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David Rook

David Rook

Chief Marketing Officer

Dave is a veteran marketing and digital platforms expert. His passion lies at the intersection of the creative arts, behavioral economics and social sciences. Dave is our go-to resource for out-of- the box creative, as well as strategically sound yet remarkably innovative approaches to the mundane.

Dave spends his days finding new ways to help drive benefit strategies and desired outcomes through more influential employee communications and decision-making tools.

He works hands-on with our clients to tap into the behavioral insights of their workforces – all in an effort to solve their most difficult communication, enrollment and behavioral modification challenges.

A digital products expert since the early days of the Internet, Dave also leads the development and optimization of our benefit automation and HR technology platforms, including both our desktop and mobile solutions.

Dave’s distinguished career includes brand marketing positions with Leo Burnett (General Motors, Philip Morris), Coca-Cola and AOL. More recently Dave was the General Manager of Consumer Media at Hanley Wood and the Chief Marketing Officer at eCommerce retailer Simplexity.

A sampling of the diverse brands Dave has worked on include:

  • Oldsmobile
  • Rockford Fosgate Audio
  • Marlboro
  • Sprite
  • Minute Maid
  • AOL
  • City’s Best
  • Moviefone
  • Architect Magazine
  • ePlans.com
  • Floorplans.com
  • Homeplans.com
  • Verizon
  • T-Mobile
  • When.in
  • GMC Truck
  • Celebrity Cruise Lines
  • Coca-Cola
  • Barq’s
  • Wendy’s
  • Digital City
  • MapQuest
  • Builder Magazine
  • Remodeling Magazine
  • Dream Home Source
  • Houseplans.com
  • Wirefly.com
  • Sprint
  • Urgent.ly

 

Dave received his MBA at Georgetown University and his undergraduate degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunications at Arizona State University.

When not at the JP Griffin Group, you might find Dave out on the golf course or at a live music venue, all the while checking scores for his beloved perennial underdog, the Chicago Cubs.

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Author's Posts

Best Of 2021: Employee Benefits Blog Posts and Downloads

David Rook

Thousands of companies turned to JP Griffin Group for guidance on employee benefits topics in 2021. With nearly a half-million blog post views and tens of thousands of content downloads, here is some of our most popular content for the calendar year.

TOP TEN BLOG POSTS OF 2021

Does Healthcare Consumerism Even Have A Chance?

It’s difficult to become more informed consumers of healthcare when large swaths of that very system seem to be working against us at every turn. Do consumers even have a chance?

2022 IRS Contribution Limits for HSA, HDHP, FSA, 401(k)

A consolidated list of 2022 IRS contribution limits for tax-advantaged employee benefits accounts such as HSAs, FSAs, 401(k)s, QSEHRA, transportation, and adoption benefits.

What's the Difference Between Telemedicine, Telehealth, and Telecare?

It's important to understand the differences between telemedicine, telehealth, telecare, virtual medicine, virtual health, and virtual care.

Vendor Contracts – Beware of These Five Pitfalls in Employee Benefits Agreements

Employers should carefully review the provisions of their employee benefits vendor contracts. Here's a list of common provisions requiring special attention.

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Topics: Employee Communications

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Budgeting for Benefits: Sage Advice for Cost-Conscious Employees

David Rook

Editor's note: We'd like to thank Ann Lloyd of StudentSavingsGuide.com for collaborating with us on this week's blog post.

Employee benefit offerings can be powerful motivational tools. They can help steer workers to new opportunities or drive loyalty to current organizations.  This has never been more true than in today’s hypercompetitive job market.

But as we discussed recently, offering robust and generous benefit programs isn’t enough. Employers must communicate these programs clearly and concisely since research shows that confusing and complex benefit programs can be stress-inducing - and a real turn-off to current employees and future talent prospects.

One of the main issues weighing heavily on workers, particularly those who are younger and/or in low-wage jobs, is that of money. Benefits, after all, can be quite expensive, depending on how generous or stingy an employer chooses to be.

Here are some best practices for employers to use when coaching more cost-conscious employees through the benefits enrollment process.

Read More
Topics: Employee Communications

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Ten Reasons to Migrate to Digital Communications This Open Enrollment Season

David Rook


Employers continue to migrate to digital employee benefits communications, most especially during this Q4 open enrollment season. Younger and more digitally savvy workers have especially welcomed this transition.

This flight to digital has no doubt been hastened by the continuation of work-from-home policies and the unwelcome return of a year-end slowdown in delivery services at the US Postal Service.

No matter the cause, employers who embrace digital communications as part of an omnichannel employee benefits marketing campaign instantly recognize the benefits of these advanced marketing solutions.

For the past several years, JP Griffin Group has utilized several digital marketing solutions. Still, two are particularly noteworthy -  our interactive benefit enrollment guides and our mobile wallet cards.  Both have substantially improved our marketing efforts and have earned us many accolades.

Here are ten improvements we've noted during our migration to digital.

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Topics: Employee Communications

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[Complex Health Benefits] The Impact on Employee Productivity & Well-Being

David Rook

While healthcare complexity is nothing new, a 2021 study from Quantum Health underscores the significant, negative effects on program participants and the employers who fund these complex group medical employee benefit programs.

One of the clearest takeaways from the research is that consumers continue to struggle with healthcare complexity. The key challenges consumers face revolve around understanding their coverage levels, making use of their benefits, finding providers, and understanding their insurance claims or bills.

Furthermore, healthcare literacy has been shown to directly correlate with health status, where states with higher rates of health literacy typically have lower rates of chronic conditions and lower overall healthcare costs.

These health literacy challenges can result in uninformed decisions and low participation and engagement in employer-sponsored offerings, hampering the desired effect of keeping employees healthy and productive.

These challenges are amplified when companies constantly change their benefits program, medical carrier, and/or the structure of the medical plans (jumping from PPOs to HMOs, from Copays to HDHPs, and from HRAs to HSAs, for example). These changes cause an increased amount of angst and confusion among employees.

Because change is often inevitable, it’s important that employers consider the findings of this research to reevaluate their employee benefits programs and communication plans, all in an effort to help facilitate employee adoption, productivity, and well-being.

Read More
Topics: Employee Communications, Plan Design, Culture, Employee Productivity

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Telemedicine Is Here To Stay

David Rook

Before working in employee benefits, I spent nearly a decade working for America Online (AOL). For those of you not old enough to remember, AOL was the gateway to the internet for tens of millions of people in the mid 1990's and early 2000's, as the "world wide web" went mainstream.

In those days, AOL's senior leadership placed bets on all sorts of industries they thought they could disrupt, from online dating and car shopping to airline bookings and online auctions. When asked what the company was learning from placing strategic bets in all of these commerce verticals, AOL's Founder Steve Case said, "it appears that anything that's easier to do online than offline will eventually transition to the web."

That very same insight can now safely be said of telemedicine. While both patients and providers were slow to embrace it, the popularity of telemedicine exploded this past year, while funding for almost anything telehealth-related has been booming.

According to technology vendor AthenHealth, they saw telehealth volumes in their network increase from less than 1% of total volumes pre-pandemic to as high as 32% during the pandemic, before settling in at around 10-11%.

And while it may be tempting to brush off telemedicine as a stopgap measure that served its purpose during this unprecedented healthcare emergency, new research shows that virtual care will long outlast the pandemic itself. In fact, experts predict that the telehealth market is expected to reach $185.6 billion by 2026.

Why? Because simply put, it's easier to do online than it is to do offline.

In a recent study by Doctor.com, telemedicine was shown to save patients over 100 minutes of their time compared to in-person office visits. Add to this that video visits often trigger a lower co-pay than an in-person appointment, and you have a winning combination – a savings of both time and money.

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Topics: Telemedicine, Telehealth, Telecare, Virtual Care, Virtual Health, Virtual Medicine

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Retirement Savings Options: Are HSAs better than 401(k)s?

David Rook

Retirement savings are on everyone’s mind these days, regardless of age or number of years in the workforce. Millennials are concerned they’ll never be able to retire, while baby boomers are choosing to delay retirement — in part because of employer demand for their expertise in the face of a low unemployment rate, but also because many of them haven’t sufficiently saved for retirement. In fact, according to Time’s Money division, 28 percent of boomers and seniors aged 55 and older don’t have any retirement savings whatsoever and just over half have less than $50,000 saved.

Even more surprising, the median amount Americans have saved for retirement is just $5,000, which means we have a long way to go in helping people prepare for their golden years. This number may seem staggeringly low — and it is. The average retirement savings among Americans age 32 to 61 is just under $96,000. However, averages are pulled up by super-savers, so this number seems artificially high.

With the prevalence of high deductible health plans (HDHPs), a lot of people are now enrolled in health savings accounts (HSAs). While people are mostly familiar with the short-term savings opportunities these accounts provide for healthcare expense reimbursement, many are also realizing that HSAs are a viable retirement savings option as well.

This begs the question — if people had to choose between investing in their 401(k) or maxing out their HSA for the year, which one is a better retirement savings option?

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Topics: Employee Benefits, HSAs, Retirement Planning

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A Brief History of Employer-Sponsored Healthcare [From the 1930s to Now]

David Rook

A Brief History of Employer-Sponsored Healthcare [From the 1930s to Now]

As Americans continue to debate the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), perhaps a quick look at the historical timeline of employer-sponsored healthcare will provide context for the state of American healthcare as it exists today.

Small Beginnings

Before the 1930s, the American public largely paid its own way where medical costs were concerned. With the exception of a few industries, employers by and large had little motivation to provide health coverage. Americans who worked in dangerous professions like mining, steel, and railroads had access to company doctors in industrial clinics or union-operated infirmaries. Though this was not healthcare as it exists today, these company-sponsored clinics were some of the earliest precedents of businesses becoming involved in their employees’ well-being.

employer sponsored healthcare ebook

The '30s: The Great Depression

After his election to the presidency in 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt chose not to pursue universal healthcare coverage. Several factors influenced his decision, not the least of which was major opposition from the American Medical Association. Roosevelt toyed with the idea of nationalizing healthcare as part of his plan for Social Security. However, he was a politically astute man, and he realized that tying universal health coverage to the Social Security Act might doom both initiatives to failure.

Of course, Roosevelt's decision left unresolved the pressing need of many Americans for some way to deal with healthcare costs. In the grips of the Great Depression, many were hard pressed to find money for essentials like food and shelter. Healthcare often fell by the wayside for families working to access the basic necessities of life. 

Into this environment came the beginnings of private health insurance. Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans paved the way for private insurers to begin crafting plans to meet the needs of the growing market. Still, at this stage, employers were not generally in the picture, and these original health insurance offerings were purchased almost exclusively by individuals.

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Topics: Affordable Care Act, Education

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Using Behavioral Economics in Employee Benefits and Workplace Wellness

David Rook

So what exactly is behavioral economics and why is it a useful tool for motivating behaviors?

Behavioral economics is the use of psychological, social, cognitive, or emotional factors to influence a person's behavior when it comes to making economical decisions. 

An excellent example of this in workforce wellness is when employers use incentives to encourage or discourage a specific thought or action.

In a blog post earlier this year, Compensation Cafe used smoking as an example of a behavior that many employers may want to discourage, since it's both unhealthy and disruptive. The challenge is doing so in an effective and non-offensive manner.

The following are five different types of behavioral economics to facilitate change, using smoking cessation as an example.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Behavioral Psychology

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Cyber Monday Shopping At Work: 4 Ways To Maintain Productivity

David Rook

Over half of U.S. workers will shop online while on the job this Cyber Monday. That's double the number of "work shoppers" from just a few years ago, according to recent research conducted by Robert Half Technology

Once an activity only those with desk jobs could get away with, experts point to the ease in which retailers have now made shopping from smartphones as one of the primary drivers of this dramatic increase in online shopping while at work. 

And while most workers will browse during their lunch breaks, a surprising number will shop all day long, with 44% admitting that their productivity suffers as they surf for the best deals.

Among 28 U.S. cities in the survey, Phoenix tops the list of cities with employees who admit to this hit in productivity, with San Diego and Austin following close behind.

So what can be done about this workplace productivity killer? In a nutshell, not much. Resistance is futile, as they say. In fact, in a separate survey also conducted by Robert Half, 77% of technology leaders said their firms allow "workshopping", but more than half of these same respondents (52%) indicated a preference for employees to not shop from work. (See infographic.)

So here are four ways that you, as an employer, can embrace Cyber Monday in ways designed to minimize workplace disruption and maintain employee productivity.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Company Culture, Education, Employee Productivity

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Take Back Control of Your Employee Benefits Story on Glassdoor and Indeed

David Rook

Every business owner is concerned about their company’s reputation. It not only affects their ability to attract customers, but also the talent they’re able to recruit. And these days, the internet is providing a much louder voice to a much wider audience, making business reputation management both more difficult and more complicated.

Ideally, you want current and former employees to leave shining endorsements of your company and all it has to offer, but the reality is that not everyone will do so. Whether your role in a company is one of ownership, leadership, marketing, or human resources, part of your job is to engage in business reputation management and luckily, the very same internet making the process more difficult has managed to provide some useful tools to help you out.  

The Role the Internet Plays in Company Reputation

One of the most positive things the internet has bestowed upon us is the ability to be more transparent. We don’t buy anything without researching it and reading every review we can find, so why would job-seeking be any different? People can read the company’s website, but let’s face it: what they really want is the inside scoop. They want the dirt. They want to know why employees leave, what they’re upset about, what they wish they could change, and how good the employee benefits really are.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Culture, Reputation Management, Social Media

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