Well over a year ago, I made a decision that I wanted to take more time for myself.

If you’ve been following my emails for a while, you know the end of this story.

I decided to challenge myself by climbing the Himalayas, trained endlessly to achieve that goal (shedding a couple of stone in the process), and, after a two-week trek in Nepal…eventually had to come home early after being hit by altitude sickness.

But how about the beginning of the story?

The truth is there was a gap of several months between the time when I first started thinking about temporarily taking time out, and the day I started training in earnest for my Himalayas adventure.

It took a while to be certain that this was something I really wanted to do. There were times when I felt the need more than others.

As my certainty grew, so did the research I had to do.

It had been decades since I had last been mountaineering, and I needed to investigate what might be involved – both for myself and for my family.

Most big decisions happen this way: gradually.

That’s usually true for the decision to save more into your pension, too. And the implications for your company’s pension communications are enormous.

You see, most people don’t just decide to increase their pension contributions overnight.

They go through five stages. I described the first one last week – we call it the “pre-contemplation” stage.

That’s when they first become aware that their pension pot is probably not sufficient for a comfortable retirement, and consider the implications.

But that doesn’t mean they are immediately ready to divert more money towards their pension.

It usually takes time for them to really feel the urgency, and to feel certain that they want to act upon it.

piggy-bankThey might need more convincing that saving towards retirement is a good use of their money in the present, especially when they have other, more immediate spending priorities.

Or perhaps they need to understand more about how pensions work, and what their investment options may be, before they take any concrete steps.

Just like I needed to research the practicalities and implications of going off to the Himalayas, most people will want to educate themselves about pensions before investing any more.

The good news is that this process, which can take months or even years, can be sped up – by you.

Some clever pensions comms can help your staff through this stage, which we call “Contemplation”, building their confidence that the decision is both necessary and correct.

For example, we have developed some learning modules explaining pensions basics like auto-enrolment, the maximum you can contribute and salary sacrifice, in a light-hearted, approachable way.

Click here to take a look at the clip, an excerpt from one of our videos, and if you missed Step 1, you can watch the video for the Pre-Contemplation stage too.
retirement the basics
That is just a small part of a ready-to-go pensions comms package, which you can use to get your own staff engaged with their pensions.

It includes not only many videos and learning modules like the one above, but magazine articles, printed guides, access to an interactive website, in-person workshops, and many other tools and materials that can make your comms both easier and more effective than ever.

Next week, I’ll introduce you to Step 3 in the 5-step model. It’s called “Preparation”. Watch out for that blog!

Now I’m off for a long bike ride. The Himalayas may be behind me – but the fitness drive continues 😊

Posted by Steve Butler

Topics: Next Generation Savings

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