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GKN Healthcare Navigation Case Study

GKN achieves health and welfare excellence with Alight

A true pioneer in the world of engineering, GKN supplies the components and systems that make it possible for millions of vehicles and thousands of aircraft to navigate the globe, for the earth to move, and for crops to be harvested. The global powerhouse serves the world’s leading aircraft, vehicle, and machinery manufacturer, delivering unrivaled expertise, innovation, and leadership.

From its humble beginnings as a small ironworks company to its current market leadership in Aerospace, Driveline, and Powder Metallurgy, GKN has adapted and grown, always remaining at the forefront of global technology. Throughout its 250-year history, GKN has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to operational excellence.GKN strives to deliver that same level of excellence when serving its valued employees, who play a critical role in driving the organization’s success and longevity. The company is committed not only to providing competitive pay and benefits, but also to giving employees personalized guidance from trusted experts who can help them make the most of their health and welfare programs.

The right thing

With 59,000 employees globally and 11,000 in the U.S. alone, GKN seeks to always “do the right thing” by its people. It’s a critical component of what the company calls the GKN DNA. From wellness initiatives and onsite health screenings to customized care management and telephonic coaching, the company’s dedication to the health and wellbeing of its workforce is clear. But with an aging workforce—more GKN employees are over the age of 65 than under 25—that’s often easier said than done.

Advances in pharmaceuticals and medical interventions are empowering people to live longer lives and remain productive members of the workforce well into their golden years. Yet, the changing health care landscape is often confusing, making it difficult for employees to fully understand or utilize their health benefits to their greatest advantage.

GKN has long relied on Alight to administer health and welfare benefits to its valued workers. For Cassandra Perry, Benefits and Retirement Director, US at GKN North America Services Inc., that’s given her confidence employee benefits will be administered flawlessly, garnering trust among the workforce and relief among the HR staff. It’s also enabled her team to automate processes, clean up data files, and focus their attention on more strategic priorities.

I trust my team at Alight, which makes my job easier because I know I don’t have to keep my eye on what’s happening in the benefits administration space. My stress level is a lot lower because of it.

Cassandra Perry
Benefits and Retirement Director, US at GKN North America Services Inc.

About GKN

  • 59,000 employees worldwide
  • 34 countries
  • 11,000 U.S. based employees

A reflection of culture

As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of auto and aerospace components and systems, GKN’s workforce is mostly blue-collar. Eighty percent of GKN employees are hourly, on-the-shop-floor workers, spread out over three shifts. That makes it challenging to get benefits-related questions answered, especially when most benefits administration call centers are only open standard business hours.

With Alight, GKN not only gained round-the-clock availability of knowledgeable, caring phone representatives, but the opportunity to ensure those individuals operate as a true extension of the GKN family. Alight’s Culture Days enable GKN’s HR staff to sit down with the phone representatives assigned to service GKN employees and help them understand the GKN experience and how the company relates to its employees. That empowers these key individuals to reflect GKN’s culture as they assist workers with enrollment, status changes, claims disputes, or other benefits-related matters.

For the call center reps to be able to understand the culture of our business and what our employees are experiencing gives them the ability to reach down and have a little more empathy than normal.

Cassandra Perry
Benefits and Retirement Director, US at GKN North America Services Inc.

Beyond the basics

For Cassandra Perry, Benefits and Retirement Director, US at GKN North America Services Inc., the goal is to help employees get a little healthier each year. Recognizing that some people need a little extra assistance when it comes to understanding diagnoses and treatment options, obtaining referrals or charting the most appropriate course of action for a catastrophic or chronic illness, Perry once again turned to Alight, this time for Advocacy Services.

Alight’s Advocates have specialized skills that build on the solid foundation of our call center representatives. They’re a carefully selected cadre of registered nurses, case managers, and clinicians. These compassionate, caring professionals stand ready to help GKN’s employees and their dependents with all aspects of health and wellness, delivering education, moral support, issue resolution, and, most importantly, peace of mind.

Unlike other help lines, where callers are routed to the “next available representative,” Alight’s Advocates are assigned to specific employees. That means they connect with the same expert every time they call. This not only eliminates the need to start over with a new person for each interaction, it enables GKN employees to build a relationship with a dedicated professional who develops a deep understanding of their unique situation.

Our employees are really the backbone of our company. Our partnership with Alight is super important because it helps us ensure they are as happy and healthy as can be.

Cassandra Perry
Benefits and Retirement Director, US at GKN North America Services Inc.

When it matters most

Advocates deliver personalized guidance and support across the entire spectrum of health and wellness, helping employees with all their needs—from identifying a high quality provider or the most cost effective place to get services, speaking with a clinician about a new diagnosis, finding a cost effective prescription, resolving complex claims issues, obtaining a referral for specialty care, or mapping out a path for improving their health.

There are times when employees need help with the weightiest of health matters, such as the terminal illness of a family member. Saying goodbye will never be easy. But knowing that expert help is there to do the heavy lifting enables the employee and their family to focus on what matters most—tending to their loved one’s needs and relishing precious time together.

For Davide Tuinette, Director, Human Resources at GKN Powder Metallurgy, that compassionate counsel was invaluable, as his mother entered her final days. Advocacy provided Davide and his family with a case manager and clinical nurse manager. They gained the ability to consult with doctors and consider different pain medications that made it possible for his mom to spend “some very memorable last days” with her family. For that, Davide will forever be grateful.

The advocacy team was instrumental in helping me make some things happen with my mom. They even called a couple of times just checking on me and my family…an amazing professional service.

Davide Tuinette
Director, Human Resources at GKN Powder Metallurgy


Throughout its history, GKN’s commitment to innovation has enabled the organization to blaze new trails and rack up success after success. As global trends like emissions legislation, the drive for efficient vehicles, and urbanization and population growth drive GKN’s future investments in technology and set the tone for its next chapter, the organization continues striving to recruit the best talent and cultivate a workplace full of engaged employees.

As she looks to the future, Perry is enthusiastic that GKN’s expanding relationship with Alight will help the organization best serve those valued employees. As GKN sets its sights on continuous improvement and ongoing innovation, the company has found a partner in Alight that clearly shares its dedication to excellence.

Alight just hits it out of the park year after year. We are having successes all over the place now because we have a great foundation and we continue to grow upon that foundation.

Cassandra Perry
Benefits and Retirement Director, US at GKN North America Services Inc.

Why Alight?

World-class benefits administration

Alight Solutions is the number one benefits administration provider in the world. Our experts possess deep benefits knowledge and broad experience that enables them to truly understand your organization’s goals, needs, and challenges.

Working as a seamless extension of your team, they deliver:

  • Consultative approach built around an organization’s specific challenges and needs
  • Rigorous project and process management
  • Highly automated, compliant support across the breadth of plans and plan designs
  • Unified approach across services
  • Continuous focus on optimizing system performance
  • Flawless execution
  • Improved outcomes


High-touch advocacy services

Our experienced health care professionals collaborate as a team to ensure your employees and their families achieve the best clinical and administrative outcomes.

They work tirelessly to:

  • Increase awareness of employer benefit, clinical, wellness, and mental health programs
  • Resolve complex benefit claims issues, coordinating resolution across participant, plan providers, and collection agencies
  • Educate participants on diagnoses, preparation for medical visits, treatment plans and alternatives, and drug side effects
  • Locate best-in-class, most cost-effective medical facilities and doctors, and assist in scheduling appointments with sought-after specialists
  • Support coordination or transition of care

I can’t say enough how hard our Alight team works for us and how much I enjoy working with them. I trust them implicitly with our 11,000 employees and their families.

Cassandra Perry
Benefits and Retirement Director, US at GKN North America Services Inc.

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