21.11.2023 / Knud Wassermann

The Employee Magazine is a Strong Identification Factor

An employee magazine is an effective internal communication tool whose importance should not be underestimated. In order to accompany the current changes in the working world, the printed or hybrid employee magazine will therefore become even more important.
Employees are a company's most important asset – that has always been the case. But in connection with the current shortage of skilled workers, the issue is coming into even sharper focus. In this respect, the question of whether the cost of an employee magazine is justified or not does not arise at all. Communication at eye level enables a company to express its appreciation of its employees and to strengthen their loyalty to the company. In addition, relevant storytelling can increase the motivation of the team and positively influence the overall working atmosphere.
Make the course of a company transparent
With an employee magazine, the current course of a company and its management becomes even more transparent for the workforce. It is precisely for this reason that "intern", which is published three times a year, has proven its worth at Muller Martini in recent years. "We have always been able to closely accompany the industry-related adjustments that Muller Martini has undergone since the last financial crisis with the 'intern'," explains Stefanie Zuk, who is editorially responsible for the employee magazine at Muller Martini. "In countless reports, interviews and project support, our employees were given a detailed insight into important topics and up-to-date information on the realignment of the company – an important contribution to ensuring that change projects are supported by the workforce with motivation."
But the external impact of an employee magazine should not be underestimated. From today's perspective, it would have to be included in "employer branding" in order to anchor a company as an attractive employer in the highly competitive job market. This circumstance should not only be passively taken into account, but should be included in the overall concept of the magazine. By means of reports and employee portraits, a positive working atmosphere can be conveyed to the outside world. Copies could also be sent to multipliers, or the HR department could use them to inform applicants or interested parties at job fairs.
Top place for the printed magazine
Nevertheless, the employees are the actual addressees. The magazine must be tailored to them in terms of content and form. Department heads or direct surveys can be used to find out whether there is a desire for a company magazine and which topics would be relevant in it. At first glance, many people think of the good old employee magazine that lands hot off the press on their desks.
And in fact, the printed magazine clearly takes the top spot with 85.1 percent of all forms of publication. At least that's what the study "The Future of the Employee Magazine 2022" by Kammann Rossi and the School for Communication and Management (SCM) proves. The download of a static PDF is at 62.6 percent, while the mobile employee app has to admit defeat by a margin of around 10 percent. For this study, 251 companies of almost every size and from all relevant industries in the three German-speaking countries Germany, Austria and Switzerland were surveyed.
A hybrid approach to the employee magazine
A printed magazine – provided it has attractive content and an appropriate layout – makes a lasting impression, is kept longer, is often easily visible and stands out because of its feel. This also justifies the higher costs compared to other solutions. Particularly in the age of the home office, mailing the employee magazine can increase employee loyalty to the company. In addition, it provides a good basis for discussion of possible changes and innovations in everyday working life. Many companies today are taking a hybrid approach and launching a printed and digital employee magazine.
"When it comes to the future of the employee (internal) magazine, the question of the medium is the wrong one. What matters is the employer experience. It's about delivering what the employee(s) need when they need it and where they need it. That's why we are called upon to work on low-threshold, hybrid, and flexible solutions for the employee magazine of the future," says Carsten Rossi, Managing Director of Kammann Rossi GmbH. In the digital version, links to further information such as videos or podcasts as well as responsive design variants for mobile devices can be embedded.
Conclusion and outlook
Although employee magazines primarily have an informative function, their impact goes far beyond this – for example, when companies are in a transmission phase. In such phases, established employee magazines can have an integrative effect, especially in printed form. In addition, mailing supports the acceptance of the medium in the workforce.
The printed magazine holds its own as the top dog, but the digital employee magazine with the possibility of integrating modern technologies certainly has a part in the future – you have to be that honest. According to the above-mentioned study, this is also reflected in the declining or at least stagnating budgets, which will increase the trend towards digital employee (internal) magazines in the coming years.
Knud Wassermann,
Editor-in-Chief "Graphische Revue"
21.11.2023 Knud Wassermann Editor-in-Chief of Graphische Revue