My sweet 6-year-old boy enjoys doing jigsaw puzzles. So, when we saw a shiny “Star Wars” puzzle at Costco, we had to buy it. However, when we opened up the box, we realized the puzzle was a little harder than we anticipated. Even though the box says “ages 6+” this was definitely not a puzzle that a 6-year-old could do by himself. All in all, it took some time to complete it, mostly on my own. Here is why this particular puzzle was interesting:

  1. It’s 500 tiny pieces that must fit perfectly together
  2. The puzzle has a 3D effect so the pieces change color depending on the light and depending on which way you’re looking at it. Yet, there is only one (and only one) spot for each piece.
  3. There are large areas of the puzzle that are either really light or really dark solid colour, which makes it difficult to differentiate one piece from another. You really have to examine each piece from all angles to figure out where it actually goes.

Why did I bother to do this puzzle? Mostly because my son lost interest in it pretty quickly, and well…I wanted to get my money’s worth. Not to mention that doing puzzles has some health benefits. Not only is it a brain exercise (it forces one to think, focus and pay attention to small details), it is also a form of relaxation/ meditation/ taking your mind off other stuff. For me, it turned out to be an interesting process that ignited some reflection about the business that I am in:

  1. The most difficult part was the middle. When I was about halfway through, right in the nitty gritty of it. It just got more challenging and more time consuming to find pieces.

2. It is incredible how effective it was to pause and to take the time to look at the pieces from a different perspective. Each time I moved or changed my sitting position I was able to see the puzzle pieces in a slightly different light and/or from a slightly different angle. It’s in those moments that the puzzle pieces would come together. Details do matter. It reminded me that when it comes to employee benefits, the devil really is in the details. There are so many intricacies that come with setting up and managing a group benefits plan, and, oftentimes, trying a different approach or changing perspective even a little bit can make all the difference. 

  1. The most enjoyable part was near the end, when there were only a few pieces left. It’s that anticipation of “The big win” being so close that felt so good. That satisfying and proud feeling of the fact that all that work paid off. I love that feeling of a win, and that’s why I do what I do. Nothing feels better than seeing a smile on my clients’ faces after they’ve set up an employee benefits plan that they are proud of. An employee benefits plan that allows the employer to take care of their employees and their families in a meaningful way. An employee benefits plan that’s recognized and appreciated by the staff. 

At the end of the day, it made me realize just how important it is for companies to work with an advisor who is a benefits specialist, rather than an insurance generalist. A benefits specialist will have the ability to make your benefits program a win year over year. An employee benefits specialist would have the necessary knowledge and field experience to solve your benefits puzzle by:

(1) No matter how challenging your situation may be, not letting you give up on your benefits plan. A benefits specialist will have access to outside of the box resources and solutions. Being able to pull your project through from beginning stages right through to the very end. Being able to effectively deal with bumps along the way. (2) A benefits specialist will be able to look at your benefits plan from all angles – whether that’s ensuring that the rates you’re paying are fair, the quality and competitiveness of your benefit offering, or whether that’s minimizing your plan administrator’s liabilities and risks. All while paying close attention to detail and knowing the fine print.


At IR Benefits Consulting, we have been specializing in employee benefits for over 15 years. Our focus is to make sure that you win with your benefits – and not just once, but with every renewal. Get in touch with us to chat about your employee benefits.