with an “employee spotlight” in each issue of its newsletter.

Newsletter content doesn’t have to be dry, either. For example, Riverside Healthcare in Kankakee, Ill. made a creative animated video for its “Riverside Connection” newsletter to highlight the year’s achievements.

Write to tell, not to preach

You want your employees to enjoy reading the newsletter, so keep the tone conversational and highlight the positives, Almonte suggests.

“Write the newsletter in plain English,” he says. ”Leave the buzzwords for the sales literature and press releases.”

If done correctly, a newsletter can boost morale and motivate employees, he says. Consistently great articles will have the added benefit of reminding your employees of the quality products or services they produce and make them feel like they’re part of a thriving team.

“It’s not a place to lecture or threaten employees for underperforming or behaving badly,” Almonte says. “It’s just the opposite.”

Keep it short and simple

You don’t want your newsletter to distract your employees from being productive, nor do you want to bore them with lengthy essays, Almonte says.

“If you make the newsletter too long, no one is going to read it,” he says. “Since most people will read it at work, keep the articles short and succinct. Employees will probably be interrupted several times during the course of their reading, so they’ll have short attention spans.”

An internal newsletter from Hawaiian non-profit WorkLife Hawaii is a great example. The newsletter is short and concise with bite-sized articles.

Be consistent

From design to content, you want to be consistent with your newsletter.

“Just like a real newspaper, everyone should know where their favorite section is, so that the can immediately flip to it and read all about it,” Almonte says.

Your newsletter frequency should also be consistent. Almonte suggests a monthly newsletter, which keeps your employees engaged but not overwhelmed by company news.

In the end, an internal newsletter is a feel-good platform, Almonte says, which should educate and entertain your employees.

Do you have an internal newsletter at your company? Have any tips of your own to add?