Sunday, January 31, 2010

Employee Newsletters

At Canner Street Consulting, we believe that every middle-sized and large organization should have an employee newsletter. The newsletter should be planned and designed to support the values, mission, and vision of the organization. It should have heart, build a sense of family, and reinforce camaraderie. The benefits often are intangible—until management asks the question “How well are we keeping our team involved and informed about this organizations and its workings?”

Good newsletters include:

§ Current and historical information about the organization

§ Reports on personalities and events within the organization

§ Anecdotes on outstanding employees

§ Listings of new employees

§ Brief bios on new management personnel

§ Personal announcements submitted by employees

§ Acknowledgement of fellow employees by peers

§ Brief thoughts from leadership

§ Statistical information on the services and costs

§ Featured departments

§ A section on the community and the organization

§ A calendar of upcoming events

§ Job openings, with a description of the employee referral process.

Good newsletters:

§ Draw employees together

§ Strengthen company morale

§ Add to employees’ sense of ownership

§ Kept employees informed on important issues

§ Contribute to improved performance outcomes

§ Reinforce company values

§ Close gaps in perceptions while clearing up misinformation

§ Provide standards against which employees can measure their performance.

If your newsletter is what it should be, you will be pleased with the responses.

Canner Street Consulting is experienced in researching and writing organizational newsletters, and we can help.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

About the Art Work on Our Web Site

The Ambassadors, Hans Holbein, 1533. The tools refer to the Quadrivium, the four mathematical disciplines that were part of the Seven Liberal Arts: arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy.

We decided not to use generic graphics for our web site because there were so many beautiful paintings to choose from to help us get across the ideas we wanted to express. We think that our work deals with beauty, as a well-executed project or a flawlessly produced publication can be a thing of beauty. To make the point about training tools, we chose Hans Holbein's Ambassadors (1533), a portrait of the French ambassadors to the court of Henry VIII of England. The tools on the table between the diplomats refer to the Quadrivium, the four mathematical disciplines that were part of the Seven Liberal Arts: arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. Art historians have long debated the meaning of the geometrically contorted skull in the foreground, which appears in a normal shape when the painting is viewed from a different angle; when the skull appears as normal, the rest of the painting fades out of perspective. Could this be a reference to human mortality, the consideration of which tends to put all the accouterments of this world into a different perspective? For more discussion and references, see this web page devoted to the painting.