Communication Solutions

Mercy Memorial Hospital (MMH), is a non–profit community hospital system in Monroe, Michigan, was recently faced with the issue of how to effectively communicate very important retirement changes to its employees. The key challenges were to clearly communicate the changes, personalize the employee information and gain employee participation.

In order to achieve MMH's objectives, Findley Davies designed a communication approach that targeted key audiences and used multiple channels.

Findley Davies worked with MMH to determine which employees would be directly or indirectly affected by the retirement program changes. Tailored communications were then created for a variety of audiences. Multiple communication channels were selected to promote a consistent message, and included:

• Manager and HR training meetings;
• Packets sent to employee homes, containing a CEO letter, detailed brochure, and frequently asked questions;
• Employee meetings;
• A personalized online retirement modeler, which allowed employees to model retirement scenarios and choose the plan best suited for their personal retirement strategy; and
• A confirmation statement confirming the employee's retirement plan election.
According to MMH, "All of the more traditional elements were well-received and useful, but the key channel was the personalized online modeling tool.

This tool brought the information down to an individual level so each employee could make an informed choice."

The implementation of the new retirement program was very successful, and as a result of effective communication employee attendance at multiple meetings was high, and more than 70% of employees made an election using the online tool. Furthermore, employee contributions to the 403(b) plan increased, meeting the hospital's objective to promote employee ownership of retirement planning. Perhaps most importantly, employees report increased satisfaction with the retirement benefits at MMH.

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