The topic of the summer has, without question, been the challenge of meeting record demand with a labor pool that’s simply too small to meet that demand. Business owners and managers continue to struggle with rising costs, staffing shortages, and yet still providing an experience to a customer that makes them want to return again. The reasons for the staffing shortages defy simple explanations but, regardless of the cause, remain difficult to manage.

One quick area of interest that can move the proverbial needle is getting downright involved as a leader - as opposed to the once-a-year information meeting--on health care. Rising health care costs, along with higher education costs, continue to eat up more and more of our paychecks and in doing so wipe out even pay increases as a reflection of labor shortages. In many cases, workers are seeing effective wage stagnation even with pay increases and that contributes to both worker bottom lines and organizational ones as well.

By getting involved in health care and by knowing your health care advisors, you have an opportunity to manage what can be the single biggest year-on-year cost driver out there--and by getting involved, you’ll become a better place to work as well.

Clark Twiddy, President of Twiddy & Company, is the author of our Leadership Corner, published the third Tuesday of each month. He can be reached at