Having an effective employee engagement strategy is the most important component of a successful retirement plan, according to a recent white paper. The impacts of plan design, plan management, and investment solutions are all reduced without one.

Engaging employees involves three major factors. First, plan sponsors need to understand that different employee groups, based on age, gender and other characteristics, are subject to different demands. Therefore, different messages will appeal to each group.

Second, communications to employees need to be brief, concise, relevant and easily understood. They must quickly interest and intrigue readers and present simple ways to take the next steps, such as completing the enrollment process or raising their plan contributions. Sponsors need to embrace technology and communicate through email, social media and plan websites.

Third, use relevant guidance and advice. Guidance educates and informs employees about the retirement plan’s benefits, and advice helps them reach and implement decisions that are likely to enhance their retirement readiness. Advice can be helpful in reducing employee inertia and keeping employees on track with retirement saving.

Relevance is key to a successful engagement approach. Knowing the employees’ characteristics, using their favorite technologies to reach them, and offering guidance and advice that has meaning to them should result in engaging employees and supporting their efforts in building a secure financial future.

TIAA-CREF’s Retirement Readiness Starts With Employee Engagement, which includes specific engagement tips for Generation Y and women and a helpful checklist covering five key engagement steps, can be read online at http://tinyurl.com/TIAACREFEngagement.

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For plan sponsor use only, not for use with participants or the general public. This information is not intended as authoritative guidance or tax or legal advice. You should consult with your attorney or tax advisor for guidance on your specific situation.

Kmotion, Inc., P.O. Box 1456, Tualatin, OR 97062; 877-306-5055; www.kmotion.com

© 2015 Kmotion, Inc. This newsletter is a publication of Kmotion, Inc., whose role is solely that of publisher. The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only and are not intended to provide tax or legal advice or recommendations for any particular situation or type of retirement plan. Nothing in this publication should be construed as legal or tax guidance; nor as the sole authority on any regulation, law or ruling as it applies to a specific plan or situation. Plan sponsors should consult the plan’s legal counsel or tax advisor for advice regarding plan-specific issues.