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Benefits Communication: Does One-Size-Fit-All?
Unformatted Document Text:  Benefits Communication 17 size fits all package." This survey found only a few organizations did adapt their benefits material to different types of employees. When organizations offer increasingly complex and varied types of benefits, it would seem that organizations would want to personalize their benefits material. For example, UPS, with 300,000 employees, offers 200 different health care plans and 50 retirement plans, all with varying eligibility requirements (Spencer, 1999). They should not--and do not--offer a "one size fits all" information package. In fact, they maintained 557 various benefit forms and booklets that are specifically tailored to particular employees. Organizations would benefit greatly by matching benefits information to particular employees based on gender, age, education level, position, and/or disability. For instance, education level or literacy ability was not mentioned by a single organization even though benefits programs are increasingly complex and confusing. Haar & Kossack (1990) recommended all organizations assess the readability and comprehensibility level of their benefits material. In this study, there was no mention of readability. However, some organizations did provide information in languages other than English. This is very important considering the increasingly international and diverse workforce. The importance of benefits packages was evident from survey results. What was less clear was the process of communicating the benefits. Organizations were not so adamant about doing an excellent job of explaining the benefits and about employees being satisfied with the material they are provided. There seems to be a contradiction in that organizations felt they were offering excellent benefits in order to recruit and retain employees, yet they were not as confident in communicating those benefits. Again, the presence of communication specialists in a benefits program could increase the ability of organizations to enhance their benefits communication.

Authors: Picherit-Duthler, Gaelle. and Freitag, Alan.
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Benefits Communication 17
size fits all package." This survey found only a few organizations did adapt their benefits
material to different types of employees. When organizations offer increasingly complex and
varied types of benefits, it would seem that organizations would want to personalize their
benefits material. For example, UPS, with 300,000 employees, offers 200 different health care
plans and 50 retirement plans, all with varying eligibility requirements (Spencer, 1999). They
should not--and do not--offer a "one size fits all" information package. In fact, they maintained
557 various benefit forms and booklets that are specifically tailored to particular employees.
Organizations would benefit greatly by matching benefits information to particular
employees based on gender, age, education level, position, and/or disability. For instance,
education level or literacy ability was not mentioned by a single organization even though
benefits programs are increasingly complex and confusing. Haar & Kossack (1990)
recommended all organizations assess the readability and comprehensibility level of their
benefits material. In this study, there was no mention of readability. However, some
organizations did provide information in languages other than English. This is very important
considering the increasingly international and diverse workforce.
The importance of benefits packages was evident from survey results. What was less
clear was the process of communicating the benefits. Organizations were not so adamant about
doing an excellent job of explaining the benefits and about employees being satisfied with the
material they are provided. There seems to be a contradiction in that organizations felt they were
offering excellent benefits in order to recruit and retain employees, yet they were not as confident
in communicating those benefits. Again, the presence of communication specialists in a benefits
program could increase the ability of organizations to enhance their benefits communication.


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