In today’s competitive hiring market, a company’s benefits play a major role in determining whether or not a candidate accepts an offer. That said, studies reveal it’s not over-the-top perks that employees want, but programs that show that their employer is listening to their wants and needs. At the end of 2016, Outcome Health completely overhauled its benefits to do just that. Here’s a look at how Outcome Health restructured its benefits program in its effort to becoming a destination workplace.
Q: Why did you choose to update your benefits?
Madan Nagaldinne, Chief People Officer: I’m often asked if I think that the benefits companies offer are truly representative of what their employees want. It’s a hot topic of discussion. When I joined Outcome Health several months ago, I was asked this question again and was determined to answer it. I invited the People Team to join me in building a world-class benefits program; to do so, we had to get into the minds of our employees to determine what a world-class program would even look like. Our findings would guide our benefits philosophy, and ultimately shaped what we offer every Outcome Activator.
Q: What is a benefits philosophy? Why does a company need one?
MN: A benefits program not guided by a philosophy is just another benefits program. Often companies design their programs just to compete for the best talent, which is important, but shouldn’t be the key driver. Similar to developing a mission statement, companies need a benefits philosophy to underscore what they offer their employees. Outcome Health’s benefits philosophy is built on a foundation of Care. In fact, we call it Care@ Outcome Health. Our philosophy is simple: While you’re transforming healthcare, we will take care of you and the people who matter to you.
As our benefits program continues to evolve, it’s crucial that everything ties back to this philosophy of care.
Q: How did you decide which benefits to include in the new program?
MN: We surveyed all employees to determine what they wanted. It was critical that we discover what mattered to them – which benefits best fit their lives and what was missing from our program at the time. The survey data revealed the benefits our employees considered most important, along with their suggested improvements. We came to realize that our employees didn’t want just “benefits” – they want assurance that their employer will provide them resources to empower them to do the best work of their careers.
Q: What are some of the new benefits in Care@?
MN: Thanks to the survey findings, we grouped our benefits into 7 pillars: Health, Finance, Time Away, Family, Convenience, Learning & Growth, and Community. Within each pillar are benefits that employees asked for specific to time away, family, medical emergencies, easy access to doctors, and affordable health, dental and vision care. We launched a telehealth program so employees can access doctors and fill prescriptions over the phone – one less thing they need to worry about when they’re on the road. We also designed Care@ to consider life changes like getting married, raising a family, nourishing themselves when sick, and recharging when needed. Other new benefits like student loan refinancing, real estate and mortgage assistance, and 401(K) matching ensure we have their past, present, and future in mind.
Q: How do Outcome Activators feel about Care@?
MN: Many Outcome Activators responded very positively to the new benefits, the favorites being 5 days added to marriage leave, up to $10,000 reimbursement for embryo cryopreservation and in vitro fertilization, 4 week fully paid recharge, and 16 weeks of fully paid maternity leave. These benefits resonated with Activators because they had asked for them. Thus, the vision of caring for you and people who matter to you came alive!
Q: How will the Care@ program evolve over time?
MN: We need to continually listen to employee feedback and adapt Care@. As an example, we heard that the first iteration of our student-loan benefit did not meet our team’s expectations, so we are taking steps to bridge this gap. It establishes trust and empowerment, which are the most important benefits a company can offer. We are prepared for change and planning for it: as our company grows, our benefits must too.
Q: Where do you see opportunities for other companies to improve their benefits?
MN: Companies need to develop benefits programs that are based on solid data and feedback, built on a philosophy that resonates with their core values and most importantly plays a meaningful part in their employees lives. In our case, we needed a robust program that could support a high-growth, mission-driven company and would communicate to everyone, current and potential employees alike, that when you work at Outcome Health, you are joining a company that truly cares for you. I’m very proud of the benefits we offer. By demonstrating to our employees that we truly care for them and their families, they’ll have the resources to innovate, do the best work of their careers, and transform healthcare as we know it.
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