When Perception Trumps Reality

21 Jan

In a consultation about a year ago with a company about their employee survey results, the CEO voiced to me concerns about employee perceptions of company benefits, particularly their 401(k). He complained: “We have a great plan, but many of our staff came from a company we closely partner with that has a pension. We don’t have a pension, so they think they’re losing out even though their overall net retirement benefit is much better.”

We concluded that the company needed to do a better job of helping employees get clear about the benefits of their current plan. They launched a communication iniative they called “Do you want a pension or do you want a retirement?” In this initiative they presented models that showed employees how much better their retirement would be under the 401(k) plan.

I’m pleased to report that a year later those survey results are much higher– changing perceptions helped change the reality for those employees.

  • What perceptions do you need to address regarding benefits, or anything else for that matter?
  • Would this communication be even more important right now with our current economic situation likely making our staff even more nervous about these “security” issues?

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