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Benefits Communication: Does One-Size-Fit-All?
Unformatted Document Text:  Benefits Communication 16 as day care and elder care. Interestingly in this age of technology, software was not a channel of communication employed by many organizations. Online communication was usually limited to informational purposes or downloading forms. It seems interactive communication technologies are not used to their full potential. For example, CD-ROM, a cheap interactive medium that can be personalized, is rarely used and is perceived as an ineffective channel of communication for health/medical benefits. In addition, few of the organizations provided an online interactive site which employees could use to enter personal information and be guided through the process of benefits. Thus, the advantages of communication technologies (interactive and the ability to personalize) have not been recognized by the professionals responsible for benefits. This lack of recognition could come from the absence of communication specialists in benefits communication and the fact that most material provided to employees comes from program vendors, and not specifically created for a particular organization’s employees. This survey confirms that the responsibility for benefits communication overwhelmingly resides with the Human Resources departments. In another study, Chauran (1989) also found that 98% of companies reported that personnel, benefits, or Human Resources departments were responsible for communicating benefits to employees. The individuals involved in benefits communication have a great knowledge of benefits but little knowledge of how to plan an effective communication program for benefits. In fact, most organizations surveyed did not tailor benefits communication to their employees but provided material produced by benefits program vendors. This trend of providing printed material created by vendors and not focusing on personalizing material seems to indicate that organizations are still adopting the concept of "one

Authors: Picherit-Duthler, Gaelle. and Freitag, Alan.
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Benefits Communication 16
as day care and elder care. Interestingly in this age of technology, software was not a channel of
communication employed by many organizations.
Online communication was usually limited to informational purposes or downloading
forms. It seems interactive communication technologies are not used to their full potential. For
example, CD-ROM, a cheap interactive medium that can be personalized, is rarely used and is
perceived as an ineffective channel of communication for health/medical benefits. In addition,
few of the organizations provided an online interactive site which employees could use to enter
personal information and be guided through the process of benefits. Thus, the advantages of
communication technologies (interactive and the ability to personalize) have not been recognized
by the professionals responsible for benefits. This lack of recognition could come from the
absence of communication specialists in benefits communication and the fact that most material
provided to employees comes from program vendors, and not specifically created for a particular
organization’s employees.
This survey confirms that the responsibility for benefits communication overwhelmingly
resides with the Human Resources departments. In another study, Chauran (1989) also found
that 98% of companies reported that personnel, benefits, or Human Resources departments were
responsible for communicating benefits to employees. The individuals involved in benefits
communication have a great knowledge of benefits but little knowledge of how to plan an
effective communication program for benefits. In fact, most organizations surveyed did not
tailor benefits communication to their employees but provided material produced by benefits
program vendors.
This trend of providing printed material created by vendors and not focusing on
personalizing material seems to indicate that organizations are still adopting the concept of "one


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