Our Total Absence Management (TAM) team has enjoyed a terrific 2023 – not only have they grown their team exponentially, but they hit a huge milestone goal for the year. We spoke with Patty Borst, National Practice Leader, TAM, who has more than three decades of experience in the employee benefits field.
She and her team of nine TAM experts assist clients in industries of every type and size across the nation who are facing challenging regulations when it comes to leave management and ADA. We are proud to say that the TPG team quickly became a go-to source for leave of absence information, industry best practices, benchmarking, program management, and consultation.
Tell me how you and your team got to this point.
We created the TAM division in 2016, with one client large healthcare client who needed our help building a shared services operation for leave of absence and ADA, so this was not an overnight success. We built our foundation carefully and methodically, with top-notch subject matter experts and professionals to deliver service and build a brand for ourselves. And through careful planning, we’re known at a national level now.
Can you explain why your team’s services were suddenly in such demand?
All employers need efficient and compliant absence management programs. Everybody. Compliance is required by law, so employers have no choice but to take it on. And yet many struggle with how to build operational efficiency and regulatory compliance. We have seen a rapid expansion of state paid medical and family leave legislation. These state laws differ, and employers are struggling to keep up with over 500 different leave laws across the US. That is where our services come into play. The value our teams adds through their expertise and customer service comes at a cost that many employers see as justifiable to ensure they are not only compliant but managing leave efficiently and effectively.
I like to use a ski analogy – in the past managing leave was more like a green ski slope, HR teams could make it down the mountain without too much help. Suddenly now, they are being told to ski the triple black diamond run. Everyone is feeling that fear of standing at the top of that mountain. Think of TPG and our team as your expert skier, who can help you get down the mountain safely.
What differentiates TPG’s TAM team from others?
Our differentiator is our ability to pivot with every new change and opportunity that presents itself in our space. Our team must be ready to anticipate change – we know in the world of leaves that change is the only constant. It is the constant change that forces our team to know the regulations, software marketplace, TPA/insurance carriers, and their products inside and out to ensure we are serving our clients to the best of our ability. Few competitors have the dedicated experts or an entire team of absence professionals with the depth of knowledge that we have – we are specialists in total absence management and extremely good at what we do.
How do you plan to continue in 2024?
We will continue to put ourselves on a national stage by speaking at major conferences, which was a strategic decision to be seen as the experts in our field. We’ve been part of the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) for 20 years now, with a platinum sponsorship. We’re consulting for employee benefits partner firms across the nation, to help support their client’s leave management and ADA needs. We will continue to capitalize on opportunities to be seen as industry leaders while balancing a high level of customer service for our clients.
Your team has grown quite a bit. Will you continue to expand?
Yes, we will continue to grow! We have a significant sales goal for 2024. We expect to hire four new client service team members and one new business development person to meet the growing demand for our services. Fortunately, we have been able to attract and retain top talent. We received more than 600 applicants when we last posted an account management position! We’re known and respected as a firm and as a team with whom people want to work.
Even though we are a remote-based team, our culture is intentional. We only have a couple of opportunities a year to all be in the same place together, at our company offsite event in the spring and the national DMEC conference in the summer. Yet we are all still very close – we share our personal lives during daily connections, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. I always say, hire people who are smarter than you, support them, and they will do amazing things.
In conclusion, what are your takeaways from this last year?
We’ve had such a huge year because we were incredibly well positioned to take advantage of the unlimited opportunities in the market. We have the right team, the right vision, and the passion to be the best at what we do.
For more information on the TAM team or any absence management topics, contact them at TAM@tpgrp.com.