The Benefits Playbook

Designing Braggable and Unique Benefits Programs with Emily Munroe, Global Head of Benefits & Wellness at Live Nation

Episode Summary

This episode features an interview with Emily Munroe, Global Head of Benefits and Wellness at Live Nation. Emily began her career in banking and finance before making a career change to HR. She began in HR serving growth-and-expansion stage biotech and pharmaceutical companies in Compensation and Benefits. She has also worked in global Benefits roles for a consulting firm, tech and retail, and now entertainment. In this episode, Sasha and Emily discuss must-have benefits, how to get buy-in from leaders, and creating braggable programs.

Episode Notes

This episode features an interview with Emily Munroe, Global Head of Benefits and Wellness at Live Nation. Emily began her career in banking and finance before making a career change to HR. She began in HR serving growth-and-expansion stage biotech and pharmaceutical companies in Compensation and Benefits. She has also worked in global Benefits roles for a consulting firm, tech and retail, and now entertainment.

In this episode, Sasha and Emily discuss must-have benefits, how to get buy-in from leaders, and creating braggable programs.


“My tactic has been to start in the ERGs first. Get the voices that I think are impactful in the company, the ones that folks are listening to that aren't necessarily just leaders, but get them on board. Once I have them working with me to increase the awareness of really important impactful programs, I think it comes a little easier.” – Emily Munroe


Episode Timestamps:

*(01:20): Emily’s career journey

*(04:17): What Benefits & Wellness looks like at Live Nation

*(06:24): How Live Nation builds their benefits programs

*(13:19): How benefits leaders can get buy-in from other leaders 

*(16:41): Emily explains Sober Nation

*(25:09): Benefits programs must-haves

*(32:30): Emily’s advice for those new to the industry



Connect with Emily on LinkedIn

Follow Live Nation on LinkedIn

Learn more about Live Nation

Connect with Sasha on LinkedIn

Learn more about Collective Health

Episode Transcription

Sasha Yamaguchi: Let's face it, healthcare is confusing and costs are continuing to rise. Employers are looking for ways to improve the health of their people and their bottom lines. The good news? Many leading companies are leveraging self funded health plans and innovative benefit solutions to do just that. Learn from some of the best minds in employee health.

Sasha Yamaguchi: Welcome to the Benefits Playbook, Strategies for Self-Funded Health Plans. I'm your host, Sasha Yamaguchi. Commercial Leader at Collective Health. Welcome, everyone. On today's episode, we are joined by Emily Munroe, Global Head of Benefits and Wellness at Live Nation. Emily began her career in banking and finance before making a change to HR.

Sasha Yamaguchi: She began in HR serving growth and expansion stage biotech and pharmaceutical companies in compensation and benefits. Emily has also worked in global benefits roles for a consulting firm. Tech and retail and now entertainment. Thank you so much for being with us, Emily. 

Emily Munroe: Yeah, great to be here, Sasha. Always fun chatting with you.

Sasha Yamaguchi: Yes, I've appreciated our conversations over the past year, so I'm excited. For everyone to hear about all the great work you're doing at Live Nation. So what I would love to do is just start a little bit about your personal journey. You've had a couple of changes and transitions in industries. Can you walk us through a little bit of that journey?

Sasha Yamaguchi: And then how did you get where you're at today? 

Emily Munroe: Absolutely. So I have always been interested in behavioral economics. Even when I was in school, I thought it was pretty fun to learn about what makes someone tick, why do they make decisions. And so compensation seemed like a good path for me. But then once I was in comp for a little while, I realized that I don't get to actually interact with employees on a day to day basis.

Emily Munroe: It's pretty much just all Excel. Um, and while I love that, I like talking to people, so I felt a little boxed in. So I was excited to find that you can still have that quantitative fun in benefits as long as you're interested in digging into the data. It's there. So yeah, I would say that. My journey through HR has been led by that.

Emily Munroe: How can I help folks leave whatever they need to leave at home and come to work and be incentivized to, to give their best? Oh, that's great. 

Sasha Yamaguchi: I love that. And because we all have a lot going on in the background at home, right? Exactly. Yeah. So you started out in banking and finance. You talked a little bit, I love the Excel reference from the comp side, but starting out in the banking and finance industry, now transitioning into HR.

Sasha Yamaguchi: Can you share a little bit about what that change was like for you?

Emily Munroe: Sure. Sasha, though I may age myself, I started in banking when I was in college and I thought that lending was going to be the end all be all for me. And then it was the recession. So It wasn't a good experience for me to see some of the businesses that I had helped with small business loans close.

Emily Munroe: And I know that there is that hard part of HR too, right? Of maybe restructuring or reorgs, et cetera. But that's not what gives me energy. So yeah, I was lucky to be in college at the time. So that's why I was able to pivot and think through supporting people, which is definitely my passion, but then also having.

Emily Munroe: It's still some of that finance aspect into my role. 

Sasha Yamaguchi: That's great. I would love to touch on that maybe towards the end, because I know that some of our audience is probably starting out in an industry or a certain role, and I love that you've shared already a little bit about pivoting. So maybe we can touch on that later as well, because I'd love to hear.

Sasha Yamaguchi: Anyone young in their career to hear a little bit more about that. So at Live Nation now, which I think probably every audience member is familiar with Live Nation. It's a great company, great organization. You are heading up the benefits and wellness for the population. Can you share with the audience a little bit about what benefits and wellness is?

Sasha Yamaguchi: And then, of course, we'll get into a little bit more specifics, but overall, what does that look like? 

Emily Munroe: Live Nation is a little unique to other companies that I've worked at, and I think that's what makes it so special. Our benefits philosophy is taking care of our own. And under that umbrella, there's a lot of different pillars, but specifically benefits wellness.

Emily Munroe: If you think about it in a holistic way, it can include so many different things, right? The mental burden of caring for your kids when they're at home and homesick, but you're still working, things like that. All of that, it's hard to consider like why an employer would get into that area, but we consider that part of the holistic experience of bringing your best self to work.

Emily Munroe: So thinking about. that pillar of taking care of your family. We've got a lot of benefits included that are like, how can we support your child care costs? How can we help your dependents with mental health? And then think about another pillar, like your health. That's the standard stuff, right? Your health insurance, your dental, et cetera.

Emily Munroe: But what about if you're thinking about transitioning genders? Like that absolutely impacts how you're going to be. Taking care of yourself at work. So a lot of different pillars under taking care of our own, but I think they all holistically encompass health and wellness in some way.

Sasha Yamaguchi: Well, and I love how you say taking care of our own, but it sounds like that extends to the dependents a lot as well, which I think is so important because you do cover your employees and dependents.

Sasha Yamaguchi: It sounds like you have some benefits and programs for everyone under the plan, which is great. So, we are very lucky here at Collective to partner with Live Nation on your programs and your member experience, and we're thankful for that. I would love to jump in a little more around your programs. So when you and your team come together to build the plan, each year I'm sure you're looking at it.

Sasha Yamaguchi: Can you share a little bit about that process? What are you considering, and how do you then decide what might be best to include in the plan going forward?

Emily Munroe: Thank you. That's a great question. So it's a mixture, right? We look at data as our compass. What can we get from collective health and learn about our population's needs as it changes?

Emily Munroe: But there's that, there's the data aspect, and then there's the follow trends in the industry. So what is, what's in the news? What can we Catch up with our peers. What can we learn about what other companies are doing that's successful? So there's that aspect too. And then there's just the listening tours that we do.

Emily Munroe: So meeting with business partners, what are you hearing from your population? You know, some specific surveys that help us learn about what folks are going through, where they could see more care being beneficial. So I think it's tough to just pinpoint. A couple of areas because there's a lot. I have a large team.

Emily Munroe: We are always listening. So what trends are we finding in the questions that are coming in from employees? What are we hearing from business partners that employees are finding difficult about our plan? A lot of it is education, so maybe we're not making a lot of changes about the plan, but we're sharing more of underutilized aspects of it.

Emily Munroe: But yeah, sometimes we'll hear things like, specifically mental health. It was really difficult for people to find a physician, a psychologist who's accepting patients, or maybe it's just a therapy access. across like where they live that they're not finding anybody who's accepting patients. And that's definitely frustrating for me because the system is not meeting the needs of my employees and their dependents.

Emily Munroe: But that's where I'm like, we need to find a partner and that fills this need. The system is failing folks. So where can my team step in and say, actually, you know, people aren't getting the care that we think they should be able to receive in the system. So let's add in a partner that we can trust to deliver on finding access to therapy, coaching, et cetera.

Emily Munroe: So those are definitely like big changes that we're seeing. you know, misses in the market. But in general, you know, those small ones, I love making tweaks to the plan if I can, if it's going to benefit folks where we just didn't know. I'm not going to say that I'm an expert. It's fabulous having Collective Health as partners because I love meeting with Ari Hoffman about the population that's I'm not a physician, so I can't look at the data and very specifically say, this is where I should focus on this year.

Emily Munroe: But if we look at it, that big picture, take our listening tours, take the data, take Dr. Hoffman's perspective and put that all together for those changes, I think that's where we're winning. 

Sasha Yamaguchi: That's great. I love a couple of things that you shared there. One, listening to the population, and you just made a comment that I think is so important is sometimes you don't know, so you need to find out where there might be a miss or maybe members just don't understand a part of the plan and it's communication.

Sasha Yamaguchi: Not necessarily we need to make a big change in the program. So I think it sounds like it's a couple of things. It's yes, maybe some changes. There's ads that you need to make around access, and then sometimes it's just communication and reiterating certain parts of the program. So I would love for you to speak a little bit more on something you just said, because I do think it's important that, especially behavioral, for example, if members cannot have enough access, that's a problem.

Sasha Yamaguchi: And now we luckily have a lot of great partners out there that have been built and created to help. In that point solution space, can you just share a minute on take behavioral, for example, you put in a partner and how that then allowed more access to the members? 

Emily Munroe: Yeah, exactly. So where we feel that there is an area to add a partner.

Emily Munroe: We will. You know, not always is that something that we'll go to first at Live Nation. Sometimes homegrown built programs fit better because you can deliver exactly what you want, right? But when it comes to providing therapy or coaching or just EAP care, I think that's where you look for the right partner that can deliver it.

Emily Munroe: And in this space specifically, it's sensitive to talk about. So we wanted to find a partner that was going to help break that boundary down for folks and be more approachable so we can get More people to enroll and engage and it goes back to that communication part too. As much as we want to share it and re share it, it was about can we get leadership on board and trickle the message down so that If they see that their leaders trust the resource, they will too.

Emily Munroe: And at Live Nation, of course, we're a global company and we didn't want to have one area benefiting from something so incredible like behavioral health. So we had to find a global partner that could do it all too. So we also needed to find someone for after their You know, initial couple of sessions, if they wanted to continue seeing that practitioner for years to come, how can we integrate it into our health plan?

Emily Munroe: So that was really important to us to find a partner that could do it with Collective Health. So that people can have that sustained relationship if they've built one. I think that was an obvious, important thing for us to add. And I think we did it fairly timely and it was hard coming out of, especially the loneliness during COVID.

Emily Munroe: We've noticed that our population. has been really utilizing our mental health benefits to help bounce back from that. 

Sasha Yamaguchi: That's great. Well, I'm glad to hear they're using it and the fact that you put it in, made it available is important. I think you hit on something that if other employers are listening in that You made a comment about bringing it to leadership, which I know is an important part of adding something to the program.

Sasha Yamaguchi: What is that like? Can you share any advice for any other HR benefit wellness leaders listening that you're really passionate about something that may need to be added and you do have to take that to other leaders within the company to get buy in? I'd be curious any advice you would give there to others that go through that process.

Emily Munroe: For me personally, I've seen programs that I've fought for and invested in fail and it's always frustrating because I think that, why are they failing? I know people want it or even in surveys they've asked for it, but it's that leaders in their area didn't think it was. A fit for them or, you know, especially things that are not applicable.

Emily Munroe: So if it's for women's health, but the leadership is mostly men and it's not being championed, it can be really frustrating for me personally. But then also I feel like people aren't. Getting access to something that I think could be super useful for them. So, my tactic has been to start in the ERGs first.

Emily Munroe: Get the voices that I think are impactful in the company, the ones that folks are listening to that aren't necessarily just leaders, but get them on board. And then once I have them working with me to increase the awareness of really important impactful programs. I think it comes a little easier. So I definitely learned that from trial by fire, but leadership at Live Nation, it's not really the same as I've run into in other companies.

Emily Munroe: It usually starts with them and it moves down to me. So we are really proud of a lot of our programs because A lot of them have come from employees or leaders saying, I've listened to my population and we need something. Find me the right thing, right? They don't know what the right thing is going to be.

Emily Munroe: That's not important. It's just find the right one. And so then it comes to me and my team and we source and make sure that something's going to fit.

Sasha Yamaguchi: That's great that they're coming to you and, and you get to then go find something that benefits their team. So I think that's wonderful. 

Emily Munroe: I would say that most of the roles that I've held, or when I speak to my peers, it's the other way around, right?

Emily Munroe: You're like, please, can we get this? I think this is going to be fabulous. And for me, it's definitely been a switch coming to Live Nation. It's hey, we need this. Find us the right partner. 

Sasha Yamaguchi: And I agree. I'm sure other places are the opposite of that, but maybe that's where somehow we can help those leaders understand why it's important to bring things to their team versus a pushback, right?

Sasha Yamaguchi: And just educating on how it benefits their teams and it would be beneficial for them to push for those programs. Which I think is a whole nother topic for, I'm sure, another podcast. So one thing you and I have talked about when we've seen each other and spent time together that I think is incredible at Live Nation, and I would love to spend a few minutes on sharing with the audience.

Sasha Yamaguchi: You're working on rolling out or you have rolled out a program at Live Nation very specific to your company, your industry, and your population. I would love for you to share a little bit about SoberNation and what you've done and how it's been supporting your members. 

Emily Munroe: I'd love to share. So to be honest, a lot of Sober Nation and what we're doing for recovery support.

Emily Munroe: It doesn't come from HR, right? It comes from the population and the honesty that we've seen. You know, I would say that it's been life altering because it's one of those things probably like mental health and of course everything kind of gets weaved in together, but when somebody comes to you and says, I've been struggling here, this is where I've found light and coming out of something that's been difficult for me, and I want to share it with others in the company.

Emily Munroe: And how can we make it so that nobody has to go through the same difficult process that I did? How can we make it an open conversation and Let's just share with each other and find the strength in that partnership. So Sober Nation is a group that I'm excited to partner with and bring new programs to, and it goes back to what I was saying before, they came in and said, this is what we want, find us the right partners, and if there isn't a right partner, how do we figure it out ourselves?

Emily Munroe: So, one of the things that we've put in place is a clinical solution in the states that's like a telemedicine for folks who can confidentially reach out to the resource and they can provide clinical support with prescriptions or just like counseling and no cost to employees. And I think that's pretty incredible, right?

Emily Munroe: Because if you were to go through your health insurance. You can absolutely find fantastic options, but you're paying deductibles, you're figuring it out. It's just like getting access. to any kind of care. Um, and this, we're removing the burden of that. I want you to have full access. I want it to feel safe.

Emily Munroe: And some folks are on different journeys when it comes to recovery. Maybe they're just sober curious. Maybe they want some support to try to figure out, how do I reduce my consumption? Or I always find myself in the holiday season, just overdoing it. Or specifically for us, like you mentioned, it's our industry.

Emily Munroe: You're trying to keep up with. folks on tour. And there's a lot of celebrities living the life. There's a lot of artists. Yeah. And you know, there's a lot of celebrating. And so having a partner to support you during that and figuring out what's the right amount for you. I don't expect anybody to be able to do that on their own.

Emily Munroe: If you can, that's fabulous. And if you aren't really finding that on your own, here's a partner for you. And then for folks that Maybe are at the point where they need to take a break. We support them with the cost of inpatient, outpatient, and we give folks some time off. So find that balance and then come back and we'll be here when you come back.

Emily Munroe: And I think that's. It's probably unique to our industry, but it's something that we're going to give it a try and see if this is a good solution to folks, but we'll stay agile. We'll pivot. We'll figure out if it's right. We'll make changes to the programs as necessary. 

Sasha Yamaguchi: Well, I think a couple of things.

Sasha Yamaguchi: The program's great. I think you're looking at it from a benefits and claims and data perspective, but it sounds like you built it and started it really to support your population, which is amazing. And I think what stands out to me the most is it's a topic or something that you're tackling that You know, years ago or in the past, people would never have come forward and shared or openly asked for support from their employer, of all people, right?

Sasha Yamaguchi: So to have a program that people are engaging in and at all different levels, it's not zero to 60. It's, hey, I just want to find a way to control it during the holidays or whatever it may be. So being in entertainment. Provider and company and then having that program, I just think is amazing and can't wait to see over the years how it changes and how people engage in it.

Sasha Yamaguchi: And clearly you're passionate about it, which I think for anyone listening, you know, especially in HR or benefits, if you're passionate about it, the program, the work, it's going to show and you're going to put more into it than ever before that support for your employees. I would love to switch gears for a bit and just talk about Live Nation as a company.

Sasha Yamaguchi: I think coming out of COVID, because we've talked a little bit about that in the pandemic, mental health, loneliness, to your point, was huge for even people that were in a home with others came out feeling lonely. So I think what's important, I know for me and my husband, after the pandemic, we went to more.

Sasha Yamaguchi: Live music concerts than ever before in years. I would love to just talk about how Live Nation being what you do Supporting and how it ties to our health and why the things that you offer are so important for people when it comes to mental health.

Emily Munroe: Yeah, I completely agree. I joined Live Nation when we were bringing things back.

Emily Munroe: I joined in 2021. It was like, how can we get folks vaccines and how can we get them into concerts? Because people needed to come back together and the magic of live. Yeah, I was ready to burst. So everybody was really excited to come back and the business keeps getting bigger and bigger. I don't want to brag too much, but our ticket perks are pretty incredible.

Emily Munroe: And it's, it's fun balancing, you know, it can feel kind of heavy talking about addiction and cancer and difficulty conceiving with employees. Balancing that tough stuff with talking about ticket perks and all the fun things that we do at Live Nation. It's necessary, especially for me, right? You got to find the light with the heavy and not to brag, but I'm going to take my grandmother to Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks with floor seats tonight.

Sasha Yamaguchi: Amazing.

Emily Munroe: That's one of the things that makes working at Live Nation really fun. But we did a circle or like a webinar with our mental health provider and the topic was music and mental health because you're right, there's so much intertwined in music and how it makes you feel and especially live music that can support your mental health.

Emily Munroe: We have a homegrown partner, but she's also at Live Nation and she runs what we call Mindful Nation. It's actually an app that everybody can enjoy. It's like a mixture of meditations and sound baths and yeah, using music to support. Mental health just in general, but then also, you know, finding moments throughout the day to do meditation.

Emily Munroe: She leads our weekly meditations with the entire global company, which is pretty wonderful, but it's all embedded into everything at Live Nation.

Emily Munroe: Music and touring, they put out a book together, and we share that out with folks as much as we can because, yeah, it's easy to talk about it, Live Nation, talking about music and mental health because we have that support built in, but yeah, absolutely, live music feels good. 

Sasha Yamaguchi: Yeah, it really does, and I didn't realize how much I missed it.

Sasha Yamaguchi: And just, you kind of escape everything and just enjoy in the moment, right? It's the one time your brain shuts off a little. The other thing I just thought of, and I don't know that everyone knows, but you also have a host of speakers, obviously concerts and venues and large festivals, but you also have amazing speakers.

Sasha Yamaguchi: And so for any employer or broker listening that wants a really great speaker to speak to their teams, I know that's available as well through Live Nation. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, which is great. I would love just to tie off a little bit going back to the overall benefits program. When companies are thinking about designing it, Are there any, I know we've talked a lot about some great programs, are there any just must haves?

Sasha Yamaguchi: Something that you always should have one or two things as part of your program as basics? 

Emily Munroe: What engages employees the most is if you build programs. It's very specific to your population. I can't take credit for our favorite one at Alignation because it was there before I joined, but I'm pretty sure it came from an employee who had a problem and the best solve was to build a program around it.

Emily Munroe: It's called Roadie Babies. So, the title may give it away, but it's one of those things where Roadie Babies is not going to fit at any other company, really. But you can find something unique to your employee population and build it, and work with employees to build it. So, specifically Roadie Babies, it's a mixture of what you probably do have at other companies, right?

Emily Munroe: So, you come back from leave. Primarily, women are taking it, but you're coming back from leave, and you're Breastfeeding, but you've got to go on tour with Aerosmith. I don't know. So what are you to do? So the best fit was let's build something where you can bring a caretaker to watch them during the day.

Emily Munroe: And you bring your child with you, so the baby's really on the road. Now, you're not really taking the baby with you when you're on tour with Aerosmith, but maybe you have a tour meeting that you want to go to and it's really important for you to be there in person. Okay, we want to make it easy for people to come back from leave and to not feel like they're letting their family down by coming back and going right back into your role.

Emily Munroe: So I think that's a pretty unique one where you take your infant with you. Those are the things that I think makes working at Live Nation unique. And then also those are like the kind of programs that feel braggable. And I think that's important for your employees. If they were to share, like, what's your favorite program?

Emily Munroe: I hear people quote programs that they don't even use. but they feel like it's part of our culture. So yeah, that would be my suggestion is just to find programs uniquely you. 

Sasha Yamaguchi: Wow. Well, uniquely you, and I actually love how you said feel braggable. If I am an HR benefits leader, I want something that I can brag about that I've built.

Sasha Yamaguchi: I think that's fabulous. I will say I was visualizing one of our member advocates having a roadie baby, and I don't think that would work at our company. Yeah. Yeah. Unless they're answering Live Nation calls. That's great, though. One, it allows the person to be excited about going back to work and not completely leaving the baby.

Sasha Yamaguchi: And that is clearly a solution specific to your population. So I think that's wonderful. Maybe touch on member experience, not specific, obviously, to us, perhaps, but employers also want members to have a good experience. And so maybe Yeah. Education on how to reach out to their carrier or their administrator, because they do work with you and your team a lot, but you want your employees to also be able to call their health plan and be able to access and get information there as well.

Sasha Yamaguchi: So anything that you've done that maybe you can share with the audience to help, how do you get members to interact with their administrator or carrier to also get the help that they need and have a good experience when needing to find out information about claims or benefits? 

Emily Munroe: It's complicated. It's one of those things where if I told people I worked in insurance, they'd stop listening. And I think that, especially employees, they aren't thinking about having to work with the collective health or any other administrator until they need to. And that's usually when they're frustrated.

Emily Munroe: So what we definitely try to do is get them ahead of the, the problem, the chronic illness, the kid in the emergency room, so that they know when they do go what the experience is going to be like. So the early education, that's an obvious one, but it's really hard to do. We do use leaders to trickle that information down as much as we can.

Emily Munroe: So how often can we mention it in an all hands meeting? How often can we mention it, you know, when we're doing like a regular employee communications? Just drop a little line and you know you always have that concierge service. Something that feels high touch because it is, but people don't realize that they have that.

Emily Munroe: So sharing that as often as we can. And then I think my predecessor who put in collective health, she had it right. She knew that If you talk about it like it's a white glove experience, then I think you're setting the bar pretty high. And I think that's where you started with. So you have this fabulous opportunity and to connect with somebody who can talk to you about what's going on.

Emily Munroe: Cause that's It's a scary experience every time you probably need to call about a really high bill or when your doctor put something through wrong. Those types of experiences aren't fun. So making sure that someone you can trust is going to be on the other line, and I think that's really important.

Emily Munroe: Back to your question about I think it's hard to say that that's a must have because I don't know what percentage of folks actually get it, but I think it's a, a must look into if you're an employer, you don't have that yet. It may be worth the investment just because it gives peace of mind to your folks and they're not going to be spending three hours on the phone with the insurance company.

Emily Munroe: They're going to have an expert do that for them, and they'll be back online much quicker. I think it's invaluable because the time it takes for someone to be on those long calls, it's not just the time. They come back to work feeling drained. Anything that we can do to help with that, I think it's important.

Sasha Yamaguchi: Two great points there is they feel drained, so then they're not getting right back into work productively, and then it took longer than it might have needed to. So to your point, I think it's a must look into and it's just how does it help your employees all around. So I think that's great. And I know, you know, not everyone does have this type of service or offer it just yet, but it is growing.

Sasha Yamaguchi: And I think as employers learn about it, they're definitely look starting to look into it more and more. Well, everything you've hit on, I love the passion around building the program for your employees. I think there's so much today that people are going to learn about and look back at their programs and do their own listening tours and probably talk to their employees more than ever after what you've shared.

Sasha Yamaguchi: So I appreciate all of that on the benefits program. I would love to end on circling back to the very beginning of How you pivoted in your career and just anybody out there that's starting, you made a few points on make sure it's something you enjoy and maybe it's something you're really interested in.

Sasha Yamaguchi: But I think you said you love talking to people. You love being with people. So any advice for anyone listening that's starting out in their career on finding the right area of business that’ll fit for them and what they’re looking for?

Emily Munroe: I don't know if this is going to be a hot take or not, but I feel in my experience, if you are only working with the partners or the peers of the coworkers in your company, if you've been at that company a long time, you're really holding yourself back.

Emily Munroe: So like if I just only worked with my brokers to bring programs. into Live Nation, like, yeah, they're experts in their group, but they don't speak to employees. They don't do what you do. I think the most important thing, especially early in your career, is meeting people like you. So finding folks in the roles that you're interested in, going to the conferences.

Emily Munroe: We have so many different like select channels across different companies. LinkedIn groups, meetups. I learn most from my peers and then finding mentors in that group because they do what I do, but then also, you know, they've seen more than I've seen. So I learned from them or I learned from their experiences and then I know what to do when it happens to me.

Emily Munroe: And I find that that's important. And that's a. Better experience for your employees, too, when you're not coming at it unknown. And then learning different parts of HR, I think, is really important, too, but finding them at different companies and different types. Because if I hadn't worked at Wayfair, I would have never worked with people in huge warehouses, and their jobs are completely different than any job at Live Nation.

Emily Munroe: So, like, now I understand how they access benefits. And that helps me talk to somebody who accesses benefits differently because I have different insight and I can share. I know you're busy all day. Have you tried, you know, using QR codes to get the attention of people? Like, oh no, we haven't tried that yet.

Emily Munroe: But like, obviously other people are trying things. So my suggestion would be, I know it sounds stupid, but networking, networking is really hard to do when you're working from home. And so you got to get out there to those conferences. And putting ourself out there is so hard how you just walk up to someone and shake their hand and say, we kind of have the same job, or I'm a coordinator and you're a director, but what can you share with me?

Emily Munroe: Everybody loves to talk about themselves. So feel confident approaching people with not knowing anything about them other than that they do kind of the similar work that you do. 

Sasha Yamaguchi: That's great. No, and you never know what you'll learn and you never know what ideas you'll get or either for your personal career or your own benefits program.

Sasha Yamaguchi: Tell me if you would agree with this. Also interact and network with peers at different size companies. I feel like even if you're a small company, you could learn something from a jumbo and vice versa because I just, I love the diversity of learning. Different industries, but also just different size employers.

Sasha Yamaguchi: Talk to anybody, regardless of size or industry. 

Emily Munroe: Yep, exactly. I mean, back to benefits, right? If you're fully insured or self insured, you're talking to two separate people. It's completely different. Like, we might have the same title. We don't do any of the same things, the same at all. And I had never done fully insured until it came to Live Nation, and we do.

Emily Munroe: fully insured for some of our joint ventures. It was totally new to me. I was kind of like, I can't believe they are even letting me work on this. But I learned quickly and I asked, I had to talk to small companies and figure out like, what can you do? You can't do that. It's completely different. 

Sasha Yamaguchi: Yeah, that's a great example.

Sasha Yamaguchi: Fully insured to self funded, two very different things. Well, again, thank you so much. This has been incredible hearing about the programs and everything that you've shared. I know everyone listening has learned a ton. If you would like share with everyone where they can find you or even if you want to share again a few things about Live Nation and where to find some of your programs before we close out.

Emily Munroe: Thanks, Sasha. Yeah, absolutely. Find me on LinkedIn and connect with me or send me a note. Everything you want to learn about Live Nation is absolutely on our website or on our LinkedIn page and you can see all of our taking care of our own pillars there. I think Live Nation has really unique benefits specific to folks who love music and I can't really think of anybody who doesn't like music, but if you're interested, please take a look.

Sasha Yamaguchi: Thank you, Emily. Thank you so much for being with us today and thanks everyone for listening and we'll be back soon.

Producer: This podcast is brought to you by Collective Health, a health benefits solution that guides employees toward healthier lives and companies toward healthier bottom lines. Check us out at