Employee Communications

What’s your recipe for retirement
Retirement planning kit for BCAA employees.

Winner of Silver Leaf Award of Excellence for Communication Creative.

With more than 793,000 members and an operating profit of $5.7 million in 2007, the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) is the largest member services organization of its kind in BC and the fourth largest CAA-affiliated association in Canada.

To become more competitive in its employee recruitment and retention efforts, BCAA examined the results from the engagement survey that was completed in June 2007 and pension communications was identified as a key area that needed improvement. Only 56 percent of BCAA employees said BCAA’s communications helped them understand their defined benefit and voluntary pension plans. Additionally, just over half of employees said they felt they understood what BCAA’s pension plan offered to them and only one third of employees knew where to find more information.

Our specific objectives were to 1) Increase the number of BCAA employees who say: a) they understand what BCAA’s pension plan provides to them, from 52 percent to 62 percent. b) information about BCAA’s pension and retirement planning is easy to find, from 32 percent to 42 percent. 2) Assess the effectiveness of the resource kit by establishing a baselines for the number of employees who say: a) they read the resource kit. b) the resource kit was effective in improving understanding of BCAA’s pension plan.

Working with BCAA’s communications department we came up with a concept to create a printed resource kit entitled, What’s Your Recipe for Retirement?, that was distributed to BCAAs’ employees. Instead of using cliched images associated with pension and retirement planning, we came up with a bread-making and recipe theme to help increase employees’ understanding of the major principles of retirement planning and to make the subject more accessible. Baking bread and planning for retirement both require planning, happen over time, and the result is very rewarding.

The recipe metaphor helped emphasize the key message that retirement planning is based on employees’ individual needs, life-styles and incomes and that BCAA’s pension plan is one ingredient in their individual plan. An employee survey was conducted in May 2008, after the distribution of the resource kit. 31 per cent responded and the results far surpassed our specific objectives:

92 percent of employees said they understand what BCAA’s pension plan provides—an increase from 52 percent. 88 percent of employees said BCAA’s pension and retirement information is easy to find—an increase from 32 percent. 62 percent of employees said they read the resource kit. 91 percent of employees said the resource kit was effective.