Plan of Action Through Prioritization

Prioritizing where to start your strategy can feel like a big task.

February 22, 2022

This guide’s goal is to inform employers on a variety of different elements to consider when creating their strategy. It also explores the business case and core tenets to focus on in establishing a thorough approach while providing guidance on how to produce a more equitable ecosystem.

Prioritizing where to start your strategy can feel like a big task. Business Group on Health’s survey found that members with a global consistency strategy design their program standards by doing a gap/growth need-based and/or infrastructure capacity analysis.

Prioritize areas of focus. To scale-up at an achievable cadence, a company can tackle gaps in phases. When trying to determine where to start, the selection process should take into account the following:

  • How many employees are impacted by the gap severity (i.e., does the benefit exist or have severe limitations);
  • How gaps align with other benefit initiatives (e.g., a company rolling out a voluntary hepatitis B screening and counseling effort might want to make sure hepatitis B vaccination and treatment options are covered under the medical plan);
  • How gaps align with what the company considers a core benefit; and

Most employers start with a couple of focus areas. Once these areas are addressed, the company can tackle the next set of challenges.

Prioritize markets of focus. Companies with a global footprint are dealing with a variety of complex markets. Here are some factors to consider when initially determining where to allocate your resources and scope:

  • Countries with the highest need. If a company can succeed where demand is high (i.e., gaps are big and/or numerous), that success can demonstrate feasibility in less challenging markets. Keep in mind that launching a global consistency approach can be incredibly difficult if you don’t have a sizable population or if the benefits market isn’t mature.
  • Growth markets. Focusing here allows capabilities to synergize with the company’s business initiatives and can help from a talent acquisition viewpoint.
  • Countries with largest headcount. This allows the company to utilize its employee population to influence insurers and partners to create new products that will fill gaps. Successful results in these markets often have minimal impact on smaller markets. Some options that may help impact smaller markets are bundling multiple countries to a regional vendor (each market having country-specific plans) or using a captive or multinational pooling arrangement.
  • One country to serve as an incubator. For some companies, they use one country as a pilot for innovative benefits and programs. The country is selected based on having access to data (e.g., U.S.) that can be extrapolated to other markets. The challenge with this model is that it can come across as country-centric unless a company addresses local cultural concerns and needs. Failure to do so could result in a lack of local employee buy-in to initiatives.

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