Jon Udell makes a great point and crystallizes something that has bugged me for some time:
Once in a blue moon I find myself sitting in a new employee
orientation. Today, as on other occasions, I was struck by how hard it
is for the benefits people to explain their offerings. The presentation
is necessarily general but everyoneâ€™s circumstances are particular.
Thereâ€™s no good way to bridge that gap in a large group session.
My guess is that a lot of the folks who were in that session today
will, upon joining their teams tomorrow, ask for advice about various
health and investment options. But team members wonâ€™t necessarily be
the best sources of advice, because similar work circumstances donâ€™t
map to similar life circumstances. What new employees really need is to
compare notes with other employees in similar life circumstances.
Benefits people and coworkers often wonâ€™t be in a position to meet that
need. But a social application that matched up employees in similar
life circumstances could be a great way to transfer highly particular
kinds of benefits knowledge.