How 2 decades building a benefits brokerage firm led me to Cocoon

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I’ve often stated about the world of employee benefits that “the complexity keeps me employed.” After having spent almost 2 decades building a leading benefits firm in the SF Bay Area, I can attest that the world of employee benefits, and the complexities surrounding these programs, is more complicated and evolving faster than ever before. Alternative funding strategies, global benefit needs, compliance, wellness solutions, tech-enabled enrollment, and education platforms are just some of the areas I’ve had clients asking about on a daily basis for years. And while the market has addressed many of these areas with innovative products, the challenges surrounding leave of absence management and employee-facing tools to support leave, continue to challenge the Human Resources teams and employees of the clients I worked with every day.  

Which is why I couldn’t be more excited to announce my new role leading Partnerships with Cocoon, where we’re making employee leave easier than ever before.

The decades-long challenge of leave management

Leave management has challenged HR teams for years with few solutions.  Federal, State, and local regulations have created a tangled web for not only HR teams to navigate but also their employees, often during their most challenging life events. As a broker, I found myself constantly searching for an offering that could meet my clients’ (not unreasonable) demands for an easy-to-use, risk-reducing leave management provider that left their employees feeling cared for. 

Unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the already convoluted system exponentially harder. Teams that were once centralized—say in California—migrated throughout the US and beyond. In the course of 2 years benefits, payroll, and HR teams went from needing to understand a handful of State and local regulations to dozens, further challenging efficient and compliant leave management. 

All of this means that HR teams and managers are spending countless hours managing leaves and trying to support their employees while still risking compliance exposure. And despite employers’ best intentions and efforts, too many employees are left to navigate leave by themselves during a time when they need support the most.

Transforming the leave management experience

For years, I’ve been looking for real innovation in the leave management space. Last year when I came across Cocoon, it was immediately clear this product and company is different from anything else on the market. 

Upon meeting the founding team, I was impressed by Cocoon’s incredible focus on not only providing the leave management resources HR teams have been looking for, but more importantly, the tools for employees to investigate, understand, and ultimately engage their leave benefits…in minutes. I cannot highlight enough the passion and talent I’ve seen in such a short period at Cocoon. The drive and speed of this team is infectious, with an acute focus on enhancing both the employee and employer leave experience.

After 19 years consulting with the most progressive companies in the Bay Area, I can confidently say that Cocoon is the solution we’ve all been searching for. In 2022, we are aligning with our partners even more closely through time-saving integrations and automation, sales and educational resources, as well as concierge service and support. Today, the Partnership’s team is engaging with the most exciting insurance brokerage and human resource teams to provide a transformative leave management experience to their employer groups and employees. If this sounds like you, we'd love to get to know you and talk about how we can help your clients in 2022—get in touch.

With Cocoon, employees can design their leave plan in private, share with their manager and HR when they’re ready, and rest easy knowing that all their paperwork will be submitted for them; in full compliance with federal regulation, state law, and company policy. Employers don’t have to lift a finger when it comes to compliance, claims, or payroll calculations.
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