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How We’re Enriching Employee Wellbeing with New Benefits

CJ Jacobson and Maura McCarthy

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New employee benefits brochure with smart casual glasses

We have a confession to make—one that may come as a surprise to you and to the masses of other business leaders and talent management professionals who have a vested interest in employee engagement.

Ready for it? 

Even as a worldwide global engagement solutions provider whose ultimate business is people, we’re no different from the thousands of organizations who find employee retention and recruitment among their top organizational challenges.

You got it. We’re right there with everyone from red-hot startups to Fortune 500 employers of choice who continuously seek ways to cater to and support a valued, diverse employee demographic.

It’s no easy task, given that 10,000 baby boomers will retire per day until 2029, Millennials now make up the biggest segment of the workforce, and Generation Z is on its way in.

Luckily, we have some pretty savvy knowledge and expertise when it comes to engaging people.

Earlier this year, we decided to take a new and deeper look into what moves our own people. This June, Employee Wellbeing Month gives us the perfect platform to reflect on the heightened wellbeing focus within our own walls—and to showcase the sensation it created.

 

EMPLOYEE WELLBEING + NEW TEAM MEMBER BENEFITS: WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

 

We Started by Conducting a Cultural Assessment (i.e. We Asked Our People)

Knowing that employee wellbeing and corporate culture are impacted by more than one element of a team member’s being, we knew we needed to take a holistic approach.

We needed to appeal to elements that impact an employee’s performance, career, wellness, social and community opportunities. And to make sure we got it right, we facilitated focus groups to find out exactly what was important to ITA Group team members—not to other employers’ people or to the market as a whole, but to the individuals within our own walls who collectively define our culture.

 

Then, We Leveraged Our Findings—And Had a Really Good Time Doing It

In March, we rolled out an enhanced offering of team member benefits designed to impact employee wellbeing and progress our culture at the same time. The inclusion of MotivologySM supported a robust mix designed to intrinsically and extrinsically appeal to the masses and maximize the impact (i.e. really move the needle on employee engagement and wellbeing). New offerings are complementary to existing recognition and performance initiatives, and include:

  • Smart Casual Dress. We kept it simple and kept it smart with the introduction of denim as a dress code option—every day.
  • New Anniversary Gifts. Dinner gift certificates, a month-long sabbatical option and airline tickets gave us the opportunity to introduce years-of-service awards that allow team members to create truly meaningful experiences.
  • Summer Flex Hours. We strategized a way for team members to get the most out of their summer and do the stuff they want to do.
  • Team-Wide Summertime Ballpark Outings. Team building now includes kicking back and cheering on the home team.
  • Partner and Community Discounts. Our valued partnerships with restaurants, retailers and travel suppliers allow us to pass on savings to our own people, so we tied them all up in a neat little bow.

 

The Real Magic Was in the Delivery

It was smart—from the strategy to the messaging to the packaging to the distribution. We rolled the new benefits out internally in tandem with the external launch of a larger enterprise brand campaign (aimed at existing and prospective clients, and actionably themed Be the Reason). The goal? Leverage the creative in a way that would speak uniquely to team members, re-energize their efforts and empower them to be the reason our clients love us.

Our approach was completely aligned with what we would (and do) recommend to any client or potential client. For two weeks, team members came in to daily announcements of new benefits and initiatives. And, creative brilliance plus tactical execution resulted in an inspired campaign that delivered a strong and cohesive message.

A tri-fold style announcement enclosed by a pair of multi-colored eyeglass frames unveiled the smart casual dress code initiative as a way for team members to express themselves (because, you know, smart looks different on everyone).

Selfie sticks helped hype the rollout of new travel and entertainment anniversary gifts, asking team members, “Where Do You Picture Yourself?”

Brightly-messaged beach towels communicated the rollout of summer flex hours and featured all the ways team members could use the towel (everything from a superhero cape to a tortilla for a cat burrito).

The rollout created a buzz and an energy that was felt throughout the organization—from baby boomers to Millennials—and gave team members the opportunity to see our own business in a whole new light.

As a newer team member, I have heard a lot of talk from more tenured personnel noting how welcome all of the changes are. I strongly believe that these initiatives will only strengthen the culture at ITA Group for both new and existing team members. I am so excited to Be the Reason!

– Millennial Team Member


The entire campaign—communications, desk drops, kickoff party, pop-up events—was awesome. It was really impactful, and nice to be a recipient/participant to feel the impact of what we do as a company—the power of motivation. Love the new culture vibe, and am excited to see how it attracts new and talented people to our company, and breathes new life into our tenured team.

– Generation X Team Member


This campaign was one of the best initiatives ITA Group has done in a long time. You could just feel the buzz around the office about how positive the changes are…it was fun getting a surprise on our desks every day. The way this campaign was delivered is a great example of how to do things well when rolling out new products or initiatives, whatever they might be.

– Baby Boomer Team Member

 

Our Very Own Culture Club

The initiative also resulted in development of what is now internally referred to as the ITA Group Culture Club. Progressive, yes? We like to think so, as we want to continue to support the evolution of our culture.

The group is made up of representatives from different generations and departments, and its actions are guided by its vision to “create a unique culture that allows our team members to thrive personally and professionally, positively impacts our clients’ business objectives, and creates a one-of-a-kind experience for our participants.”

 

Measures of Success

Like the clients we serve, we strive to stand out as an employer of choice in an industry and community hungry for talent.

Therefore, our ultimate measure of success is tied to employee retention, specifically the median tenure of team members.

But, the new benefits and initiatives also contribute to overall brand strength, which impacts employee recruitment, and client relationships and satisfaction. In the months to come, we’ll determine the impact as it relates to not just the return on our investment, but also the value on it. 

 

You, Too, Can Be the Reason for Employee Engagement and Wellbeing within Your Organization

When it comes to employee wellbeing, a holistic approach is where it’s at. Including all facets of an employee’s world—performance, career, wellness, social and community opportunities—within your scope is the key to increased everything for your organization—engagement, productivity and profit.

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