Constructive Governance Communications

Leading global employers are communicating their governance process to internal and external vendor partners to ensure that the process is transparent and successful.

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April 21, 2022

Employers utilize their global benefits governance process to adapt to the challenges their workforces face and reinforce their global strategic initiatives around the world.

As companies evolve their governance process, it is important to provide communication about it. In a Business Group on Health survey, almost a quarter of respondents (23%) regularly communicate their governance process. Another 35% provide access to governance information via a website, portal or share drive (Figure 1). Interviews with employers revealed that governance communications are delivered in various modes or formats.

  • One employer created a governance playbook for each pillar of its total rewards strategy. The playbook is available via share drive to country, regional and business line leadership to help them understand their roles and responsibilities and how the process works.
  • Another employer incorporates governance into their monthly regional calls to keep it top of mind within the global team as they go into the renewal and approval process cycle. This format allows regional team members to provide input that may make the company reevaluate its governance process to meet its real time needs.

In the governance survey, all employers find their communications to be at least slightly effective, with 73% reporting moderate effectiveness and another 20% stating that the communications are very effective (Figure 2).

Figure 1: Communicating Governance (Structure, Guidelines, Processes) Internally 
Figure 1: Communicating Governance (Structure, Guidelines, Processes) Internally

Source: Global Benefits Governance Survey Report 2021

Figure 2: Communicating Governance (Structure, Guidelines, Processes) Effectively 
Figure 2: Communicating Governance (Structure, Guidelines, Processes) Effectively

Source: Global Benefits Governance Survey Report 2021

Engaging External Partners to Reinforce the Effectiveness of Governance

Companies with strong governance processes make sure to include their vendor partners. Sharing governance strategies with brokers and/or consultants ensures that these partners provide useful input into the governance process. Other partners to consider including are global financing mechanism vendors (e.g., captive, global underwriting). When trying to integrate global initiatives such as minimum standards or addressing equity issues, communication with external partners is critical to ensure that it is incorporated at the local level, where the default approach may be to focus on savings and regulatory compliance.

What Should Employers Consider for Governance Communications?

Employers should consider a number of questions as they develop communications for their governance process:

  • What information about the governance process should be communicated and at what intervals?
  • Who receives the communications?
    • Corporate headquarters?
    • Country?
    • Regions?
    • Third Parties?
  • What methods of communication are used (e.g., face-to-face meetings, Intranet, newsletters)?
  • Can you define strengths and gaps in the current communication methods? Is the level of frequency of communications adequate?
  • What methods are most reliable for cultural and language differences?
  • Who needs to be part of essential information messaging?
  • Does the communication method used significantly impact the level of success of governance processes?

Governance communications must reflect the company’s culture and structure and include all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the process runs effectively. Building tools and formats so that information can be shared transparently and allow for regular feedback from colleagues and external partners will enable the process to work as intended. When done right, communications allow companies to address challenges and crises faster and consistently.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Engaging External Partners to Reinforce the Effectiveness of Governance
  2. What Should Employers Consider for Governance Communications?