Case studies and success stories

An international success story

Industry: Professional, Scientific &Technical services
Size: 1600
Business challenge: Supporting employee wellbeing
Solution: Subsidised health insurance, health checks, flu vaccinations

When engineering consultancy Beca was named New Zealand’s Most Reputable Organisation in 2011*, it was for much more than its outstanding technical, financial and service performance.

The accolade also recognised Beca’s strong ethical and social values, and the company’s success in balancing its global corporate size with a ‘New Zealand family’ culture.**

That ‘family’ culture pervades every aspect of this internationally successful company. It’s the foundation of its commitment to employee health and wellbeing, and reflected in a decades-long partnership with Southern Cross.

Supporting employee wellbeing

As part of its commitment to supporting employee wellbeing – within and beyond the workplace – Beca offers a number of health and wellness benefits. These include regular health checks, free annual flu injections and an employee assistance programme through which staff can access advice and support in dealing with personal problems that are affecting their work performance. The company has been particularly proactive in Christchurch in response to the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, providing staff with a range of support mechanisms, including extra time off work, to help them cope with the effects on their personal and professional lives.

Southern Cross health insurance is a key part of the health and wellness package. After three months with Beca, all employees qualify for a fixed-dollar company contribution towards the cost of their premiums, with choice on the plans that best suit them. Partners and immediate family are also covered – a significant benefit that, says Christchurch Office Manager Garth Cann, may be a factor in the take-up rate of more than 70 per cent.

“Southern Cross health insurance offers both our employees and the business a number of benefits,” he says.“Our employees and their families get more affordable insurance along with the ability to choose plans that suit their circumstances and their budgets – and they enjoy the advantages of prompt access to private treatment when they need it, without the potential stress on their finances.”

According to Garth Cann, Christchurch Office Manager of Beca NZ, “health insurance also helps to position Beca as an employer of choice. We feature it in our recruitment advertising strategies and promote it within the company via emails, our intranet and internal newsletters.”

The partner of choice

Southern Cross has been part of the Beca employment package for many years – a reflection, says Garth, of its reputation and performance.

“Our charter requires us to re-tender for all our outsourced services at least every three years – and time after time Southern Cross has met all our criteria,” he says.

“We like the fact that it’s a not for profit organisation, it’s consistently well run, and it communicates with the business and its clients regularly and effectively. Southern Cross also provides excellent service to our staff and their families; their claims are handled quickly and efficiently and they get the care they need, when they need it.”

Delivering results

Garth reports that Beca’s health and wellness initiatives have had a positive impact on its rates of injury, illness and absenteeism.

“Our human resources team monitors things like hours off work, and is very focused on taking a proactive rather than reactive approach to employee health and wellbeing,” he says. “For example, we encourage our staff to stay home if they’re unwell, and we support them in returning to work when they’re fit to do so – which can mean modifying their duties or providing part-time work.

“Our staff are the key to our success. We value their knowledge and skills, and are committed to providing them with a safe, healthy work environment. Initiatives like Southern Cross health insurance really work for our company: it’s good for them, and it’s good for our business.

* Awarded by NZ Management magazine and The Hay Group
** NZ Management magazine, September 2011

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