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Total rewards statements are dead! Not really. There’s something better.

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By Michael Tyukodi | November 2, 2016

#Hashtags, emojis, snapchats, texts, tweets, 6 second videos, social media updates….the way we communicate has changed.

Two people using devices and conducting business

  • Case in point #1. People are now talking into their phone to text someone. What?
  • Case in point #2. Two summers ago, my wife and my brother-in-law had an entire conversation written in emojis while they were in the same room together.

If that isn't enough, think about how Twitter has reduced important content down to 140 characters.

So with all of these new ways to communicate, why do some HR professionals insist on communicating the value of their total rewards in a static, annual printed statement that is out of date as soon as it is printed?

The most common arguments that I hear are something like "Our employees don't have internet access at work" or "We want to make sure that everyone receives one in the mail". And to that I say, "hogwash". Employees are consumers, and as consumers, their marketplace is online and is available on any device. And, the use of online tools is not limited to the younger generation.

Who wants to track retirement savings on their mobile device?

Our Global Benefits Attitudes Survey found that two-thirds of millennials and baby boomers (66%) agree that mobile apps and tools are either important or very important to manage and track the value of their retirement savings.

Millennials, however, place much higher importance on technology to manage their personal finances, and health and well-being. More than seven in 10 millennials (71%) value mobile apps to monitor bank accounts and pay bills compared with just 44% of boomers.

This growing reliance on technology is our lead-in as HR communicators. For total rewards communications, a personalized, interactive portal is the better way. By moving total rewards communications online, employers can:

  • Provide an always current view of total rewards data, 24/7 on any device;
  • Highlight lost opportunities in a more engaging way and give employees links to make changes directly to their programs;
  • Leverage the newest technologies and media to immerse the employee in the total rewards value proposition;
  • Reduce costs by eliminating printing and postage expenses. People now spend an average of two hours daily on the mobile web. The time is now to deliver this information online;
  • Create a consumer grade experience. With the data utilized for a total rewards portal, we have the power to use ambient personalization to create an environment that employees crave. An overall experience that lets them know that the site is for me, about me, and there to help me.

My guess is that even when holographic 3-D displays are the norm for receiving information, there will still be some HR professionals that feel the need to send out print communications. However, the time is now for total rewards. It is the best way to bring the employee value proposition to life.

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