If I found $90,000 on your lobby floor, would you want to know?

If I ask 100 credit union CEOs this question, every one of them would respond with a big fat YES.  But, if I ask the same 100 CEOs, “if I found $90,000 trapped in your employee health plan, would you want to know how to recover it?”, a large percentage of them would say, “no, we’re happy with our current benefits broker and he/she would tell us if there were money trapped in our plan.”

This is one of the most puzzling conversations I have with credit union CEOs.  You see, I’m a CEO too.  And, I have a firm understanding and control of my top 3 or 4 expenses.  For some reason, this is not the case for many of my credit union CEO friends. They seem to have huge faith in their HR director and insurance broker to manage one of their top three expenses.  However, there are two big problems with this kind of faith.  One: most HR managers don’t have a finance background or P&L responsibility.  Two: most insurance brokers work for the insurance industry.  The same insurance industry that creates insurance products to be profitable for themselves and their shareholders.

I urge every CEO and CFO to take a little time to understand the financial mechanics required to properly engineer an employee benefits strategy.  It doesn’t mean you have to understand all the tactical and administrative pieces of your health plan, that’s where your awesome HR team comes into play.  Just focus on the financials and you will be amazed at what you discover.

If you own this concept, you are in the top 5%.  It’s time to lead.