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The Power of Partnership

As a Plan Sponsor, we rely on our partners to ensure we are managing our benefit plans appropriately.

Our partners include good people like our relationship manager at the insurance company, our agent, broker or consultant, our actuary, our legal counsel, and our investment manager. We rely on the advice of these experts to guide our decision making and to ensure we meet all legal and legislative requirements.

How often do you meet with your partners? When an issue arises? At renewal time?

Several years ago, I began meeting with each of our partners on a quarterly basis. The purpose of each meeting is to talk specifically about our partnership. The agenda includes things like:

  • A report on service standards or deliverables they are expected to meet;
  • A discussion on what has gone well for the last quarter and what, if anything, could have gone better;
  • Updates on the projects we are working on together;
  • Key initiatives I have planned for my team in the next 6 to 12 months;
  • Updates on any service, technology, or business enhancements their organization is working on;
  • A discussion on requirements for upcoming meetings or education events to support our governance.

The important thing is that you and your partner build the agenda together so everyone is clear on what they are responsible for at the meeting.

My quarterly partner meetings usually last 2 to 3 hours - but depending on your needs and expectations it could take less time.

Now for the best part – why meetings with your partners matter:

  1. Clear performance expectations and deliverables are documented and monitored.
  2. Builds understanding of business priorities and pressures for you and for them.
  3. Supports strategic planning.
  4. Develops relationships of trust and well – partnership!

And finally a quote from Henry Ford - “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”

The success of your benefit plans, your governance, and your team is directly linked to the advice you get from your partners. Building strong relationships with your partners is the key.

Wishing you and your partners a wonderful week,


Alana Shearer-Kleefeld is Director of Employee Benefits at 3sHealth and Volunteer Content Creator for CPBI Saskatchewan.

CLICK HERE to learn more about CPBI Saskatchewan!

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