A Group Retirement Program: How to Grow Your Employees and Your Brand Over Lunch

Jun 20, 2017
piggy-bank-2112752_1280Mike, a VP with high tech startup XYZ, Inc., is idly pitching questions at the young software engineer sitting opposite. He’s struggling to remember the curveball questions he was supposed to ask. Was it something about manhole covers or how to test toasters? It didn’t matter anyway. He knew she was going to walk out the door and negotiate the half dozen offers that were probably rolling in already.

It’s tough competing for talent in this market. The company has the requisite basketball hoops along with unlimited vacations, which no one seems to take anyway. They even have the stocked and styled pub behind the bland office door. The problem is, so does everyone else. But there is one benefit they have to offer that’s increasingly rare in today’s workplace: a group retirement program.

Mike’s challenge is in pitching its full value to a generation famously impatient with download speeds let alone a benefit that sees rewards largely in the future. The key might lie in the plan’s versatility. Many organizations fall short in not recognizing how this versatile tool can offer an edge over other employers to provide retirement savings AND to equip their employees with exceptional financial awareness and knowledge.

Technology is having significant impact on the financial industry and this means education is highly relevant to today’s employee because it gives them the tools and rewards of immediacy and control. So, if you’re one of those top-drawer employers like XYZ, Inc., who offer a retirement program to attract, retain and reward employees, you need to recognize and show them maximum value. Market and use the asset to its capacity. Because doing so not only strengthens the relationship with your employee, it boosts your brand.

To execute, you’ve heard us make the point before using a Ferrari, but it bears repeating: an exceptional, customized communication plan is a powerful platform to promote and layer your company’s values and brand. In this case, we’re talking specifically about group retirement programs and how such a feature demonstrates your company’s interest in its employees’ financial wellbeing.

In terms of exactly what content to explore, the scope is broad or narrow depending on the size or depth of your plan’s offering. The subject matter can range widely from educating employees about their risk tolerance and why it matters to making fund selections or exploring the wonders of planning tools and fintech apps.

As for delivery vehicles, town hall meetings can be run over the lunch hour with an open forum format.  If your company employs a wider swath of younger employees, then choose a topic like the new iteration of CPP and how it affects millennials. Or, if an employee is closer to retirement age, think about providing a Hit and Run session. Your Benefits Advisor can be available at a specific time slot for drop-in guidance about retirement readiness or timeline modelling. Brief one-on-one sessions can even be arranged for advice specific to individual employee’s situation. You can also gamify the whole thing, giving away gift cards for a favourite lunch spot or the local craft brewery.

Finally, there’s always written communication. It’s easy to dash off a bulletin clarifying details about a specific subject. Just throw it up on the company intranet and you’re done.

Any or all of these tools should be available to you through your Benefits Advisor. If they’re not, it’s time we talked. In the meantime, using any one of these techniques is a win-win. You reinforce the bond with your employees and your brand. Your employees get a better understanding of financial markets or how to plan for retirement. After all, isn’t retirement simply a variation on the unlimited vacation XYZ, Inc. has to offer. And who wouldn’t want that at some point in their lives?
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