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MEET Nick Alexander

Senior Enrollment Operations Manager/Tempe Site Lead

(Director)

Team Individual Marketplace

Segment Benefits Delivery and Administration

Location Tempe, Arizona

Year hired 2010

University Brigham Young University, Business Management

Personal interests

My family — four kids and one on the way! I also enjoy golf and carpentry work, building furniture to use around the house. I also make commemorative videos for graduations and wedding receptions.

Can you describe your career progression within Willis Towers Watson?

I was hired as a seasonal benefit advisor, which is an agent licensed to sell Medicare plans to retirees of Willis Towers Watson client associations. Benefit advisors talk to participants nationwide to assist them in transitioning from group insurance to individual insurance through the Medicare marketplace. I then transitioned to a seasonal customer service representative, which is a customer support role for those enrolled through our Individual Marketplace, where I assisted participants with claim resolution, appeals and other account services. This led to my role as enrollment operations supervisor, where I led a team of 15 benefit advisors in selling Medicare plans to retirees of our client associations, and then to the position of enrollment operations manager of 10 to 12 benefit advisor teams. Now, as senior enrollment operations manager, I’m focused on new client transitions while managing multiple enrollment operations managers and their respective teams. I also serve in a dual capacity as a corporate site lead, focused on site-wide operations for our Tempe, Arizona, call center facility.

Can you tell us about the day-to-day responsibilities of your job?

In my role as senior enrollment operations manager, I manage transitions of new client employers who are moving their retiree populations from group to individual health care coverage. I’m responsible for meeting transition enrollment goals for all Medicare-eligible clients, daily check-ins with enrollment teams focused on the retiree experience, and successful plan enrollments, weekly reporting to segment leadership for enrollment progress and performance management of enrollment teams and agents.
In my role as corporate site lead, I oversee site-wide operations relative to performance management and employee engagement. I also host site tours for current and prospective clients visiting the center and oversee site-wide activities related to charitable events, safety, new-hire onboarding, and so on.

What are the key challenges of your role? How have you overcome them?

The biggest challenge in my role is the degree of staff turnover from year to year, as a large percentage of the staff are hired for seasonal positions to handle the influx of calls during enrollment periods. This requires constant retraining year over year to ensure we deliver a quality experience. We do our best to overcome this by maintaining simplified processes and having a focus on career development. The goal is to help these seasonal colleagues develop quickly enough to progress to other roles in the organization prior to their seasonal position ending.

What training and development opportunities have you received in your role?

I have had many opportunities to drive my own professional development at Willis Towers Watson. I’ve been responsible for creating the performance management system used for all operations roles within our Individual Marketplace for retiree benefits. This tool is used by operations supervisors and managers to track the daily, weekly and monthly performance objectives of colleagues. In the last two years, I also was the project lead for implementing semiannual performance reviews of seasonal colleagues not evaluated in our company-wide system. This gives all colleagues an opportunity to receive real-time feedback and coaching in addition to semiannual reviews, which include a broader summary of completed work and adherence to Willis Towers Watson values.

What is your proudest achievement since joining Willis Towers Watson?

I’ve been most proud of my role in helping to launch our new customer service facility in Tempe, Arizona. I was involved with building layout decisions, initial recruiting efforts, off-site training accommodations and establishing the culture of a completely new workforce. The Tempe site was also the first of its kind, having multiple lines of business within the same building. This required a lot of integration work, which is still ongoing. The site has now been operational for three years, with over 500 employees including seasonal colleagues.
Additionally, I was recently one of 100 employees who received a CEO Circle award. To qualify, I had to be nominated by at least two colleagues. Reviewers judge the recommendations based on how well the nominee lives the Willis Towers Watson values of client focus, teamwork, integrity, respect and excellence. Contributions are also evaluated based on value brought to the company upon project completions. Being recognized for the hard work you put into your daily work is humbling and motivating.

How would you describe the culture at Willis Towers Watson?

There is a client-first culture here where people at all levels are focused on constantly improving how we can better serve our clients. This includes the new agents who come on board to speak daily to retirees enrolled in our Individual Marketplace — to ease their burdens and concerns, and let them know we are the place they can turn to for help.

What do you like best about working at Willis Towers Watson?

I really enjoy meeting with prospective clients and talking to them about the experience we can provide for retirees transitioning from group to individual coverage through our Individual Marketplace. There is an emphasis on client choice; we make more options available for participants so they can find something that best matches their individual needs. There’s no bias in helping people enroll in plans, the focus truly is on finding the best fit for each person.

Was there anything that surprised you about your role or the company?

I am proud of the company’s focus on the client/retiree experience over revenue. There is a large emphasis on doing what’s right for the client and trusting that this focus will have a positive impact on revenue and growth in the long run.

What is your hope for your career in the future?

I would love to be more involved in strategy and sales. I feel like my knowledge base of the segment can be useful to help innovate and move the company forward, expanding into new markets and increasing our product offerings.

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone considering employment with Willis Towers Watson?

This is a company where you can advance. Focus on learning your role quickly so you can progress and move into other positions within the company. Take what you learn from one role and learn how to make the next role even more impactful. The more impact you can have on the clients we serve, the more value and fulfilment you’ll be able to derive from your role.

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