Managing Workers’ Comp Takes Practice

Sports analogies are cliché in business, but that is because there are so many valuable corollaries between the two. This story about a golf coach is a great analogy to how to successfully handle your workers’ comp coverage.

An acquaintance played on his college golf team in North Dakota. At that level of competition, golf starts in the spring. Spring in North Dakota can be very cold and many days that are not conducive to low scores or an enjoyable round. These are the 40/40 days – 40 degrees with a 40-mile and hour wind.

Each year he and his teammates complained to the coach about the conditions and whined about having to practice in such adverse weather. The coach had a standard reply, “The conditions are the same for everyone, boys,” he growled, “It’s how you manage the conditions that determine the winners.”

The team would work at the skill and techniques which would be most effective for a specific situation, such as hitting off the tee into a strong headwind and keeping the ball low with a top spin so as the maximize the yardage down the fairway. Practicing uphill lies, downhill lies, hitting out of the rough… you get the picture of what early spring practice was like. While the journey was not fun, the results where rewarding. When competing in a game where one or two strokes determine the winner, having a competitive advantage makes the difference.

Business owners contend with two conditions that influence the cost of workers’ compensation coverage – external and internal.

External conditions are those that you cannot control: rates, the system structure, efficiency and fraud – all a bit like cold and windy weather.

Internal influences are the ones over which a business has direct control, and can include: its safety culture, systems, processes and activities including how new hires are screened, the structure of loss prevention and control programs, safety incentives, medical clinic partnerships and return to work programs – like the golfers hard earned skills and techniques.

SullivanCurtisMonroe advises business owners and helps implement best practices to better manage their internal conditions. Developing the expertise and capabilities to increase the effectiveness of the company’s internal safety activities reduces workers’ compensation costs and provides the necessary on-going risk management services to ensure long-term cost control. Much like the hard earned advantage of the golfers practicing in tough conditions, our years of expertise results and proven processes ultimately result in lower cost structures thereby increasing our clients EBITDA and providing them with a competitive advantage.

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