Supporting Employees’ Total Health and Total Self.

A leading Fortune 500 innovator in materials science and manufacturing, Corning invented the first optical fiber in 1970 and is today the largest producer of glass for TVs, computers, and other flat glass displays. Their employee value proposition is based on the company’s commitment to supporting workers’ health and safety, and they use health risk assessments and claims data to drive their total rewards strategy. In 2016, they implemented a tobacco surcharge to reverse the impact of poor health choices on employees’ health and wellness—and used the benefits change as a catalyst to transform their approach to communicating their total health program to employees.

Employees are now required to go online and certify their tobacco use on an annual basis, and Tina Trunzo, Corning’s HR Communications Manager, knew it was just one action they could take to begin adopting healthier mindsets and reducing their risk of workplace injury and illness. Updating their approach to communicating employee benefits—by effectively capturing employees’ attention with engaging content—the company hopes to boost employee’s understanding of their benefits, improve the perceived value of their total health program, and reduce HR costs.

Pivoting Communications from Low Return to High Impact

Reaching employees was always a challenge for Corning’s benefits team. Corning’s workforce is dispersed across 29 plant locations and nearly 65% are manufacturing employees who don’t have easy access to a computer during the workday, limiting the efficacy of the information shared on the employee website. And a passive benefits enrollment meant employees usually “tuned out” the costly benefits mailers they received at home. What’s more, the quickly growing share of Millennials in Corning’s multi-generational employee base has shown distinct communications preferences, signaling the need for a new way to connect and inspire.

Embracing GuideSpark’s multimedia solution, Trunzo’s team successfully re-tooled the company’s communications using visually appealing and attention-grabbing microcontent. Employees were given 24/7 access to a Corning-branded GuideSpark reference library containing informative and entertaining video content that’s also shared by HR reps in live benefits meetings. Videos were also available through Corning’s My Total Rewards website, mobile benefits directory, Yammer, and corporate intranet through clickable links, and QR codes were printed on posters, TV screens, webinars, and table tents in the cafeterias. Delivering the company’s total rewards content in multiple formats and channels—and using gamification to engage employees and help overcome short attention spans—HR now reaches employees and drives home important benefits messages that inspire action.

Expanding the Power of Benefits Communications

This new approach helped Corning accomplish so much more than manage the communications around the tobacco surcharge change. The company also increased enrollment in their HDHP and HSA offerings. And the drastic reduction in HR’s benefit communications costs has enabled investment in developing higher-impact content and mobile apps that continue to shape Corning’s culture of health and keep employees up to date on their benefits.

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