Create Your Own Trend

December 17, 2016

The trend today is that companies are paying more and more for health insurance. Their employees are costing them more and more money as their health declines. This claims trend is going on all over the country and there is no end in sight. At least that is what the trend tells us.

Not every company is following the trend. In fact, there are many companies that continue to see improvements in the health of their employees causing them to see stable and even decreasing healthcare costs. The trend may show one thing, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is following it.

Trends can be dangerous. Not because of what issues are described by the trend, but more because of what we do when we see the trend. A trend is validation. A trend is another reason that it’s ok. Many companies say: “Well, the trend shows health costs are increasing, so it is normal that we are seeing this happen in our company.”

This is dangerous because when we think something is normal, we generally accept it. “If it’s normal, it’s ok.” is the mindset that I see too often in business. Last I checked, a business doesn’t want to be normal. I don’t want my business to be normal. I want my business to be extraordinary. I want my business to function at its best at all times no matter what the environment looks like. My clients are the same way. They want their businesses to be great and not just following what is normal. Just because most business are dealing with something or accepting a certain fate, doesn’t mean that they will do the same.

This mentality has helped them in business. This mentality is now helping them in their business health strategy as well. Because the refuse to accept the trend, they don’t follow it. Instead they choose to create their own trend.

This new trend is what has me not only running a successful business, but it is what has me excited to get up and go each day. The companies that want to create their own trends are fun to work with. They are fun to work for and they are successful. Why are they successful? They are successful because they are deciding their own future rather than letting the trend tell them what they should expect.

A successful business would never look at earnings of a competitor and say: “Ok, they were down last year, so it’s OK if we are too.” They may take this data and use it, but they would not simply sit on their hands while they fell in line with their competitor. They data can be useful to find out why they were down or what they can do to avoid the same fate. But the data is not a license to simply pack it in and be happy with a negative situation.

This concept reminds me of the trends that I’ve dealt with in my business. The first trend is the reason I am in business in the first place. That trend is the healthcare spending and the continued health issues that plague our workforce. I decided to change this trend, one company and one employee at a time. That trend is obvious and I am dealing with it constantly.

The second trend that I had to deal with in business was the economy. In 2008, I saw the news and read the papers just like everyone else. As we’ve all seen, there seems to be a continued trend of economic woes in the world. There is more unemployment and more companies are going under every day. The media continues to show us these trends and we continue to decide how to react to them. There is one group that continues to ignore this trend and create their own. That group consists of companies that continue to push forward despite the challenges of business. In any economy, these challenges will present themselves. The difference is, many companies used the excuse of the economy to accept lower performance and lack of progress.

The other group is just that. Those companies that said: “The economy is bad, so I’m going to stand still.” They did nothing or pulled back when things got challenging. Guess what, they are likely now part of another company – one that was aggressive in the face of this challenge – or they are simply gone. They may be one of the sad stories that we keep hearing about on the news.

I feel for the companies and their employees, so don’t take this the wrong way. I’m not trying to say that any company that has struggled or seen a decline in business is a bad company or even trying to say that I have a fool-proof business solution for them to save their companies. I am simply saying that they are in this situation because they are in this situation. They are not in this situation because of the trend. The trend is created by the companies, not the other way around.

That is why I pushed on when new business became more difficult to bring in. When companies are using the economy as an excuse, I didn’t buy into that trend. Instead, I tailored solutions to meet the needs and keep businesses on the right track despite the economic conditions. Rather than listen to the problem and succumb to it, I found solutions.

That is what I am telling companies to do now. It’s a different problem and requires different solutions, but the principle is the same. If the economy is tough and people aren’t spending as much money in your industry you have to do a few things: find ways to get people to start spending money or finding new people to spend money in your industry. Some companies have even reevaluated their industry and started focusing on other areas. No matter what changes are made, the key is that something had to be done.

The trend that I am now focused on stopping is the healthcare trend. There are thousands of companies simply watching their insurance renewal increase every year. They are watching their employee claims increase and their premiums are doing the same. They are seeing more and more problems because their employee health is on the decline.

The solution to this trend is actually simple. If we change our habits, we will improve our health. If we improve our health, we won’t need as much care and therefor our claims will be reduced and we will all save money. From a business perspective, this makes sense, but the trend continues.

Why does this trend continue? I think it continues because it is easy to accept what you think is normal. It is easy to keep doing what you’ve always done and accept the results, especially when everyone else is doing the same thing and seeing the same results. It is often more difficult to do something different. It is more difficult to refuse to accept less simply because everyone else does. It is difficult to change in any area of business. It is difficult to create your own trend.

It may be difficult to create your own trend, but it is more difficult to deal with the consequences. No matter how many other companies are dealing with the same thing, why would you choose to pay more for health insurance? Why would you look at a trend that meant spending more and getting less? Why would your business choose not to prevent a problem that it has control over? That’s a simple answer. It has happened and will continue to happen because if you see other businesses doing it and you hear more people explain how common it is, you will think it’s normal. If it’s normal, it must be acceptable, right?

It’s only acceptable to those businesses that are following the trend. Negative results in any area of business are not acceptable to a successful company.

Regardless of media stories, polls and perception, they are not allowing trend to dictate what they do. Successful companies are not accepting higher costs and lower health. Successful companies are ignoring the trend and changing the way they do business. Successful companies are creating their own trend.

Business Health Expert Joe Byrd uses his passion and expertise to bring business and health together. He integrates health education in lifestyle topics such as Stress Management, Weight Management, and Smoking Cessation into businesses in order to accomplish the following:

Improving Employee Health

Decreasing Health Care Spending

Increasing Your Employee Productivity

Improving Employee Satisfaction and Retention

Joe applies his craft in the business world by making health part of business strategy. As he helps companies invest in their employees, together they create healthy and successful cultures.

Comments are closed.