What’s at stake? Different roles offer different answers.

HR is worried about…

Unhappy employees 

Employee turnover 

Difficulties attracting talent

The C-Suite is worried about…

Decreased revenue


Increased costs for employees

We picked the brains of our survey respondents, asking about their expectations if healthcare and benefits costs aren’t controlled, and what happens on that unsustainable trajectory. To get a full picture of their robust opinions, we gave them the opportunity to submit open responses. 

Looking for the most common themes, we found that HR is concerned about employee happiness, while the C-suite is focused on the bottom line. The quoted answers below illustrate the difference in opinion between the two camps. 

What are the expected consequences for the business if healthcare and benefits costs are not controlled?


“Can’t provide benefits and therefore won’t be able to keep good employees

“Lack of happiness and overall production among employees if there is too much cost or poor benefits”

“Unhappy employees and inability to keep them

“Makes the company less attractive to potential employees

“It will be difficult to retain talent and keep up with our competitors”


“Reduction in force (RIF) and/or layoffs

“The business could very well go under if the healthcare costs and expenditures are not controlled”

“The costs of healthcare will continue to rise making it nearly impossible to offer benefits that our employees truly deserve”

“We will not be able to afford the benefits and employees will have to pay more out of their paychecks

Decreased revenue growth”

“Higher spend, less ROI, less company revenue and more employee health incidents”

Section 5 takeaways:

What’s it mean?

When you think about it, it’s only natural that the C-suite and HR won’t see eye-to-eye on every issue. The two teams have different focus areas and functions, as they’re supposed to. While C-suite worries about a business’s bottom line, HR prioritizes its people. As such, these different concerns translate to how they view the impact of rising healthcare costs.

The biggest issue is that the two departments don’t agree on the ramifications of cost increases on their organization as a whole.

The Solution

The C-suite needs to be transparent with HR regarding their concerns about increasing costs. While HR will always focus on the people in the organization (that’s their job), if problems are as big as the C-suite believes, they will impact more than just candidate and employee experience, but everyone’s very livelihood. 

The bottom line: Leadership and HR need to be on the same page about their worries and work together to address each one.

Join 22,000+ HR pros who receive monthly employee benefits insights, straight to their inbox.