Communication is never easy, even when what is to be communicated is simple.
There are many ways we manage to say the wrong things at the wrong time to the wrong people.
Imagine then trying to tell people about pensions.
There’s an argument that the Industry itself has led the way in the confusion.
Members ask simple questions, such as,
What do I get when I retire?
Why should I be in a Pension Scheme?
These are simple questions with complicated answers. Who is answering these questions?
We have helpdesks, sometimes backlog and labyrinth style automated systems which do not help.
We forget people are driven by their emotions so will make decisions based on how they feel.
How do we communicate effectively & efficiently?
We need to build relationships with our members, to enable us to understand their views regarding this valuable benefit and make it easier for them to trust us.
Member nominated trustees know the members and are a useful way of keeping in touch with Trustees. Are we using member nominated trustees to their full potential?
We should consider other ways to build relationships with members. This in a world increasingly made up of deferred and pensioner members with limited engagement from the employer.
Why answer one question at a time when you can answer a thousand?
Trustees might consider making a video of them speaking about the scheme.
Have a weekly or monthly blog, a podcast, so there’s no vacuum, monitor websites visits, web forums, emails etc.as more use is made of social media.
Tell stories, there are many stories from the industry. The stories can show case how pensions and lifetime savings touch the lives of ordinary people. Introduce personalities; tell stories of how pensions has changed people’s lives.
Lets think like a newsroom. What are people talking about then look at it through the mirror of our industry.
Even if we say just a little, or that we will report back on a trending news item. We will update you later; it’s around using language that builds trust. Such language allows us as Trustees to get closer to our members. It sets the tone that we are part of a partnership.
Instead of saying “we assist”, “we notify”, “we consider”, let’s say, “we help” “we tell”, “we think carefully”. Seek to use language that combines empathy with trust.
Communication is never easy, however we as an industry can work on making it simple.