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401k Employee Communication Efforts Reward Employees

401k Employee Communication Efforts Reward Employees

401k employee communications are very important when attempting to connect with a diverse workforce within a manufacturing production environment.  Retirement plan committees face challenges due to the variety of sophistication and various education levels within a large company. How can 401k employee communications make a difference in accomplishing what is best for the plan participants?

At the conclusion of a TPSU fiduciary education session held at Butler University, in Indianapolis, Indiana, The Plan Sponsor University Founder and CEO, Fred Barstein, spoke with Jill, a Communications Specialist at a manufacturing firm with 2,700 employees nationwide.  With so many employees across the United States, connecting with all employees becomes an important task.

The firm has used a variety of methods for effectively communicating with the entire plan participant base.  Learn how the company has used email, U.S Mail, face-to-face and other methods to successfully connect with the employee base.

Full Transcript Here

Fred:
This is Fred Barstein, 401k TV in beautiful Indianapolis at Butler University where we just completed a TPSU program and I’m here with Jill. Welcome, Jill.

Jill:
Thank you.

Fred:
Okay if we ask you a few questions?

Jill:
Absolutely.

Fred:
Okay, great. Before we do, let our 401k TV audience know a little bit about yourself and the size of your organization.

Jill:
Sure, my name is Jill, I work here in the Indianapolis area. We are a manufacturing environment and we have approximately 2,700 employees.

Fred:
Wow, that’s a lot of employees.

Jill:
It’s a lot of employees.

Fred:
A lot of responsibility.

Jill:
Yes.

Fred:
Today you talked about the challenges because you have people in different locations and so you’re saying manufacturing, they’re not the most sophisticated investors, so tell us a little bit about the challenges you have.

Jill:
Sure, so a lot of the challenges we have centered around employee education.

Fred:
Yeah.

Jill:
It’s difficult because our employees are scattered geographically.

Fred:
Right.

Jill:
Even though we’re located in Indianapolis, we have employees across the United States so we also struggle to find out what communication channel works best for them.

Fred:
Right.

Jill:
We’ve tried e-mail, we’ve tried snail mail. We’d like to do face to face but we’re struggling to find the right way to actually interact with our employees. Then when we do our education, sometimes there’s the struggle of it’s so much data where it’s complex and we’re trying to find the best way for our employees to be able to have time to actually consume it, to think about it, to be able to get with us with questions, but again, there’s the time issue as well. How do we do that since we’re so scattered? How do we do that also with a production facility to get employees to be able to meet with us face to face?

Fred:
Right, paid time off.

Jill:
Paid time off. So those are the struggles that we have with our education.

Fred:
If you could start all over again and you had a lot more resources, what would you do? What would you recommend?

Jill:
We would recommend giving our employees time during the workday to structure in for an education.

Fred:
Right.

Jill:
This is their retirement. It’s one of the most important … We feel one of the most important things they need education on.

Fred:
Yeah.

Jill:
yeah, and we would like to do more training, bringing in advisors from the outside also to give employees the tools they need so that they can make the better elections and make decisions for their retirement.

Fred:
Very good, so final question. Couple of things you learned today that you might want to take back?

Jill:
Yeah, I learned a lot about good plan design. Some of the things that we can actually implement with our own plans to make our plans more structured, better long term for our employees. I also learned that there are a lot of resources here locally that we can connect with.

Fred:
Right.

Jill:
And some tools that we can take back to our employees to help them with all that complex data.

Fred:
Very good. Well, thanks for your time today.

Jill:
And thank you for having me.

Fred:
Thanks for attending TPSU and participating in 401k TV.

Jill:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Fred:
And thank you for watching. Stay tuned.

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