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Benefits Liaison – Could Your Business Benefit? Seems everyone has the health care reform on their minds these days, especially companies who are trying to make sense of how it will affect their employees. Now’s a great time to define a benefits liaison who has experience with business employee health plans and who can decipher the seemingly endless changes, what they mean, who they affect and the ultimate cost to a company. A. Harrison Barnes, founder of, says the goal is not to define a “one size fits all” role, but rather, custom tailor it to fit your unique business needs. A few suggestions include:

# Your first goal is to take a hard look at what you company currently has in place in terms of employee benefits. If you don’t offer an employee plan and have been considering it, you might want to hire someone to help you through this process, this same person can then easily bring it from the planning stage to an ideal plan that works for your company.

# Consider hiring someone with experience in benefits coordination. A business and/or financial background is beneficial, too. You want to know the person who fills this role has a solid understanding of the nuances of finances.

# Encourage this employee to take advantage of any workshops in your area once they become available.

# Be patient – this is a slow dance and recognizing the laws haven’t been defined on the governmental level will help you keep your sanity when it seems as though it’s not moving along at the right pace.

# If you already have a position defined, be sure to check in with this employee and/or department to ensure they’re not overwhelmed once the changes begin to take place.

# Recognize, too, that your current plan may not need changes. That said, this is still a good time to evaluate what you already have to ensure it’s still good for your company’s needs.

# The founder also suggests remaining open to feedback from employees, especially if you have a small business. After all, if the current policies aren’t benefitting them, it may be that you’re wasting money on a plan that’s lacking.

No one really knows what will ultimately take shape in terms of the reform. One thing we are sure of, says A. Harrison Barnes, is it will be up to each business – from the smallest five employee operation to the larger companies with hundreds of engineering jobs – to ensure they have in place the most sound policies that benefit everyone involved. This is why a benefits liaison is a good idea. It allows someone who focuses the majority of their working hours on deciphering the legalities and details and then transforming them into a win-win for you and your employees.

Finally, Barnes suggests visiting to find this employee who is knowledgeable and who is a perfect fit for your business structure. More job seekers look to to locate that perfect fit – one that allows them to flourish while improving an employer’s bottom line.

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