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Benefits Trends to Watch in 2018

New Years bring new things. From new challenges to new opportunities to new insights, 2018 is sure to bring all of these things and more for business owners. 2018 will bring new things in the world of benefits, too! As employers continue to try to adapt to the workforces growing and changing needs, benefits and perks packages will reflect these adjustments.

The days when having great insurance was enough to keep employees satisfied are gone. Now, employees expect their employers to care about their well-being and give them the flexibility they need to balance all of life’s responsibilities.

Here’s a look at 6 benefits trends to watch in 2018.

Priority on Financial Wellness

Financial wellness is a hot topic in the workplace these days. To support a diverse workplace with varying financial needs, companies will need to provide access to programs, information and opportunities that will help employees keep their wallets well.

With younger employees working to pay off student debt and mid-career employees considering going back to school, student tuition assistance will be an increasingly desirable benefit. On the flip side, as baby boomers inch towards retirement, they’ll appreciate retirement planning resources and financial planning services.

More Personalization

More and more, the benefits package that makes employees smile the widest is the one they’ve tailored to their personal needs. Essentially, employees want to be able to pick and choose from an array of great benefits and perks, customizing their plans to their unique lifestyle.

Emphasis on Mental Wellness

With stress and mental health awareness on the rise, companies must make sure they’re prioritizing their workforces mental health. By offering counseling services, stress-reducing activities such as yoga and meditation, and encouraging work-life balance, companies can empower employees to cultivate a healthy mind.

Stretching Flexible Work Arrangements

Flexible work arrangements give employees options for working that go beyond being at the office from 9 to 5. Allowing people to work from home, alter their work hours to avoid peak traffic times, compress their work weeks to allow for more days off, and break up their 8 hour work day however they please are all arrangements that will grow into more workplaces in 2018.

Innovative Diversity Programs

Diversity programs are going beyond having company sponsored, minority-focused support groups. In 2018, you can expect to see companies designing innovative, inclusive diversity programs that will welcome America’s increasingly blended workforce with open arms.

More Access to Health Savings Accounts

Health savings accounts are gaining momentum! These accounts are owned by individual employees and allow savings to carry over from year to year. Contributions to these accounts are generally tax deductible. Additionally, the accounts can grow tax-free and employees can withdraw money from them with no hassle as well.

There’s so much to look forward to in the world of benefits in 2018. If you want to get ahead of the curve and incorporate some of these benefits trends to watch in 2018 into your benefits plan, we can help.

Beni.fit can help you design a complete, comprehensive benefits package for your employees that’s sure to make 2018 your best benefits year yet. Our customized packages will make them feel valued and secure. Contact us today for more information!

When Humans Thrive, Companies Prosper.

Benefits

Year End Benefits Checklist: How to Prepare for 2018

As the year comes to a close, companies are getting everything in order to start the new year off right. For many, settling and reviewing employee benefits is on the list of things-to-do before welcoming the new year.

If you want to make sure your company brings in 2018 with a plan, a purpose and a whole lot of potential, go through this year end benefits checklist. You’ll feel great about what’s to come after checking off the items on this list.

Remind Employees About Unused Benefits

Some companies have benefits that expire each year. Often sick days, vacation days and personal days renew on a yearly basis. While some companies allow these benefits to roll over in the next year, others do not.

Flexible spending accounts are also notorious for not rolling over from year-to-year.  Remind your employees if any unused benefits they have that will not roll over into the next calendar year. Trust us, they will thank you for it!

Make Sure Employees Are Signed Up for Next Year’s Benefits

January 1st is a big day. Besides being the first day of the year, January 1st also marks the start of many traditional employee benefits. New health insurance coverage often starts on the 1st as well as new 401K matching rates for companies that raise the matching amount based on an employee’s time with the company.

Now is a great time to make sure all of your employees have coverage that begins on the 1st of the year. It’s also a good idea to remind them of all of the benefits they have available to them by sending an email or an informational packet.

Evaluate Employee Perks

Perhaps you started offering healthy snack options to employees in the office kitchen this year. Or, maybe you started reimbursing employees for gym memberships and other fitness-related expenses. The end of the year is the perfect time to take a look at your employee perks and evaluate whether they align with the culture and values of your company.

Ask yourself, are my employees using this perk? Why or why not? The answers to these questions will help you groom your employee perks and make them more and more appealing to your workforce.

Say Thank You to Your Employees

This step is arguably one of the most important actions you should take regarding your company at the end of the year. Regardless of whether your company met it’s goals for the year or not, a team of people spent day after day working for you and believing in your company. Reward them!

Whether you send a sweet thank-you note or give everyone a year end bonus, find a way to say thank you to your employees. When you start the new year, they’ll be motivated to invest another year of their life with your company. And loyal employees? Well, they’re priceless.

If you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to support your employees and their families through benefits, we can help. Beni.fit partners with companies to create comprehensive, customized benefits and perks packages.

We love helping companies prioritize their people because we believe that when humans thrive, companies prosper. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals with benefits in 2018.

Kelly Fitch, Culture and Events Manager at Weebly on The Benifit

kelly fitch Kelly Fitch was hired as Weebly’s 60th employee. Now, nearly 4 years later, the web-hosting service has more than 300 employees around the world and Kelly has been an integral part of building the startups innovative and inclusive internal culture. Serving on the People and Culture team, Kelly plans events and implements policies at the company’s San Francisco headquarters that help employees connect to the company’s values and have fun.

In this episode of The Benifit, Kelly chats with podcast host Kate King about how Weebly makes sure job candidates are a good culture fit before they’re hired, how company culture  differs from office to office and how Weebly does perks differently. We could all learn a thing or two from Kelly’s experience at this successful global company. Listen to the full episode below!

Show Highlights:

[01:10] Kelly talks about how Weebly has grown since she started in 2014

[02:55] Kelly explains why Weebly does “on-sites” to show job candidates the company culture

[04:29] Kelly shares Weebly’s mission and why radical respect is central to the company

[06:17] “There isn’t just a one cookie cutter culture stamp that you can put on every office”

[08:46] Kelly talks about Weebly’s sidekick program

[11:00] “Inclusion is a huge part of Weebly”

[15:14] Kelly talks about internal communication best practices

[18:10] Kelly shares some of Weebly’s employee perks

[22:00] Kelly talks about Weebly’s incredible company trips

[25:28] Kelly shares her morning routine.

[27:47] Kelly talks about the three rules she lives by

The Benifit Interview w/ Kelly Fitch, Culture and Events Manager at Weebly

[background music]

[00:00:05] Kate: My guest today is Kelly Fitch, manager of people and culture at Weebly. Weebly is a web posting service that features a drag and drop website builder, enabling entrepreneurs to start and grow an online business.

We discuss the values within the Weebly culture and the different perks and initiatives that happen to connect their global offices. Kelly also shares with us her three rules to live by, which include make it happen and appreciate people by going above and beyond.

Good afternoon, Kelly, and welcome to The Benefit podcast where we talk to real progressive enablers of culture employee well-being and benefits. Thank you for joining me.

[00:00:49] Kelly Fitch: Thank you for having me, Kate.

[00:00:51] Kate: You’re very welcome. Before we get started on culture, I understand you were the 60th employee at Weebly and now there are over 300. Can you share with us and the listeners the reason for you joining Weebly and what you’ve learnt to date?

[00:01:10] Kelly: Absolutely. I started at Weebly in 2014. I was the 60th employee at our San Francisco headquarters. At that time, we were growing our offices. We opened up an office in Scottsdale, Arizona about the same week that I started. So I was seeing growth early on. It was exciting to see an office that really invested in culture early.

When I started, it was a very small, close-knit company. It still is today, which is really unique. What was interesting when I started was because it was so close-knit, we wanted to start that culture in our Scottsdale office too, and also in New York. I was new to Weebly, I was new to tech. This was my first job out of college. I was really learning from day one what Weebly was, what the values were and how we can grow that in our offices across the world.

It’s been interesting to see it grow from 60 to 300. There are new challenges every week, every month, and just trying to create that culture that still has that vibe from the beginning, and then also is being changed as we grow in creating new values, creating new things that are important to the culture here.

[00:02:41] Kate: Fantastic. Talk to us, if you would, about the building blocks of culture at Weebly and some of the initiatives you put in place, so that everybody lives and breathes those values on a daily basis.

[00:02:55] Kelly: Some of the things that I think really get people in the mindset of what our culture is early on is that we do on sites, which is pretty unique to Weebly. We start this in the interview process where we have a normal interview routine with phone screens, face-to-face interviews.

Then they actually come on site for a few days, ranging from 1-5 days, where employees or candidates get to come in and actually work as if they were a full-time employee for a day or two. This really gives them the opportunity to see what Weebly is, what our culture is, what it would it be like to work here.

Investing in a company is a huge thing since it is a big part of your life and your time. So we want employees, once they join, to already know what it’s like to work here. Candidates, we find that they have a really great experience with this. We get to know them pretty well before they actually join and there are no surprises on either end. Because I think it’s really important that we not only join or choose the company– I’m sorry. We don’t choose the candidate, but they also have to choose us. They have to really be aligned with our values, our mission, and be as accredited as we are.

[00:04:22] Kate: Could you just maybe highlight for us the key values and mission of Weebly?

[00:04:29] Kelly: Yes. Our mission is for to help entrepreneurs succeed. That’s something that’s huge. We really want to help entrepreneurs have an easy way to create and build a website and e-commerce store. One of our main values is radical respect plus honesty equals trust. That’s been a value that has been around since day one. As our company has grown, the values have also changed, which I think has been really interesting and something that we work on [inaudible 00:05:02] here as we have to realize that our values change as we grow bigger and the people change as well.

Realizing that you have to iterate on the values is super important. The radical respect one is huge. I think if you ask anyone that works with the company, this is something that they embody everyday. We really trust each other to get the job done, and you know the person sitting next to you is doing just as much work as you are, if not more. It creates this culture of just excitement and passion. It really makes you want to do your job better every day.

[00:05:44] Kate: You mentioned earlier that you’ve had rapid growth and you’ve got multiple offices and you’re really invested. One of your mandates is really the culture and the people outside. You mentioned challenges, maybe could you outline a couple of challenges that come along the way with that fast growth so some of our listeners can feel some empathy and, “Yes, I got that. I totally see that in our company too.”

[00:06:17] Kelly: Absolutely. One, this is an example of just realizing with the different offices some of the challenges is, something that works for our San Francisco office doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for our Scottsdale office or our New York office or our Toronto office. There isn’t just a one cookie cutter culture stamp that you can put on every office. Keeping the culture similar but realizing that there’s always going to be its own twist for each office is huge.

One way we realized this was when we were figuring out how to get people to bond in our Scottsdale office when that was growing and becoming bigger. In San Francisco, we have lots of team-building events, lots of events to gather the team. For instance, we’ll all have dinner together one night, or we’ll all go bowling. But for our Arizona office, it’s much different because they have different set schedules and it’s really hard for someone who has to go in at 6:00 AM to be at an event at 6:00 PM in the evening.

That was a challenge. We didn’t understand why people didn’t want to go to these team-building events or these happy hours. We realized that’s not [inaudible 00:07:36] we’re going to have our Scottsdale office get to know each other and bond, because it wasn’t going to work that way. It’s going to just be a different way of getting the team together.

We realized that instead of after work activities, we’re going to do this during lunch. We’re going to have a Halloween event during the different lunch shifts, different contests, and have that happened during the day when everyone’s there, instead of expecting people to have to stay after work when they perhaps get in at 6:00 AM.

That was a challenge that took us some time to realize it doesn’t need to be the same in every office, and figure out ways that each office can have their own little twist on the Weebly way of doing things.

[00:08:19] Kate: How do you handle a challenge then, or do you have any challenges? If your core pillars are radical respect plus honesty equals trust, do you see any challenges of people not honoring that? Perhaps everybody comes in with the assumption of honoring that. But when you see somebody not honoring that, what kind of activity is everybody empowered to do?

[00:08:46] Kelly: We actually don’t find that people have a hard time embodying that value. Again, this is, I think, thankful for on-site, we really find out who people are during the on-site. If they’re not going to embody those values from their on-site, it’s probably not going to work out. It’s very clear, we’ve definitely had people for on-sites that we realize they don’t have that value in them.

That’s not necessarily something you can teach. People should have radical respect. people should respect each other and come in, and I think that’s clear. It’s something that our CEO definitely makes clear. We have a handbook that’s really fantastic. It’s called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Weebly. It outlines everything for candidates and new hires what it’s like to be a Weebly. Lots of information about our values, and it really gets them up to speed with the Weebly way, as I mentioned earlier.

Then another thing that’s also fantastic for our new hires is we pair everyone with a sidekick This started with our first employee nine years ago, and it still happens today, which I am so thankful that we are able to keep this going.

The sidekick program is every new hire gets paired up with an employee that’s been here for a while. They write a handwritten note, it’s on their first day. When they get to their desk, there’s a little note from their sidekick, and it just says, “Welcome to Weebly. I’m going to guide you in your first week here.” They get lunch together, and the new hire is able to ask this Weebly employee really anything about the company. The sidekick’s there to get them up to speed, show them all the little ins and outs of things here.

It’s not just even the first week, it’s ongoing. So a month in, the sidekick will say, “Hey, how’s it going? Do you want to grab a smoothie? Can I answer any questions that you might have?” That’s been really helpful for our people ops team because we’re not the only ones guiding them and helping them. It’s not also just the manager, it’s a whole team effort here to get everyone to be a part of the family.

Speaker 2: Just talking about that, like creating that family culture, can you talk about other initiatives that you do or you’ve implemented that continue and expand that? That was a great example, perhaps you have another?

Speaker 1: Inclusion is a huge part of Weebly. We started a diversity committee about a year-an-a-half ago that I lead. We really are always thinking of different ways to make Weebly more diverse and inclusive, and it’s an ongoing thing for us. It’s always going to be something that’s top of mind. As we grew, that’s something that had become really obvious, that we need to think about all the different people that work at a company. How can we make this a place that people of all types, all backgrounds, want to be at and want to stay at.

So we created this diversity committee, and people from all different teams are on it. Engineers, product, designers, recruiting, basically someone from every team is a part of this. We meet once a month and discuss ways that we can be more inclusive, and that’s really been a huge driver for different events here. I think that creates a culture just of belonging.

Some of the events that, again, we probably wouldn’t have done when I started, because families and all these different things were not really top of mind for our really young founders.

We have different family picnics. We have women’s events. This is a huge one that I really love is we have women’s power hours. The women of Weebly meet once a month, and we get together, discuss different TED Talks, different topics that are really relevant to women in a workforce, and especially in Tac, and that different women lead it. For instance, our CFO, Kim Jabal, led a session on negotiation. We had another someone from finance lead one on body language and different things that women can change or just be aware of. It’s just a community of women here that share personal stories and we offer support to each other.

So that’s an example of something that came up out of the diversity committee. We also have a parents group, that was new. The parents get together. They were going to be planning a movie night for the parents, because sometimes it’s hard for parents to get together for an event after work, they have to go home. So instead of having them perhaps miss out on some of these things that we’re doing, we’re going to start doing more events during the day or at lunch.

These are just simple things that have been really great to make sure that everyone’s a part of the culture, and that it doesn’t feel like they have to pick and choose like work-life balance. “Hey, if I go to all of these events, I’m missing out on my child,” or, “Hey, I don’t want to personally go to a gaming marathon,” and things like that. We just want to make sure that we have all these different events for all different types of people.

Speaker 2: Talk to me if you would. I know you have many offices. You mentioned Scottsdale, New York, Toronto, San Francisco. I love that Weebly have instituted local look and feel of the company. With any multiple location company, there’s always that challenge around communication. Can you just go into that, how you tackle having consistent communication across. the offices even though you may have individual or local events, that real culture push and the values that Weebly has? How do you communicate and keep consistent across the offices?

[00:15:14] Kelly: That’s a great question. I think that’s something that we are always looking to improve. Something that works really well for us is– well, for a lot of companies: Slack is a great way to communicate quickly. I have a direct rapport in New York and we’re on different time zones. I communicate with her on Slack all the time. I communicate when I’m on my bus ride to work with her on there. It’s just a really quick and easy way to get things done with people from all over the world working for Weebly.

I think another one is just to be very aware that we are on different time zones. For instance, even at Scottsdale and San Francisco, for half the year we’re on the different time zone. Just being very aware that, “Hey, if you want something done, realize we’re on different zones here and to plan ahead.” For All Hands we do a company-wide- All Hands that get streamed through YouTube and we record it so if people want to watch that weren’t able to, for instance, in our Berlin office, they can tune in the next day and watch it again.

I think we’re always trying to figure out ways to communicate better. One thing, it’s kind of related to communication or just bringing the offices together and to understand each other better, we have this program called the Customer Experience Program where we send people from our San Francisco office, from our New York office, basically all offices, to our Scottsdale office to understand what goes on there every day.

Because they are the one office where they’re doing something a bit different than the others. They’re the ones that are chatting with our customers every single day, seven days a week. They’re helping our customers with different issues. We actually get our engineers, our executive team, everyone on the phone with our customers, helping them through different bugs that pop up or different questions that they have.

That’s been a really great way to understand each other better. That also helps with communication, because for our teams, they can understand what is needed from each role. I think that’s really helped with communication between our Scottsdale and other offices.

[00:17:40] Kate: There are some great examples there. Thank you. You and I were talking briefly before and we were talking about perks. You’ve mentioned a few perks that Weebly offers, and that whole well-being of employees is really critical on the agenda right now. We always talk about when humans right companies prosper. Talk to me a little bit about the perk program at Weebly for our listeners.

[00:18:10] Kelly: We always try to do our perks a little differently, as you know. I mentioned, it is very competitive, and there always are these standard regular perks, which I still think are incredible. We offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. We offer two 30-minute massages a month for employees. We have gym, yoga, boot camp sessions. We do a company trip every year. We have unlimited vacation.

Again, those are unfortunately the kind of standard for Tac these days. But we also do offer several unique things to Weebly, which I love. One of them is the Wanderlust Program, and we implemented that this year. We are able to retain our employees for many years, which is incredible. Again, we still have our first employee, who’s at 9 years.

Sometimes, at that time people need a break and people need to stop doing work for a bit, recharge. Even with the unlimited vacation, it’s hard to really, really unplug sometimes for a big amount of time. This Wanderlust program gives those employees that break instead of having them feel like they need to change a job or take a huge chunk of time away from work.

So once employees’ at their five year, they get to take five weeks paid time off. They can use that to recharge, focus on personal or professional development or just travel. We actually help fund those adventures, and it’s a really fantastic thing that I’m really excited that we implemented.

Another one is– this is kind of how we grew. We realized that the two floating holidays that we gave every year. We used to give random days off, like the day after Halloween off and National Beer Day. We realized those aren’t really connected to our values in any way. They don’t really have any value to our company. So instead of giving those days off, we decided that we were going to dedicate two days where employees could take off to volunteer. They can either volunteer on their own, or go to organized events that I plan.

For instance, we actually have a group today that is helping out at Glide, which is- they’re making food for homeless. People would really enjoy the fact that they’re allowed to take those days off. It’s not vacation days, it’s just really days where they can go do what they want to help the community.

Another great perk that we offer is we gift every Weebly a $100 to spend on a Weebly customer every year. I love this one because not only does it support our customers, but it really helps us understand who our customers are, because we’re sifting through a ton of different Weebly sites, figuring out what gifts we want to get people for the holidays, and we can see our product in real life. I love that. I actually got a portrait painted of my pug from a Weebly customer called Portraits For Pets. I think it’s just a really unique perk that, again, gives back to our customers.

[00:21:41] Kate: You mentioned the Wanderlust, you work for five years and then you get five weeks paid off?

[00:21:49] Kelly: Yes, in addition to unlimited vacations.

[00:21:51] Kate: Wow, that’s fantastic. I love it. Talk to me about your company trip. What goes on– is everybody in the company?

[00:22:00] Kelly: The company trip, this has been going on for years. What we do is we have our New York, Berlin, Toronto, San Francisco offices all get to on a trip. The Scottsdale office does a staycation which is super fun.

Again, this is iterating on what works. Being able to leave the office has worked for other offices, but we can’t step away from our customers, they still need our help. It’s really hard to get everyone to stop working in simple way because we, again, want to support our customers and be there for them. Instead, we created a staycation and did a full week of really fun activities in our Scottsdale office.

But for the actual trip, we get to go to different destinations every year. This year, we went to San Diego. It’s just a great way to step away from the day-to-day, and reconnect, get everyone together from all offices. We have a meeting where we discuss our values, and we have different team building activities that we do. It’s just also a great way to get to know each other with different activities unrelated to work.

People went off and went jet skiing, some people went on a hike, and we all shared our photos together. It was really fun to see the different people just doing their own thing but with each other. It was really helpful for me, I was the event person, to have people kind of create their subgroups. Again, these aren’t cliques. People created Slack channel saying, “Hey, I want to go on a food tour, who wants to join?” A random group of people joined and they made it happen.

It’s been a really unique thing that we do every year. We’ve been to Hawaii, we’ve been to Monterrey. Again, a very special perk. I am very lucky that we get to do that.

[00:24:13] Kate: What I love about it, I think there’s lot of stories about company trips where you sit in a conference room for many, many hours reading over powerpoint decks and presentations. Being able to actually be part of something bigger that that human connection and the human well-being of your colleagues is something that Weebly embraces, I think, is phenomenal perk to everybody.

I think to your point when you see your attrition numbers, they’re probably a lot lower in a very tough competitive talent industry. So I take my hat off. I think those are wonderful, wonderful perks. Now, Kelly, if you don’t mind I’m just going to switch to a couple of questions which I love our listeners to have some insight into the guest we have on, and that is two questions. One, about your morning routine, if you have one, or maybe an evening routine that really sets you up to be productive and gives you that human thrive feeling to go get your day. What did your morning routine or your evening routine look like?

[00:25:28] Kelly: Yes, it’s a good question. I actually don’t have really anything related to– I know a lot of people do meditation, or they do kind of mindfulness things. I love waking up, I check my phone, I see what notifications I get in. Since we do have offices around the world, I do get notified at all hours. So I like to take care of anything that is urgent or put out any fires that I can before I get ready for the day. That helps me get set up. Even if it’s an hour before I would normally get into the office, I’m happy to take care of that before I actually leave my house.

Once I get ready, I walk to work. That’s my mindful meditation time, and it’s just so I get to do two things at once. I get exercise, I get to clear my head, but I also get to work. So I love using that time as productive time. Sometimes, I take the bus and that’s, again, where I start doing emails, I start checking at Slack. I use that time to get things done.

I also like to go in a little bit earlier than most people to the office. It just helps me get a head start on the day where if there is something that pops up, I can take care of it before the majority of folks come into the office. That helps so much with stress, just getting it right for everyone for the majority of folks to come in and everything is running smoothly.

Then at the end of the day, I really just check my calendar so there are no surprises the next day if there’s something I perhaps forgot about. I check to see what’s going on and prepare a little bit if there’s something that I need to get done before I go to sleep, I will.

I think, all of the time, some people really like to disconnect from work, but I love what I’m doing. This is, again, what my passion is. Sso I don’t mind doing this. It’s not expected of me, but this is how I really like to get set up, is kind of always be connected to what’s going on, because people are constantly going to me for certain things and I like to be there for everyone.

[00:27:41] Kate: What’s three rules you live by?

[00:27:47] Kelly: One of them is just something that my mom always said to me growing up when I had crazy schedules, or a lot on my plate was, it’s very simple, it’s make it happen. It could be really interpreted however you want. It’s very, again, simple. But this has really helped me focus my energy in the right place. Some days I, again, will check my calendar that night before and realize, “Oh, my gosh, I have to do XYZ. I don’t know how I’m really going to get all of these done tomorrow.”

This really just help me realize to take one thing at a time and don’t worry about, “Oh, you have a presentation at this time, at this time and then you have to speak at All Hands.” Instead of looking at all of these different things that might intimidate me or something I might be nervous about– speaking at All Hands, no matter what I’m always nervous.

So I think just taking one thing at a time really help me focus my energy, and made intimidating situations more approachable for me. So make it happen as just simple thing that we always joke about, my mom and I, still today.

Another one that I really like that my team really embodies, I make sure I do whenever I’m giving information to the team, I constantly send emails, newsletters, FAQs. I think answering questions before people ask them, for my role, is super important. I like to set my team up so they are best prepared for anything that’s going on.

For instance, getting everyone on a flight to Hawaii, you need to have everyone knowing what’s going on. Instead of having people wonder, “Oh, well, what would should I pack?” or “What do I do? Should I print out my ticket?” People have the most crazy questions which I love to hear, but I think answering those questions, preparing them for what’s to come and what they need to do is really important.

That’s something that my team and I are always thinking about before we send emails, before we put something on our HQ site. We’re always trying to figure what questions people will have, and just get that information to them before they even ask that question. It really helps with time management too. Less of people are reaching out with simple questions that we can answer in advance.

Then the last thing that I always live by is write thank you notes. I always write thank you notes. I think, in a digital world, handwritten notes are not really common anymore, but I love to do that and I think it really goes a long way. I do write email thank you notes whenever I can’t do a handwritten. But handwritten notes, we actually do a lot of that at Weebly. That’s something that when I started I realized we should do hand write notes for different celebrations.

For instance, we do handwritten notes for birthdays, anniversaries, welcome cards on their first day. As I mentioned, the sidekicks write notes to their new hires on that day, and then even the founders write thank you cards and sign the anniversary cards. I remember I got a note from three founders, and it meant a lot seeing that in handwriting and not just be a email. So writing thank you notes, something I love to do.

[00:31:03] Kate: Great. No, that appreciation that somebody took the time, I agree with you, it’s very elegant and well-meant and well-received. Kelly, thank you so much for your time today. Its been a really great insight into Weebly and the phenomenal things that you’re doing, not just from a parks perspective but maybe aligning up the culture and having everybody live and breath it every day. I truly want to thank you for your time and joining us today.

[00:31:31] Kelly: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me.

[background music]

[00:31:34] Kate: Firstly, thanks for listening and spending time with us. I hope you enjoyed the interview with Kelly. For transcribed version of this show, head over to benifit/podcast. B-E-N-I.F-I-T/podcast. This is the start of conversations that begin to identify the best practices of when humans thrive companies prosper. If you would like to recommend anyone for the show, please email me at [email protected] [email protected]

[00:32:20] [END OF AUDIO]

Benefits

3 First-Class Employee Perks for Small Businesses

They say bigger is better. But, in the world of business, being a small company has it’s perks! Small businesses have a unique opportunity to build a productive, close-knit community full of happy employees. Their size gives them flexibility and the ability to adapt quickly, something that can be difficult for companies with thousands of employees.

However, small businesses compete for the same talent pool as large businesses. Employees expect them to create a great place to work and offer competitive benefits and perks. When competing with giant global companies, small businesses have to be better listeners, hearing and responding to their workforces unique needs and desires.

Here’s a look at some of the best first-class employee perks for small businesses. The following examples come from companies ranked in the top 25 companies on Great Places to Work’s Best Small Workplaces of 2017 list.

Strong Diversity Initiatives

Management consulting company Propeller supports women through it’s women’s empowerment initiative, Propel Her. The program, which encourages men to participate as well, provides mentorship, training, sponsorship, and support for it’s members. The monthly meetings are a safe place for men and women to uplift one another and help each other succeed.

Diversity initiatives can be particularly impactful in a small businesses environment. Smaller businesses, because of their size, don’t always have the same levels of diversity as larger companies. Creating ways to support and acknowledge the variety of people who make up a smaller company is crucial to showing all employees they’re welcome and seen.

Great Workspaces

Designing an energizing, functional and exciting workspace is an employee perk that keeps employees, well, perky! Radio Flyer, which makes children’s products, prides itself on its cool workspace. Natural light fills the space. Sit-to-stand desks, a backyard patio and grill, a cafe, a wellness area and a prototype shop do too!

For small businesses, the look and the feel of the office matters. After all, employees may not have as many places to go in the office when compared to the space a corporate campus with a larger staff offers. This makes it more important than ever to make sure employees enjoy the space they’re spending their time in!

Families in the Office

At 5, it’s not unusual for spouses and kids to be in the office. The electricity and natural gas consulting company allows family members to spend time the office whenever they’d like. The company says sometimes, children spend an entire day or a whole week, spending time with their mom or dad.

Some employees enjoy working or smaller companies because they say their coworkers begin to feel like family. Why not expand the family-friendly atmosphere small business employees love by opening your arms to their loved ones?

These are just a few of the many ways small businesses can differentiate themselves as employers. Thinking of a smaller size as an advantage, rather than a disadvantage, is necessary to finding innovative ways to make your company a great place to work.

Beni.fit helps small businesses create incredible benefits packages for their employees. Our benefits consultants focus on aligning your company’s culture and values with your benefits package, creating a one-of-a-kind solution for you. We absolutely love seeing small businesses and their employees succeed because we know that when humans thrive, companies prosper. Contact us today!

Culture

Employee Wellness Program Ideas That Work

Employee wellness programs are becoming commonplace in todays work world. Companies are taking responsibility for their employees wellness, connecting the dots between their employees health, their happiness at work and profitability. But, in a world of wellness programs with free gym memberships and on-site personal trainers, what actually works?

Here’s a look at 3 companies with incredible employee wellness programs that make wellness fun, normal and well-rounded. Be inspired by these employee wellness program ideas that work.

Making Wellness Fun

Zappos, an online retailer, does more than just sell fabulous clothing, footwear and accessories. The company has received praise for it’s innovative corporate wellness initiatives. While many companies offer gym memberships and support employees in traditional “workout” activities, Zappos focuses on making wellness fun. The wellness coordinator takes small groups of employees on “wellness adventures,” offsite activities that get employees moving and having fun. Past “wellness adventures” have included taking a group sports lesson, playing laser tag and jumping on a trampoline.

Remember racing out the door for recess in elementary school? Everyone wanted to be the first in line to check out their basketballs or jump ropes. Zappos holds “Recess Tuesdays” every week to help employees stay active. Employees can wander onto the company’s plaza and find all kinds of playground toys!

Making Wellness Normal

To employees a Limeade, a tech company focused on employee engagement, wellness is, well, normal. All employees get a FitBit fitness tracker on their first day so they can jump right in and immerse themselves in the fitness-focused culture.

Additionally, the company’s office space is filled with standing desks, bike desks, yoga balls and scooters. Employees are encouraged to find days to work from home and to take “well-being” breaks throughout the workday. Talk about normalizing wellness in the workplace!

Making Wellness Well-Rounded

Wellness is about more than just going to the gym! Zozi, an online booking software company, knows this. The company gives each employee a quarterly “fun fund” of $400. Employees can spend their “fun fund” money on a mini vacation or to save for something bigger.

The “fun fund” helps give employees something to look forward to, an important part of wellness.

Normalizing wellness as well as making it fun and well-rounded are three keys to successful corporate wellness programs. Have you incorporated these qualities into your company’s program?

The good news is, you can always improve your wellness program and your company’s culture. It’s never too late.

We at Beni.fit love helping companies improve their company culture and communicate their values through the perks and benefits they offer employees. Our knowledgable benefits consultants can help you design the perfect solution for your company and your employees. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

Benefits

How 4 Companies Turned Classic Holiday Activities Into Holiday Perks for Employees

Tis’ the season to be jolly! With the holiday season quickly approaching, companies are gearing up for a month full of themed activities. From holiday parties, to service activities, to gifts, companies often play the role of “parents” during the month of December, thinking of create ways to excite and reward their employees, the “kids” in this scenario.

These four companies took the traditional holiday perks for employees to the next level. Here’s how:

Holiday Bonus, Secret Agent Style

On one fateful December day, Tony Hartl strolled into his company, Planet Tan, with a metal briefcase in hand. After calling his employees into a special meeting, he opened the metal briefcase in front of everyone. The case, was brimming with cash! Hartl then proceeded to give each of his 17 employees a stack of 10 $100 bills. There’s something about holding cold, hard cash in your hand that just feels… good.

Many companies give their employees annual holiday bonuses. While receiving money in any form can be exciting, why not get creative in the way you give employees their bonus?

Giving to the Community, Shopping Style

Online writing community xomba.com encouraged employees to get into the holiday spirit by giving them their own responsibility: shopping for toys! The company gave each employee $200 to spend on gifts for children for the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. The program allows people to purchase gifts for children who may not get anything for Christmas otherwise.

Giving employees the opportunity to give with their company in a hands-on way allows them to feel like they’re truly giving back. Writing a large check in the company’s name is one thing. But, getting the whole company involved makes for a more active, intentional and rewarding giving experience.

Cherishing Memories With Loved Ones, Company Style

There’s nothing like sitting around with loved ones, munching on cookies and sipping hot chocolate while rummaging through family photo albums! Louisiana-based building company Fibrebond brings this warm, holiday nostalgia to the office by compiling an annual yearbook. Coworkers can contribute to the book throughout the year, sharing their favorite recipes, fun photos and memories.The company distributes the yearbook to its employees during the holiday season. The goal is to make the yearbook feel like a family photo album that documents and celebrates the company’s employees.

Why not celebrate the holidays in the office with a little family-inspired flair?

Gifts Galore, Raffle Style

It’s always nice to receive gifts during the holidays! Runyon, Saltzman and Einhorn, a Sacramento-based marketing and public relations agency, plays “Santa Claus” for it’s employees, cashing in it’s credit card points to purchase raffle prizes for employees. Everyone receives a gift from the raffle. Past prizes have included plane tickets, hotel stays, gift baskets and iPhones!

Spice up your company’s gift-giving traditions by finding a creative way to distribute the gifts!

While on the surface, holiday perks may not seem like a major priority, the truth is, employees appreciate when their employers make an effort to celebrate and recognize them. Working year-round can be grueling. Incorporating fun holiday activities and perks into the traditional workday is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. Tis’ the season for giving!

Beni.fit helps companies create customized, all-inclusive benefits and perks packages. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you prioritize your company culture and take care of your employees.

Benefits

6 Energizing Health and Fitness Perks for Workplace Wellness

Healthy employees are happy employees. Happy employees are high performing employees. High performing employees make great company leaders. The list goes on and on! It’s safe to say there’s a relationship between employee’s health and their satisfaction at work. Research even shows that employee’s health and happiness on the job impacts their productivity.

Companies across industries and of all sizes are picking up on the fact that investing in their employees health is an investment into the company’s future. From creating health and wellness programs to creating company cultures that encourage healthy lifestyle choices, companies are getting creative with how they promote health on the job.

Here’s a look at 6 energizing health and fitness perks:

Reimbursement for Races

Motley Fool, a multimedia financial services company, encourages employees to keep it moving by reimbursing them for any race registration fees! From marathons, to 5Ks, to Iron Mans, employees can sign up knowing their company supports them. The company reimburses team members for 50% of race-associated costs.

In-Office Organic Garden

Earth Friendly Products, in staying true to it’s name, provides employees with products from the earth itself! Each of the company’s facilities has an organic garden with home-grown fruits and vegetables for employees!

Discounted Local Yoga Studio Memberships

More and more companies are electing to reimburse employees for gym memberships to encourage regular exercise. TrendKite, a public relations analytics company, takes it one step further, offering employees discounted memberships to local yoga and fitness studios! This perk is great for employees who may not enjoy pumping iron at a traditional gym, but love yoga, pilates, dance and other fitness activities!

Employee Health Fair

Life insurance company Royal Neighbors of America holds an Employee Health Fair each year to promote wellness. The fair features free massages, flu vaccines and confidential biometric screenings. Employees can win health-related prizes for participating!

Onsite Farmers Markets

Nicklaus’ Children’s Health System hosts a weekly farmers market on all of its campuses each week! The market features local vendors selling a variety of healthy products including fruits and vegetables, honey, soups, and more. And the best part? Employees get a special discount on all items purchased!

“Workout Wednesdays”

Employees at Fitbit know they can break out their comfiest workout clothes on Wednesday. The day, deemed “Workout Wednesday” is devoted to fitness across the company. Employees have the option to participate in workouts throughout the day. The company plans about 6-9 workout activities each Wednesday, many of which are led by Fitbit employees! Sometimes, company executives lead the classes! The company plans about 6-9 workout activities each Wednesday.

When workplaces prioritize their employee’s health, they’re prioritizing people! At Beni.fit, we believe that when humans thrive, companies prosper. We love helping companies create comprehensive benefits packages and perks with their employees in mind. Do you need help prioritizing your people?

We’re here to help. Contact us today to speak to one of our professional benefits consultants!

Benefits

5 Inspiring Workplace Perks that Build Culture

These days, it’s not enough for companies to provide employees with jobs that pay well. People want to enjoy their time at work too! Creating a workplace culture and environment that gets people excited about coming to work is crucial to attracting and retaining great employees.

Here’s a look at 5 culture-building workplace perks companies have implemented to keep things fresh on the job:

Waffle Thursday

Medical technology company Heartflow, Inc. makes more than just non-invasive analysis equipment. The company makes waffles for employees one Thursday out of the month! Employees can decorate and enjoy tasty waffles as they work, keeping things sweet and savory in the office.

Money for Carpooling

Carpooling to work pays at Kovach Building Enclosures. Literally! The company gives each employee $4 for each day they share a ride. Incentivizing employees to spend time commuting together encourages them to connect with their coworkers and help the environment! Employees can pocket up to $80 extra each month just for carpooling!

Celebrating ALL Holidays

Netskope, a cloud security software company, brims with diversity! In order to acknowledge and celebrate all of it’s employees, the company makes it a point to recognize all holidays! From Hanukkah to Diwali to Christmas to Canada Day, no holiday gets left behind! Embracing holidays from different cultures allows employees to learn about one another’s cultures, creating an environment where differences are welcome and everyone has a place.

Storytelling and Spontaneous Company-Wide Activities

It makes sense that a marketing agency would get creative with their company culture. Creativity is the currency of marketing! The VIA Agency builds a fun, artsy culture at the office by selecting three employees to write a fictional story each month. The stories must align with a chosen prompt. Then, the employees read their stories to the entire agency! What a great way to keep laughs abounding in the office and writing skills sharp!

The agency also plans spontaneous activities for the whole company to spark creativity! The events have ranged from dance parties, to snow sculpture contents to improvisation workshops. There’s no better way to bond with your coworkers than by giving new activities outside of your comfort zone a try!

“Breakfast Clubs”

Starting off the day with a great breakfast can turn your good day into a great day! Intercare Therapy hosts breakfasts for employees with coffee, bagels, breakfast sandwiches, donuts and more tasty treats. Employees who attend the “Intercare Breakfast Club” can also participate in team-building exercises with raffle prizes and awards. Sounds like a great way to start the morning!

Building and cultivating an amazing workplace culture may sound like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! It can be fun and rewarding to watch employee’s thrive at work as a result of culture-building, programs, activities and perks!

That’s where we come in. Our expert benefits consultants love partnering with companies to design benefits packages that support strategic goals and keep employees happy. We think outside of the box, creating customized solutions that align with and build your company’s culture. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you make 2018 your best year yet!

Benefits

6 Fabulous Flexible Work Environment Benefits for Employees

With an increasingly diverse workforce with a variety of different needs, flexibility at work is an increasingly sought after perk. Gone are the days when a 9-5 workday was the standard. More and more, companies are trying to be flexible with employees, focusing on results rather than when and where work happens.

There’s no one-size-fits-all way to create flexible work options for employees. Here’s a look at some of the innovative ways companies are creating flexible workplaces. All of these companies ranked highly on Fortune’s Best Workplaces for Flexibility list in 2016!

Work However, Whenever

Employees at Hyland, an Ohio-based software company, have the ability to work where they please, as they please. They can work remotely, work nontraditional hours, or take extended breaks during the workday to get a workout in or spend time with their kids! 

Position Transfers for Better Work-Life Balance

Healthcare provider WellStar Health System takes position transfers to a whole new level! Employees can move to new positions based on how well the role works for their work-life balance goals. If a position that’s better for their work-life balance becomes available within their first six months of employment, team members are free to transfer!

Unrecorded Holiday Days

Information technology company HireVue allows employees to manage their own allowance of holiday days! This practice saves administrative time and creates a culture of trust among employees. Gone are the days when employees have to feel awkward asking their manager to switch around holiday days!

Unlimited Paid Time Off

Advertising agency Ontraport has joined the growing number of companies offering all employees unlimited time off. Employees don’t have to worry about whether they have enough time off to attend their best friend’s vacation or to make it home for their mom’s 70th birthday. They can take as much time off as they need, no questions asked. And the best part? They still get paid!

Consistent 40-Hour Work Week

Xima Software makes it a point to encourage employees to go home at 5:00pm by shutting off the lights. Sometimes, creating a flexible work culture means making sure employees know that it’s okay to go home and spend time with their families!

Strong IT Support

When people work outside of the office, technical difficulties can arise. Financial software company eVestment makes sure its IT department reaches out to and provides excellent service to remote employees! Implementing software that helps remote workers feel like a part of the team is a great way to normalize a flexible work environment.

Have you implemented any policies or processes that give employees flexibility at work? If not, it’s never too late to start. These types of nontraditional benefits and perks can increase employee’s productivity, company loyalty, and overall job satisfaction.

At Beni.fit, we create innovative solutions to your company’s people challenges through benefits. We’d love to learn more about your company and discover how we can help you keep your employees productive and happy to support your company’s goals. Contact us today!

Benefits

4 Women-Friendly Benefits From 2017’s Best Workplaces for Women

Women are an incredible force to be reckoned with in today’s workplace. Really, they’ve always been a force to be reckoned with! These days, there are more than 74 million women in the civilian workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Women make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce. More and more companies are recognizing that it’s essential to create a workplace that supports its women both personally and professionally. From implementing family-friendly parental leave policies, to allowing greater schedule flexibility, employers are making an effort to show that women are valued in the workplace.

Great Place to Work compiled a list of the 100 Best Workplaces for Women in 2017. Here’s a look at a few benefits the top 5 companies on the list offer:

Sit-to-Stand and Treadmill Desks

Texas Health Resources cares about the health of its patients and families. It also cares about the health of its employees, providing them with sit-to-stand or treadmill desks! Sit-to-stand desks encourage employees to stand on their feet instead of sitting all day! Treadmill desks keep employees moving, letting them walk and talk on the job, literally!

The nonprofit health network was ranked number one in the Best Workplaces For Women list! More and more, women need options. Whether it’s regarding child care, time off, or flex work scheduling, having options helps women balance all of their responsibilities while taking care of themselves! There’s nothing like knowing your workplace supports you in taking care of yourself, your body and your health!

100% Employer Paid Health Insurance

Women working for Ultimate Software, don’t have to worry about health care coverage for themselves or for their family. (Men working for Ultimate Software don’t either!) The company pays for 100% of the premium for medical, dental and vision insurance for it’s employees and their family members.

Ultimate Software, a cloud-based human capital management software company, came in second on Great Places to Work’s Best Workplaces for Women list. Generous health care coverage is a great way for companies to demonstrate their commitment to their employees health long-term. Including generous coverage for their family members is the icing on the cake!

Life Consultants

Hospitality giant Marriott International has a “TakeCare” culture focused on supporting employees in feeling good about themselves, their workplace and the company’s role in society. The company helps employees “TakeCare” of themselves by giving all associates and their family members access to expert life consultants! The consultants can help them through almost any of life’s challenges and act as a support system! Employees also have access to child and elder discounts along with new parent coaching!

Marriott International took third place on the Best Workplaces for Women list. Having someone to talk to about life’s challenges is a great resource for women in all stages of life.

Backup Child Care

Sometimes, we all just need a little back up! International law firm Cooley backs up it’s working parents with backup child care! The company partners with Bright Horizons Family Solutions to  help employees balance the demands of work and family. The program provides in-home and at-center care for employee’s children or elderly parents.

Great Places to Work ranked Cooley the fifth Best Workplace for Women in 2017. Clearly, Cooley understands that supporting women means supporting them in all of their responsibilities both personally and professionally!

If you need help finding creative ways to show that you value women in your workplace, we can help!

We at Beni.fit love partnering with companies to create comprehensive, customized benefit solutions to help you achieve your strategic goals. Contact us today to get more information and speak with a benefits consultant!