Promoting good health 

When Phil Moulds decided to share the profits of his business with his employees, he steered away from giving them cash. Instead, he chose a fully subsidised Southern Cross health insurance plan - and it's been a resounding success. 

Phil is the founder and Managing Director of PetfoodNZ, a Gisborne-based business that specialises in manufacturing, canning and exporting premium quality cat and dog food. Supplying brand owners and distributors worldwide with products ranging from beef, lamb and venison to fish, chicken and vegetarian options, the company is a Kiwi success story. 

Seeking a meaningful solution 

Finding good staff can be a challenge in the small, relatively isolated Gisborne community, so Phil's determined to ensure that PetfoodNZ has a reputation as an employer of choice. With this in mind, he recently came up with an idea that would reward his team for their contribution and help in attracting new staff too.

"The business had reached a stage where it was possible to share some of the profits with the team and their families," he says. "However, I wanted to reward them in a meaningful way, so I discounted the idea of cash - it's too easily spent, forgotten and even wasted." 

"I decided on health insurance, and having been a Southern Cross member for many years myself, I contacted them immediately to set up a scheme. It was an easy decision: my experience with Southern Cross has always been good." 

PetfoodNZ now offers two Southern Cross plans: Wellbeing One, which covers surgery and related expenses for all employees once they've been with the company for six months; and the more comprehensive Wellbeing Two, which is offered to senior managers. Both plans extend to employees' families, with the ability to add modules, at their own cost, if they wish. 

Success from the start 

While it's early days for the PetfoodNZ health insurance scheme, Phil says almost 100 per cent of his 30-member team have signed up and he's received nothing but positive feedback.

"Southern Cross made it really easy for people to join," he says. "They talked to each person, explaining how the scheme works and what they needed to do to join." 

"My team love the fact that under the chosen plan Southern Cross will cover their pre-existing conditions, and they now understand the many benefits of private health insurance. Having fast access to diagnosis and treatment means they get back to their work and home lives quickly, without the costs and worry that often go with taking days or weeks off." 

Phil also appreciates the benefits for his business. "Having people at work who are healthy, motivated and appreciative makes all the difference. And I'd like to think that having health insurance will become a lifetime habit for my team, and encourage them to look after themselves." 

Tracking progress

With the PetfoodNZ Southern Cross work scheme now in place, Phil plans to track its impact on factors such as absenteeism and general health and wellbeing. He'll also take a closer look at Southern Cross' range of wellbeing programmes and resources, which offer opportunities to enhance health and wellbeing in the workplace. 

"We want the best staff we can get," he says, "and offering  employer-funded health insurance is one way of attracting and retaining them. The Southern Cross scheme is a really good initiative, and a great way to give back to the people who are key to our business."