Bring a Family-First Mentality to the Workplace

with Evan Falchuk, CEO, Family First

listen to apple podcastslisten to spotify podcastslisten on amazon podcastslisten on google podcastsWatch on YouTube

Evan Falchuk is the chairman and CEO of Family First, a company focused on creating innovative solutions to support families in solving the complex issues involved with caregiving. Prior to Family First, Evan served as President of Best Doctors for 14 years, focusing heavily on the problems surrounding misdiagnosis. Under his leadership, Best Doctors grew from a few million dollars in revenue to more than $200 million, helping over 30 million people around the world.

Evan is also a former practicing attorney, graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and a former candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in the 2014 elections. 

  • Evan's numerous career transitions
  • Evan's unique experience with Best Doctors
  • The mission behind FamilyFirst, a new employee benefit for caregivers
  • How FamilyFirst helps caregivers
  • Helping the sandwich generation
  • How can HR leaders bring in FamilyFirst
  • The powerful combination of coaching & caregiving benefits
  • 3 key responsibilities of a CEO
  • How can mid-level managers address caregiving issues
  • Digital components of FamilyFirst & differentiators from EAPs
  • Future plans for globalization

[Tom Finn] 00:00:02 Hello, and welcome to the talent empowerment podcast, where we lift up people leaders so they can lift up their organizations. I'm your host, Tom Finn, co-founder and CEO of LeggUPtogether. We'll learn how to drive people innovation, how to transform HR into people ops, and how to secure buy-in to disrupt the status quo. And as I like to say, it's finally time to stop smoking on airplanes and update your people strategy. Let's transform your organization and move from a culture of talent management to talent empowerment. This week's episode of the talent empowerment podcast is brought to you by LeggUP’s  Talent Insurance, an inclusive people development platform designed to help HR leaders empower their people through one-on-one professional coaching with results like a 66% improvement in avoiding burnout, a 54% jump in leadership skills and a 73% increase in job satisfaction. LeggUP guarantees improved employee wellbeing, productivity, and retention. In fact, they ensure it, your people stay or they pay! Visit LeggUP, that's L E G G to learn more. And without further ado, this is talent empowerment. 

Welcome to the Talent Empowerment podcast, where we lift up people leaders. So you can lift up your organizations. I am your host, Tom Finn, and we have a forward-thinking and recovering attorney, current healthcare leader, Evan Falchuk with us today. Evan, welcome to the show. 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:01:35 Glad to be with you, Tom. 

[Tom Finn] 00:01:36 Well, we are thrilled to have Evan on the show. If you don't know him by way of introduction, he is the chairman and CEO of Family First,  a company focused on creating innovative solutions to support families in solving real complex issues involved with caregiving. Now, prior to family, first, Evan served as the president of best doctors. He did that for 14 years and focused heavily on the problem surrounding misdiagnosis under his leadership. Best doctors grew from a million dollars in revenue to more than $200 million in revenue helping over 30 million people around the world. Evan is also a former practicing attorney graduating from the great university of Pennsylvania law school. And he was a former candidate for governor of Massachusetts back in 2014, a whole host of things he has done. So I've gotta ask right outta the gate, Evan, what drove you to move from an active attorney into healthcare and helping others? What was the impetus for that?

[Evan Falchuk] 00:02:36 Yeah, it's, you know, I've always been someone who's driven by a cause or a mission and, if I distilled it down, I would say it is it's really helping people through really difficult situations. Um, and I certainly did that kind of work as an attorney. Um, I, I really feel also that I'm someone who likes to build things and building a business is, is a really, just a remarkable opportunity to, to create. And, and especially if you can do it in, in the context of helping people through these situations. And so I was blessed that my father, who was a doctor had started this little company called best doctors. And, uh, I joined it when it was in its early days of trying to figure out how to help people with making sure they had the right diagnosis and treatment. And as you mentioned, we grew that to be a really substantial company, uh, that was, um, uh, able to help just thousands and thousands of people all around the world, make sure they were getting the right care and the right diagnosis. 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:03:34 Um, and so for me, that's been part of my life's work is, is doing those things. And, and now as the CEO of Family First, we're helping people with caregiving challenges, figure out how do you, what do you do now that you're taking care of your, your mom or your dad or your spouse or, or your kid, or even yourself, um, that, where do you start? How do you deal with all the clinical and family dynamics and practical issues that come up? And, and I, I just find that to be incredibly rewarding to do that kinda work. 

[Tom Finn] 00:04:02 Yeah. That's, that's wonderful. So let's go back to Best Doctors just for a second. Um, yeah, because it's, it's just so interesting you, so you're part of this organization and for those that maybe didn't get to experience you in that leadership role. Tell us a little bit about what Best Doctors did. I was on the health insurance side, so I know a little bit about it, but I want, uh, everybody to hear from you. What, what was the, um, you know, sort of the groundbreaking work that you were doing in that organization?

[Evan Falchuk] 00:04:28 Yeah. People when they're facing an illness, especially a serious illness, take something like cancer have so many questions as to what to do. Am I getting the right care? Who's the right person for me to go to. And when you boil it down, you find out that 25% or more of people have an incorrect diagnosis. Um, so it could be something really serious. Like this thing that you think is cancer isn't, or it could be something more, um, nuanced, like this kind of cancer is actually a different kind of cancer and using experts, which is what we did at best doctors to get to the bottom of that and solve that problem and do it as an employee benefit. So it's free to people was remarkable. Um, so, you know, a simple example, real case we had was a woman who had been diagnosed with lung cancer and was getting all kinds of treatments that weren't working. 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:05:16 And her, uh, requests from us when she called was who's the best doctor to treat my lung cancer. I don't know where to go or what to do. Well, we collect all the medical information and including the pathology, cuz you need to really make sure the pathology's right. And we found out that what they thought was lung cancer was actually thyroid cancer that is spread to her lungs. And the reason why she wasn't getting better with the treatments for the lung cancers, cuz she didn't have lung cancer. Now there was, a tumor there, but it wasn't, wasn't a, a, a lung cancer. So she was able to be treated with the proper treatment for thyroid cancer and had a really good outcome. Um, those kinds of stories are just they're everywhere. Uh, I think any of us, especially as, as we get older, you know, you know, people in your life that have faced these kinds of challenges. 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:06:03 And to know that if you had access to Best Doctors, that you had someone there for you who understood the exact type of problem you were dealing with, knew how to get to the bottom of it, and knew how to make sure that the right thing was done for you. So it was, it was truly, you know, we, every meeting we had in the company, we told stories at the beginning of it, just of some case we had worked on that week. Um, I have to say family first, I have a whole team of former best people working with me and we do the exact same thing. Um, and then there's nothing more motivating than knowing that whatever it is you're doing, it doesn't matter if you've got a, you know, administrative job that doesn't touch any of the people that we're working with or if you're actually in the trenches with those folks, or if you're someone like me, who's, who's the CEO to know that whatever you're doing is helping solve that problem for somebody to help them in their time of need is, is just, it's special. It's really special. 

[Tom Finn] 00:06:54 Yeah. And that's really where your mission comes in. You're a mission-driven person. Um, and, and you've done a lot of this good work with Best Doctors, which led you to family first. And there's, there's a lot of depth here, uh, in what you're doing with family first, can you just help set the baseline for everybody out there? That's a people leader that's working with teams across the country and across the world, like how is family first, um, integrating with companies and, uh, and how are you making this, uh, affordable for, for everybody?

[Evan Falchuk] 00:07:26 Yeah. I mean caregiving, which is what we deal with is it's a massive, massive problem. I mean, I think it's a multi-trillion dollar problem around the world. Companies and employers are really struggling with this because their employees are struggling with it, especially coming out of COVID and people wanting to maybe not return to the office because of their caregiving responsibilities. Now what's interesting is that a lot of people don't identify as caregivers. You know, they, they say I'm just, I'm a good son or daughter or, or parent or spouse, um, that does activities to help somebody, but it's, uh, it's a major set of issues. And so what we do as an employee benefit, so it's free to employees to use is have experts who will help you figure out what to do when you're facing a caregiving challenge. And it could be something straightforward. Like, geez, I don't know that my mom should be driving anymore. 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:08:19 And I don't know how to have that conversation. Well, we can help you with that. Or it could be something more complicated. Like, you know, I've got a multi-generational set of issues. We had, a case recently of a woman who said she needed help with taking care of herself. Kids needed some backup care for the kids. But as we dug deeper and peeled back the layers of the onion, we learned that she was the primary caregiver for her dad who had a complicated diagnosis. And her husband had a substance use disorder that she was trying to figure out how to work with. And she was holding down a full-time job. So she had this very complicated situation. But what we do is come up with, a plan and help you figure out how to implement it, you know, in, in a case like that, one, what resources can we pull on to help you solve this complicated caregiving challenge that you're facing? 

[Tom Finn] 00:09:05 Yeah. And that comes at no cost to the employee because it's sponsored, uh, at the employee or level. And that goes through the HR leadership team, the CFO teams, how does that, uh, find its way into an organization? Yeah. [Evan Falchuk] 00:09:18 Be, you know, the benefits folks, especially the large employers. Um, but it's certainly true as you go down to the smaller-sized ones. You know, they have lots of very interesting sophisticated strategies of how to help employees, and caregiving has become one of the top priorities. I mean, mental health has been for years, um, you know, caregiving, which is almost a different flavor of health people with mental health challenges has become a really high priority. And so what we're seeing is companies go and, um, promote this very heavily to their employees. And what we end up seeing in turn is a lot of people using it. And that is a reflection of the need. And, and also the opportunity these companies have to help their employees with these, with these real challenges. 

[Tom Finn] 00:09:58 Yeah. Are we still allowed to call it the sandwich generation where your, your caregiving for your parents and your, caregiving for your kids, and you're sort of stuck in the middle? Is that, I don't know if that's PC or not anymore.

[Evan Falchuk] 00:10:09 No, I, I think it is sandwiches are non-controversial, uh, as a, as a food item. Um, no, I, I think that that's absolutely true and, and we're seeing more and more of these people are living longer. I think what we're seeing is, is so many people say, I don't wanna go into an assisted living or nursing home, for example, I wanna, you know, what they say, age in place. I wanna live in my home as long as possible. Well, that takes, you know, work and resources. And we have a, we have a problem I, as a country, really because we don't have the funding mechanisms in place to pay for these needs. Um, there aren't enough caretakers available. So you think of home care workers or other caregivers, it's just not enough of them available. So the burden ends up falling on the family to take care of their loved ones. Now look, it's, it is a rewarding thing to take care of somebody. It is. Um, but it is incredibly stressful. It is incredibly difficult. It could be very heartbreaking. And it's a, it's a burden that so many millions of, of Americans are facing, um, of, of all age groups. And again, not just taking care of a parent, it could be a sick spouse, it could be a child who's got a, you know, neurodiversity and, you know, which is incredibly prevalent or has an illness. Um, all those things count as caregiving. 

[Tom Finn] 00:11:23 Yeah. What about parenting? Does parenting count as caregiving or is that just being a good mom or, or being a good dad? 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:11:30 It's care. It's, it's caregiving for sure. I mean, you know, again, we, it's also being a good mom or dad, um, but you know, there's, there's a lot to it. And, um, companies are looking at different ways to help people with parenting. Now, you, you see a lot of companies doing things to help people form families, for example. But once that child has been born now, you're, you're a caregiver for that child. And there's a lot that goes with that. So I, I see it as a, as a tremendous opportunity for companies to help employees, you know, through the whole spectrum of what caregiving means, um, you know, sandwiched or not, the parent or not, you know, married or not, there's, there's some aspect of caregiving that, that goes through your life. 

[Tom Finn] 00:12:11 Yeah. AB absolutely. And do you see that, uh, people are, are genuinely grateful? Is there a feedback loop that you all get to hear from these employees at some point that you've done great work and you get to hear it straight from the employees? 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:12:25 It's, it's crucial to everything we do is, or are those testimonials, as I mentioned internally, we are always telling each other the stories, it motivates us. It's part of what we do as a cause. Um, when we market what we do we try to tell these stories. If people are kind enough to share them with us publicly if you go to the website, um, you can see a couple of our testimonial videos that we've put up recently that are, they're just remarkable kinds of, of stories. And yeah, it's a tremendous gift to hear someone say that you changed my life. You know, you helped me, you know, too, to our care experts. The feedback we see is extraordinary. Um, but it's, it's what we do. You know, we, we do it for whether the person is gonna say afterward, this was in most, you know, life changing experience. And we absolutely get those kinds of feedback. Just knowing that we did it independent of what the person says is, is the reward for us. Um, now I see for companies as they're working to engage their employees, that they love to share those stories and word of mouth is one of the great ways that we get, uh, case referrals from people saying, you know, they helped me. You should, you should reach out to them as well. And, and it's a, it's a big, um, you know, way that we get new people to call us. 

[Tom Finn] 00:13:38 Yeah, that's fabulous. So what do you say to the HR person, uh, at an enterprise organization that says, you know what, I've got so many programs, Evan I've got programs for everything you can think of person a P E P M basis per employee per month. Uh, for those that don't know, I've got SAS programs, we've got medical rates that are increasing year over year, um, in excess of, uh, inflation and interest in the consumer price index, et cetera. Uh, where am I gonna find the budget for this? 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:14:09 Yeah, I mean, look that, that you just described is, is almost every person in benefits that I speak to across the country. And it's certainly true if you talk to benefits consultants as well, where they say, look, I've, there are dozens of point solutions now, dozens of them, and everybody wants a P E M and, um, they all sound good, most are good. And it's just a question of how do you prioritize? Well, we're seeing in the market from a, a, a budget perspective and from a priority perspective is that employers are very much focused on how do I attract and retain talent in, in the current marketplace. It's very competitive out there. Salaries are, you know, going up through the roof. Employees are really in the driver's seat right now in terms of, you know, commanding what they want. And we're seeing a tremendous focus on programs that may not be based on a hard ROI on your medical loss experience, um, but are more tied to how am I gonna make this employee recognize that I value them? 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:15:05 And so when we see things like, I mean, the hot things that are out there caregiving is absolutely one of them. Uh, so are, um, these family forming benefits, you know, we work with a company called, uh, kind body, which does a really excellent, uh, fertility and, and family, you know, formation type benefit. And, um, that's what companies are looking for. So if you want to attract and retain talent, these kinds of benefits, caregiving, and, and other related things are, or where people are focused. And, and that's where I budget my, uh, benefits dollars, uh, you know, if it were me, but of course I, I will say I would say that, but it is what we're seeing in the market. 

[Tom Finn] 00:15:42 Yeah. I'll add a couple of them because I'm in the space as well. And, and, uh, family formation is absolutely one of 'em caregiving is one of 'em, you know, we've seen, um, financial awareness or financial responsibility programs, um, that has been in the market. They tend to lean more towards digital apps with less human interaction, but there's 40 or 50 of them out there, uh, that those organizations can buy. And then, and then, of course, there's professional development and coaching, which, um, you know, as we look across bodies of, uh, and teams of people within organizations, people need development, uh, and they need coaching and they need support in their own careers. And then they need that caregiving help as well, uh, when they step away from the job site. 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:16:27 Yeah. No, and I, I think that your point about coaching is, is really well taken and, and it's exactly in line with what, what I'm describing, that if you're gonna help that employee develop their career and advance themselves, not just through the work that they're doing, but almost at a meta-level and say, how do, how do you improve yourself so that you can be more valuable? I, I just feel like organizations that do that well, ha are, are really special. You know, we, we did at best doctors, we worked a lot with, uh, different kind of coaching, uh, techniques for, for different people in the organization. And what did it mean? It meant that people were higher performing than they might otherwise have been. You know, they're, uh, they're maximizing their potential, which makes people feel happy and connected with the organization. Maybe they leave because they find they can be successful elsewhere because now they recognize what they're capable of doing. That's on you as a company, if you lose that person. Um, because you know, but it's a good thing if you see someone blossom and, and become this. And, and I, I find it to be something hugely valuable for what I do, uh, in building my teams at, at family first and what we did at best doctors and my other endeavors. And, and so I, I hugely support that. 

[Tom Finn] 00:17:32 Yeah. I think it was Richard Branson who said something to the effect of, uh, you know, well, what are we gonna do if we, uh, develop our people and they leave? And his comment was my goodness, uh, what, what are we gonna do if we don't develop them and they stay right, right. and so you've gotta, gotta sort of balance that, um, that conversation to, uh, to take the time, to develop people, whether it's, uh, you know, professional development coaching, or then supporting them with other products and services that uplift their life like fertility, um, options for, for families that make such a big difference, um, for, for families and for communities and, uh, such a big deal. So I'm, I'm thrilled that, that you're in the space. And, and it sounds like caregiving is really important to you personally. Um, what are some of the challenges that you face as a leader, uh, in this organization, um, that makes your weeks a little more, uh, difficult? 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:18:27 Yeah, I look, I think a lot about this kind of thing, because I think as a, as an entrepreneur, as an executive, as a leader, building an organization, uh, of course, there are challenges and problems that come with it. Um, I'm always grateful to have the problems that I have. I, I feel like I'm doing something that is, has meaning and purpose to it. Um, I, I, for years, I've been involved in a, a CEO group, for example, and, and it's a really rewarding thing where you meet with a group of CEOs, you know, 10 or 12 of them every month or month and a half, and you help each other with your personal and real business problems. And I always leave those meetings happy that I have the problems that I have and not the problems that the other people in my group have. 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:19:08 And I know it's true for everybody else too. And so gratitude is, is the number one thing that I, that I focus on with us also, I think as a CEO, you really have three jobs. You have the job, of holding and articulating the vision of what the company is about and where it's trying to go, and what its purpose is. And when, when we tell stories at the beginning of each meeting, that's a piece of that mission for me. Um, the second part is just making sure you've got a great team of people that are working well together. And people are everything in an organization and, and finding people and empowering them and helping them achieve their potential and, and their, uh, satisfaction and in their work and, and feel meaning and purpose in what they do is, is a huge part of my job. 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:19:50 And then, of course, making sure that that team has all the resources they need to win is, is the third part of this. And so that's where I spend my time. And so of course I have, you know, challenges that come up in each one of those areas, but as long as I can come back to those touch points and say, how am I doing against these, these priorities life could be a lot simpler. Um, but you know, it's, it's not easy, you know, if it was easy, everybody would do it. And, uh, but I'm just, I'm grateful to have the chance, you know, that's, that's, that's how I get up every morning. 

[Tom Finn] 00:20:22 Yeah. I love that. So, uh, for those of you taking notes, uh, that was vision team and resources. Uh, those are the three sort of points on the triangle that, that Evan was making in terms of casting the right leadership shadow and, uh, being able to engage with the organization the right way. So I, I, I wanna pose this question to you as, um, a bit of a challenger question. Um, but I'm just thinking through this, if I'm, if I'm a mid-level manager and I'm in a large organization, and I know let's just assume I've got 10 or 12 direct reports, and I know that there are a couple of folks on the team that is struggling with caregiving, cuz I'm a good manager, I'm listening, I've got my one on ones going, I'm asking good questions. I'm blending between personal and professional to make sure that that individual knows that I actually do care about them. Um, and I find out that there are some caregiving needs. What, what's the appropriate response? How do you, how do you support somebody and, and maybe they don't have, um, family first as a part of their employee benefits package yet. But what do I do as a mid-level manager to support really meaningful support for that employee? 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:21:33 You know, people that have seen that do this really well, um, allow for the space for folks that are struggling with whether it's caregiving or anything else to be seen and recognized and understood for what they're, what they're dealing with. And that means that if you know that the problem exists, you make it possible for that person to accommodate their needs at home, with what they're doing at work. Um, you know, a good friend of mine is, is a, is a great proponent of saying, there's no such thing as work-life balance. All you have is your life. And it's a really important point. Um, so if, if you're gonna be a company that says, look, leave your problems at home and then come in here and do your work. That's gonna be one kind of culture. If the culture you create is one which says, listen, you know, your, your home life and your work life are all part of the wonderful, you know, a kaleidoscope of what your life is. 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:22:26 Um, we need to help you feel seen and heard and understood. And that means helping them, you know, have the space to, to take care of these responsibilities. Now it's, it's helpful if you go to your HR benefits folks and say, we need to do something about this, and that could be something simple. Like we need to have caregiving leave. Um, we need to have support groups available. Um, we need to give people, you know, a time during the day to deal with these issues, whether they're taking leave or not, we need to have people at modified work schedules so they can work at home and take care of their responsibilities while doing this. I think one of the things we've seen in the pandemic is people can work anytime, any place. And so maybe you, you, you do those types of things. Um, so, you know, I, I, there's a lot that a good leader can do. I mean, and, and I think, uh, I think again, it starts with giving people that space and recognizing that there is no work life, there's just life and, and, you know, act accordingly. 

[Tom Finn] 00:23:17 Yeah. I, uh, always refer to it as work, life integration, um, because there really is no separation and, and you hit the nail on the head. I mean, we're, we're all working from home, working in the office, moving around, we've got all got digital tools, um, that allow us to be independently successful wherever we are. Um, and then it just really just comes down to the work ethic and being able to, um, put all the pieces together for your family and for your organization. Um, so that you can do that in an effective way. 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:23:48 Yeah, totally. That's well said. 

[Tom Finn] 00:23:50 Um, I, I, uh, I love this topic cuz I think we all, I mean, we all deal with it, right? It doesn't matter. Uh, you know, you're on the east coast, I'm on the west coast. It really doesn't matter where we are in the world. We're all dealing with these issues simultaneously, you know, as we, as we get older and we care for others, as you said, and we care for those that, that we work with, um, it just takes, uh, a little bit of a kind and conscientious moment, uh, to really engage with other people. And I think that's where we see this, this message of empowerment really resonating is, is really trying to understand others and, and be thoughtful about it, which is, um, sort of the core of, of what you're doing and what your team is doing across the country. 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:24:31 Yeah. Yeah. And, and the other thing is that it, isn't just about being kind and conscientious. Although I think everybody ought to be that way, if you're a hardnosed business person and you're saying, um, in a competitive market for talent, I wanna make people be as successful as they can possibly be because my job is to make sure my team has the resources they need to be successful. Then, you know, among the resources they need to give them is help with these kinds of caregiving challenges. And, um, and it's just black and white, you know, you, you either do this and it leads to better business results or you don't, and you struggle with the, you know, the opposite. And so it's, um, you know, it's like when we did this at best doctors, you know, Hey, getting people the right diagnosis saves money and, you know, helping the woman that I mentioned to you with the thyroid cancer, make sure she got properly treated for it, saved money for whoever was paying for that, but that's not why you do it. But if, if, if the reason that you do it is because you wanna save money. Great, wonderful. You know, but, but you know, know that it also happens to have this wonderful side effect of building a, a great culture and doing good things for people. 

[Tom Finn] 00:25:36 Yeah. Uh, well said, and, and since we're talking about money and budgets, you know, how do we move this discussion forward with our partners in HR, right. Our CHROs, our, our HR business partners, you know, our friends in that space, um, how do we, how do we help them make the, make the case internally to move a product like this forward versus perhaps something else that's been sitting on the shelf like EAPs for a long time? 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:26:07 Yeah. I mean, if you talk to benefits consultants, for example, who are working with a lot of these large employers and, you know, everyone has that list of things on the shelf and, you know, maybe they're looking at five priorities for 20, 23 or five more for 20, 24 and there are seven vendors for each one of these. And so that means there are 70 different things to look at. And, you know, that's, that's hard and you know, what I, what I've found to be interesting in going to conferences again and, and listening to what the benefits consultants and a lot of the thought leaders and the trade publications, like, you know, employee benefits news, these other places is that issues like the ones we've been talking about, you know, kind of this, uh, I'll call it caregiving, but just everything in that spectrum of need that we've discussed, um, are, are top priorities for folks and employees are, are looking for those things and it resonates with them. 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:26:56 Uh, and so for me, as, as a, as a benefits executive, and if I was, you know, talking to benefits executives inside of any of them, the clients that we talked to, it's recognizing that that's what the market is looking for. You know, the employees need this and, um, there's an opportunity to provide it. And if you're gonna prioritize something, have it be something the employees are gonna say, wow, thank you. That you did this, not something that maybe is less interesting, uh, for the employees. And, and that, that, that to me is, is really what it's about. 

[Tom Finn] 00:27:24 Yeah. AB absolutely. And I, I think what you've done is you've simplified this process a little bit for everybody in walking through that this doesn't have to be difficult. And one of the things that, that I've learned, um, from you, uh, in a couple of times we've talked is, um, you talk a lot about simple language and you, you actually use very simple language when you're explaining what, what is a very complex business. Um, how does that translate to the employee to make this feel like it's accessible to them? 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:27:57 Yeah, it's, it's really important to, to tell people, are you struggling with taking care of your parents, call family first will help you, um, to try to use messaging that speaks to the types of things that people are dealing with. I think when, when you think about marketing anything, and it's certainly true with employee benefits as soon as you start making it complicated or making people think, oh, wait a minute, does my problem fit into the type of thing that these folks will help me with then you're, you're just, you're gonna, you lose people's attention. You need to make that emotional connection, with whoever it is. So that's one of the reasons we love using testimonials or, you know, quotes from people about what we did. Um, or again, just like I said, struggling with your dad's medications, having a hard time with, you know, taking care of your kids, things that are just real problems that people face on a daily basis, and it can be engaging to where someone says, huh. 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:28:51 You know, I never really thought of myself as a caregiver, but that does describe me in, in terms of the, the issue that it's there. Let me just read more about this and maybe, you know, you know, I'll poke around, we have a very cool content library with all these articles. That's like a WebMD for caregivers. Maybe I'll read something and maybe that'll jog me to say, you know what, maybe I want to talk to one of these experts in family first and, and see if they can help. It's all just, it's marketing. And, and so much of good marketing is, is making that emotional connection with it, with another human being. And you can't do that with complicated words. You know, you have to make people feel it, and it only comes from cuz you feel it. And, and you're able to share that and connect with, with others. 

[Tom Finn] 00:29:32 Yeah. You are absolutely in the people business, uh, at family first and you, you are in the people business, uh, at best doctors, uh, as well. What's the one thing you've learned about being in the people business for all these years and share, share some words of wisdom for the listeners out there that are managing teams, whether they're in HR or not, but they're running teams and organizations. What have you learned about people along the way? 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:29:56 Well, I mean, look, what, what I've learned about being in the people business is that I think there's always the hope and the belief that there's some person that you can call when you're in trouble. Um, you know, we like to watch superhero movies like, oh, Superman's gonna come and he's gonna pull the bus off the bridge and oh, everyone's gonna be saved. But in general, that's not real life. And the opportunity to build business services, to just do things that provide that to someone and say, oh, you're in trouble. Call us. We are we're, we, we can't, we're sitting here waiting to help you. We want to help you. It gives us, uh, a tremendous amount of joy to help you. And I know it's hard where you're going through, but we understand it and we've been there and we know how to help you through this. 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:30:43 As hard as it might be. Even if you maybe don't like the answer, we can help it not be as, as bad as it might otherwise be. That to me is the most important thing. And, and when I think about people, I wanna be around people that feel the same way, you know, uh, I, you know, I, I don't have the ability to do the things that our care experts, you know, they're nurses and social workers and doctors can do to actually help someone in, in these situations. But I can tell them, Hey, I, I got people that I know who are ready to help you. And that's, that's what it means, you know, to me to work with people and to be in the people business. 

[Tom Finn] 00:31:16 Yeah. Be beautifully said. I, I think all of that sort of shows the empathetic approach that you take to your leadership style and, and how you approach the business, uh, internally, uh, and externally. Um, and so, you know, as you've been building, um, this organization over the past few years, um, have you built out all of the capabilities from a digital perspective, um, digital tools, assessments, I mean, does it work like EAP? I, is it more advanced than that? Help us understand the digital components of, uh, yeah. And the hard facts of what you built out? 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:31:49 Well, it's, it's different from EAP. And in fact, in, in many cases we actually partner with EAPs where EAP will say, oh, you've got a caregiving challenge, you know, talk to Family First and then vice versa. If we say, hey, you need some, some counseling, good news. You've got an EAP that has got some, you know, hours available to you. Um, from a digital perspective, we have a lot and, you know, things like a member app or, or kind of table stakes these days for folks to have the ability to, to engage digitally, um, self-assessment tools, all the content I talked about, but we do some really cool stuff, a little bit behind the scenes where what we do is we have a, what we call the caregiver, uh, risk index, which allows us to pull in lots of data that we collect in the course of talking to the member, to the employee, um, that helps us to figure out how, how it risks that person as being burned out. 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:32:42 And, and then we measure that as we go through the case, burnout is, is a, is a, is a characteristic problem of care for caregivers. Cause the chronic stress can really eat at you and then you're burned out and then it's really hard to work. Um, if you ask someone, Hey, on a scale of one to a hundred, how burned out do you think you are? You know, most caregivers will say, I don't know, 50. And then when we go through a conversation with them and look at what they're describing to us, we, we might find out that they're at like an 85. Um, and, and we, we're not gonna say to them, Hey, by the way, you're really in bad shape, but it does help us make sure we're paying real close attention to that person's needs. And then hopefully we can get them, you know, down to a place where things are more manageable. Um, but we use a lot of tech to do that and, and some AI and, and some other tools that help us do our job better. And it's, it's an area that we're investing in pretty heavily, um, to bring these kinds of tools to the market. I think there's a lot that could be done on a self-service basis. Um, you know, that's, that's an area of, of great, um, you know, focus for us, but all driven by the same mission and the same purpose. 

[Tom Finn] 00:33:45 Yeah. Be beautifully said. And so when we think about this, we think about, uh, the leadership being vision, um, team and ultimately, uh, resources. And we can, we can think about that in, in our own business. And, uh, I think what I heard today was, um, leading with empathy, but also making sure that we have the right tools in place to operationalize support for a workforce that desperately needs it. Uh, and as, as we all shift in generations and, and get older, uh, it's still okay. My friends call it the sandwich generation. Uh, I learned that from Evan today. Uh, yes. And I hope you did too. We're not gonna get in trouble for that one. 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:34:25 I hope no. Which,

 [Tom Finn] 00:34:26 Which will be good. So, so Evan, you, you've done some great work with Best Doctors. You're, you're building, um, this extraordinary business, um, with family first. And, and thank you so much for the work that you do because you're, you're leading with your heart, but your using that operational and business mind to really make it successful and make it available and affordable, uh, for everybody, uh, here stateside any plans in the future for the globalization of a product like this, or is this really a domestic-based, um, product? 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:34:56 No, it, you know, um, so yes, we have more than just plans. We're in the process of globalizing this in a number of different countries. One of the really cool things in, in building, uh, best offers, we have this great team of former best authors folks is that there are leaders in Europe, in, in places like Australia, Japan, Canada, Latin America, um, who are eager to bring this service to those markets. And over the next, you know, 12 to 18 months, you're gonna see that happen, uh, from a family first perspective. This is not a uniquely American problem. Uh, this is something that's affecting people all around the world, and, and we wanna, we wanna help as many people as we possibly can. 

[Tom Finn] 00:35:35 Yeah. What, uh, wonderful. And for those, those that are listening to that want to get in touch with you and wanna spend some time getting to know you, how could they, uh, reach out and, and get ahold of you 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:35:45 Best way. First of all, go to the family first website, which is Um, you can see a lot of information there, and if you wanna hit me up on LinkedIn, I'm there. And, uh, just mention that you, you saw me on the talent empowerment podcast and I'll accept your invitation, but no, I'd love to connect with people that way. And, and, uh, and, and appreciate that. 

[Tom Finn] 00:36:06 And certainly, if you're in a leadership position at an organization in HR, or you're running a team or division, and you're thinking about caregiving, uh, it sounds like Evan's open to have the conversation and, and point you in the right direction within his, uh, company and get you, get you to the right person as well. 

[Evan Falchuk] 00:36:22 Yeah. We've got a great team, um, on the, on the sales, on the client success, and we're just, we're eager to partner with great companies and like, like your listeners. So we're, we're glad to look forward talking to some of 

[Tom Finn] 00:36:33 You. Awesome. Well, Evan, thank you for joining today, and thank you all for joining the talent empowerment podcast. I hope this conversation lifted you up so you can lift up your teams and your organization. We'll see you on the next episode. And until then let's get back to people and culture together. Speaker 3 00:36:59 I hope you enjoyed this episode of talent empowerment for more information on our show. And today's guests head to the show notes or visit talent, And as always, don't forget to subscribe wherever you're listening. So you never miss an opportunity to empower yourself and your people. And if you enjoyed today's episode, please leave us a five-star review. It really helps the show grow and a final thank you to our sponsor LeggUP and their people development program, and talent insurance, to learn more about how they guarantee retention employee well-being, and employee performance through one-on-one professional coaching, visit leg that's L E G G

Featured Episodes


How to be a "Great Place To Work"

Michael Bush, CEO, Great Place To Work

Listen Now
Talent Development and HR

Using Mission, Vision & Values for Everything

with Bamboo's Director of HR, Cassie Whitlock

Listen Now