FEBRUARY 1989

Impressing on employees the value of retirement benefits can seem like one of the all-time great managerial challenges. But not if you present the benefits as simply as you would a savings account, discovered Engineering Design & Sales (EDS) CEO and president Roy G. Gignac.

The Danville, Va., electronic design and manufacturing company now issues each eligible employee an ersatz savings passbook for recording profit-sharing vitals: the company's contributions and interest earned. "Most companies hand out certificates at the end of the year telling employees how much they've socked away," Gignac says. "It gets stuffed in a drawer and forgotten. I wanted my profit sharing to have a more immediate effect on my employees -- to be a reason to stay with my company. And I wanted to make it easy for them to understand how much we're doing for them."

On the first Tuesday of every month, the EDS accounting department makes the appropriate entries, based on the previous month's profits. "Employees can see their hard work pay off on a monthly basis, which is much more rewarding than yearly. And they take a more active interest in the plan."