Dear Workforce How Do We Help Employees Understand All Our Benefits, Both Tangible and Intangible

By Staff Report

Jun. 3, 2009

Dear Speechless:


Employers offer many types of rewards—both tangible and non-tangible—to motivate and retain employees and to attract prospects. To receive these rewards, employees offer their effort and contributions, their continued membership in the organization and, hopefully, a positive attitude. Frequently, however, employees have minimal knowledge of the value of the programs available to them. This is because little has been done to communicate how the programs fit together to provide a supportive environment to grow both professionally and personally.

Total rewards
Many organizations are using a total rewards approach to unite and integrate these rewards—the organization’s people policies, practices and programs—under a single structure. This helps employees and candidates more easily view all the components of a work experience offered by an employer. Once the programs are viewed holistically, a variety of tools and media can be used to educate and communicate their value and how employees can make the best use of them.

Print/online cool tools
A number of communication approaches can be used both in print and online:

• Personalized statements. All the generic information in the world does not have as much impact as giving an employee a snapshot of their own health and retirement benefits. Personalized statements are voted the most appreciated communication among employees. A personalized statement—in print or online—should include all the people programs offered by the organizations. The quantifiable benefits should be on the statement pages and a cover page should introduce and provide context for the statement and linkage to total rewards and the organization’s employer/employee philosophy.

• Printed pieces—newsletters/bulletin—become online spotlights for posting to the Internet.

• FAQs become online interviews with audio files.

• Create a “how to read your statement” audio file to help employees better understand their online personalized statements.

• Introduce online open enrollment by adding a “how to enroll” audio file.

• Turn scripted PowerPoint presentations into webinars.

• Conduct long-distance focus groups via webinars.

• Measure ROI via online surveys.

• Create podcasts for communicating with employees via iPods.

• Set up an internal blog to introduce wellness, promote the value of your 401(k) and educate on making the right choice at annual enrollment by having carefully selected internal subject-matter experts develop and manage the content.

• “High-touch”: Don’t forget the power of in-person presentations, especially when issues/messages are complex, challenging or negative.

CAMTASIA: Create online training videos or stream narrated PowerPoint presentation on a Web page.

Swish Jukebox: Plays audio on a Web page in Flash format without a separate audio player.

Movable Type: Blogging software for professionals and enterprises.

WebEx LiveMeeting: Online presentations or webinars that can be recorded for future playback.

SOURCE: Nenette Kress, senior vice president, Segal/MGC Communications, New York, June 8, 2007

LEARN MORE: Communicating the value of benefits is important, as a recent survey suggests.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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