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Vision CollageWe came, we learned, we sailed the Bay! Our Vision 2018 event last week in San Francisco was a blast for all who attended. 

With lively panel discussions, informative leadership training, product updates, and a networking dinner cruise around San Francisco Bay, there was no excuse for anyone’s brain (or bum) to sit still at our packed two-day event! More than a hundred clients, partners, and Solvers joined us for the first stop on our Vision learning leadership tour. Here are a few key highlights.

Leave your ego at the door

Award-winning author and leadership coach Cy Wakeman kicked off the conference with her keynote address, calling leaders to take a No Ego approach to team building and management. Cy also led an exclusive “Readiness Summit” workshop that built on her Reality-Based Leadership philosophy, which is officially HR Institute Certified for continuing education credits.

In her keynote, Cy discussed her research that revealed the average employee spends two and a half hours each day in drama. She defines drama as not just gossip at the watercooler, but any emotional waste such as “do you have a minute” meetings, or employees not buying into leader goals. So how can leaders inspire employees to “buy in” to company goals and drive results?

  • Teach great mental processes that eradicate emotional waste. The modern leader’s role is no longer to inspire or work with those that are scared or unwilling to adopt and adapt to change.
  • Bypass the ego and get right into self-reflection and accountability.
  • Greet change with “good to know” – the more leaders try to make change as easy as possible for their employees the harder it will be for those individuals to adapt to change and thrive.

Empathy on top

With Cy’s wisdom ringing in our brains, we were excited to launch our long-awaited, third annual State of Workplace Empathy study results that illustrate how empathy is becoming one of the most important workplace values.

The numbers don’t lie; 96% of employees believe it is important for their employers to demonstrate empathy while 92% believe empathy remains undervalued. Sixty-eight % of CEOs say the state of empathy in US organizations needs to change.  These data points prove that empathy is entering today’s cultural and social awareness. The long-term payoff of empathy, we’ve found, isn’t just a happier employee or satisfied customer – it’s a stronger, more engaged workforce and, ultimately, a healthier, more robust business.

Fireside Chat – non-binary gender updates


After talking empathy, we cozied up for a fireside chat with our compliance expert panel: Bruce Gillis, Compliance Lead at Businessolver, Angel Hower, Product Manager at Businessolver, and Rebecca Winters, Senior Voluntary Product Manager who joined us from Voya Financial. Our Director of Product Marketing and Operations, Bridget Lind, moderated the conversation that touched on what HR pros should be aware of with the latest legislation from California, SB 179, The Gender Recognition Act.

Needless to say, there are a few things for HR professionals to consider about SB 179, such as:

  1. Individual state laws may not affect plan practices; however, it may affect compliance.
  2. Many carriers have already indicated they will still be requiring male and female designations only, but this could change very soon. You may need to start thinking of a solution for your employees that identify as non-binary.
  3. Don’t think this is only happening in California. Washington and New York are both on the “watch list” for states that may be implementing similar legislation.

Product innovations

On Day Two we were up bright and early to start digging in to our product roadmap!

There are many rapid changes happening in the workforce that HR pros should be aware of and actively thinking about solutions for. For example:

  • There are currently five generations in the workplace you will need to attract and retain.
  • There are 10K Baby Boomers turning 65 every day and they may not be prepared to retire.
  • Seventy-five % of organizations have no formal offboarding plan in place and, on top of that, 3 million American workers are leaving their jobs every month!

Updates from our product team addressed some of these changes, highlighting the solutions Businessolver’s benefits administration technology, Benefitsolver, is capable of implementing. Key updates include innovations to the MyChoice Recommendation Engine, enhanced offboarding solutions to handle the multigenerational workforce, and the Artificial Intelligence benefits assistant, Sofia, who increased her knowledge set by 162% in the last several months and can help with employee questions at all hours of the day.

Clients, Case Studies, Conversations

Day Two included a series of panel discussions with Transamerica, PAE, Sephora, AEG, and LoanDepot.

One highlight: Transamerica and Businessolver recently announced a strategic partnership to offer employees a more holistic approach to accessing their retirement and health benefits. During the panel discussion, the connection between wealth and health was reinforced with these stats:

  • The average life expectancy in America has increased almost 30 years over the last century.
  • People who take at least 10,000 steps a day are 21% more likely to maintain a budget.
  • You can save $6k a year with healthier habits.

Needless to say, it’s important for HR professionals to think about the reality that employees pay for their benefits and retirement out of one paycheck or one wallet, and their accessibility to those benefits should take that into consideration.

Overall, this Vision 2018 was one of the best yet! Don’t miss out on the next one; register for Vision Philadelphia or Vision Chicago below.

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