Talking With Carol Colley of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Movement 2023: On Air
Giving employees choices when it comes to benefits boosts engagement, says Carol Colley, a senior wellbeing consultant at Arthur J. Gallagher, an international insurance brokerage and risk management services company.
Colley sat down with Hinge Health Director of Content Marketing Jenny Sucov at the Movement 2023 conference in Chicago to share this and more about personalizing benefits.
Jenny Sucov (JS): Tell us a little bit about your job.
Carol Colley (CC): I help teams across the South Central region and beyond with anything related to physical or emotional well-being. MSK [musculoskeletal pain] is obviously right up there. Mental health as well. Hinge Health tackles both.
JS: Here at the Movement 2023 conference, we are really interested in meeting people where they are and personalizing benefits. How does that play into your job?
CC: It's refreshing to me that we've gotten to that point.
We've evolved, especially since 2020, to where you have to meet employees where they are or nothing's going to change. For example, if someone's first worry is finances, they are not going to do anything else until that is addressed. But if you provide that support, they will go on to work on other things, like physical and emotional well-being.
Same thing with MSK pain. If they are in pain, they don't want to a [business-incentivized] walking challenge.
You have to meet people where they are. When clients are willing to do that, it's going to work.
JS: When you talk to clients who are resistant to employee wellness programs, what are some of the reasons they give?
CC: I would say implementation time, poor engagement with current programs, and budget.
But even when budget is a concern, I tell them that they can still do something. Carriers have the relationships and vendors in place—they are just not leveraging them.
JS: Can you share any strategies that you've used to personalize benefits?
CC: I like getting creative with well-being programs and focusing on total wellness, not just physical wellness. Your employees want choices. They don't want a program that's dictated to them.
I have shoulder issues and they limit what I am able to do. If I had the option to do something like Hinge Health and my employer is giving me that choice, I get excited about the program.
When you let them pick their path, they get engaged and talk about it to other employees, who also get engaged.
I've seen it work across the spectrum for all different kind of clients.
JS: Where do you get your information and inspiration?
CC: I do this every day, so I get emails from every type of vendor in the world. I take the time to learn more about those vendors that fit clients' needs. I also jump on webinars, especially when they are dual-topic and include a panel.
In addition, I lean on my expert co-workers and our clients to learn what's working for them. I have a lot of clients in the energy sector who are very competitive and want to do what others are doing. If it's working for one, it may work for the other.
JS: I'd love to hear more about the energy sector. What are some benefits challenges they are facing?
CC: A big thing for the energy clients is that they have employees, especially field workers, who often don't look at their total rewards package and jump ship for money. They also have diverse workforces in various different locations.
These companies [are investing to] keep employees healthy and do right by them to combat attrition.
Virtual solutions are also important. Someone can be in a truck on a break and get information, engage with someone, etc. Hinge Health is great because they can get with a physical therapist where they wouldn't otherwise have access to one.
JS: What's an area you wish you had a little bit more insight into or help with?
CC: Caregiver support has my attention right now, based on some client needs.
As for help, it's wonderful when vendors truly work well in the sandbox, integrating and triaging appropriately.
Some vendors, like Hinge Health, make that easy. It's like you can flip a switch and you've got this added MSK benefit. But with others, making this happen can be a challenge.
These responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.