Capital One drives pensions engagement via themed communications campaign

Capital One

Employee Benefits Live 2016: Capital One developed a tongue in cheek retirement-themed communications campaign to engage staff with pensions following the transition to a master trust in 2015.

The campaign included appearances by street performers Granny Turismo, who perform their acts dressed as grannies and use trolleys as props. Some employees also dressed up to greet Capital One staff as they arrived at work, handing out 2,000 Werther’s Original sweets while highlighting the communications that had been sent out about the Pension Reinvention project.

Posters, desk drops, articles published on Capital One’s intranet, and trolley-style drop boxes were also developed in line with the theme, explained Elaine Makin, HR advisor at Capital One during the Employee Benefits Live session titled How to overcome pension communication challenges.

The communications strategy around Capital One’s Pension Reinvention project aimed to inform employees about the master trust and create a sense of excitement that would enhance engagement with pensions. The campaign involved an employee-written and performed rap video, and the organisation also ran a competition that gave staff the opportunity to win holiday vouchers.

The campaign was underpinned by informative workshops and presentations, as well as reminders about access to one-to-one meetings with an independent financial advisor.

Almost all (99%) employees moved their funds to the new master trust, exceeding the organisation’s target of 95%.

Makin said: “We now have a future-proof pension offering that meets both the needs of our employees and the business as well.”

She added: “You can never over communicate, especially around pensions.

“You can have a little bit of fun while meeting your objectives; pensions is a very serious subject so we like to put a little bit of fun around it to get people’s attention.”

Makin spoke alongside Graeme Wyllie, head of pensions UK and Ireland at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), who highlighted the pensions communication lessons the organisation has learned from the pension changes and challenges it has experienced over the last 10 years. Communications are most effective when they are personal, timely, brief, and when they focus on a few key issues, explained Wyllie.

Wyllie said: “Try and address a small number of questions. […] What we’ve learnt is that if you try to cover too much then people won’t absorb anything; covering a very small number of key issues hits the spot more than anything else.”