May 19, 2020

How to create a benefits package to help attract and retain employees

Health Insurance
employee retention
health benefits
employee benefits
​Tristan Anwyn
3 min
Why Building Emotional Rewards For Customers Needs To Be A Priority

If you want to find and keep the best employees, it's time to offer an incentive that makes your business stand out from the competition.

Offering great health benefits is one way to do that, with insights from employment website Monster.com showing that health benefits rank top on job seekers' lists of the benefits they want from an employer. What can the offer of health benefits do for your business and how can you find the right health insurance package?

Attract the best employees with health benefits.

Offering health benefits helps your business to attract the best employees. As stated in the article "Health Insurance Considerations for Job Seekers", lapses in health coverage between jobs are a major concern for job seekers, making benefits a powerful draw for potential employees.

When online discount store FatWallet needed to compete with bigger companies, it quickly found that good health care is a powerful incentive. By improving their benefits package, FatWallet was able to attract high caliber employees by showing their respect for the people who work for them.

READ MORE: How to manage health insurance as an employer

Increase employee retention with health benefits. 

Offering good benefits isn't just about attracting the best employees; it's about keeping them, too. According to research by professional services company Towers Watson, 55% of employees consider health benefits a key reason to stay with their employer.

St Louis-based restaurant Lion's Choice quickly learned that good benefits are key to employee retention.

The food service industry is notorious for quick staff turnaround, yet Lion's Choice can boast that more than 80% of its full-time employees have been with the company 10 years or more, which they put down to offering a good health benefits package.

Choosing the best health insurance for you.

It's clear that offering health benefits is a fast track to attracting and keeping the high quality employees your business needs, but how do you go about choosing the right insurance package? It comes down to two things: Getting the right help and reading the small print.

Seek help from a qualified broker who has experience in finding insurance for your type of business. The right broker can help you figure out what you need and which package best fits that. Shop around for a broker - get recommendations and do research to find one that has the knowledge you need.

When it comes to choosing between health insurance packages, read the small print. Before you sign up, understand what you will be paying both in fees and in other costs such as co-pays. Find out what exactly is covered. That way, you can assess each package to find the one that offers the best benefits at the best price.

Choosing the best health insurance for your employees.

As well as looking for the best health package for your business, consider what matters to your employees. Jim Tobias, president of Lion's Choice, puts the company's success with health benefits down to their focus on offering benefits that best meet employee needs, recognizing that one size doesn't fit all.

Take a look at your employee demographics to help you understand the health benefits that are likely to matter most to them. For example, older workers may consider saving for their retirement or payments for ongoing health conditions to be most important, while younger workers may be interested in fringe benefits such as dental and eye care.

Talk to your existing employees to find out what matters to them, and factor that into your health insurance decision. Health insurance benefits are key to finding and retaining the best employees.

Taking the time to choose the best package for you and your staff is a valuable investment in the future health of your business.

Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including social media, SEO, health benefits and employee retention.

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

CMO
Kyndryl
IBM
Leadership
Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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