Essential ingredients for a successful benefits program. Your benefits plan could be lacking two essential ingredients: performance tracking and strategy design. While a benefits program can exist with either strategy or performance tracking, those who rely on just one may eventually find themselves lost at sea. Similar to a ship without a captain. The ship will sail, but without proper navigation and expertise, the passengers, crew and ship may not make it to the destination.
Performance analysis and strategy work well together by providing you with measurable data that can be used to direct strategy design, creating balance and allowing you to develop long – and short – term goals.
WHAT'S GOING ON BEHIND THE SCENES?
Tracking the performance of your plan can give you the opportunity to see if previous changes are generating savings, if contracts are being honored and what is driving costs if premiums are increasing significantly. Reporting these measures should be done month to month. If you aren’t receiving your plan's data or are unsure about the performance of your plan, reach out to your consultant or broker. They should be able to provide you with measurable indicators of how your benefits program is performing.
Some key aspects that should be tracked by your consultant or broker are:
- Savings. Any previous cost-saving changes that have been made should be monitored closely to ensure those savings are coming to fruition.
- Contracts. Whether the agreements come from the pharmacy side or the medical side, each contract should be verified to confirm they are being honored.
- Effectiveness. Identify programs within your plan that are underutilized by employees and replace those with programs your people actually need. For example, a young workforce may desire a flexible work schedule, loan repayment plan and increased mental health and wellbeing options.
- Innovative approaches. Rules and regulations are constantly changing. Part of measuring your plan's performance is ensuring all aspects support new concepts and maintain compliance.
Gaining valuable insight into your benefits plan can help you to improve existing programs and open doors to significant cost-saving opportunities. Together with a well-designed strategy you can achieve a comprehensive, competitive benefits program.
SETTING TARGETS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Not only is strategy important for overall business goals, it is essential for your employee benefits program. A recent Forbes article shares that “A clear strategy is crucial for competing and winning in today's world.” A clearly communicated, well-designed strategy offers you direction and choice in times of change. Whether that means programs that worked for your people in the past no longer work for them now or expenses have increased, being prepared with a clear strategy can help guide these choices.
BALANCING PERFORMANCE AND STRATEGY
Your consultant should be monitoring your program’s performance — in several ways — and comparing those results with your long – and short – term goals. At Conner Insurance we track your program's performance, month to month, to ensure everything is working the way it should. Any potential issues can be dealt with sooner and discussed with you, every step of the way.
When your benefits program has lots of strategy but no measures, you may not know where you’re headed. If you have lots of measures and no strategy, you may not be making the most strategic choices. Every business needs a captain and a ship to sail it in the right direction.
If you want to learn more about how performance and strategy are working within your benefits program, let’s chat!