Bob Dylan sang The Times They Are A Changin’. They were changing back in the 60s and they are still changing today. HR teams cannot escape this change or the (r)evolutions they bring. Two of the biggest changes and challenges are the dramatic rise in healthcare costs and the fight for human capital. With the rising costs, how can you continue to afford offering a competitive employee benefits program to retain and attract the best and the brightest talent? First, you need to understand why the changes are occurring and second, you will need to change your strategy so that it flows in a different direction than the industry has taught you.
I will tell you a story... 20 years ago, Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, became concerned with the reduction of retirees choosing to move to the Sunshine State. He speculated that Arizona must be offering them a better deal. Bush appointed a blue-ribbon panel of experts to research the situation. Through their inspection, they discovered that Arizona was also seeing a slowed growth in their retiree population and Arizona was wondering what Florida was doing to attract them away. If either state would have simply studied the census data, they would have realized that neither state was doing anything special. The reason they were experiencing a reduction in retirees was due to the fact that there were simply less of them. The Silent Generation caused the same problem for Bush that Generation X is causing for employers today. There are just not enough of them to fill the spots.
Like the States, employers need to offer the best deal, their own version of sunshine or saguaro. With healthcare cost trends growing at an upwards of 10%, how are organizations going to be able to continue to offer the best deal? This is where you will need to pull back the curtains to see the machinations and manipulations at work. Then you will understand why these changes are occurring and why they don’t have to occur. When you start to understand how the insurance companies truly work, you will much better understand the game that is being played. Reducing benefits to offset cost of the increase will save on price, but not on spend. When you are able to see and witness the forces working directly against your directives, you will be able to employ the right defenses and engage the best offenses to combat them.
So, face change with your own change. Data analytics IS the new electricity! And through this Edison meets Hawking experiment and inspection, you will discover the dark matter and gravity of the interstellar healthcare space and better understand the cosmic controls of your HR universe. Shift your mindset and your strategy. Enrich your benefits, reduce your spending and win the human capital fight.
To Ground Control...From Major Jim!
Senior Vice President of Business Development