Employee engagement is important to ensuring the success of any retirement program. But how do you encourage employees to plan and save?
To start, it’s important to understand how employees make decisions. Lincoln Financial Group’s, Participant Engagement Study, found four decision-making styles based on 1) the time participants need in order to make a decision in the plan; 2) whether and how participants involve a financial professional; and 3) what participants say influences their decision.
The advice-seeker – a proactive individual who makes use of available resources, works with a financial professional, saves outside of the retirement plan, and is the most optimistic and confident.
The fact-finder – an individual influenced by the facts and numbers, prefers model portfolios, seeks opinions through research rather than personal advice, and feels both optimistic and anxious.
The decision-avoider – despite consulting a wide-variety of sources, this person fears losing money, takes a lot of time making decisions, and is anxious, overwhelmed and scared about the future.
The instinct-follower – an independent individual who doesn’t consult or rely on outside information or opinion, yet feels optimistic and confident about the future.
When you understand how employees make decisions, you can create an engagement strategy that motivates employees to take action.
Create an engagement strategy for all employee segments. Your strategy must appeal to all decision-making styles, it may be a good idea to consider special strategies for disengaged participants, instinct-followers, and decision-avoiders in particular. These groups represent the greatest area of opportunity.
Employees who are disengaged may be more easily motivated by taking one simple step, such as checking their account balances or meeting the employer’s match. For those who have difficulty making decision or those who rely on their own instincts, invite them to speak with a financial professional. And for engaged fact-finders, provide them with the resources to conduct their own research, such as the plan provider’s website and newsletters.
Optimize plan design to accommodate everyone. Enrolling in the plan, deciding how much to save, and selecting investments are difficult decisions and can be real barriers. To overcome these barriers, consider automatic features, such as auto enroll and auto escalate, as well as streamlined investment solutions (e.g., target-date funds, managed accounts, and automatic retirement income options).
Offer in-person guidance and personalization. Some participants want to be able to interact with a person who is qualified and knowledgeable about retirement planning. A personal approach can help participants address the most personal and influential factors of retirement planning.
Deliver outcomes-focused communication to motivate action. Most employees want to know about what simple actions they may want to take today and what outcome might be expected at retirement, as opposed to the mechanics of how investment or asset classes work.
Employees have mixed emotions about retirement, which affects how individuals engage with their retirement plans and how they make retirement-related decisions. Employers, in partnership with their retirement plan service provider, should use what they know about their particular employee population to develop a strategy that reaches out and engages all their employees.
Director of Marketing
Talent Attraction and Retention
Developing a strategic benefits package that targets specific types of employees can help attract the right job candidates to keep your organization running at peak efficiency.
Once you have these top-performing employees, a tailored employee benefits package will serve as a barrier to them leaving—a great benefits package can be a huge advantage when looking at retention strategies because it holds more than just monetary value for the employee. A bigger salary at another organization likely won’t be as strong a pull for an employee tempted to leave if the other organization’s benefits package isn’t as attractive as yours.
Healthy, Productive Employees
Healthy employees are more productive than unhealthy employees. When your benefits package includes a combination of health insurance, along with wellness programs and incentives, and dental and vision insurance coverage, your employees are provided the tools that will empower them to take an active role in managing their health. It is proven that having the correct programs and incentives in place, reduces absenteeism in the workforce.
A good benefits package leads to satisfied employees with higher morale. Employees who find value in their benefits are typically more loyal because they feel valued—which leads to increased productivity and contributes to decreased absenteeism.
Efficient Use of Resources
Many employees are willing to accept good benefits in lieu of a slightly higher salary. This strategy may prove positive to your organization’s budget. Through group rates, the value you present to employees with benefits can be more cost effective than paying a higher salary, thus providing savings along with lower payroll taxes.
Align Your Corporate Strategy
When HR professionals look toward the future, they are evaluating strategies to help manage both short and long term costs. Organizations that align their corporate objectives with their benefits strategy will ensure that the philosophy behind offering the right type of benefits programs will attract and retain the top performing employees they are looking for.
Mike Gorski, RD, CPT - MG FITLIFE
When it comes to exercise and nutrition, this is an all too common problem: Hopping from program to program, diet to diet, and hoping for miraculous results.
If you are truly just looking to mix it up and try new things for fun, or stress relief, or for general fitness, this isn’t the worst thing you could do. However, if you are truly looking for the results that most programs or diets advertise, you need to see them through, and give them TIME.
There are so many fad diets out there that promise amazing results. However, the first thing I always caution my clients with is that to maintain the results you initially get, it must be something you can stick with for the long term. Sure, any diet that restricts calories by cutting out a huge chunk of food (carbs, fat, meat, gluten free, etc.) will get you to lose weight. But can you stick to that diet for the long run?
So what should you do?
1. Pick your goals and find the right program for YOU!
If your goals are to look like an NFL linebacker, you need to train like one and eat like one. If you want to look like a fitness model, you need to train like one and eat like one.
What if you just want to get a little healthier, and lose a few pounds in the process? Find a well balanced program that focuses on strength, cardio, flexibility, or whatever your goals may be – but just stick to it!
2. Find a program you enjoy and track your progress.
You have to enjoy what you do, or you will burn out, get bored, and want to quit pretty quick. This goes for diet as well. The holy grail of workouts and diets will not help you if you don’t enjoy it, and stick to it.
When it comes to tracking progress, this is something a lot of people don’t do enough of. Invest in a $5 notebook, and track everything you do in your workout. This way, you can look back and see if you are progressing. Depending on your abilities, age, and overall goals, there are many ways to progress.
We can’t always go heavier and heavier, especially as we age. But by tracking your actions, such as reps or time, you can still progress.
Same thing goes with diet.
Track your bodyweight (weekly), track your waist circumference, track your body fat %, take weekly progress pictures - anything that matters to you – track it.
If you aren’t seeing a long term change happening, then maybe you need to work on adherence. This could be because you decided to do a crazy crash diet cleanse program that is not sustainable for the long term, or maybe you just didn’t stick to a well rounded program. Whatever it may be, you need to be honest with yourself, and assess what went right, and what went wrong.
3. Stick it out and give it your all.
Once you decide on your goals, and once you find a program that has shown results that match your goals, hit it hard, and with everything you’ve got.
Whether it’s 12 weeks, 6 months, or a full year planned out, you need to keep it up. Just like getting out of shape doesn’t happen overnight, getting the results you want for the long term doesn’t happen overnight.