The secret to a loyal IT crowd

Colleen Bardsley, Director of HR
Jade Software

Jade Software has one of the lowest staff turnover rates in the IT industry and an impressive employee tenure record - so it must be doing something special to keep its people happy. One of its secrets? A comprehensive and very successful employee benefits package, which includes Southern Cross health insurance.

Established in 1978 and headquartered in Christchurch, Jade Software designs, makes and supports innovative software and technology for businesses around the world. Renowned for its smart solutions and intellectual power base, it's always had a serious commitment to providing its people with a great place to work - and the results can be seen in the numbers, with an industry-low 7 percent staff turnover rate and an average employee tenure of 9-10 years.

Taking a holistic approach

So how does Jade achieve a level of staff loyalty that so many of its competitors can't?

"We believe in showing our people that we care as much about their health and wellbeing as we do about the contribution they make to our business," says Colleen Bardsley, Jade's Director of HR. "We do this by offering them an extensive range of health and wellness benefits, as well as fun, social programmes that involve their families too."

One of those benefits is a Southern Cross health insurance plan, which the company offers to all of its full-time, New Zealand-based employees and their families. The plan provides cover for diagnostics, specialist consultations, cancer care and surgical treatment, with options for those who take it up to extend their cover if they wish.

Colleen says it's proved a winner for everyone.

"It enabled our staff and their families to get medical care when they need it, quickly and efficiently," say says, "It also eliminates the stress of waiting lists and worries about the costs of treatment, and for us that means happier staff and increased productivity on the job."

25 years of service

Southern Cross health insurance has been a real help for Jade's Solution Architect Kevin Douglas - he's been with the company for 25 years and during that time he and his family have made a number of claims.

"Both my daughters suffer from asthma, so it's been a huge help for us that the insurance covers pre-existing conditions," he says. "I've also had a few issues that needed checking out, and having specialist cover meant I didn't hesitate. I could make my decisions for medical reasons rather than worrying about the cost. It's only through working with Jade that I've been able to get this insurance, and I really appreciate it."

Kevin's equally impressed with the service he gets from Southern Cross. "I've recently started using their online claim system; it's made the whole process so much easier," he says. "And being able to claim for medicines directly at the pharmacy is huge. They've come a long way from the days when I had to keep receipts and fill in paper forms!"

One benefit among many

Jade's health insurance offer dovetails with a number of other benefits developed to support a culture where its people feel valued, motivated and inspired to success. Yvette Hooper, Jade's Senior HR Adviser explained that these include:

  • Employment-related benefits such as life and income protection insurance, home broadband allowances, additional parental leave and flexible working practices
  • A suite of programmes and events that encourage and support physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing
  • Regular presentations from experts on topics ranging from healthy nutrition to finance and insurance
  • Opportunities for staff to celebrate success and share their own ideas, experiences and perspectives in a social atmosphere
  • Family-friendly events such as mid-year themed parties and an annual family Christmas party.

A valued long-term partnership

Southern Cross's partnership with Jade extends well beyond that of simple insurance provider. The team presents to Jade's staff on a wide variety of health and welfare topics and is a regular feature of the Jade induction process, helping staff and their families to learn more about health insurance and how it works.

"I've heard from our staff how friendly and helpful they are; from all accounts their service is exception," says Yvette. "We find them a real pleasure to deal with."

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