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Employee Benefits

Decisions — When to Ask an Expert about Employee Benefits

Leia Spoor
Leia Spoor
Clinical Director, Employee Benefits

Have you ever been asked to make a decision and just aren’t sure what the right answer is? I know my hand is raised high, and I’m shouting, “Oh yes, that’s me, me, me.” In fact, this happens more often than I may like to admit.

For instance…I get a text from my daughter, who is a senior in high school asking, “Mom, can I go to this?” It was quickly followed by a picture showing a music concert with a list of about 100 bands and nothing more.

I looked at it curiously and responded right back with, “Who, what, where, when, why, and how?” You see, as a 40-something year old mom, I had no idea what this music concert was and wasn’t about to decide without more information.

My daughter took her time responding and provided me with high-level answers for some of my questions and left it up to dear-old mom to figure out the rest.

I knew I could either go to the internet and/or look for an expert. I’m fortunate to work in an organization that hires young talent right out of college and thought this group may know something about these music festivals. So, I took it upon myself to “ask an expert.”

Come to find out, they knew EXACTLY what my daughter was asking to be a part of — even when I couldn’t remember the name of the festival and only gave them snippets of information. They shouted out the music fests name, and one brave soul in the group said, “If I were her parent, there’s no way in the world I would let her go! That place is a wheels-off, free-for-all type event.”

I immediately responded with a “Great. I have my answer!”

Asking an Expert Helps You Save Time and Energy

The more I thought about this, the more I realized this is often what employers face frequently. Those in Human Resources are asked to make decisions about programs, plans, and activities, but they don’t always have enough information.

In my previous job, being in the employer role, I would often feel like I had to go try and find the answers myself. If there was a new program we were looking at offering, I would search the internet or reach out to the program directly to see what I could learn. Most of the time, I would get a high-level overview and information. But what I really wanted to know was how it actually worked and what was the experience like for someone who knew about the activity from another perspective. That “expert opinion” was usually more valuable than anything I could find from reading about it or learning on my own.

I realize, some of you may think that’s a very subjective feedback loop and could be skewed by several factors. But if you use a trusted “expert,” I realized they would be more likely to give me true, “no-holds-barred” feedback that would likely save me a lot of time and potentially money.

Partner with an Employee Benefits Consultant

That’s what our Clinical Strategies and Solutions team is doing at Holmes Murphy. We’re helping our clients gather the information they need to make an informed decision when it comes to programs, offerings, and activities that impact the health of their workforce. We’ve immersed ourselves into the clinical program world of offerings (more than 1,500 and growing daily) and sort through the chaos to understand the true impact and outcomes of a solution. If we haven’t experienced it ourselves, we go to our own trusted resources who have and learn everything we can about it. We immerse ourselves in the offering so we can then understand who, what, where, when, why, and how this would be a good fit for an employer.

What our employer clients then get is a comparison of the top offerings to help understand which one fits best with their culture and aligns with their goals. There is no single “silver-bullet” when it comes to offerings. If there was, there wouldn’t be 1,500+ vendors in this space.

We give the decision-maker the information they need to find the right answer.

So, if you’re still wondering how I actually responded to my daughter’s question about going to the music festival, I did what any loving mom would do and made it into a “teachable moment.” I texted, “I have a decision. String these titles together from my favorite decade of music, and you’ll have the answer. Stop, In the Name of Love, you are California Dreamin’. So, My Girl, Mama Tried, and I Heard it Through The Grapevine, that this place is Crazy. So I have to Tell Her No.”

Comment below if you know what my favorite decade of music is, or if you just want to know more about how the Holmes Murphy Clinical Strategies team can help you with your next decision!

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