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Employers Like Me – Top 6 Takeaways

By: Don Doster, CEO GoPivot

Last week, I was truly blown away by the success of our Employers Like Me event. We met for lunch at the lovely Atlanta Botanical Garden and more than 50 companies were in attendance.  I was thrilled and honored to be asked to moderate for our wonderful panelists, keynote Barbara Barrett of Langdale Industries, and speakers Jamie Benton of Rollins, Jan Carter of Southern Company, and Lisa Evans of Southwire. We had important discussions about the issues plaguing the healthcare industry and how they’re affecting employers.  We were able to get candid expert opinions on topics including healthcare cost-containment, employee engagement, and better strategies for employee well-being.

Miss the event? Below are my top 6 takeaways (there were many more, but this is a blog post, not a book!):

  1. Pharmacy costs are a huge spend.   
    Pharmacies tend to be a “black box” and typically a huge fraction (up to 40%) of your benefit spend. Take time to understand how these costs contribute to your overall spend as it can provide huge returns with small changes. Use this knowledge to negotiate with your pharmacy provider where you can.
  2. Research and secure TRUSTED benefits partners.
    The keyword here is partners, not vendors. Look for a partner who will be flexible and leverage them when making decisions around your wellness and healthcare programs.
  3. Healthy nutrition and weight management can help solve or maintain most chronic conditions.
    While this seems like a no-brainer to many, proper nutrition and exercise are at the core of numerous health problems and many people don’t have the correct information to kickstart a healthy lifestyle. Do not underestimate these factors in your wellness and wellbeing programming. Consider how mental health plays into these factors and how counselors on staff can affect tremendous change. Need to sell internal initiatives around wellness? They provide real value – wellness programming has been directly linked to stock performance  – check out this study.
    If you work with a TPA, Benefits Administrator, or PBM, make sure you have access to your data (free of charge) written into your contracts – and make sure you get frequent downloads.  Don’t allow vendors to hold data hostage. Additionally, partner with an analytics vendor to take a deep dive into your population health. Data analytics will help bring “life” to your programming targets.
  5. All changes don’t have to be across your organization.
    If you are a company with multiple locations in a state, or are multi-national, harness your data to find programs that target only specific sites/locations/populations of employees. Most of the time population health varies by region or even job function.
  6. Find a rewards program for your employees and leverage it frequently.        Make health and wellness fun and engaging! People love to engage with other employees and are inherently competitive. Find internal advocates – word of mouth between employees is proven to be one of the most effective way to get mass engagement.


We are really looking forward to our next event and the opportunity to continue the honest and meaningful discussions in a safe environment.  We hope to see you there!