Emory Report
August 31, 2009
Volume 62, Number 2


Emory Report homepage  

August 31, 2009
Watch for benefits info via online distribution

By Katherine Hinson

Earlier this summer, the Benefits Department announced that it was going “green” when it came to communicating this year’s Annual Benefits Open Enrollment.

“We are excited to see the Human Resources’ benefits department support our goal of reducing the University’s impact on the local environment by eliminating the 400,000 sheets of paper it takes to print the Open Enrollment Guide,” says Ciannat Howett, director of sustainability initiatives. “This is a great example of how the University’s administrative units can get involved in achieving our vision.”

The benefits department has put in place several online tools for faculty and staff, including a special e-mail address, MyBenefits@emory.edu, and a Web site dedicated to benefits communications, www.hr.emory.edu/mybenefits. The traditional paper Annual Enrollment Guide will be replaced with an online, interactive PDF that combines the familiar structure of the print document with the accessibility of a Web site.

A single newsletter, which will be mailed to home addresses, and a related e-mail campaign explains how to access information online as well as what will be new for the 2010 benefits programs. “Other special communication efforts are being implemented, including computer training and assistance for employees in certain facilities and work areas that don’t traditionally use e-mail. A language translation tool is also available on the MyBenefits Web site,” says Peter Barnes, vice president of human resources.

This effort will save about 30 percent of the department’s print and mail budget. “It is important that we continually look for ways to improve cost effectiveness without compromising the resources dedicated to our core mission,” says Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Mike Mandl. “Technology certainly has a role to play in this regard and is an effective way to reach our large and diverse audience — providing faculty and staff with the flexibility to access the information on the desktops on campus, at home, or virtually anywhere in the world. And, of course, there are central kiosks on campus for those who do not have access elsewhere.”

The benefits department encourages all faculty and staff to take an active role in understanding the benefits available to them and their dependents by opening and reading all MyBenefits e-mails and visiting the MyBenefits Web site. Make sure you receive the MyBenefits e-mails by verifying your e-mail address in PeopleSoft and saving MyBenefits@emory.edu to your e-mail address book.