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In a little over a decade, Primero Profiles has grown from a one-man operation into a thriving leader in the engineering sector, supplying steel plate products to hundreds of clients across Aotearoa from its manufacturing facilities in Auckland and Tauranga.

We have some pretty cool machines that do incredible things with steel plate, says Director Vaughn Clark, who started the business from scratch back in 2011. With one machine and a hired building, he spent his days on sales and produced the orders at night. Now, the business has a total of 150 staff, with outstanding retention rates and career pathways for a diverse team.

Vaughn says providing Southern Cross Health Insurance as part of Primero Profiles’ employment packages has been a key tool in building such a loyal and hardworking team. A few years ago we were struggling to attract and retain employees. We decided we needed some points of difference and one of those was Southern Cross Health Insurance. It’s definitely made a big difference and for some of our people it’s been life-changing.

The Southern Cross Health Insurance team genuinely want to help

It’s always fun when the Southern Cross team come and visit. They organise vision checks and hearing tests and the whole team gets checked. It’s phenomenal. They genuinely want to help our teams’ wellbeing – that comes across quite strongly. The Southern Cross account managers also talk to the team about the basics – using the app, making claims and explaining what’s covered.

There’s a range of cover options available, depending on the specific employment packages. For some staff, family members are included in their Southern Cross Health Insurance plans, and those with young families often opt to upgrade to that package. Vaughn says the family cover makes taking care of his kids extremely easy. As soon as someone has something wrong, we go straight to Southern Cross and it’s just seamless.

Although Primero Profiles have only been with Southern Cross Health Insurance for three years, two team members have already needed to make claims for significant health issues that required “reasonably expensive” operations. They were able to avoid any delays and get straight into surgery, and it made a huge difference to the speed of their treatment and recovery.

Improved staff retention and reduced absenteeism

Primero Profiles often employs young apprentices direct from school – usually people who haven’t found that mainstream education or traditional jobs are a good fit for them, and who are looking for a hands-on career that doesn’t rely on qualifications. Primero Profiles provides all the training they need on the job and gives them a pathway into a well-paid and skilled lifetime career.

In the past, those apprentices weren’t always keen to go to the doctor, Vaughn explains, but since all Primero plans include GP visits, that’s no longer causing problems. Some of the younger team members wouldn’t go to the GP because of the cost, and they’d get worse and need a week off instead of just a day. It wasn’t good for anybody. Now with Southern Cross Health Insurance, they’re not scared to seek medical help and people aren’t avoiding the GP anymore.

Taking care of the Primero Profiles team and watching them thrive in their careers is really rewarding, says Vaughn, and the business is continuing to succeed thanks to its hard-working people:

I think we’ve got the formula right – we’re consistently growing year on year, and we’ve got such a good team. It’s awesome to sit here and watch them grow and succeed. It’s a really fun place to be. Staff retention is now great and I believe offering Southern Cross Health Insurance is definitely a contributing factor in that.

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