How We Have Forgotten by Norman Meullen CEBS Fellow


It has been an interesting phenomenon to watch over my 30 years in the business of helping companies deliver benefit programs how many have forgotten the basic premise behind why they spend millions of dollars above their W-2 wages.

The financials of benefit decisions have gone from being a minor blip on a CFO’s radar to one where today’s HR professional better be ready to support and defend to all their C-suite counterparts their business decisions surrounding these programs. Unfortunately, especially in the middle market and smaller employer community this defense is many times over the price of the products provided and not over the cost of these programs in terms of their DIRECT and INDIRECT impact to a company’s bottom line and long term success.

In the economy of the 21st century, even with the importance of technological superiority to a business, a company’s employees will ultimately make the difference between success and failure. While benefit programs are certainly not the end all in delivering a superior work force it is apparent from the results of surveys that they have become a significant reason for a person to join and stay with a company. It stands to reason that a superior benefit program in the eyes of your workforce will give you every opportunity to attract and retain the level of employee that will grow your business.¬†

 Employers equate higher price with superior benefits while that is not necessarily the case. Non-Fortune 1000 employers have limited HR resources and many times do not maximize the value of their programs in the eyes of their employees. When was the last time you asked your employees what benefits they wanted to have and what value each was to them in terms of staying with your firm? Strategic development of benefit programs that support the needs of your workforce and your corporate objectives will be significantly more cost effective over time than one that has appeared out of the blue.

Getting back to this basic and measuring the success of your programs through metrics meaningful to your company can and will make a difference in competing in today’s economy. Imagine less turnover, quality hires, buyin from all your workforce on the success of your firm. What value can you put on these key elements versus saving pennies on the dollar on the price of a given benefit product?

This is the premise of our company, Benefits Retain People, LLC. There are companies that recognize why they have purchased benefits and want to maximize their return. We can help. For those who have forgotten we can help you find your way back.