In July, I wrote a post on EBN's blog, the Daily Diversion, remarking on the powerful simplicity of haikus and challenging readers to write in similarly simplistic terms what being a benefits professional means to them.

I asked for 14 words (posted online at the Daily Diversion) or 140 characters (posted to me on Twitter at @ebnews_editor) to finish the sentence, "Being a benefits professional means ..."

I was surprised and pleased by the dozens of responses we received and wanted to share them all, especially the six (three from the website, three from Twitter) that the EBN staff and I chose as our favorites. Thanks to everyone for participating and we hope you enjoy them as much as we did. So, in no particular order, here's what you say "Being a benefits professional means ..."


Winning tweets

Helping sm. bus. design benefits in ever changing market and making sure they understand how to best utilize their benefits. -@psbenefits

Our goal is to create #RavingFans from our clients and our employees are the first to know they've got a raving fan. -@patientcare4u

being a benefits professional means managing business needs while providing EEs with competitive and meaningful benefits. -@dazdarren


Winning web posts

... delivering best in class benefits, and the knowledge that goes with it, to employees while maintaining financial accountability for my employer. -Janie

... being an umbrella when life's circumstances rain on an employee's parade. -AngelaR

... being patient and repeating yourself until you think there's an echo in the room! -Stephanie C


Honorable mentions

... taking the "hard stuff" and making it easy. -Amy Y

... always learning, leading change, listening to concerns, and advocating for both employer and employees. -Ed Isakson

... being the trusted, go-to person in an employee's time of need and crisis. -dsw713

... dealing with the headaches of benefits administration, so that our employees (and their families) are taken care of. -Heathermkw

... being the trusted educator and problem solver in a sea of confusion. -Erin P

... we get to use our powers for good. -jpchris

... helping, especially when an employee's or their dependent's life is hanging in the balance. -buckwheat

... being a wise collaborator, educator, and mentor with/to other professionals and plan participants. -DP2u

... building bridge between carrier and employer not forgetting employee happiness support, dependability, partnership, longevity. -mdd

... balancing your employees' wants with the company's needs and the demands of the law. -Christi

... providing the best for the least dollars to keep our employees happy and healthy. -Barbara H

... you simultaneously wear an employee advocate, employer representative, aerobics instructor and firefighter hat! -Candace D

... Tsunami of life buffets/Who will weave worker safety net?/We do most gladly. -JTWick

... impacting an individual's well-being, the company's goals, and our country's overall health. -karenh

... delivering group benefits that bring more value to participants/employers than individual alternatives can. -Chuck T

... giving my clients the unwavering support they need in the way they can understand. -Brenda G

... helping people reach their goals, and live their life, yet dealing with their angst. -elaine_britt

... acquiring a reputation for benefits expertise and excellent customer service. -Geri D

... being educated, staying compliant and having the ability and patience to clearly communicate information. -LynneSD

... being the foremost thinker to ensure appropriate coverage and extensive knowledge to sustain the busy client. -lisajoyp

... having employees trust you with issues; allows them to focus on their own jobs. -bonhugs

... striving daily to educate and empower our employees and their dependents to become smart, proactive health consumers. -Karen E

... being a trusted, knowledgeable and friendly participant of my clients' team. -ebchampion

... we are the last bastion between Rx eligibility and a crying baby. -imported-name

... being a dedicated advocate & steward who proactively evaluates the market for their clients. -Christopher J

... staying informed to provide accurate information so employees can make the best decisions. -Miss Understood

... I make people's lives easier. -Kathleen P


Rule breakers (but we liked them anyway!)

... being an advocate for employees while maintaining a true partnership with your vendors for benefits delivery in addition to staying ahead of trends to meet the needs of cross-generational and diverse cultures. -Nancy T

... [being an] advocate and ally for both employee and company, teacher, go-between, negotiator, hand-holder, enforcer, deliverer of bad news while convincing employees it could have been worse, paper shuffler, and someone who intensely wishes senators and congressmen everywhere had to obey the same rules and laws they make us follow. -Jane L

... providing employees with excellent customer service in acquiring and understanding all the benefits that are available to them, and always keeping an eye out for ways to improve the current benefit offerings. -Valerie A

... to build a world class benefits product that can be leveraged by an organization ... while at the same time building an employee-facing user interface to streamline enrollment and educational delivery of benefit program, plans, options and designation of dependents. -AGATES

... being a bridge between employees, employers and the rigors of the laws with the end goal of promoting the welfare of employees without sacrificing the interest of the company and violating laws. -toffyzorilla

Again, thanks to all who submitted. Although the contest now is over, if you'd still like to submit your thoughts, please do so by email to

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