Of all the HR Disciplines this one has always been the most elusive for me. I’ve handled benefits in self-funded and fully administered programs and know more than enough to be dangerous. But really I’ve been more the recruiter, employee relations, trainer gal. Never-the-less benefits administration has always been like the Jimmy Fallon “IT guy” character on SNL (you know.. “MOVE”). The IT guy who always makes you feel stupid for asking questions, who seems to get more power from being two rungs smarter than the average bear. But that has always been OK because of the archaic benefits through-lines. Ready for them?
- Benefits Administration is the one HR discipline for Introverts.
- If you are a non “people person” (gag) then we have a spot for you in benefits.
- If you like accounting then you’ll love benefits administration.
This may be the reason why benefits admin always seemed elusive to me…I mean I’m not an introvert. But more importantly, this screwed up thinking is single-handedly ruining your company. If there is one area your organization needs a sexy HR rockstar–it’s in benefits admin.
Check out John Hollon’s great recap of the AON Hewitt’s Health Care Survey at TLNT. As you can see there is a lot to navigate with Health Care reform. There is a lot of data to grasp in order to be a strategic benefits player. But that is the science of benefits. The true art of a successful benefits program is in the delivery. Whether your program is robust or slim, whether fledging or established, the magic lies in the accessibility your benefits team has with employees. This includes the art of messaging, mentoring, and knowing what your talent needs to keep them on the up and up.
So, your Benefits Gurus Got Back if:
- They are extroverts
- They enjoy mentoring employees through muddy waters
- They understand they will have some of the most difficult, personal, and raw employee conversations of all the HR team. Therefore they will also have to be perhaps the most empathetic HR team members.
- They believe that healthy employees are simply more productive employees. And they champion wellness programs relentlessly.
- They love branding, marketing, and advertising benefits programs year round (not just during open enrollment).
- AND…they have the smarts to use the data, crunch the numbers and master the science of data comprehension to align the benefits offerings with corporate goals and objectives.
Just as HR is no longer “Personnel”; Benefits is no longer the “Corporate School Marm”. Time for “Marianne the Librarian” to let her hair down.