Saving Money While Improving Benefits
Aon SVP Talks to Movement 2023: On Air
Greg Olade, a senior vice president at Aon, has seen the ground shift when it comes to what clients are looking for in benefits solutions.
As part of a professional services and management consulting firm, his team strategizes smart benefits solutions with an increasingly important focus on saving money—but not at the expense of improving benefits offerings.
He sat down with Hinge Health Director of Content Marketing Jenny Sucov on the Movement 2023 On Air podcast to discuss this and the factors to weigh when considering point solutions.
Jenny Sucov (JS): What are some of the key priorities for you and your team?
Greg Olade (GO): We're not brokers, we are consultants. And our goal is to work with our clients to actually understand their needs, build strategies, and help them implement those strategies for the benefit of their clients.
JS: What needs do your clients have that are different from five or 10 years ago?
GO: I'll tell you—it's different from eight months ago, frankly. It's cost management. It's workforce retention and attraction. It's better meeting the needs of a more diverse workforce.
Generations have always been a big thing, but the generational differences and needs now are just tremendous.
So, it's really understanding all of those different needs and helping them develop solutions for their workforce.
I know Hinge Health is working with some other solutions on the surgery and navigation sides. That's getting more and more important to companies, too. They want kind of a one-stop shop. One contract. One bill to pay. And they want to know how that all comes together.
JS: How do you advise your clients when it comes to cost containment? How do you help them evaluate ROI?
GO: For me, the perspective right now is all about balance. People want to save money. They can't pass more money along to the employees because they have that burden, but they want to improve their programs.
So, it's about how to run a more efficient program and do better spending to provide better benefits.
When looking at solutions, you have to ask: Does it help attract employees? Does it help them be more productive because they're better in the workplace? Is there an ROI that then saves me money so that I can improve the program?
Hinge Health is a great example of this.
JS: Are you seeing more emphasis on hard-dollar ROI or are people putting value on things like retention and absenteeism?
GO: They want both. I would say a year ago, hard-dollar ROI wasn't as critical. It is now because the year-over-year trend of both drug and medical [costs] is skyrocketing.
So, they need to save money while also improving their benefits.
JS: Why do you come to conferences like Movement?
GO: We spend time educating point solutions about what clients want, but I also want to make sure that our consulting is really in touch with the market.
I want to understand what point solutions are seeing in the market so that we also understand what they're experiencing.
It's also great to meet and network with people.
JS: What's something from Movement 2023 that really resonated with you?
GO: I love not only the therapy and tools, but the coaching. I'm hearing from companies about how important the coaching is. The support, the mental health piece—it's really, really impactful.
From my perspective, that's almost more impactful than the physical therapy. It gets a person's head around how they can do better and how they can continue on that journey.
Without the mental aspect of this, you'll go through therapy, and then you'll stop. You need to change your life. You need to change your lifestyle.
These responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.