When vendors cooperate, everyone wins

When vendors cooperate, everyone wins

Picture this: one of your employees is obese and engaged in your wellness program to help manage their weight loss. During a meeting with your company’s wellness coach, the employee starts to complain of back pain because his or her desk chair doesn’t support his or her weight.

This problem with a workstation triggers an alarm in the wellness coach’s head, and the wellness coach contacts your disability program. A consultant from your disability program looks into the issue and helps propose an accommodation, an ergonomic chair, to help the employee work more comfortably. The disability program sources and implements the chair, and checks in with the employee periodically to see if the chair helped mitigate their back pain.

Working in silos can limit care
The scenario above is a great example of something that doesn’t always happen in a workplace. Many benefits vendors don’t cooperate with each other due to organizational barriers, vendor competition or lack of awareness. Each vendor usually works within its own boundaries to provide care for your employees, which can mean employees are not given access to every resource available to help treat their condition.

If the two vendors didn’t work together to help the employee struggling with obesity, the wellness coach might have just given the employee stretches for their back, and the real problem wouldn’t have been solved.

Get everyone together
Even though the task of facilitating cooperation among benefits vendors isn’t always easy, it’s important to do to help ensure your employees are getting the right assistance to be productive at work. Here are a few ways you can integrate services between carriers:

  • Have a well-structured implementation meeting. When a new vendor or service starts, get all of your vendors in the same room so they know what resources are available and the processes that accompany them. Even in follow-up meetings or communications, include all contacts so everyone can be on the same page. The first step to cooperation is creating awareness for the programs that are at work in your office.
  • Organize a vendor summit. If it’s been awhile since you’ve onboarded your vendors, a vendor summit could be a great way to get everyone together. This provides vendors the opportunity to display their contributions to your company and discuss how they can better work together.
  • Have a communications champion. Make sure there’s someone facilitating constant communication about working together. Raising awareness is great, but it often takes constant reminders to get a process in place.

Everyone can benefit from vendor cooperation: employees get the help they need, HR managers get productive, healthy employees and vendors fulfill their goals of aiding the organization. The constant communication that it takes to reach a point where all systems are in sync can take a lot of work, but it’s an important way to ensure your employees get the services they need.

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