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Group Health Insurance Plans for Small Businesses in Arizona

Employers in Arizona with fewer than 50 employees have several options when it comes to providing health insurance. If you’re a small business, group health insurance plans are a great option for you! Group health insurance plans for small businesses in Arizona are plentiful and are a great way for you invest in your employee’s health and happiness.

However, we know it’s not always easy providing health insurance for your employees as a small business. Sometimes, it can feel like just another thing to worry about. Here at, we don’t believe you should have to. for Arizona Small Businesses

If you want to attract new talent, retain high-performing employees and compete with larger brands, you need a health insurance benefit. No doubt about it.

At, we have a unique approach to giving Arizona companies tools to grow and thrive. Offering quality healthcare coverage should benefit  both you AND your employees. In fact, we believe that taking care of your employees by providing great health insurance options will help you grow your business. Sound crazy?

It’s not. At, we believe that when humans thrive, companies prosper. In other words, when companies invest in their employees, the employees in turn become happier, more creative, more productive contributors to the company.

How We Help Your Business Build Benefits helps small and medium sized companies create comprehensive healthcare solutions for their employees. Our approach is unique because we keep your company’s culture and strategic goals at the center of all benefits packages.

We believe healthcare goes beyond health insurance! We also design strategic, three year plans for companies to manage their healthcare coverage costs through productivity and wellness programs.

More than two thirds of health issues in the United States are related to stress or preventable chronic diseases. By thinking creatively about how to address stress and encourage wellness in the workplace, we’ve seen companies dramatically reduce their health insurance expenses.

Our Benefit Package Design Process

With our partner with, you’ll receive a comprehensive benefits plan that aligns with your culture and purpose. We’ll dive deep into your company’s values and goals to ensure we craft the best insurance package for your unique needs.

Thoughtfully designed benefits packages can reduce turnover because employees feel taken care of. They also help attract new talent. Some people avoid working for small businesses because of the lack of benefits. But, that doesn’t have to be the case. We can help you get an edge!

We take the guesswork out of the complex health insurance industry. Our experts are standing by, waiting to hear from you!

There are so many options for group health insurance plans for small businesses in Arizona. Let find the best deals, packages and rates for you that will help you drive what you really want: results! Contact us today to learn more!


Employee Health Benefits for Small Employers

Want to set yourself apart from the competition? Differentiate yourself with an extensive employee health benefits package.

About 75% of the medium and large employers offer a comprehensive health insurance plan. Plus, they offer other bonuses and incentives to employees:

  • Health club memberships
  • Flexible schedules
  • Day care
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • On-site dry cleaning
  • And MORE!

In fact, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), companies must provide health care plans to employees with 50+ employees. And individuals must receive coverage, regardless of their background.

Unfortunately, employee health benefits for small employers come at a hefty price. That’s why so many are turning to

Small Business Healthcare Dynamics

Many smaller companies struggle to provide the best health coverage for their employees and end up losing them to bigger brands for more stability.

There are times when smaller employees cover the basics like health, wellness, fitness, travel, therapy, remote work, pets, etc. But these get fairly expensive, especially when you account for employee onboarding costs and turnover rates.

The problem that most small employers face right now? They often end up paying more for employee health benefits than larger companies because they don’t have buying power.

A small business, on average, can end up paying about 18% more than larger firms on the same policy and coverage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Aligning Company Goals with Healthcare Program

What’s really needed in the workplace right now is a health insurance experience tailored to your specific workplace culture. When your goals and healthcare package are blended together, it creates a more synchronous environment for your employees to excel.

That’s where the experts at come in. We work with smaller companies to discover the best way to give employees the coverage they need. Our benefits architects help companies  provide employees with stable and sustainable health coverage they can depend on.

Additionally, we help employers implement employee wellness programs to keep employees physically, mentally, and emotionally fit year round. At, we believe that when humans thrive, companies prosper. We’re committed to finding and creating a comprehensive healthcare solution for our clients so they can reap the bountiful benefits of taking care of their employees.  

How is Unique is committed to consulting with your organization and healthcare providers to discover the best approach for companies to prosper and thrive.

We help you craft comprehensive benefit packages that align with the company culture and purpose. Everything from advocacy to communications is handled by us, so that you don’t have to worry about coverage or employee satisfaction.

The Approach

Our entire approach puts your company’s goals at the center of everything. That way you can focus on your organizational process and reduce attrition.

Our current and past clients offer high praise for the work that we’ve done because of our astute understanding of their business. We see things from your perspective and come up with the best plan for your needs.

Our customized employee health benefits for small employers relieves stress from overextended owners. You may also see lower employee turnover and higher satisfaction.

Plus, when employees feel valued, they reciprocate with higher quality work. Contact today!

Denise Gredler, President and Founder of BestCompaniesAZ on The Benifit

Denise GredlerDenise Gredler built BestCompaniesAZ, a great places to work program in Arizona, from the ground up. After leaving her corporate job in Human Resources to give birth to her son Max, Denise knew she had the skills to be an entrepreneur and create a business of her own. For the past 16 years, she’s grown BestCompaniesAZ into an incredibly respected program in the state, honoring hundreds of Arizona’s best companies over the years. She was named one of AZ Business and AZRE Magazine’s Most Influential Women of 2017. It’s safe to say, Denise is doing amazing things in Arizona.

In this episode of the Benifit, Denise chats with podcast host and co-founder Kate King about what some of Arizona’s best companies are doing to attract and retain talent. She provides context and examples from her experiences working with these companies in a detailed, engaging way. Give this insightful episode a listen below!

Show Highlights:

[00:48] Denise talks about the purpose of Best Companies AZ and shares her motivation for starting it

[06:02] Denise explains how and why she made the jump from working in the corporate world to being an entrepreneur

[10:49] Denise talks about benefits and perks trends she’s seen in Arizona’s best companies

[14:56] Denise sheds light on the importance of Employee Resource Groups

[20:40] Denise shares the building blocks she believes build a great company culture

[28:34] Denise shares her insights about why people leave jobs

[30:36] Denise talks about the 3 rules she lives by


The Benifit Interview w/ Denise Gredler, BestCompaniesAZ President and Founder

[00:00:01] Kate: Good morning Denise, and thank you for joining the Benifit Podcast today.

[00:00:12] Denise Gredler: Well, thank you for having me.

[00:00:14] Kate:  You’re welcome. Firstly, I’d like to truly congratulate you on being honored as AZ Business Magazine’s most influential woman in 2017 for Arizona. This was, to me, very exciting to be able to interview this, and I think it really is an honor that goes to the recognition of the great leadership of what you do at Best Company AZ.

[00:00:37] Denise: Well, thank you.

[00:00:37] Kate: To get us started today in that, can you spend a minute or two on the purpose of Best Company AZ and your motivation for starting it?

[00:00:48] Denise: Yes. Actually, this will take me back to my corporate days when I was the VP of HR for a company that I actually helped create the path to get on Fortune 100 best list. Looking back obviously at the time, I never thought I would be an entrepreneur. But I do see now that that actually built the foundation, my corporate career built the foundation for what I’ve really brought to Arizona over the past 15 years.

I can remember in my corporate job, my CEO walked into my office, tossed the Fortune magazine on my desk and he says to me, “We should be on this list. Why are we not in the list? We’re doing everything that these 100 best companies are doing.” At that time, we were only 150 employees. From that day, I was responsible for helping to grow the culture and the creating a lot of the different programs at the company that eventually were recognized number 12 on Fortune magazine’s 100 best list. I’m not going into a lot of details about I ended up going out on my own.

Right around 9/11, I’m dating myself, right around 9/11, I actually took a maternity sabbatical, and during that time period, our company had a big huge loan write off that actually put the company under. No sooner did we get our company on the Fortune list frenkie number 12, the first year number 16, the second year. The following year, the company was liquidated and my last assignment in my last job at my corporate position was to help everybody go through outplacement. Guess who was the first one to go through outplacement? Me. [laughs]

Obviously in a liquidating company, you don’t need somebody managing corporate culture, training development, organizational development programs. The CEO said to me, “Denise” he said, “You’re going to be one of the first ones to go through it, so find a really good outplacement firm.” We got together with an outplacement firm, and it was actually the coach I had at the outplacement firm that really helped give me the confidence to start thinking about going out in business on my own. That’s kind of how the Best Company model was created. I approached Fortune magazine at the time, the Great Place To Work Institute. I’m assuming you’re familiar with the Great Place To Work Institute, the research partner.

Kate: Absolutely.

Denise: I approached them because I had a relationship with them because of being number 12 on the list.

We were interviewed a lot and shared a lot of different stories, and I asked them, “Would you ever be interested in doing the best place to work list here in Arizona?” I see they were doing the list, I think in Pennsylvania and Idaho at the time. Not thinking they would say yes, I just threw it out there, “Would you want to do it?” They said yes. I kicked off in 2003, the very first best companies to work for, an Arizona program. We had to find a media partner to help us. At the time, I approached the business journal, the Phoenix Business Journal. They were the media partner for the very first program, and my goal in managing the best place to work program was really to help identify in Arizona, who were the companies that truly cared about culture. That was going to be my foundation to start building my practice. Companies that wanted to start going down the path of learning how to build an award-winning culture could participate in the program. For those companies that would win, we would help them with the branding and promotion of their award. For those companies who didn’t win, we would help them through consulting and coaching, survey analysis to help them get there.

From that point on, the business really took on a life of its own with the community. The program was so popular, it went from 20 winning companies the first year, up to I think 75 winning the second, up to a hundred. Now 15 years later, we have like three different award programs in town that many companies, hundreds of companies are benefiting from.

That’s a long answer to how did I get started. It really was my corporate Foundation which at the time, if you would have asked me then, if I would ever be an entrepreneur, I would have said heck no. That would be the last thing that I would think I would do, that it really set me up to be able to create these programs for Arizona and help other companies benefit from them.

[00:05:32] Kate:  What was your — In making that jump to the entrepreneur, I loved how you said it like, “Who would have thought I would ever do that?” What was the two, three highlights, if you like, of making that leap to be an entrepreneur from corporate? Because there’s many people I think who are in corporate want to do it or an entrepreneur and look at corporate. Your perspective on that would be fantastic to hear.

[00:06:02] Denise: Let me take this in and answer this a couple of different ways. The one main reason I think is, when I look back at the company being liquidated — Any HR professional out there who has pride in helping to build a culture that is recognized as number 12. That is a great accomplishment and a lot of fun being able to create something like that for a company. To see that fall apart overnight — when 9/11 had to — you think that nothing would ever happen, that this company would go under.

People think that my company will never go under, they’re going to be around forever. That’s what we thought. I thought I was going to retire at this company. When that came apart overnight, it came apart at the exact same time I was on a maternity sabbatical starting a different phase in my life. I could remember, not going into a lot of details, but a lot of employees lost a lot of money through stock options. I’m at this period of time, I’m a new mom, my son was in the first year of his life. All of a sudden, I don’t have — despite of my corporate life that I had 15 years prior, and I was in a scary place. You lose your nest egg, you’re a new mom, you’re trying to figure out what to do, going back to another corporate environment in HR, I felt would have taken me away from wanting to be a parent. The work in HR, you typically don’t have work life balance. At least back in the 90s was the day of more face time. I would never have been able to have the autonomy or flexibility like you see today, companies offering so many flexible work arrangements. Back in those days, when you were in HR, you were in before the CEO and you left after the CEO.

I just didn’t want to do that, and it was really going through the outplacement and having that coach, that’s why I so much believe in coaching. It was that coach who really helped give me the confidence to show me I have the tools, I have what it takes, I have so much knowledge and information on building an award winning culture that I should be sharing it with others. Instead of going back to just one other company and sharing that knowledge with one other company, why not share it with the community. It was the coaching from my friend Kathy at the time, DBM. I don’t even think they’re around here in Arizona anymore. She really helped me create that path and then they helped me get started. Does that answer your question?

[00:08:43] Kate:  It does, yes. I always think that having those uh huhs coming from a long and bustling corporate career and to the entrepreneur. You have your reasons, but it’s quite interesting the metamorphosis that happens. I did a similar thing in going from a corporate to being an entrepreneur, and for me, the big highlight was that I’d have many different colleagues and great team members who were the masters of their domains.

When you go and you luncheon to be an entrepreneur, you get to learn every single detail and do it yourself on that journey without that kind of support. It’s interesting the resilience you create and you sustain in making that leap, but also the incredible accomplishment you have from getting in at the minimal detail to the big stuff on a daily basis, which is the real beauty of making the leap.

[00:09:50] Denise: Yes, and it’s exciting because, like you said, you’re on your own and you’re able to build – it’s your vision, it’s your company, you can build what you want. But at the same time, you’re learning, oh no, my computer broke down.

[00:10:02] Kate:  Exactly.

[00:10:03] Denise: I can’t pick up the phone and call IT to come and help me. Or I need a payroll check. I can’t call payroll. You’ve got to go into Quick Books, and as you’re getting started, figuring out how to be the accountant, how to be the salesperson, how to be the IT person, how to be the administrator. It was quite the learning curve and I don’t think you ever stop learning as a business owner always trying to juggle all the different hats you have to wear.

[00:10:29] Kate: Yes, absolutely. Denise, thank you. My second question for you is really talking more about companies in Arizona. What are some of the things that Best Companies in Arizona are doing when it comes to creating benefits and parks for employees?

[00:10:49] Denise: I actually manage a couple different programs. One program, I’m the consulting partner for the Republic media AZ central stop companies to work for in Arizona. I have an opportunity to see benchmark data coming from that group, as well as managing Arizona most admired company, where we look at the company a little more holistically. I’d say if I look at both of those audiences, I see — some of the common things that I see this year – It’s actually interesting, because way back in my corporate days, I did a lot of these things. We introduced a lot of these benefits that I’m seeing that it’s even more important today. A lot of companies are focusing on wellness, creating all different types of wellness, creating a wellness environment that looks at the employee as a whole.

From when you enter the door, if you’re a college student having debt to pay from a college loan, to moving into wanting to have a family where you might need some wellness programs to eat healthy through your maternity to baby boomers. If they’re starting to retire, what you could do to help prepare people for financial wellness. It’s the big picture, looking at not only health-wise, the mental wellness as well as financial wellness. I see a lot of companies offer a lot of variety in the different things that they provide.

The second thing I would say is flexibility. Obviously flexible work arrangements have been around for years. Not back in my day. Like I said, I used to have to work face time. It was called face time. If you came in after the CEO, you came in late, if you left before the CEO, you were leaving early, and he used to work 6:00 to 6:00. Today, you see just a lot of flexibility. You see companies and managers allowing people all different types of flextime arrangements, and they’re really accommodating people for each individual person’s needs, whether it be job sharing, coming in late, working remote.

I know some companies offer sabbaticals. We have a lot of clients that offer three month sabbaticals. Companies are offering — three of our clients; Vanguard, USAA and Direct energy, offer 12 weeks of maternity and paternity leave. You see just a whole variety of flexibility in the workplace trying to help employees have that work life balance.

The third thing, actually might be a fourth, but the third thing. You do see a lot of companies creating fun work places. I always tell everybody, that some people when I approach them to participate in competitions, they feel they’re not going to be able to make it because they don’t have maybe all the bells and whistles like a GoDaddy would. If anybody has been to the GoDaddy office, they have an incredible work environment where they have a slide to go from one floor to the next, they have bikes, they have basketball, they have full blown cafeteria. They have a lot of fun things like that. I think Infusionsoft has the football field, the cereal bar.

But you don’t need to have all those things in order to compete to be a best company. Some people might even just have a meditation room, a conference room set up for either yoga or meditation. You’re seeing companies trying to create fun workplaces, but again, customize it to fit your demographics obviously. What did I say? Wellness, work life, creating fun, work places.

The other thing — I don’t know if you would call this a perk, that I’m seeing a lot of different types of employee resource group. Do you know what I mean by Employee Resource Group?

[00:14:54] Kate:  Yes, absolutely. But why don’t you explain that for our listeners?

[00:14:56] Denise: Okay. They’re usually like groups of employees that have commonalities. For example, if I look at Charles Schwab for example, because they have a whole variety. They have an Asian Pacific Islander Network of Black Professionals Association. Almost all the companies we work with have some military veterans group. They have an LGBT group.

Those are some of the common things that you see. They are just groups of employees. When you’re hiring people or want to retain people, you’re creating a community for like-minded people to come together and filling part of the culture and part of the group. Some interesting things I’m seeing that — For example, Schwab has a parents group which — that’s the first time I’ve ever heard of anybody creating an employee group for parents.

I think GoDaddy has a fitness group, fitness and technology, where they have a group of employees to get together, to be active and get fit. You’re just seeing, again, a variety of these employee resource groups surfacing. Again, I believe that it’s all to accommodate the demographics for the workforce and what employees are asking for. That would be — let me think. You have said benefits and perks? Did I cover those?

[00:16:22] Kate: You did. Yes, the fullest. We have wellness, flexibility, making the workplace more fun, and these great groups that are emerging around employee resources. I think they are –

[00:16:33] Denise: Yes. That’s –

[00:16:34] Kate: – great examples.

[00:16:36] Denise: Yes. I think that the employee resource groups really what’s driving that is diversity and inclusion. Everybody is looking and all the companies look at creating an inclusive work environment.

[00:16:50] Kate: Fantastic. Now, that was actually going into my next question I had for you, which is not so much talking about benefits or perks, but the changes you’re seeing and the kinds of things companies are doing in AZ to support the employees. I think that the employee groups or support groups is definitely — No, I think the diversity inclusions have been there for many years. People are getting much more focused on either lifestyle choices, special interests, and I think that is propelling the change.

I love the example you gave of fitness and technology. There’s so much data now that can help aid your fitness. These days, having a group around that then being able to share the autocracy organization, I think it’s a great way that we’re seeing companies change. Is there anything else that you’ve seen in terms of changes around the employees support?

[00:17:51] Denise: Let me think here. A couple of things. It relates to the diversity and inclusion group. I think some of the changes or the shift maybe in this direction is to create more of an inclusive environment. I know several of our clients here in Arizona have high volume hiring. They do a lot of hiring. I think these types of groups even help with recruiting.

For example, the military veterans group or the Black Professionals Association group or the Schwab parent group, they can be utilized as a team of employees who are out there trying to generate employee referrals to help recruit like-minded individuals who will fit the culture at these companies.

And then in terms of retention, I think you’re seeing a lot of these groups, because it also helps to retain people because you do feel you’re part of the family. Not only part of the family as a whole with the company, but with your department or with some of the employee resource groups or the community outreach groups. Almost every company does something, giving back to the community and they have teams of employees who get together for that as well.

In terms of change, the one thing I do notice is just, because I’ve been managing over the years award competitions, I am seeing more and more companies wanting to participate in a top company to work for program. Whether it’s a state program, an industry program or national program like the Fortune Program, whether it’s best places to work in IT that I think computer world runs.

I think The Great Place to Work Institute has all different types and best place to work programs for millennials and all the different demographics. I think that’s what you’re seeing. Companies are now seeing — CEOs, CFOs, the ones who usually manage the numbers, they are seeing the ROI. They know that there is ROI that these companies are building this great culture and then they are being branded and recognized as the best place to work, that really does impact your bottom line in terms of obviously low turnover hypertension, and in just in recruiting, just recruiting alone. They’re able to hire and attract high-quality people.

[00:20:19] Kate: To that point where are we getting into culture and really attracting talent, and in your experience, being both an entrepreneur and helping companies and really consulting with companies as well as your corporate experience, what would you say are the key building blocks of the great culture?

[00:20:40] Denise: I actually have a model that we use, but I think big picture the core building block really I think is trust building. Building trust in a work environment. I think if you look at how Fortune evaluates and ranks their winners, it’s all about trust and they break that down into three areas. I’m going back to a model they used to use years ago, that trust has to do with credibility, respect, and fairness. That’s all again about how you treat your employees, how managers treat employees, how employees treat one another.

A lot of companies will say to me, why don’t I want to participate? We don’t have enough money to pay for the perks and the compensation that these other companies are doing. I tell them that really the main driving force behind building the best place to work is creating an environment of trust. Where your employees are respected, and there’s fairness, there’s camaraderie, and people enjoy working together. That’s what it’s all about.

When you look at some of the competitions, I know in just things that I’ve been involved in, pay and benefits, yes, they’re important, but are they what is driving in the rating so to speak of how you’re selected as a best company? Probably not. It’s more that relationship. It’s more the relationship with managers and employees and with the team environment.

[00:20:24] Kate:  Great.

[00:20:24] Denise: Did that answer your question?

[00:27:26] Kate: It does, absolutely. I think that for the most part people going back to the four things that you mentioned earlier on perks and benefits, I feel that some people, some companies get confused in that. That as we start looking at perks and benefits that’s really building that environment, but that not necessarily is then your culture statement. I think having the purpose of your company really be foundational to their annual culture. Then the building block on top of the culture then becomes, what are you doing to keep, to retain, attract and really grow your ROI in executing a great culture? I think that’s very distinct steps there, that some companies may have trouble along across the landscape on. I think [crosstalk] now very well in those three things and trust. I completely agree with that. To me is fundamental in any relationship regardless of work or my boss, my employees etc.

[00:28:34] Denise: It’s like you hear everybody say people don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses. That’s so true. When you really get in and you research turnover and why people are leaving, the majority of the time, that’s just from my own personal experience, is that, number one, there was no path for development or no opportunity for growth. Or they just did not have a good working relationship with the boss, or they had conflicting values or their values weren’t in line with the company values.

Even like looking at the AZ central top companies benchmark data, there’s eight different criteria that we’ll look at, and the ones that are rated the highest is in the categories of corporate culture, communications, leadership planning, role satisfaction, and relationship with supervisors. They’re usually in the 90% to 92% favorable range. Then when you look at training the development and paying and benefits, their average score is like around 87%.

You see that there’s a difference, that there’s more emphasis even though that’s not a big gap. There’s typically more emphasis and that you have higher favorable ratings as it relates to culture, communication, satisfied in what they’re doing with their job satisfaction.

That’s what really drives the company to get on these best place to work with. That encouraged anyone whoever– if you ever work with anyone who feels they don’t have a robust benefit package or comp package, that that should not discourage them. If they have a good culture, good people, and a good vision and employees engaged, they would do very well in the competition.

[00:25:27] Kate: Okay, great, that’s good to know. Denise, I’m going to switch gears, if that is okay with you. Because I’d really appreciate it. I think we’ve got a tremendous amount of great information that our listeners can actually go and put into practice whether they reach out to you directly or they’re just kind of getting started in this arena. I’m going to switch gears, if that’s okay to you. We heard a bit about you at the beginning and you are making strides from corporate into being an entrepreneur. And there’s two questions that I feel that are always great to really get underneath, what powers people through the day. The first one is, what does your morning routine look like?

 [00:25:14] Denise: My morning routine. As I mentioned a little bit earlier when we were talking, my morning routine — I have good intention, so let’s put it that way. I have good intentions to get up early, and early for me would be probably like 6:00 AM. I know some of my colleagues get up at 3:30 to get to the gym. I am not a morning person.

[00:26:36] Kate: Wow. 3:30, that’s impressive.

[00:26:40] Denise: Yes. I have one colleague who he gets up at 3:30. That’s his productivity time, I think for a couple of hours, and then he goes off to the gym and then he goes to work. I’m usually up at 6:00. I try to get up early, but I’m usually up at 6:00 and I usually try to work out in the morning. Like, try to at least get 30 minutes in with an elliptic or 30 minutes walking. But do I do that every day? No. That typically could be dependent as a working mother. It all depends on what’s going on with my son that morning. You think when your children get older, it will be easier, but sometimes it’s just as challenging trying to deal with a teenager getting them out the door.

If I could describe what my perfect day would look like, it would be working out in the morning. After I workout, I typically will do my e-mails, and usually from home, I’ll be responding to e-mails before I get to the office. Then once I get into the office, I work with one of my colleagues, Lindsey, who helps me run the operations side of the business. She is really good at setting up our goals for the week. We use the system that she introduced me to called trello. We’ll set up what our priorities are for the day, and she has really helped me.

Prior to that, I’d be on my own, as I said as an entrepreneur trying to figure out where to focus your time, whether it’s sales, or service, or accounting, she’s really good at coming in and kind of setting the tone for the day of what the team needs to focus on. We typically will follow her lead. I always tell her, “You’re my boss, you tell me what you want me to focus on today and then we’ll get it done.”

It’s interesting, when my son was younger, my mornings were always off. I never was able to do anything in the morning. I thought once he became a teenager, I’d get into my routine where I could get up at 3:30 and do the early morning workout. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m never going to be a morning person. I do what I can to at least get some sort of exercise in. I do daily reading. I have daily reading or daily prayer, daily meditation. I look at every single day to kind of set the tone for the day and then take it from there.

[00:29:08] Kate: That’s great. It’s interesting you say you’re not a morning person. I think some people say 6:00 AM, that’s definitely morning. [laughs]

[00:29:16] Denise: Yes.

[00:29:17] Kate: In the middle of the night person at 3:30 AM.

[00:29:22] Denise: Actually I know my one friend who gets up at 3:30. I said to him half the time I’m going to bed. I used to go to bed at like 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning because I couldn’t sleep. At least now I’m getting to bed by 11:00. If that I used to stay up all hours of the night working, that’s when I would have my peak productivity. But again as a mother, you work around your family schedule, on when you can have that quiet time.

[00:29:46] Kate: Absolutely. Denise, to close out the podcast, and thank you for all the insights, especially for businesses and your experience in that cross between corporate and being an entrepreneur. What are the three rules you live by?

[00:30:06] Denise: The three rules I live by. I would say, looking at the three rules I live by, just overall, not just in business, just in life, is I try to be true to who I am. I guess authenticity, be authentic, be real. I think I learned this early, early in my 20s when I first started my career in HR. I had a CEO who told me to never be afraid of asking questions. Never try to pretend you know something you don’t. If you don’t understand, ask the question. I think within my career, that helped me always just be real and just true to who I am, I can’t pretend to be somebody I’m not.

The second thing is I do try to operate always with high integrity. Sometimes I’m so honest, even I tell my son, I can’t even tell little white lies sometimes. I just always I’m trying to teach high integrity operating with the highest level of ethics. I know over the years, being an entrepreneur, I actually– there are some people that I have not worked with because maybe conflicting values. I really try to stay true to that, to always operate with high integrity.

I think the other thing I’ve always operated by is I always try to put people first. When I look at in business, putting people first, people are driving your business, people are what you need to run your business. I think sometimes as a business owner, it’s hard you know being an entrepreneur that you have to make business decisions that I try to always balance managing by the heart and the mind. A lot of times I’m managing more by the heart, and as an entrepreneur, you can do that, but there’s pros and cons to doing that. I think that I will always put people before any financial conflict, or any type of conflict. I’m always focusing at before I go to bed at night, how can I resolve this conflict with anybody? Again, I think that stems back to my early teenage days or childhood days, with my parents training me to never go to sleep mad or angry at anyone.

[00:32:40] Kate: Thank you.

[00:32:42] Denise: Those are three, right?

[00:32:43] Kate: Yes, they’re three.

[00:32:43] Denise: Authenticity, integrity, and always put people first.

[00:32:48] Kate: I love your first one. I love them all. But your first one on being authentic. I think people come into an environment and think they have to know everything. That somehow creates anxiety with people and that creates a challenging environment. Having the freedom and the permission to ask questions and be inquisitive and curious, I think absolutely makes not only for a great person to live their truths, but also great companies in which have that real open and honest transparency in it. So I love authenticity.

[00:33:25] Denise: Exactly. Even when I think about making mistakes, or if you screw up, or an employee makes a mistake, don’t ever be afraid to just admit. I’ve never had a problem, even with clients, if I dropped the ball or something. I’m always going to make it up to them. I may have slipped on — missed a deadline, but I’m going to go above and beyond and make it up for you in another way. I never try to pretend that or wipe mistakes under the carpet. I’m always just very transparent.

[00:34:02] Kate: Fantastic. Denise, my sincere thanks for joining us today on the Benefit podcast, it’s been a real pleasure getting to know you a bit and really understand your journey as well as the really useful insights you’ve given to our community. Thank you.

[00:34:19] Denise: Well, thank you. Thank you for having me. I really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to learning more about your organization and things that we could possibly be doing together.

[00:34:30] Kate: Wonderful.


What Does an Insurance Broker Do?

If you’ve been asking yourself, what does an insurance broker do?, your days of wondering are over. Here a look at everything you need to know about what insurance brokers do and why.

What is An Insurance Broker?

Insurance brokers are like special agents. While they may not dress in all black with dark sunglasses sporting a high tech top secret earpiece, they are cool, connected and informed. Insurance brokers use their expertise in insurance and risk management to help clients decide what they should insure and how they should do it.

What Does An Insurance Broker Do?

Insurance brokers main responsibility is to help connect clients with insurance deals and packages.  Since brokers do not work for one specific insurance company, they have access to a wide selection of policies. They may even have special hook ups that aren’t available to the general public. Because insurance brokers access to a variety of insurance policies, they can make sure their clients get the best coverage for their needs at the best price.

How Insurance Connects to Company Culture

On the surface, it may seem like insurance and company culture have nothing in common, no obvious connection. Perhaps you think purchasing insurance has nothing to do with your company’s culture. Here, at, we believe insurance and company culture should not only be connected, but should complement one another harmoniously.

Company culture is not always clearly defined. Essentially, a company’s culture is it’s set of values, beliefs, behaviors and priorities. Think of it like the personality of a company! There are all kinds of personalities companies can have, from being a work hard play hard kind of workplace, to being relaxed and casual.

These days, it’s more and more common for people to want to work for companies with values they connect with. On the flip side, more and more companies are considering whether an individual would be a good “culture fit” when deciding who to hire. It’s safe to say that organizations are thinking critically and intentionally about their corporate cultures to create an atmosphere that will both attract and retain employees.

At, we’re more than an insurance broker. We’re passionate about reimagining benefits and bringing them into alignment with each company’s unique culture.

How Is Different

We’re committed to discovering an approach that allows companies to prosper and human to thrive. Our benefits architects partner with companies, helping them craft comprehensive benefits packages that align with their company culture and purpose.

We’ve helped all kinds of companies put together incredible benefits packages that cater to the needs of their employees. Our entire approach to creating benefits packages keeps your company culture and strategic goals at the center. We know that when your company’s values, processes, culture and benefits are in alignment, your company works, well, better!

Thoughtfully crafted benefits packages can help you reduce turnover and take care of your employees. When employees feel valued and cared for, they tend to be better employees. And, better employees drive better results! Contact us today to chat with one of our knowledgeable benefits consultants.



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. 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.


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. 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]


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. 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!


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 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.


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 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! 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.