I’ve been traveling the state recently, getting our brokers ready for the start of open enrollment. It’s part of my job to follow changes in state and federal regulations and let everyone – Blue Cross employees, our groups, our brokers who serve our groups and individual members, the general community – know how those changes will affect their health benefits.
So I’m taking a break from writing today and letting our Chief Human Resources Officer here, John Brown, tell you a little about how Blue Cross works on the inside. We recently were named as one of the best places to work in Baton Rouge and that’s something I’m proud of. (I’ve written before about why I love working for Blue Cross.)
Why are we talking about this award on Straight Talk, a blog about healthcare costs? Well, we know that engaged, fulfilled employees are more productive and more likely to stay with a company. That means we spend less on replacing and training employees, reducing our overhead costs. That’s important because, after all, it’s your money.
It’s more than what we do…it’s who we are.
I am beyond proud to announce that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana was just named as one of the 2018 Best Places to Work in Baton Rouge, placing thirteenth in the large company category. This is the fourth year in a row that Blue Cross has made this prestigious list and by all accounts, the bar keeps getting higher.
The awards program, a project of the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, the Greater Baton Rouge SHRM (an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management) and Best Companies Group, recognizes the best places of employment in Baton Rouge. Companies from across the region are evaluated on workplace policies, practices and demographics, as well as through survey feedback from randomly selected employees within their organization.
Congrats to all of the companies selected for the Best Places to Work in Baton Rouge list this year. We already feel like we are one of the best places to work, but it’s wonderful to be recognized by others and to be part of an elite group of employers who prioritize employee satisfaction.
So what’s the secret to maintaining workplace practices that keep employees engaged and happy?
Sure, a good benefits package, including competitive salaries and health benefits, is important and helps to recruit and retain great employees. But that’s not enough. In addition to good salaries and health benefits, we invest in our employees, providing career development, leadership training, diversity training, tuition reimbursement and goal setting to help them grow and succeed. We also offer flexible hours, casual dress and a work-from-home program because we believe that having a healthy work-life balance contributes to healthier, happier employees.
We show our employees how important they are to us and they, in turn, show our customers that we are genuinely concerned with their health, their wellbeing and their happiness. And that’s a win-win. In fact, as Best Companies Group President and Co-founder Peter Burke pointed out at the awards ceremony…high employee engagement is directly correlated to business and financial success.
We also feel that engagement is intimately linked to our mission—to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Each employee at Blue Cross, no matter their individual role, is tasked with this great mission. I think employees feel that responsibility and take pride in it. When they come to work each day, they come with the knowledge that they are actually empowered to make a difference in the lives of our customers and our employees have a strong sense that those customers include our families, neighbors and coworkers – that’s powerful stuff.
We’ve also found that employees are more fulfilled when they have the opportunity to support the community in which they live or work. Through our Team Blue volunteer program we offer employees the chance to volunteer for favorite charities—while on company time—so they can stay connected to the community. Our employees are actively engaged citizens; last year our employees volunteered more than 20,000 hours and donated more than $200,000 of their own money to worthy organizations and charities.
We couldn’t be prouder of the work our employees are doing on behalf of our company, our customers and our community. It may be a cliché to say that it’s the people who make the company, but it is the truth here. Our employees are our brand, our advocates, the people behind our company’s Cross and Shield logo.
And in my book, they’re all winners.
Originally published Sept. 27, 2018, on LinkedIn.