I get a lot of questions about how we create the environment at Benefitfocus that results in our associates being so engaged and passionate. Over the last two weeks I shared some ideas on how we created a framework for supporting our associate activities and involvement - we refer to it as The Wheel. The Wheel has four councils: Community, Living, Learning and Spirit. I wrote about Community last week, so this week I’ll focus on the Living, Learning and Spirit Councils.
Living - At Benefitfocus our associates are very active and interested in wellness and living healthy lives, and that’s where our Living Council comes in. Living is one of the most active councils, whether it’s participating in our company-provided boot camp and yoga sessions, or joining our running club, they’re always up to something fun!
The Fitness Boot Camp is tremendously popular. Just check out a few of the testimonials our associates have shared:
“Boot camp helps me build camaraderie with fellow associates while improving my general fitness. I always feel so much more ready to take on the world at work the next day as well!” - Gary, Technology Delivery Manager
“It is nice to meet people from other departments and even encourages us to form friendships outside of the office. Even at different levels of fitness, exercising together can help to build stronger relationships.” - Jennie, Configuration Consultant
The Running Club is also a company favorite. The club gets together for group runs and participates in 5Ks and half marathons throughout the year. The iFive:K is one of the biggest events they take part in. It’s a local race where the Charleston tech community comes together to raise money for scholarships and educational programming. This year we have over 200 associates registered!
Learning - Back inside the office, the thirst for knowledge is never-ending at Benefitfocus. To help further encourage those at our company, we created the Learning Council, which focuses on personal and professional development. It’s so cool to see all the ideas they come up with.
They started a Toastmasters Club and a corporate library. The council also hosts many “Lunch and Learns” that associates can attend to learn about a range of topics, such as software development, ways to improve efficiency, writing and personal finance. In a coding class some of our engineers taught their fellow associates the basics about coding. It was so popular that now the Learning Council is creating a coding club.
Spirit - In our busy lives, it’s easy to get caught up in our work and forget to celebrate the successes. Our core value of “Celebrate!” is on the back of our badges, as a constant reminder to stop and recognize the great things that happen each day. This is where our Spirit Council comes in. They’re always ready to celebrate our associates and our company, both professional and personal milestones or successes. Our Spirit Council is made up of enthusiastic volunteers who help plan associate-related events, quarterly software release parties, the annual family-friendly Halloween party and many fun events in between.
Giving our associates creative ways to spend time together and the ability to focus on celebrating their teammates has a tremendous positive impact on the health of our organization. It not only keeps morale high, but also drives engagement.
The members of the Spirit Council are celebration leaders all around our company. They’re usually the first to ring a cowbell, invite a new associate to one of the Council meetings or rope them into the lip-syncing contest!
Like many companies, Benefitfocus has high standards and we ask for the best from our associates. Through each quadrant of The Wheel, we aim to provide a great experience for all of our associates as they work to enhance their lives and the lives of those in our community. We try to offer something for everyone. By engaging each of our associates, igniting their individual passion professionally and personally, we create an opportunity to demonstrate that we are dedicated to the people who are doing such great work for us. The goal is to build a sense of community and shared success that then results in healthy and engaged associates over a long period of time.