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Springfield, MO

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Lynn Voss, senior director
Lynn Voss, senior director

2010 Choice Employers, 101 to 300 Employees No. 3: UnitedHealthcare

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UnitedHealthcare’s 250 Springfield employees have no waiting period to participate in gaining stock options or to take advantage of paid days off. The company pays more than half of health insurance premiums for full-time employees and dependents. Bonuses are available to all employees, and there is a tuition reimbursement option for work-related courses. Other benefits are an employee assistance program, health rewards that can help employees save on their health insurance premiums.

Senior Director Lynn Voss answers SBJ’s questions:

How would you describe your company’s culture?
Our mission is helping people to live healthier lives. We do this by leveraging technology and focusing on innovative solutions that help improve medical outcomes while reducing health care costs. We develop practical technology for providers of care and consumers that make our health care system more efficient and effective, and we educate our communities by offering resources and expertise that will ensure more informed health care decisions.

Beyond financial compensation, what benefits are most important to your staff?
Our employees greatly appreciate our generous time-off allotments, flexible work arrangements, on-site flu shots, on-site fitness centers ..., recently increased 401(k) employer matches, tuition reimbursement, career (path guidance) and mentoring. We have a highly utilized employee stock purchase program which allows employees to purchase UnitedHealth Group stock (NYSE: UNH) at a discount.

What methods do you use to involve employees in benefit decisions?
We conduct an annual survey each year called Vital Signs, and offer a midterm sample called Pulse Check. Through the years, employees have raised concerns about their medical benefits, given the industry’s move to high-deductible, consumer-directed products. We responded with a pilot of a Next Gen product last year for our frontline staff – those typically at lower salaries.
The product offers first-dollar coverage and a reasonable deductible for those employees who may not have an emergency cash reserve early in the year. We rolled out Next Gen to all employees of a certain level across the enterprise for the 2011 plan year.

How do you reward employee accomplishments?
Quarterly variable compensation is a … bonus program that employees can directly impact, based on their performance against defined objectives each quarter. Managers are given a pool of funds to use each year to recognize high-performing employees on the spot. … Merit pay is provided to eligible employees as part of the annual review cycle, and stock awards are available for leadership at a certain level. … We recognize our Top 1 percent at an annual event held off-site. Last year’s event was in Orlando, Fla.
 
Just for Fun
If there were no limitations – budget or otherwise – what benefit would you begin offering employees tomorrow?
Personally, it would be ice cream or sorbet on demand. Otherwise, a benefit offering employees a $250 personal account to cover incidentals, such as veterinary visits and unexpected home or car repairs.[[In-content Ad]]

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