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Benefits Communication: Does One-Size-Fit-All?
Unformatted Document Text:  Benefits Communication 15 information is easy to comprehend ( =3.66). Similarly, organizations reported lower levels of employee satisfaction with health/medical benefit programs ( =3.57) and with materials to help them understand health/medical programs ( =3.73). Research question 5 asked whether organizations were receptive to employee input and willing to adjust policies appropriately. On the subject of employee feedback, 18% of organizations reported they did not seek employee input regarding benefits. For organizations with a system in place to obtain employee feedback, 60% of respondents used an employee survey. Group meetings/focus groups (49%) and email (44%) were also used to solicit feedback from employees. Although 82% of organizations reported having a system in place for employee input, when asked how extensively they used this feedback in modifying benefit options, only 36% said they used it "extensively" or "mostly." Only 20% minimally used or did not use feedback at all. Consistent with those results, organizations were not as positive when reporting on providing opportunities for employee feedback ( =3.59). However, they did perceive that employee can ask questions and receive answers concerning their health/medical benefit programs ( =4.36). Discussion This exploratory study of benefits communication has exposed interesting issues for communication scholars. Organizations are generally approaching benefits communication using the most conventional and cheapest channels of communication--printed material. Printed material was by far the most frequently chosen channel of communication when communicating any type of benefits. Face-to-face communication came in second except when benefits concerned finance, such as retirement, investment and savings plan, as well as family care, such

Authors: Picherit-Duthler, Gaelle. and Freitag, Alan.
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Benefits Communication 15
information is easy to comprehend ( =3.66). Similarly, organizations reported lower levels of
employee satisfaction with health/medical benefit programs ( =3.57) and with materials to help
them understand health/medical programs ( =3.73).
Research question 5 asked whether organizations were receptive to employee input and
willing to adjust policies appropriately. On the subject of employee feedback, 18% of
organizations reported they did not seek employee input regarding benefits. For organizations
with a system in place to obtain employee feedback, 60% of respondents used an employee
survey. Group meetings/focus groups (49%) and email (44%) were also used to solicit feedback
from employees. Although 82% of organizations reported having a system in place for employee
input, when asked how extensively they used this feedback in modifying benefit options, only
36% said they used it "extensively" or "mostly." Only 20% minimally used or did not use
feedback at all. Consistent with those results, organizations were not as positive when reporting
on providing opportunities for employee feedback ( =3.59). However, they did perceive that
employee can ask questions and receive answers concerning their health/medical benefit
programs ( =4.36).
Discussion
This exploratory study of benefits communication has exposed interesting issues for
communication scholars. Organizations are generally approaching benefits communication using
the most conventional and cheapest channels of communication--printed material. Printed
material was by far the most frequently chosen channel of communication when communicating
any type of benefits. Face-to-face communication came in second except when benefits
concerned finance, such as retirement, investment and savings plan, as well as family care, such


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