Five ways to overhaul your pension communications

Pensions are one of the most significant benefits provided by an employer, yet usually the most misunderstood and often under appreciated.

Five ways to overhaul your pension communications

Communications directly impact the relationship you have with your employees and will influence what employees understand, together with how they feel.

So, what can you do to ensure that your communications are the most effective that they can be? Here are five ways to overhaul your pension communications:

1. Start by having a strategy

Don’t just jump straight in and start creating communication tools. It’s important to understand why you are communicating before you decide how you are going to do it. Having a strategy will enable you to think about your objectives. Start with a vision of what you want to achieve, think about some specific objectives, then create a communications plan to deliver those objectives.

A strategy will focus on:

  • Your vision – what you want your communications to achieve for your members.
  • Your audience – how segmenting your audience and targeting specific messages can enhance your vision and target your messages.
  • Your objectives – what you want your audience to know, feel and do as a result of any communications you send them.
  • Your results – how you can measure the difference your communications are making.

2. Think outcomes rather than outputs

“To be most effective, communication should not be about what is created, but what happens as a result.” In other words, don’t just produce nice communication tools. Focus instead on the actions you want members to take as a result of receiving your communications.

3. Be more visual

We know that a picture paints a thousand words, and still we write the thousand words (at least). Don’t assume that everyone likes to read information. Be more visual and build in infographics, they are a fantastic way of presenting complex information in a more easily understandable way. Also think about adding in video content. Short animations are a great way to help members understand pensions. Animated annual benefit statements are proving particularly effective.

4. Think digital first

Now, more than ever, we appreciate the power of living in a connected world. Members are used to having everything at their fingertips in their everyday lives, and so to engage with them about their pensions we need to provide the same access to information. The most powerful communication tool we have is now in everyone’s pocket.

5. Measure results

By setting objectives as part of a strategic approach to communication it will enable you to measure the effectiveness of everything you do. This will allow you to repeat success, amend things that are less successful and prove that you are spending your communications budget wisely.

Having a well thought through engagement/communication strategy and plan will ensure that your members feel empowered to make appropriate decisions and, in doing so, they feel in control of their financial planning for retirement. An effective communication and engagement strategy will ensure that members receive the right message, at the right time, in the right way. Maximising impact and helping them feel empowered to act appropriately. Having a strategy keeps the member and their needs at the heart of all communications initiatives.

The author is Karen Bolan, head of engagement strategy at AHC, a Gallagher Company.

This article is provided by AHC, a Gallagher Company.

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