Throughout your career, you’ve worked one-on-one with HR leaders to help them navigate the complexities of healthcare. Of course, a great broker partnership must start with a strong foundation of trust. What practices can be built into the day-to-day to help cultivate a healthy client-broker relationship?
Well, it all comes down to being client-focused. It begins with responding to clients in a timely manner and providing accurate information that’s conveyed in a way that’s simple to understand.
It’s important to build a culture of intent listening. Once you understand the client’s needs, respond with an à la carte menu of possible solutions. Each of these practices builds on each other to lay the foundation for a healthy client-broker relationship.
Last time we spoke, you shared an incredible story of a time when you took a strategic, hands-on approach to a client engagement and ended up saving them literally millions. When an HR leader has a strong relationship with their broker, what can that enable both in their day-to-day HR strategies and their company’s bottom line?
Using that story as a reference, I was able to work with both the client’s HR and Finance teams, giving me a panoramic view of the company’s needs. Ideally I love to maximize both human and monetary capital, so having both departments in the room for these strategic planning and decision-making conversations helps drive solution development. When you have this level of understanding and involvement with the client, you can custom fit solutions for them.
After a sustained investment in education and financial modeling, we were able to implement a self-funded arrangement for their medical claims. It was a whole new approach for the company, but it had big results: The client achieved significant savings for the same benefits — a win-win-win for employee satisfaction, company reputation, and the bottom line.
HR leaders have really been put through the wringer the last two years. Between the pandemic, the Great Resignation, and the all-too-common burnout, they’ve had to remain agile while responding to curveball after curveball. What advice would you have for an HR leader who wants to build resilience into their benefits strategy?
HR leaders may not always have enough in their budgets to strike out all of these curveballs – but with some extra attention and creativity, there are ways to enhance their current benefits strategy.
Start by communicating. Promote what you already have. Oftentimes employees don’t think about their benefits until they need to use them. Chances are high that they don’t even realize how many benefits are already available to them; there are many value added benefits already included in medical insurance such as Virtual Telemedicine and self-guided Mental Health Applications. These are low cost and easy-to-access alternatives for care.
If you can, offer employees the flexibility to work from home or on a hybrid schedule. Employers should clearly define which roles can be worked remotely, based on the responsibilities of managers and employees, and then provide the necessary equipment or reimbursement for remote work expenses. This can help reduce overhead costs and employee turnover, a win-win for both parties.
I’d also love to see more employers expand benefits for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). For instance, many health plans already include coverage for gender-affirming procedures and fertility treatment. There are so many ways to build a family and each family has their own unique needs. A great benefit offering will adapt to meet them where they are. Employers can also compliment their current offerings with additional benefits such as surrogacy, adoption agency support, and paternity leave.
What's one aspect of employee benefits that you're most excited to reinvent?
At Nava, we have an Advisory Board comprised of HR leaders from seven of America’s largest companies: Pixar, Amazon, Walmart, DocuSign, Delta Airlines, Airbnb, and Caterpillar. I’m most excited to take what these large employers are doing well and adopt their best practices for smaller to mid-size employer groups.
More specifically, I want to reinvent the employee enrollment experience! With the ease of a swipe on a smartphone, or a quick call, employees should be able to shop for their benefits like anything else. The enrollment process should be short and sweet, and alleviate any unease so people can focus on other things.
If you had to describe your approach to client service with one song, movie, or book, what would it be?
Ginger Spice (of the Spice Girls) once said… “Tell me what you want, what you really really want…”
What do you hope to accomplish over the next five years at Nava?
I joined Nava to revolutionize traditional brokerage services for small and mid-size companies. I want to grow Nava’s business. I want to influence how the industry offers HR solutions to mid-size and smaller companies. I want to inspire further innovation through a transparent feedback loop with clients. And I want to help smaller and mid-sized companies benefit from the same services and solutions that large companies get.
Have a question for Kayly? Reach out here.
Join us on our mission! Nava is hiring brokers across the United States. Learn more and see open roles.