Commentary: The very funny Amy Schumer did a bit on her Comedy Central show last year about the challenges of helping her mom learn how to use the computer. “I honestly don’t think I can do this. It’s too hard,” she tells her therapist (played by the also very funny Kathy Najimy), who encourages her to confront the issue in order for her to move on with her life.

It resonated with me on a few levels. I, too, can identify with the slight frustration of talking to one’s mom about technology (Gmail is not that hard?) but I’ve also been on the receiving end of some not-so-subtle digs (and eye rolls) from my 14-year-old because I’ve yet to master the art of picture collages on Instagram (I’m sure all 20 of my followers are on the edge of their seats.)

The skit also made me think about how employers communicate benefits information. It’s increasingly clear that employers must deliver a consumer-grade experience to employees on many levels, including benefits communication. With such a big chunk of compensation tied up in benefits, being able to measure the effectiveness of your benefits communication is a valuable tool to have in your back pocket for those conversations with the CFO.

Also see: Employers out of touch with employee perception of benefits

And yet who hasn’t been confronted with the sometimes time-consuming task of learning a new technology or system? Like Amy Schumer’s mom, sometimes my knee-jerk reaction to technology is that it just doesn’t “work around me.”

As Vlad Gyster, founder and CEO of Airbo, an employee communication and engagement platform, notes in the story The evolution of employee benefits communication, it’s important to keep in mind the everyday environment benefit managers are operating in. Benefit and HR departments are lean enough – communication technology vendors must make their products and systems as easy to use as email. So by all means take advantage of digital tools that will help you gain communications insight, but be selective about choosing ones that will also make your job easier.


On a different note, I’m thrilled to be stepping into the editor-in-chief’s chair here at EBN. Since I joined the staff several years ago, so many people – benefit decision-makers, consultants, vendors and my colleagues at EBN and our sister publication Employee Benefit Adviser – have been incredibly generous with their time and insights and I am so grateful for their guidance. It takes a village to raise a child, as the saying goes, and the same is true of editors so I extend a big ‘thank you’ to my village of readers, benefit industry practitioners and mentors.

I look forward to continuing the legacy of this great brand and invite you to reach out at any time with questions, comments and story ideas. Email me at

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