The Question Behind the Question

The Question Behind the Question

I recall as a kid getting into a lot of trouble. Harmless trouble, mind you. Growing up in what was then the middle of nowhere in South Fulton County where our nearest neighbor was a half-mile away, there wasn’t much trouble you could get into that harmed other people.

Shooting each other with BB guns, falling out of a treehouse, or finding a pet snake that later disappeared somewhere in the house was as bad as it got. Well, maybe the time my buddy Dan and I rode 4 wheelers into Fairburn one snowy evening, did donuts around the Christmas tree at city hall and outran the cops could have been categorized as harmful to the community. It’s debatable.

At the end of the day though, our parents always held us personally accountable (if we got caught). It was never a question of whether we had done wrong or not. Once caught, our parents would begin with questioning. Not questioning what we had done… they somehow already knew the answer to that thanks to small-town gossip. The questioning rather was laser-focused on who we were from a personal accountability perspective.

“Is this the way we raised you?”

“Is that what you learned in the Bible?”

And of course… “What were you thinking?”

I was recently enlightened while reading a book entitled, “The Question Behind the Question” which I highly recommend. Early on in the book, the author provides his definition of “QBQ” and it reads…

“A tool that enables individuals to practice personal accountability by making better choices in the moment.”

Employees can get into all sorts of trouble using their benefits. Choosing a location for a procedure that is twice the cost of a location closer and half the price. Going to the emergency room for a nagging cough when telemedicine would have been faster and cheaper. Asking for a name brand high-cost drug when the equivalent medicine in a two-pill dose is available for 1/100th of the cost thanks to pharmaceutical marketing. The list goes on and the expense piles up.

Who pays for these less than optimal choices in the moment? The employee AND the employer.

Benefits Intelligence

Benefits Intelligence leads to cost containment, improved company culture, and prosperous employees.

What if our parents had never communicated to us kids our family morals, values, and principles? Our parents would in simple terms be accountable for us. My daddy would be answering to officer Sinkfield for our antics around the Christmas tree at city hall.

Instead, with clear expectations from their parenting and Biblical teachings, I was personally accountable. Not only accountable for myself but for the “black mark” I had given the family name. That accountability made us in it together. We were with¬†each other in living respectable lives.

Do you want your employees to be with you in navigating healthcare and containing costs, or do you want to stay on the path of doing that for them?

The Benefit Company’s employee communications team understands those better choices in the moment can be a difference-maker between for and with. We deliver the tools employees need to enable personal accountability. Benefit guides, apps, advocacy teams, ongoing education, benefits-focused events, and much more will elevate an employee’s “benefits intelligence”.

The concept is simple really. Employees will be with you given they have the tools, knowledge, and understanding required to make the better choice in the moment.

Start today. Benefits intelligence is a paradigm shift you cannot afford to not take action on immediately. Not only will you see benefits costs decline, but your organization will also prosper with improved company culture. And that’s a benefit you cannot win internally or externally without.


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  • Employee Engagement
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