This is where I am coming from. Nearly 20% of the total compensation budget is spent on indirect compensation. Specifically, this means major health benefits. Extreme due diligence is required. This expense is a blend of company funds and participant contributions. The only path forward is eXtreme eXcellence and deliberate due diligence from all parties involved – the carrier, the broker and the employer.
One word can describe the recent results achieved – Sloppy. This is after last year’s equivalent experience. Errors were made that impacted participants. This is unacceptable. Strike Two.
Managers eXist to solve problems. If you are a manager then your job isn’t transactional, it is mostly tactical with occassional burst of transformational. The time is now appropriate to examine what happened from the Triple X continuum is comprised of eXcuse, eXplanation & eXcellence.
The first natural response stage is eXcuse. This stage includes denial, shame & blame. Welcome to the human race. This naturally happens and has to be recognized, respected and moved through as rapidly as necessary to get through and to prompt & rapid problem resolution. Too much time spent here is damaging and prevents positive progress. At some point in time the major stake holder needs to step in and set the tone for action.
Currently, there has developed an over reliance on automated processes untouched by human minds. Automated processes need intentional control points to ensure process reliability, completion and integrity. For example, the payroll process is deemed complete when push emails are received from the 401k service provider. For health benefits enrollment, the only systemic control point is when the carrier processes and submits the monthly list bill. This leaves the participant’s denial of benefit eligibility as the sole proactive confirmation of enrollment. This gap is an improvement opportunity!
The middle stage is eXplanation of the problem that needs to be immediately resolved. Briefly what needs to be fixed by whom and how it wil be done. Root cause analysis can wait until later. At this point in time, the primary stakeholder needs to take charge to get done whatever needs to be done. Those that remain mired in the eXcuse stage will be left behind, perhaps permanently. If not permanently, then on a provisional probationary basis.
Seek eXellence. Excellence is the final end state. Participants are affirmatively enrolled. Employee premium contributions are deducted from weekly paychecks. List bills are accurately prepared and promptly paid. And most importantly of all, claims are paid.
This doesn’t have to be administrative rocket science.
This is where I come from. I have been chided for my due diligence, my affirmative advocacy for employee benefits administration, and perhaps resisted by my assertive interventions for making things right. Get over it. There is a reason for my commitment to excellence.
I grew up in a culture that stated the following out loud, “On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty.”
That led to a career in the Air Force where the following Core Values were reinforced.
1. Integrity First – on my honor.
2. Service Before Self – to do my duty.
3. Excellence in All We Do – I will do my best.
In the military, we leave no man behind. In my role as a Human Resource Professional, no employee will be left out or left behind. Any service provider that cannot, or will not, step up to this commitment, will be left behind.
I hope that the United States of America has not yet passed the peak of honor and beauty, and that our people can still sustain certain simple philosophies at which some miserable souls feel it incumbent to sneer.
I refer to some of the Psalms, and to the Gettysburg Address, and the Scout Oath. I refer to the Lord’s prayer, and to that other oath which a man must take when he stands with hand uplifted, and swears that he will defend his Country.
None of those words described, or the beliefs behind them, can be sung to modern music. But they are there, like rocks and oaks, structurally sound and proven. They are more than rocks and oaks; they are the wing and the prayer of the future.
Whether we venture into realms of Space in our latest vehicles, or whether we are concerned principally with overhauling our engines and loading our ordnance here on the ground, we will still be part of a vast proud mechanism which must function cleanly if it is to function at all.
. . . Crank her up. Let’s go.
General Curtis E. LeMay