Communication is a two-way street. We need to listen to people, as well as talk to them, and in particular the young, who will be living and working longer. Part of that conversation is about listening to feedback. Using data analytics will also be critical in helping us to harness new technologies and look to the future to create engagement in pensions, as well as shape messaging for different generations of people in work.
Our research shows that pension schemes are struggling to determine whether their objectives are useful and that relatively few plans measure overall engagement.
Engagement is an outcome of good communication. So what is pension engagement and how could we/should we measure it?
When you are putting money into pension communication, take the time to plan how and when you will measure effectiveness. Measurement needn’t be complication – here are our 9 top tips.
Ensure you have an in-depth knowledge of all the resources and money you have invested in your communications.
It can be tempting to try to measure a whole campaign in one go, but it is best to focus on each single component. By doing so, you will then be able to create an overall index or measure. The measurement of your ROI will be much more accurate, and will give you an insight into priorities and direction for future projects.
Never underestimate the power of a simple survey. Surveys are an excellent way to help you gauge behavioural and opinion changes. If you can create a ‘before’ and ‘after’ survey it will give you a useful ROI measure. Surveys are an excellent way to gauge general opinion, and demonstrate to employees your commitment to pensions engagement. Keep surveys short and make them appealing, for example, via a prize draw.
While surveys are good for gauging opinion and behavioural changes, they are less efficient at letting you know if your message is understood. Full feedback might mean a quick face-to-face meeting with individuals or a group, or a 15-minute telephone conversation, or even a follow-up question and answer email.
You can measure behavioural changes by looking at increases in changes in pension contribution levels, nominations, goal setting (if you have a mechanism), target retirement age changes, investment changes, spikes in website usage, calls to the helpline. Look to your objectives to identify the performance indicators you want to measure.
Take a detailed look at the click-through rate to see who is reading your message and what their habits. Analytics can be helpful in determining if your methods are the best they can be. Analytics are not the be all and end all, but they can provide accurate insights into the habits of your customers. Push your administrators and web providers to give you a regular easy to read reports.
If you have a large customer base, it can be difficult to obtain feedback from all areas of the business. Finding local ‘champions’ to provide insight into local perspectives can improve the reach of your message. Informal drop in sessions are a great way hear if your customers are encountering any difficulties.
Being prepared to hear more of the negative things is a good starting point, but careful facilitation can help draw out important points which are in danger of being overlooked when planning your communications effort. The most important aspect, however, is to make this a time to ‘listen' rather than ‘tell'.
The best way you can measure the ROI of your internal communication is to look at the results, and see whether you have achieved what you set out to do. Looking at your overall results is going to give you the best idea of whether you are getting a good ROI in your internal communications, or if you need to try a new approach.
Plot each communication item using a simple three-tier system using the data you have collated above. Was it highly useful, or was it on the low side? A simple three-tier ranking system could provide a simple and consistent benchmark against which to measure individual campaigns, communication interventions and channels as well as other scheme activity.