Employees are often confused by HR topics like compensation and performance management. According to our HR Communication Survey 2015, employees feel they aren’t prepared to make decisions based on the information provided. 

So how can you make abstract information more understandable? Borrow a technique used by media everywhere and use people to tell the story.

For HR communication, this means:
1. Find real employees to share their experiences
2. Create fictional characters that personify common situations

Both methods take boring, vague information and make it more tangible. Plus, these techniques help employees see themselves in the content. Here’s how:

1. Choosing a medical plan
Share scenarios featuring different health lifestyles to help employees choose a medical plan that meets their needs.
Name: Leslie
Age: 32
Coverage type: Single
Leslie is healthy, active and manages her finances closely. She chose the Health Savings Plan based on her needs.
2. Planning for retirement
Feature quotes from a diverse range of real employees to help sell the value of the company’s retirement plan.
“I encourage my team members to participate. It’s a wonderful benefit to help you save for retirement, because you’re never too young to start thinking about the future.”

Andy, San Francisco

3. Measuring performance management
Create profiles of various roles and ratings to help employees understand what they need to do in order to meet their performance goals. Include:
  • Role and responsibilities
  • Competencies and behaviors
  • A fictitious example that illustrates how a person meets performance guidelines
Tom met most of his goals including all of his critical goals this year. Because his goals achieved were well aligned with the company’s objectives, Tom helped the team improve quality, increase value and reduce risk. He should receive a three out of five rating because he met expectations, but did not go beyond his normal job duties.
4. Participating in wellness plans
Share stories of how employees have earned incentives by joining wellness plans and staying healthy.

“I participated in the wellness rewards plan and saved $500 which I’m putting towards our family vacation.”

Anne, Marketing 

5. Achieving incentive compensation goals
Provide earning scenarios to help break down incentive compensation math in a simple way.

Ron almost reaches his sales goal with 98% attainment. He works hard and exceeds his new patient event individual goal. He achieves five new patient events, worth five points, and reaches 125% attainment. Ron’s regional team reaches its new patient event goal of 12 points, so his regional goal attainment is 100%.

Sales goal earnings $14,280.00
+ New patient event individual goal earnings $4,143.75
+ New patient event regional goal earnings $3,187.50
Total earnings $21,611.25