Friday, March 21, 2008

How to Find Newsletter Content

One of the most difficult challenges is how to find meaningful newsletter content for your organization's employee or work-life-productivity newsletter. There is one axiomatic truth about this problem. The more rushed you are to find content, the more writer's block you will experience. You must create a system to have a continual flow of ideas. Here's how: Get one of those folders that has a about 10-20 slots. Name each slot using the catagories shown below in this blog. Then, get a stack of 3x5 lined index cards and keep them at your desk. Whenever you get an article idea, you will write the idea on one of these cards and through it in the proper slot. The more you read, the easier it is to find content for articles. You have life experience, and within this life experience are million ideas for newsletter content. The only problem you face is pulling those article ideas out of your mind. They way you are going to do that is by reading work-life-productivity material and freeing up your thoughts as you read it with the idea of writing about specific topics. For example, I was reading Workforce Magazine web site this morning. It's called www.workforce.com. As I was reading, I saw an article about the recession we are supposed to be in right now. The articles said more and more people are pulling money out of their IRA's to stay ahead. Bam! An article idea hit me: Write an article on what the long-term costs are for pulling your money out of an IRA. It could cost 10x to 20x what the amount is that is pulled out. So the angle of the article is not to do it, and instead who to talk to an where to turn if you face this dire problem. So article ideas will come to you as your read journals in doctors office, while you're in line shopping for groceries at the checkout counter, and "thoughts" that come out of no where while you are taking a hot shower. When this happens, don't try to commit to memory your article idea. No--write it down. If you don't you will forget, and you will kicking yourself because these gems are worth their weight in gold.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Who Should Write a Workplace Newsletter?

Work-Life-Productivity Newsletters are direct communication to employees about some of the most important issues in their lives. They have the potential to have life-changing and ever-lasting effects on employees depending on what they say.

A work-life-productivity newsletter can influence an employee to become a better team member, cause a married employee to seek counseling for a trouble relationship, help another employee become more organized, and yes, perhaps influence a troubled employee to not
turn to violence. You never know. And you never will know what role a work-life-productivity
newsletter played in loss prevention or crisis prevention.

So who should write this material?

Should you get doctor? A nurse? A freelance health writer? What about a organizational development expert? Perhaps a human resources consultant?

I would like to suggest none of these should be writing a work-life-productivity newsletter. Instead, I would like to recommend an experienced, licensed mental health professional,
who is also a certified employee assistance professional with extensive experience. What kind of experience?

Only a workplace professional who has counseled employees on every conceivable personal problem and trained managers on all types of behavioral risk issues, and who knows how to write effectively can deliver the articles that delve deeper to empower employees
and get them "moving" to better achievements at home and at work. You can find Certified Employee Assistance Professionals through the Employee Asisstance Professionals Association at www.eapassn.org.

Having the right writer is what pays off in one of the most important initiatives you will ever undertake -- giving your employees an effective work-life-productivity newsletter. It's not
just the newsletter. It's who's writing that counts.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

12 Secrets to a Powerhouse Newsletter

If you want to kick-butt on creating a powerful workforce or employee newsletter that helps reduce risk in your organization, here is how to do it. You focus on these topics:

Workplace communication: conflict, personality issues, dealing with difficult people, attitude problems, issues, and "ulterior motives", etc.

Worker productivity tips: time management, organization, setting priorities, procrastination, etc.

Family, home, and community issues: Consumer issues, teenager issues, family stress, marital and couples harmony, resolving conflicts, work-life balance, ADHD issues, etc.
Personal fitness and emotional wellness: Exercise tips, getting more energy, depression, emotional wellness

Personal effectiveness and goal achievement: planning your career, getting more done, planning for retirement, New Year resolutions, managing money

Team building: Tips on better meetings, reducing conflict, improving communication, about cohesiveness, being a team player, etc.

Improving relationships with supervisors: communication, knowing what your supervisor wants, completing assignments all the way, making an impression

Hot productivity and health topics: health issues in the news, ideas, and more

Stress management: ongoing tips, avoiding burnout, self-assessment,

Using the Employee Assistance Program (EAP): EAP education, confidentiality, what EAPs do, when to use your EAP. EAPs are powerful management tools that have extraordinary capability for reducing monstrous behavioral risks in the typical organization--but only if they are properly implemented.

Workplace safety tips and injury prevention: Avoiding short-cuts, injury prevention, thinking safety, building a culture of safety, more ways to think about safety
Customer service issues: attitudes, difficult customers, peak performance, staying positive, keeping customers happy, reducing your own stress.

Soon I will discuss how to grab hot content from your organization to create ideas for articles that eveyone wants to read.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Powerful Workplace Newsletters for Employees

Welcome to this new blog on helping your company maximize its productivity and service capability with a wellness and productivity enhancing newsletter for employees. My name is Daniel A. Feerst, LISW-CP, CEAP. I am a licensed clinical social worker and certified employee assistance professional who is author of the WorkLife Newsletter distributed to the 12,000 employees of the U.S. Congress.

My key goal in this blog is to increase your company's productivity and reduce its exposure to financial and human losses resulting from the behavior of employees and supervisors in all aspects of their interaction with the each other, the material environment, customers, and very importantly their families. You and I are going on a journey together, and I am going to show you how you can keep your company newsletter powerful and effective, so it super-charges your employees by serving as a communication vehicle that becomes one of your most valuable and enjoyable risk and loss reduction strategies.

We will discuss alcoholism and drug addiction, injury issues that protract worker recovery, increasing job satisfaction, conflict and personalities problems, preventing accidents, how to reduce your insurance premiums by managing behavioral risk better, and how employee assistance programs can make your organization "cook with gas!" if they are established correctly. You'll pump out more profits with less stress, or service humanity better if your mission is service, all because you are investing in effective communications that enhance human resources--your organization's most precious resources.

All of these issues can be addressed with an effective internally distributed newsletter that delves a little deeper than the standard "eat these five vegetables" type of wellness newsletter. The workplace has changed in case you haven't noticed. I am going to help guide though it using my 30 years experience in helping employees and business organizations go the next level of job satisfaction and reduced exposure by teaching you (not so humbly) how to do it with effective newsletter communications that will enhance and build on any other programs or services that you currently have in place that support this mission.

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