The Lowdown on The Benefits Success Score: An Interview with Roger Thorpe

A short time ago, Thorpe Benefits launched The Benefits Success Score – developed to help organizations measure the success of their group benefits plan. It provides them with a mechanism that allows them to explore opportunities to improve and upgrade in key areas. Recently, Thorpe Thoughts sat down with Roger Thorpe, President of Thorpe Benefits to discuss the various facets of this innovative new tool.

T.T.:     Why the name The Benefits Success Score?

R.T.:     The tool we have developed is all about success. It determines whether the group benefits plan of the organization is successful in the eyes of leadership and employees. The score part of the name was used because it suggests that we are establishing comparative and competitive benchmarks in the marketplace.

T.T.:     How was The Benefits Success Score developed?

R.T.:     The questions used came from Thorpe Benefits’ years of group benefits consulting. We knew what questions needed to be asked and which ones mattered the most. We weighted the questions against each other and used computer modelling techniques and simulation algorithms to determine how we would ultimately calculate our final scores. While it was somewhat complicated during the tool development phase, it is now a crisp and elegant way to determine the success of group benefits plans.

T.T.:     Are there other tools like this that are available?

R.T.:     The quick answer is no. All that are available right now are comparative industry reports that look primarily at plan design. They measure common features, not success.

T.T.:     Who is The Benefits Success Score designed for?

R.T.:     Two groups. First, HR professionals inside a company who want to evaluate the success of the plan because they are not completely confident with their broker’s level of expertise. The Benefits Success Score gives them a tool they can use to look like a superhero in their company leadership’s eyes. The second group is outside HR consultants or business advisors who want to provide added value to their clients in a new area of opportunity. It will help them solidify their relationships with clients by looking like a superhero to them.

T.T.:     Why should organizations go through The Benefits Success Score exercise?

R.T.:     Evaluating strictly based on group benefits costs or renewal outcomes does not make a whole lot of sense these days. You need to go deeper, for example, examining whether benefits and wellness investments are producing a real ROI. The score that we provide – along with the commentary – gives people something they can work with, use and act on. I should also add that the exercise is done in private so that you are not offending your existing advisor. You are simply evaluating the group benefits package independently and privately .

T.T.:     How much does it cost to use the tool?

R.T.:     Absolutely nothing! We believe that our investment in this proprietary Benefits Success Score tool, and the accompanying commentary, is what our clients and partners need. We do of course, realize that the value we are providing may eventually translate into some future engagements if and when the timing makes sense.

T.T.:     How long does it take them to complete?

R.T.:     Around 20 minutes, but I can assure you it is time well spent, because it will increase your perception of the value and the success of your group benefits plan.

T.T.:     What does The Benefits Success Score measure?

R.T.:     Overall, it measures the impact of a group benefits plan on employee experience and the expectations of an organization’s leadership team and HR/Finance roles. But allow me to be more specific. It measures if the plan is consistent with company policies, how well it is administered and how effectively it is communicated to employees. It measures if the plan is designed to meet the needs of the various demographic groups in the company, how well costs and pricing have been calculated to remove financial risks and unknowns and if the organizations is investing and supporting a culture of well-being that provides employees with the education and plans they need to take better care of themselves. And finally, it measures if there is the advice and counsel necessary to ensure the plan is properly invested and managed.

T.T.:     How does it work?

R.T.:     It works a little differently for each of the groups I mentioned previously.  But in both instances, it is incredibly easy. With internal HR people, I send the link directly to them, they take the test, receive their score and then the video commentary. At that point, they have the chance to contact me to find out more.

With external HR professionals/consultants or business advisors, I send them a link to the test that they then pass along to their client. I let them know when I have their client’s score and provide video commentary to them that serves as a report. They share this video with their client – and both the advisor and the client can decide if they would like to engage in more specific discussion with Thorpe Benefits. In all instances, it truly is a deep dive exercise.

T.T.:     Do you see Thorpe Benefits coming up with similar tools in other areas?

R.T.:     Right now, we are devoting all our attention to The Benefits Success Score. However, I could see us developing similar tools in the future that focus on a specific area.  For instance, I could see us coming up with a tool that evaluates the success of a company’s health and wellness program.

T.T.:     What do I do if I want to learn more about The Benefits Success Score or wish to arrange for myself or one of my clients to use the tool?

R.T.:     You can call me directly or talk to your business advisor or consultant and have them contact me to get The Benefits Success Score. I am truly excited about this tool and look forward to helping as many people as possible.