United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

“Everybody’s Talking At Me… I Don’t Hear A Word They’re Saying,”

By Lesa Caputo, Benefit Advisor at Beneflex Insurance Services
  Apr 22, 2013 9:35:00 AM

headacheBy Lesa Caputo, Benefit Advisor
Beneflex Insurance Services, A UBA Partner Firm

And Other Common Sentiments of Today’s Saturated Employers

You know that feeling when you arrive at your destination, and because your mind had been so occupied during your commute, you can’t even remember the travel itself? We all do. And that is, I would imagine and am hearing, how most employers are feeling these days when it comes to their saturation level. With communication flooding their inboxes on so many subjects they need worry about, it becomes very exhausting.

So how do you spell relief? Well, to stay with the theme of famous song names and movie titles, the answer is Something’s Got To Give! Now, the real difficult question for the human resources manager (or any other executive, for that matter) to ask themselves is “What’s It Going To Be?” We all have a death-defyingly long list of items we wish we could magically erase from our mental and physical “to do” lists, but when push comes to shove, most of us cannot bring ourselves to do either. So, instead of push or shove, we take it and we fake it and hope we make it! But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Clients of UBA Partner Firms may actually have a resource at their disposal that will leave their envious colleagues and competitors bewilderedly contemplating I Don’t Know How She (He) Does It!

The way some HR directors and employee benefit managers are getting help is through the UBA benefit agencies’ Partner Enterprise ThinkHR. This advanced HR service company has recently partnered with UBA to bring affordable support to human resources departments that need help. 

“When the recession hit, human resource directors bore the responsibility for reducing the workforce… When the bloodletting was done, human resource departments took their own cuts; and departments with HR directors, employee benefit managers and generalists were reduced, often to a single, over-worked professional. And if these lone wolves want to keep their job, they have to do it all:  hiring, firing, employee benefits management, employee communications and regulatory compliance.” 1

Many employers have cried out, or quietly behind the closed door of their office, if they still have one, for help, and have tried to make online databases of forms, documents and regulatory education delivered by employee benefit portal companies work to meet their needs. However, these solutions are often (1) not State specific, (2) generic and not exactly in accordance with the factors involved for the particular situation, and (3) often not highly credible or reliable. Then, there are HR forums, which may be subscribed to, but again, the employer finds himself spending or wasting hours researching existing FAQs, or going back and forth with other uninformed forum collaborators, who may or may not know what they are saying. The result is more confusion, additional time and money wasted, no reduction to the initial threat of liability and less, not more, peace of mind.

ThinkHR is a solution provider that UBA Partner Firms may, when appropriate, recommend to their clients for immediate, affordable and conclusive HR advice and answers. One of the most unique differentiators of this service, as they compare to other HR support tools offered by agents to their clients, is the ThinkHR Live Hotline – clients can speak directly to SPHR/PHR certified consultants and get immediate guidance for their specific situation. This guidance is followed up in writing by ThinkHR’s consultant in a way that provides a conversational record on the issue that is meaningful, reliable and in terms that can be understood by all business professionals, rather than confusing legal jargon.

All business managers have also been taxed with an ever-increasing laundry list of mandatory employment training responsibilities they must take themselves, and also coordinate for other managers, supervisors and employees. In an environment of being expected to do more with less, this area of responsibility is one that many admit has had to fall to the wayside. Not anymore! ThinkHR’s online, on-demand HR Training Library provides more than 200 courses in the areas of employment, safety, harassment, environmental, customer service, and wellness – which we all could use a little more of after all this stress!

Lastly, there are all those pesky postings and notices that human resources is responsible for locating and updating in their break rooms, common work areas, open enrollment packets and even those payroll envelopes that get opened over the trash can… at best! The HR Library provides access to thousands of online tools, forms, templates and guides to be able to knock these tasks out quickly and with confidence that they are current and legally accurate. Who knows… maybe there would even be time left over to sit down in that break room afterward and catch an episode of The Office about all this ridiculousness we all must endure these days.

ThinkHR is one of the many fantastic resources that a UBA Partner benefits agency may explore to determine the best way to help their clients save time and money, while avoiding the expensive attorneys or consultants they might otherwise have to utilize. Making smarter and more informed decisions on HR matters, while protecting themselves from risk and liability by receiving trustworthy advice to obtain the right answers, especially when they need them urgently, is what today’s human resource departments are looking to their brokers and consultants to support. When our clients look to us, we are prepared to respond and maybe there will come a day that, like Bobby McFerrin tried to tell us in the late 80s, we can “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” OK, probably not quite that extreme, but at least we can be the trusted advisor that our clients rely upon to keep their chins up, their backsides protected and moving forward with confidence into the future.

1. Benefits Business By Len Strazewski “Recession Realigns HR Services”; from the Sept. 2011 issue of Rough Notes

Topics: employee communication, UBA, employee benefits, hr consulting, HR compliance