Kristy Lucksinger arrived at JLL just over a year ago with three decades of human resources excellence in tow. The head of global benefits operates on the highest level of innovation and is responsible for more than 103,000 colleagues across eighty countries.
“I’m proud of the years I’ve spent in the global benefits space, as I see it as a competitive strength to develop strategies that resonate around the world,” she explains. “I was excited to take on this role because, given the size and breadth of the company, there was tremendous opportunity for benefits innovation and optimization.”
Lucksinger says that the $20 billion real estate services company has historically considered benefits very local, as benefits practices vary significantly by country. She doesn’t inherently disagree with that approach, as it is one common to a company in hypergrowth mode. However, she plans to create a central strategy and benefits philosophy with greater support and oversight, which will help JLL provide enhanced value for its employees with continued local nuance where appropriate.
The head of global benefits and her team developed renewal guardrails so local experts can make important decisions, while keeping aligned with JLL’s overall strategic approach. She also has significant experience implementing and managing advanced benefits funding mechanisms like captive funds, which are privately managed pooled investment vehicles used exclusively for a business’s employees. Currently, the organization does not have a captive fund in place, but Lucksinger believes moving in that direction is the right move.
“In the past, the pools were relatively small without a global process in place. Over the last year, JLL has established a new model to make sure employees get the best value from the services and coverage we provide, while also providing financial benefit to the company,” Lucksinger says. “It’s been a process of putting rules in place to identify how we manage those pools and how best to move forward, so we’re not only able to provide the best value financially for the company, but [ensure] that our employees are getting the best value from the services and coverage.”
The key, she adds, is finding the ideal sweet spot that maximizes JLL’s size and brings the best value for the organization and its employees.
Becoming True Partners
While the HR and benefits space has evolved over the past three decades, Lucksinger thinks it can go further.
She would know. Lucksinger has worked across real estate, media, technology, manufacturing, insurance, and other industries. She designed international benefits for Comcast’s ballooning global employee groups, reduced costs by over $40 million for a privately held hospitality company, and racked up an impressive list of accreditations and certifications. She has also worked expat assignments in the UK and invested significant time into the organizations she’s joined, understanding transformation takes time.
She believes that the best organizations understand and capitalize on the important connection between the benefits strategy and its broader business. “Everything we do should be supporting the business,” Lucksinger says. “The reason we’re in the roles we’re in is because of the business.”
Recently, she worked closely with the firm’s sustainability team to execute on an inherited strategy to get 50 percent of the firm’s managers trained to foster team wellbeing.
“The way our employees interact with our clients, and our clients’ clients, is going to be significantly different if they’re healthy, happy, and enjoying life,” Lucksinger attests. “We empower our employees to shape a brighter way forward to provide service to our clients by offering them a suite of benefits that supports their physical, mental, and financial well-being in an inclusive manner.”
She continues, “The ability for us to service our clients is significantly improved if we have the right services and benefits in place for our people. Telling that story is incredibly important. We have to understand our partnership with the business so we can get the best for everyone.”
Understanding the Struggle
Lucksinger is business focused, and she lives with a daily reminder of how critical meaningful benefits can be. For nearly all of her professional career, she has lived with a multiple sclerosis diagnosis. The side effects of the disease include a variety of autoimmune disorders, disruptive treatments like chemotherapy, as well as the side effects of treatments, including the near-complete loss of her thyroid function.
Lucksinger vividly recalls an episode where she woke up one morning unable to walk. She was traveling extensively for work, but what she remembers most is her previous employer’s patience and kindness. She was given the time she needed to work through physical therapy and return to work at her own—very self-motivated—pace.
“I often joke that I got my entire family’s health issues, but it’s helped me be better at my job because I care about how people interact with our benefits plans,” she says. “I care about their experience because I know it well. I want everyone across the world to be able to have the same positive interaction I’ve had throughout my career. I’m passionate about bringing that empathy to my work at JLL.”
This passion doesn’t go unnoticed. “Kristy Lucksinger is one of the most passionate healthcare leaders I’ve had the pleasure to work with,” says JoAnne L. Jones, regional vice president at UnitedHealthcare National Accounts. “Kristy always wants to do what is right for her employees and their family members. Jones Lang LaSalle [JLL] strives to offer competitive benefits, and Kristy provides a depth of understanding and knowledge to achieve those goals.”
Lucksinger doesn’t let her diagnosis control her life. She’s a proud mother, avid exerciser, and her passion for what she does remains as fierce as her first day on the job.
Virta Health congratulates Kristy Lucksinger on this well-deserved honor! Virta is proud to partner with Kristy and her team to help JLL’s employees reverse their type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. Find out how Virta reduces medical costs, decreases dependence on prescription medications, and helps members take back their life!