An Empathic Approach to Benefits Management

Clint Tripodi, Chief Operating Officer

Craford Benefit Consultant

How do you define empathy? Most of us define it several different ways, but at its core, it is about having the capacity to understand or feel what another being is experiencing from within the other’s frame of reference.

Why is this important when it comes to benefits management? Because many benefit brokers only understand the insurance side of the business and fail to appreciate how their benefits programs fit into their client’s total human resource environment. This failure is a major differentiator in the success of the benefit broker and client relationship.

I am fortunate to have spent many years as an HR practitioner prior to joining Craford Benefit Consultants. This experience enables me to have a complete conversation with my clients on the value of their health and welfare program and the many touch points these programs have on other key HR functions. Compensation, communication, culture, attraction and retention, all benefit from having a well performing health and welfare program.

Knowing how this fits in requires knowledge of our client’s HR environment.

Just as the mark of a good HR professional is to link HR programs to business results, the mark of a good benefits broker is to link the success of the client’s health and welfare program to the company’s bottom-line. How can a broker suggest a benefits design without knowing the direction the company is heading or without an understanding of their unique challenges? And, if your current broker cannot articulate the relationship behind the performance of the plan to company results, then you have a problem.

So, it becomes very obvious that a benefit broker must view a client’s business through the client’s eye. They must be able to see where the business is heading, to be able to understand the HR programs that drive business results, and to help the client understand the return on investment of their benefits spend.

Are you ready to answer your CEO’s question on what return the company is getting on their $30M per year benefits budget? That P&L line item pops out like a sore thumb and astute executive teams are challenging their HR departments to measure the results of the expenditure in terms of retention and attraction, and how this fits into the total rewards equation. Your current benefits broker must be in a position to help you answer this question.

You cannot manage what you cannot measure.

We now live in an age of analytics and metrics. Simply stating that your HR programs are performing well is no longer sufficient. Leading HR professionals back-up the performance of their programs using metrics and analytics. Well informed HR professionals have the ability to convert data into information that helps define and drive company strategy. How can you possibly manage the results of your programs if you cannot measure the results? Having a consultant by your side that understands where your company is heading, develops programs that drive business results, and has the ability to measure the performance of the programs is an invaluable resource to have. They have a stake in the game with you and share your successes and challenges.

This is the empathic relationship you deserve.

The human capital staff at Craford Benefit Consultants can help you connect the performance of your health and welfare program to company results. Call us today or simply send us an email for a free consultation. We look forward to speaking with you soon. 


About the author:

Clint Tripodi possesses 30 years of experience providing Human Resources and Operations support for global high technology companies. He has served as Vice President of Human Resources for companies such as Hitachi Data Systems, nCUBE Corporation, Pacific Broadband Communications and Entera. In these roles, Clint focused on liquidity events, mergers and acquisitions, human resources strategies, internal communications and community relations programs. Clint serves in an advisory capacity at the board level for several for-profit and not-for-profit firms. Clint has consulted with over 650 companies in the areas of Talent Acquisition, Performance Management, Leadership Development, and Strategic Planning. Clint holds an MBA in Human Resources and has earned certificates in Strategic Planning from Harvard Business School and the University of Michigan. Clint has been certified in the use of visual graphic tools and advanced facilitation from the Grove Consultants, International.