Global Benefits Engagement—Total Rewards in the Employee Lifecycle
Events over the last several years have put a spotlight on benefits and well-being, as organizations fight to attract and retain talent. As a result, aligning benefits communications strategies with your company’s values and business strategy has never been more important or more challenging.
In this session, Cassandra Roth, Senior Consultant at Segal Benz, joins Anna Mawani, Benefits Director at BeiGene, to share how BeiGene created a global benefits experience that engages employees in all that’s offered, at every stage in the employee lifecycle. They discuss the value and obstacles of communicating global benefits at scale and provide solutions to engage employees and candidates equally and effectively. Learn how to:
- Define your vision for global benefits engagement
- Understand how to create a consistent experience with total rewards, across geographies, that also accommodates local differences
- Identify top priorities in your global benefits engagement road map
This webinar was previously recorded. View the full transcript below.
Jo Moeller: Hello and thank you for joining today’s special webcast,
Cassandra Roth: Thanks, Jo Anne. Hey there. I’m Cassandra Roth, a senior consultant over at Segal Benz where I focus on employee engagement and communications. Over the years, I’ve been privileged to work with major companies like Amazon, Comcast, CBS Health, Con Edison and Sanofi, and currently I work with Nvidia, Lenovo, SLB, and BeiGene. I love helping organizations improve their outreach engagement strategies. It’s super rewarding to see how people’s lives can become healthier and happier when they’re positioned to thrive. I’m also a founding member and Chair of Pride at Segal, which is a business resource group dedicated to creating an inclusive workplace for LGBTQIA+ employees. I’m really excited to share with you today. It’s nice to meet you all. And Anna, I’d love to have you introduce yourself as well.
Anna Mawani: Thanks, Cassandra. Just go to the next slide. I’m Anna Mawani, Senior Director of Benefits, and I’ve been in the fortunate situation here at BeiGene for the past five years whereas an organization we have continued to grow and expand just within the last couple of years, expanding to 21 countries with a quickly growing headcount across four regions and we’re continuing to grow. Here we have placed benefit programs from ground up. This unique opportunity provided BeiGene with an edge to be holistic and modern in our approach, and I’m excited to be here today to share my experience in developing a global communications strategy. We are a global organization with about 10,000 colleagues spread around the world, currently in six regions and 32 countries.
And our goal as an organization is to be as borderless as possible in our daily work so we can accomplish our mission to the highest standard. And at BeiGene, we want to transform the biotechnology industry, creating impactful medicines that will be affordable and accessible to far more cancer patients around the world. And we do this with courage, persistent innovation, and challenging the status quo. Cancer has no borders, neither do we. Back to you, Cassandra.
Cassandra: Thanks, Anna. I’m going to just back up one second and just introduce Segal Benz as well. So Segal Benz helps our clients support their people to be the healthiest version of themselves in a holistic way. When we think of total rewards, we think of our client’s culture, benefits, compensation, onboarding, DEI, day-to-day. There’s really no topic too big or too small when it comes to getting the details right for a strong relationship between your organization and its people. Together at Segal Benz there’s approximately 65 of us, consultants, project managers, writers, copy editors, web and video producers, and graphic designers, and I’m really excited to share our story with you today. So we’ll move ahead here and talk about the topic of the day, and it starts with a pretty broad question: why does your total rewards communication strategy need to be global?
Creating a global total rewards communication strategy provides several advantages. The first is that being region and country agnostic allows you to create an equal experience for all employees. You’ll ensure that benefits, resources, and support are shared consistently with all of your people so they can use what you offer to live their healthiest lives. If you want to make sure people are taking advantage of mental health month, for example, get them all moving in the same direction with messaging about your mental health benefits, time off, and other company priorities to ensure consistency throughout all business uniforms. By identifying the benefits that countries have in common, you’ll be able to scale communications quickly and identify differentiators that need special attention. When you provide stakeholders, especially managers and HR with the information that they need to be successful, their conversations with your people are going to become more relevant and meaningful, and the work you do will support a global culture. Showing up for your people equally puts your employees on an even playing field and fosters cross-border or collaboration, which is especially important for global companies that work across country lines.
When you plan on a macro level and in this case global, it’s going to allow you to hit the appropriate touch points and cadences so that you’ll be able to have your message distributed and supported properly by any subsequent or local communications. And you can make a clear connection between your organization’s mission, vision and values and the total rewards that are offered. The best part about a global communication strategy is that it makes your job easier. One benefits communication strategy globally is going to provide you with the framework and structure that allows you to scale communications and speak to your people with one voice. So we talked a lot about what’s great about global total rewards communication strategy. You might be thinking, "Yeah. But it’s not that easy," and I totally agree. It can be really difficult.
A few of the common challenges are related to people who have capacity to work on a strategy like this and having budget in terms of the time or money to hire experts, right? Working with people in different time zones, areas of the world, aligning benefits, support and resources that differ greatly from country to country are all other challenges that you may have when creating a global total rewards communication strategy. Anna, I know some of these challenges sound familiar to you. Do you mind sharing your experience and what you faced with BeiGene as you started to think through global total rewards communications?
Anna: Sure. Yeah. Well, let’s just start with the resources just from a people’s perspective. When we started this, I was a benefits team of one. I was not only managing the extreme growth in expanding to new countries and headcount and now taking on this big task. However, knowing how much more efficient a global site and communications framework would make things I put in the extra time initially. And of course with huge help from the Segal Benz team and now have seen the benefits where time is diverted from my day-to-day administrative tasks and questions to more valuable use. And luckily, we have a bigger team now to help and they’re contributing to this initiative. And then, in terms of geography differentiators, even things such as language, we discussed early on if we needed translation services, are people mostly English-speaking? In what country would we need sites in dual language or maybe even translated? Even something as easy as using the English language.
When building out the Canada and UK site, we needed to think through and determine which type of English we would use, Canadian English, British English, or stick with American English all the way through. And for programs that were the same and we could duplicate some site pages, we decided that sticking with American English can save us time and also some cost. The other one was currency. For example, on the Canada site, if we just had the dollar sign, was it assumed its Canadian dollars, or did we need to know Canadian dollars? And then of course in the U.S., we tend to have the most in benefit offerings, therefore it made sense to build the most robust site first and would that determine where the differentiators are in other countries, how much page real estate we would need?
For example, vision coverage is not as prevalent in most countries. We have a full page dedicated to our vision program in the U.S., but maybe a sentence or two of information for other countries. So ultimately you need to look at your organization and determine what is it nice to have versus what is going to make the most impact to employees, managers, and the benefits team and focus there first.
Cassandra: Thanks, Anna. Identifying what’s important and we may stand in the way, are great starting points in developing your strategy. Let’s take a deeper look at what we did together with BeiGene. So first we wanted to develop a strong goal for our strategy and that begins with defining the vision, and how we defined the vision was a multistep process. We began by getting to know you at BeiGene deeply and part of our intake involves learning a lot about BeiGene, their people, who they are inside and outside of work, what’s important to them and how they currently interact with their total rewards. As part of our initial fact-finding research, Anna, you completed a survey with lots of important data points that helped us paint a really good picture of BeiGene’s population and their wants and needs. Then using that information we said, "Okay. What would be most valuable to BeiGene and their people and how do we get there?"
We determined that creating a consistent scalable experience for BeiGene’s people was critical for a few reasons. One, BeiGene had limited benefits and total rewards people to get the message out, when we started, Anna was a team of one. Two, BeiGene was and still is growing rapidly worldwide. So we needed a communication system that would provide the opportunity to do mass outreach easily. And then three, if BeiGene was going to invest in a global total rewards communication strategy, it needed to be one that could be implemented quickly and scaled aggressively. So we got to work, we defined that vision for what was needed, and we took the necessary steps to get there including creating a global benefits brand identity, multi-year roadmap for global communications, and launching a new channel of communication which was BeiGene’s global total rewards site.
You may already be thinking, "I need to get this started for my organization," and that’s great. Here’s how you can begin developing your vision if you want to start with this global total rewards communication strategy. First, we recommend that you think about who you are, who your people are and what makes your organization unique. Then dig a little bit deeper into the needs of your population, what keeps them up at night? How are you currently in successfully reaching out to them now? And then ask what you can do to make total rewards education accessible as possible so that people can use that information to flourish in work and life. Reflecting on these questions is going to help you give a headstart to what happens next and that is getting organized. I don’t think the slide is moving. There we go. So when you start getting organized, it can be really intimidating, much like moving that slide was. Most big ideas plan and start over here on the left, they’re messy, tangled, you’re not really sure where they begin and ends, and that’s okay.
Getting organized is going to allow you to move from left to right to that space of clarity. So during the organization process, you might even refine your vision, change your mind, that’s a good thing. Because everything you do here to get aligned and organized is going to make your communications foundation even stronger and give you an easier time scaling in the future. So here’s it’s really important to start putting in the work. What I’m sharing right now is how we started to get organized with BeiGene and while Excel might not be a groundbreaking tool. It was the right one for the job here because we needed to put together a key list of countries that BeiGene currently had and were located in, and then plans to establish a presence in the future. So we listed out all of the total rewards offerings and then we went from this blank sheet to this color-coded beauty here. Anna, how did mapping out the offerings help us in the getting organized phase?
Anna: Well, first I will say that prior slide is so right on in capturing our experience. In the beginning I had so many ideas and thoughts and we then put this chart together to say, "Okay. Well, how many benefit programs do we really have and where do we have these programs? Where are they the same, mostly the same, or even different?" This was a huge help and as time went on, we unraveled even more as we organized other topics and ideas. For example, the launching of other country sites, we organized that, what benefits events we were going to have available in countries, we organize that. So at this point I think we’re about like four to five organization charts or guides, and yes, they are mostly Word and Excel, but we are getting closer and closer to a less windy rope.
Cassandra: Definitely. So we established which countries had what benefits and then we needed to plan for how the countries would be added to the global experience. Anna, how did you decide which countries to prioritize? Was it population size, types of employees, a combination, something else?
Anna: Well, as I mentioned earlier, we started in the U.S., as in the U.S. we have the most robust benefit programs. And in the U.S. market having robust benefits and communicating is a huge driver in hiring and keeping top talent. And it was a matter of where we were growing the quickest most questions coming in and what was somewhat easier ones to do. Also, in year one, when we were working on the three sites, I was still working on establishing the benefits in other countries. And as time went on and we had a better idea of what was more established and where we were going to have the most headcount, we started with those. There’s no right answer on the order. It really comes down to what makes sense for your organization and where there are needs are for your people and your benefits or HR team.
Cassandra: Thank you, Anna. One thing I’ll mention before we move on to what comes next is the question I’m most often asked when creating global strategies and experience and that’s, "Why not do everything everywhere all at once?" And the answer is not shocking, but it’s really worth stating and that’s because to build a global total rewards communication ecosystem, you really need to nail the foundation and make the rollout manageable. Taking on 30 or more countries at once can sound appealing in the sense that there is one deadline, but in reality, there’s so many stakeholders in moving parts for each country that what happens when you try to do too much is the project becomes more likely to fail. So when you make it manageable, incremental and scalable, you provide everyone involved with the opportunity, the space, the time they need to do a great job and that leads to better outcomes for you and your people.
Here’s a look at what we made manageable for BeiGene. We started in batches. We’re currently in batch three and as you can see, we’re on track to complete three batches by the end of the calendar year. And when we talk about batches, we’re talking about the grouping of countries that were rolling out this communications system for. We originally thought that it would take us up to 12 months to complete each batch, but as we got rolling, the foundation that we built became so easy to scale that we’ve been able to accelerate the timeline and are on track to add more countries to the experience sooner.
I believe we targeted end of 2024 as our original deadline and now we’re looking at mid 2024 and we’ll have gone from zero to 30 countries in that timeframe. In addition to the global total reward site, we’ve also been able to increase communications globally more quickly than we would’ve thought. We plan to do U.S. quarterly communications in 2023, and then realized what’s stopping us from going global here. Anna, do you want to talk about the transition from U.S. to global and how mapping the site really helped support a seamless transition to broader communications?
Anna: Absolutely, Cassandra. Yeah. What is stopping us from taking our quarterly communications global? We had done the initial planning, not only did we start identifying the similarities and programs, but because we were still in expansion mode, we looked for opportunities with vendor partners to expand our U.S. programs to other countries. As we were able to grow the programs, at the same time, incorporated these into our site build and that same messaging. And now we can communicate these programs on a global level and have somewhere to direct employees to learn more about the programs on their own country site. This unified benefit experience gives us an edge in transcending through time zones and creating that unified seamless experience for all. This is really important when you have a team where within that team you can be on four different time zones. I love it when I see our Virgin Pulse challenges launch, and I have someone on my team from Italy and Switzerland and also someone from my own hometown.
Cassandra: That’s super fun and great to connect everyone, especially when many people are still working remotely, and I think it really speaks to just how valuable that is. Thanks, Anna. If you’re looking to do this for your organization, here’s how you can roll up your sleeves and get started. We recommend making a list of all of your countries and regions, what’s offered, what each has in common, and what’s unique about each country. Then think about how you want to approach your people. What do you want people to get out of these communications? How should they feel when they interact with your total rewards information? Communications has the power to show people how much your organization cares and values each person, so spend some time really focusing on the outcome you want. What reactions and behaviors do you want to promote, and then think about the voice you want to establish In talking about total rewards with your people.
It’s important to be consistent. The beauty of global total rewards communications is that you can level the playing field for all of your people no matter where they sit. Showing the same amount of attention and detail across borders can be unifying and culture changing. We’ve talked a little bit about who needs to be prioritized first, but let’s dig deeper and get into what information they need, where they expect to get it, when you need to start launching communications for a certain country or region, and why or how this will be meaningful to your people?
Jo: We have a question that has come in. One of our participants would like to know if the communication was based on the U.S. package of benefit programs or did you take into consideration cultural and country differences as you rolled this out globally?
Cassandra: That’s a great question. Go ahead, Anna.
Anna: Go ahead.
Cassandra: I was actually going to pass it to you because I think you’ve really taken the time to learn a lot about each country and what’s important. And as we’ve developed each site for the countries, we have a framework where the communications wise, everything is the same, but the information is different and really specialized to each country.
Anna: Yeah. That’s right, Cassandra. Definitely we want to take culture into consideration when you’re looking at programs in other countries, but what we had was we really focused on what programs are the same. Because we were in a space where we were building benefits in other countries at the same time as we were doing this communication strategy, there was different programs. For example, I mentioned Virgin Pulse, but EAP or Modern Health, we’ll talk about as well, some other programs, even travel resources, they can be the same information from country to country. So if it’s the same information, we did try to keep the same messaging but where things were different, specifically pension that is in retirement, right? There is very much different in country to country that we spent more time in really tailoring to that country. So there was a little bit of both. There was somewhere it was consistent as we wanted to stay consistent on the messaging, and other programs where it definitely was specific to that country and the program and the culture there.
Cassandra: Great. Thanks, Anna. And when we thought about these conversations and what was important the major needs to address globally, we had four that were really important to BeiGene. One was recruiting support, the other was the new hire welcome. Another was general education and support for total rewards, and then unique to BeiGene and events and holidays calendar that like cancer in BeiGene really had no borders. Anna, can you walk us through these needs and why they were so important to BeiGene?
Anna: Sure, of course. Actually, Cassandra and I, you and I were reminiscing about how we started almost three years ago. I came to Segal Benz seeking for a new hire communication solution and I remember you were told, Cassandra, this is a small project with BeiGene and now here we are and so much more. But initially I was struggling with our new hire onboarding benefit experience as I was doing a weekly Monday presentation on our benefits. And it would take up half my day and after, I would still get a ton of questions with as fast as we were hiring in the U.S. Onboarding took up most of my week and the rest of my work became secondary. This is a huge problem and needed to be reversed, so we developed just an onboarding solution in 2021 and we launched it in 2022. And it did a trick and now I was able to focus on my work for the entire organization and not just the new hires.
The second thing was the recruiting support. If you’ve been in benefits for a while, you would probably remember that PDF brochure we provided the recruiters. It’d go in a nice candidate packet. Then the PDF went digital, but as technology advanced, we also needed to keep up with the times. So why not a pretty webpage that matched your company’s webpage and culture. We first did this webpage for the U.S., and it was a big hit, and of course when we were growing rapidly in Canada, the recruiters would ask, "Well, what do we offer there?" And then we grew in another country, "What do we offer there?" And now we have a robust candidate site with the benefits at a glance for 13 countries and growing. And on this site, not only do we have the benefit information that the highlights, but we also have information about our culture and other aspects of total rewards package.
And yeah, the holidays, that was another big topic for us. Like I mentioned before, we were trying to work in our global teams as borderless as possible. So it was important to know from project planning to coverage when team members were going to be away. I remember I had created so many versions of holiday calendars in a Word and in Excel from a detail list view to a one-page view. And then, as we kept growing in countries, the font kept getting smaller and smaller, and then not to mention it wasn’t really user-friendly or eye catching. Our solution now is very modern, easy to navigate through and it actually looks really good.
Jo: One additional. Anna, if I could ask one additional questions, to what extent did you try to train your managers to also carry the message of your programs?
Anna: Actually, we have some plans in place for further management communication program or communication tools that we’re going to work on. That’s on our list of next things to do. So right now mostly things that are coming out from benefits and HR is coming directly from the benefits HR team.
Jo: Okay. Thank you.
Cassandra: And that’s a great question, Jo Anne, because managers and HR are such an important piece of the communications puzzle and definitely recommended to do those communications. In BeiGene’s case going from just Anna to now, Anna, you have at least two other people and we’ve created this kind of ecosystem. We’re now starting to think in that manageable, scalable way of, okay, we have the foundation, we have the global total rewards communication site, we have global quarterly communication, we’re looking at new hires, onboarding, also parental leave, those types of communications. And looking forward as part of our planning and strategy to include managers and HR.
And what I really recommend whenever we do this is to do that strategy and that roadmap in a way that’s really manageable and scalable. So being realistic about what can be accomplished. In an ideal world, we’d have a perfect ecosystem in place, and it would be cadenced from Anna, and then managers and HR, and then employees and so on. But as we make sure that we’re doing things in a way that can be as easily scaled as possible, it’s just part of the plan, but a very important part of the plan that we’re looking forward to.
Jo: Great. Well, let me ask another question that just came in from our participants and that is, "What was the solution for managing new hire benefit questions during the onboarding process that helped free up your time, Anna, during this process?" Or another one.
Anna: Yeah. We don’t have it shown here as we’ll demonstrate some of the sites that we’ve recently built. But the initial project was not a global benefits site. The initial project was a U.S. page link essentially where employees would, new hires were provided with the link that they would go to and they would learn all about their benefits. So instead of a presentation just from myself, live, it was an information site with direction as far as, "What do you need to know?" And we would provide everything from... Oh, perfect. Thanks, Cassandra, you have the New to BeiGene. So this New to BeiGene section on our benefits site today is a newer version of the first one we launched and it just had information on steps you need to take. Here’s what you do at day one, here’s what you need to do for all the different enrollments, and then you also had the ability to learn the details of the benefits.
So it was a one-stop solution versus one presentation from me, and then multiple follow-up questions. And then I did have an intranet page with some information, but it was a little clunky, right? Didn’t have this really nice onboarding experience that Segal Benz and Cassandra’s team helped us build first time around. Then we sunsetted that page and now it’s part of our global site and for the U.S. site. So we diverted a little bit from just new hire page, which you can do as if that’s what your solution, that’s the what you need, and then we build a bigger site from there.
Cassandra: Yeah. And there’s other things that you can do too if you don’t want to do an entire global experience and new hires are really your pain point, you can do what Anna said and what we did originally, which was just creating that new hire site and experience. We also recommend recording those presentations that you may be giving and then maybe just you popping on for the 15 minutes at the end for Q&A and that way you don’t have to give that presentation over and over and over again can really be a big time saver. And things like that presentation can live on a new hire page or site so that they can be referenced and easily accessible in the future. Anything that you create really you want to think about how can it be useful and repeatable over time and without you using a large investment of your time each week or however often you have an onboarding session.
Jo: Follow up to that and that is, how do you drive employees to go to the site? It’s always so much easier just to pick up the phone or text these days to your benefits representative.
Anna: That’s a great question and we do still get team messages and texts. The thing is when a question comes and is the same repetitive question time and time again, as a benefits professional, our response, we would need to type up the same answer over and over again. But now our response is, "This page has everything you need to know," and we direct them back to the page. So it’s just learning how to use the site and for us, all the answer to their question is in a place so we have a place to direct people to.
Cassandra: Yeah. That’s great. And it’s like a cheat sheet, right? It’s, "Okay. I’m going to acknowledge that you have a question. Here’s where I’m helping point you to the answer to your question, and then if you have any other questions, of course we’re available." But most of the time when employees are directed towards that resource, they do really take to it. The important thing is making sure that that resource actually has the answers to the questions that they’re looking for. So thinking through, and I know you did this when we did content development, we thought, "Okay. What are the questions that people are coming to you with most frequently? And how can we make sure the answers to those questions are being really shared prominently?" And in a way that people are like, "Okay. You know what? This is my question and it’s been answered here. Now I don’t need to go back and ask any more questions, I can see what I need."
And in terms of just usage of the site, it’s been incredible. I think, Anna, you’ve seen a meaningful decrease in questions and outreach to you individually for answers, so that’s really helped. And I believe your global site has had over 67,000 page views, so people are coming again and again for answers to their question. BeiGene doesn’t have 67,000 employees, so it’s meaningful to know that the site is being used often and access for that information, and not being a burden to Anna and her team in terms of questions that can be answered through the site.
Anna: I have one more comment, Cassandra. So even when we started and we built it, we’re addressing all the questions. I think it took about maybe three, four, five months where questions were still coming through where we were like, "Oh, well, maybe we didn’t answer that completely on the page," so we would make updates throughout. I think it took about few months to get it to a place where now those common questions are completely addressed.
Cassandra: Yeah. And that’s part of the process and that’s the beauty of it not being a standalone or printed or even PDF piece. You don’t need to move around the design and everything. When you have a site that is dynamic and editable, you can easily update the contents to make sure that it’s aligned with the needs that you have and as those needs evolve and change. And I know, Anna, you’ve changed a lot of things, not just in terms of the questions, but in terms of vendors, in terms of things that are offered. And we’ll talk a little bit in a second about how we’ve changed the homepage multiple times for promotion. But it’s really important that having something like this as your tool for communications means less emails that are super long, less conversations with employees. But the conversations that you’re going to have with employees are going to be more meaningful, really important, those ones that you need to have that there’s not really a substitute with digital communication or print communication, right?
So richer conversations but fewer outreach, fewer constraints on your time with questions coming to you and all of those things that just make it really easy. I’m going to go ahead and show the recruiting site, which was also a big pain point for you, Anna. I know the recruiting team came to you a ton with questions and I think that this has been super successful because you’ve seen around 2,200 prospects use this site and not have to get 2,200 emails to send out, PDFs for each country. So that really worked well. And then, we have information about everything here on this global total rewards experience. It’s so much more than just a website, it’s really a communications channel of its own. What I’m sharing right now is the homepage, and you can see there are multiple promotion spaces that are frequently used and updated to align with what BeiGene wants to share most with their people at any point in time.
These promotional spaces can be updated globally or individually by country. So if there are differences that need special attention, you can always have that be a separate experience. It doesn’t always need to align with what’s going on in the rest of the world. So there’s so much flexibility here and I’m going to go ahead and show you a few different ways the promotion space has been used to date. So this version focused on life events and family benefits. You can see the imagery here. There’s been a lot of care and attention to making sure that the images selected. We’re not only representative of BeiGene and BeiGene’s people, but also all people to really create that inclusion through imagery and words here on every page on the site.
Then, we focus on financial wellness here. We’re promoting vendor partner webinars and events, money saving, health options and other financial wellness related resources. We developed a really strong relationship with BeiGene’s vendor partners where we meet monthly and we go ahead and discuss what’s happening in the months ahead or even the years ahead just to see how we can align the promotion spaces, and really have rich conversations and connections to promote those resources to BeiGene’s people. BeiGene also rolled out Modern Health globally. And Anna, I know that was a super important undertaking. Can you share your experience with Modern Health and why finding a global capable mental health vendor at this point in time was so important?
Anna: Yeah. Definitely. Well, this is a perfect example of how engulf we were, what the global communication strategy that when looking for a mental health vendor, we really needed a vendor that can meet the needs of for all of our people and we can give our people the same program, the same messaging, creating that equality. We launched Modern Health earlier this year, and during Mental health Awareness month in May, we now had this unified program where we can build our one campaign. It was such an accomplished moment where the global communications project, it led to a program that led to global communications messaging, bringing that unity and equality to the organization.
Cassandra: Thanks, Anna. I see we have another question in here about the actual scoping of the work and how ongoing updates work. And I’ll just say that every project is really unique, but we have the ability to be super flexible about what’s offered and we want to have a conversation with you about what you actually need and what it takes to get there. And I always recommend whenever I work with a new client, let’s think big first. Let’s really think about what you really want to do and what you want to accomplish, and let’s not think about budget to start. Because when you start thinking about, "Okay. I want to only spend this much," or, "I only have this much room," it ends up costing you more money in the long run, right?
You want to create something that’s really going to serve your needs over time when you make an investment like this. And in terms of scope and how flexible we can be, it’s definitely a conversation that we have with each of our clients to make sure that we are giving them what they need and at a scope and a pace that is appropriate and comfortable for them. But happy to have that conversation more in depth anytime. And then, I’ll go ahead and move ahead to another way. We featured mental health, which was from a caregiving perspective, super important topic to BeiGene, work-life balance and caregiving in general. So here we’re focusing on support for caregivers and parents.
Then, accessible from every page is that global events and holidays calendar, it’s at the top, and it’s the most visited page for all BeiGene employees, which just speaks to its importance to BeiGene’s people. Creating this custom calendar that worked across all countries and included details for all with filtering abilities, super critical. Anna, I know the functionality was key and we went through a couple different rounds of how to make it the best functioning calendar possible. Can you share a bit about how it works and how BeiGene is using it?
Anna: Yeah. It did take us a little time to master as imagine having 30 or so country holidays and events to organize. And the question came up on the view and what the colleagues should see to make the most efficient from a user experience. Specifically if we have a global event such as recently we had a modern health webinar that is available to all. Do you post that on each country events page? What is the easiest and most user-friendly approach? So Segal Benz really took time to understand our needs and proposed a global events page filter that is visible for all the country sites. Now, if I’m in Canada or in the UK and I’m seeing the same global event as a person in the U.S. So again, bringing in that continuity among colleagues and increasing the chance of utilization for that particular program, that events.
Cassandra: Thanks. So what we just shared were some examples of how we got there, or rather some examples but not how we got there. And we thought, "Okay. We have this site, we’ve created this beautiful foundation. It’s great, but now what do we do with it?" And then we thought through BeiGene’s population needs again and said, "How could we leverage our new channel and existing ones?" And in this case, email is one of the better ways to reach BeiGene’s people to create campaigns that address BeiGene’s needs and provide valuable information to all employees. And as we developed the 2023 communications plan, we originally thought we’d do one global alignment and have quarterly communications for the U.S. only. Would you like to share why that changed?
Anna: Actually, I remember we were on a call, Cassandra, and we were planning out the four quarters of communication campaigns and we had three planned out for the U.S. but one global. And the light went off and I was like, "Well, why can’t we make three global and one U.S.?" and we have continuity among the programs, the sites, and then you said, "Yeah. We can make it happen. We could do three global and one U.S." So this is a great example of just being flexible. The Segal Benz team was really flexible. They shifted and delivered what we wanted more than what we’ve initially intended to do.
Cassandra: Yeah. And I think it was just such a perfect moment, right? Because we realized, "Okay. We’ve already built this foundation and it is truly scalable. We’ve done all that organizational work, we can be flexible now and have the ability to move faster." So that really gave you the opportunity to change the game at any time. And now we’re communicating globally and thinking, "Okay. Well, what does it look like for 2024? What does that look like when we add managers and HR? What does that look like when we need to talk about parental leave or other leaves, new hires, those types of things?" So now that we’re in that clear space of, "Hey, we have all this opportunity to reach out to people," there’s really no limit to how we can ask how often. Really great. As you develop outreach topics for yourself, it’s important to focus on what your people are asking for, but also what they’re not saying too.
So think through those requests for information that you get, compare what your population data is telling you about their needs. Sometimes things align and oftentimes they’re very different, that’s okay. We encourage communicating on topics that people are interested in, but also those that you know are valuable but may not be as apparent to non-industry efforts. For example, financial, right? As you think about your organization’s needs and how your communications can support them, just really, again, focusing on your people, what you can do and how you can really make them improve their health and wellbeing in a holistic way. So we’ve talked about a ton today. We’ve discussed defining your vision for global benefits engagement, understanding how to create a consistent experience across total rewards and geographies that’s going to accommodate local differences, and identifying the top priorities in your global benefits and engagement roadmap. Anna and I will now take any questions that you may have, and thank you so much for joining us today. We’ve really had a fun time, sharing our work with you.
Jo: So let’s give it a moment, questions from our attendance, from our audience? No, you’ve obviously done a great job and thank you so much for this presentation. It was very, very informative and thought-provoking. So as we wrap up the call today or the webinar today, would like to talk about some upcoming events that are happening here at The Conference Board. We have the upcoming webcast on strategies and to engage work. So on second, let me get on the, here’s the Engaged Work slide. So this session will focus primarily on engagement and the employee experience. It’ll showcase the latest insights in case studies from leaders across major corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit corporations. As an attendee, you will have access to exclusive research from The Conference Board, insights from the C-suite and senior leaders from Fortune 500 companies as well as exciting innovators. This event will also provide you the opportunity to take full advantage of the in-person experience with time to ask questions, join in small group discussions and to connect with your fellow attendees.
Cassandra: Jo Anne, we have some questions coming in and if you don’t mind backing up.
Jo: No, no. It looks like we’ve got several. Obviously did not leave enough time for questions.
Cassandra: That’s great.
Jo: So let’s go back. You can see these questions, so let you go ahead and walk through them.
Cassandra: Yeah, go ahead. The first one actually is for Anna. So Anna, how have websites been received by employees across the globe? Have you gotten any feedback? What are people saying to you as they’re using those sites?
Anna: Yeah. I mean, a great feedback, right? When you just make things easier and easy to access information available, people just love it. And like I said earlier, I call it pretty, I just think it’s really pretty. It gives you all the information you need. We’ve had a great feedback from all the sites and globally. And not only that, we’ve also seen engagement too, right? We’ve seen a huge uptake in our engagement with our different programs.
Cassandra: Yeah. That’s great. And I have another question in here, and I’m going to ask you in a second, but I’m also going to put you on the spot. Because I know we discussed this a little bit, but the recruiting site and how BeiGene was really a startup. And you’re attracting and trying to retain people from these big companies, big pharma companies, and how did that really make a difference to have that recruiting experience for employees?
Anna: Yeah. That’s a great point because we were competing as we’re looking for candidates with large organizations who have a great foundation for their benefits and who already probably have a great benefits site. So when someone’s coming from a large organization, really robust benefits already set, coming to a startup in a new country, a startup in the sense that it’s new in that country. And first couple of hires, they want to know that they’re going to have similar equivalent benefits as they’re leaving behind from their other employer. And having a website where you can display who you are, although we may be looking like a startup, we don’t look like a startup. We are established. And I think that was really big because it puts the candidate at ease knowing, "Oh, okay. They have their benefits too. I have competitive benefits. I’m comfortable with that. I’m comfortable with coming to the organization." So that helped in almost where the benefits were not the issue or any for candidates to make decisions as far as if they wanted to make that move.
Cassandra: We have another question for you. So how did you pitch this idea to, or how would you pitch this idea to a CFO who may not approve of it? The question is around all employees being aware of all the benefits offered. And I think, Anna, we talked about this too, a little bit.
Anna: Yeah. And I think, well, each organization is different, right? Some, maybe the CFO is making the decision, maybe some, the VP of HR is making the decision. So I think it depends on the organization and where the needs are. And it’s hard to say. It really just depends on what the needs of the organization and as far as cost, right? There’s always going to be a cost and a benefit. And if you could articulate the cost and the benefit, I think that ultimately will help with your conversation.
Jo: Anna, was there any particular benefit that you used to overcome the cost challenge?
Anna: Any type of benefit to overcome?
Jo: Benefit, like speed of recruiting would be enhanced? Or what sort of things did you use to overcome the challenge of expense of the program?
Anna: Yeah. Again, there’s a lot of different ways you can look at it, right? There is time, there’s speed, there’s so many different things to look at when you’re looking at the cost and what is it really bringing to the organization, what is it doing for you. So I think it is different, again, from company to company as far as what your goals are at the end and where your cost drivers may be.
Cassandra: I know we have one more question here in the chat, but I also want to follow up with that. Oh, and we’re having some more questions come in as well. But the question regarding, oh, getting this approved and the idea of all employees being aware of all benefits offered. Whether you are communicating about all the benefits offered or not, everyone can see it. The internet allows everybody to be super transparent, right? You can go on Glassdoor, Reddit, there’s an app called Blind where people are posting all of these details anonymously and they’re sharing what your company is or isn’t offering. So by giving yourself the opportunity to get out in front and say, "Here is what we are offering, this is what we are saying, and this is the legitimate information," you allow the opportunity to have a conversation with those candidates, recruits, employees, and show what what’s really offered.
And I think that’s really, really valuable. Allowing anonymous people on the internet to control what’s out there about your total rewards isn’t ideal, right? You want to be able to share what your position is and how your company or organization really feels. We have a couple more questions here. So I’m seeing one about whether this work also included developing a global wellbeing strategy. And if so, did we apply some of the same processes and getting that developed? And I think, while formally we haven’t created a global wellbeing strategy, we definitely talked a lot about it when we were determining what those quarterly campaigns were.
Anna: The campaigns. Yeah.
Cassandra: Yeah, yeah. That’s a great question.
Anna: Yeah. I think, because we have campaigns and where each campaign is really at this point targeted towards a theme. So maybe a financial theme, your family support. So there’s so many different themes that we’re focusing on. And the themes itself highlight benefits that are important within that theme. So throughout the year we’re really highlighting various things. I always say, there is a program, maybe even your vision program that has something that maybe no one knows about it, but when you have a campaign, that’s your opportunity to highlight that particular piece. And then in the next campaign you highlight something in your travel benefit, then your next campaign, maybe something on the HSA part. So the campaigns are really bringing different topics together and one of them, yeah, we’ve had a couple on wellness, we have something coming later this year, again, bringing work-life balance together. So the campaigns were really helpful.
Cassandra: Another question we have in is that, "In some countries it’s difficult to set up benefits due to not meeting minimum headcounts in the country." And I know you’re familiar with this, Anna. "How are you able to confirm benefits in those countries to candidates when benefits are still not quite yet established?"
Anna: Yeah. We have frame conversations. I definitely let them know, you are one person, it’s going to be really hard to get the same benefits you have in an organization when there’s a hundred or more people or even 50 people. So we have those frank conversations and we map out, what can that look like? And sometimes we have to do individual coverage for that one or two persons in that country. But I think when that time comes and the person is ready to onboard with us, those frame conversations are really helpful and they know exactly what they can expect there.
Jo: And then we have one final question that, let me just throw it out there. And that is, "With the ever-changing legislation that happens in every country and municipality around the world, how do you keep it up-to-date and how do you know when it does need to be updated?"
Cassandra: So we keep everything super up to date. We talk regularly. Anna and I talk and her team at least once a week and we do weekly updates to the site, and that can include every single country. So any time that things change, we have the ability to quickly make an update. And if it’s an urgent need, let’s say it doesn’t fall within the cadence of our normal update schedule, we have flexibility to get that updated as soon as possible. So making sure that everything is up-to-date is critical importance. Of course, every year we audit the site to make sure that it’s up to date from year to year, but on an ongoing basis we’re also looking at that and learning from anything that’s changing and changing the language there. And Anna, I think there’s been a few times where things have changed pretty quickly, and we’ve had to respond and update them.
Jo: All right. So do you have regular monitoring through some service that provides you with the updates and legislation as it goes through?
Anna: Well, as far as legislation goes, we, us as a benefits team gets updates from various vendor partners on legislation changes to see how it might impact us as an organization or our benefit programs. So if a program needs to be updated based on a legislation change, then when we update that program at the same time is when we would update the benefits site. There might be a legislative change that has no impact on our benefit program. So it really has to be us that’s monitoring that with our vendor partners.
Jo: Okay. So one just needs to be very aware and work with your partners to do it.
Jo: I don’t see any other questions in the queue. Do you? My program might be a little slow here.
Cassandra: No, it looks like we got them all unless there’s any last-minute questions that pop up.
Jo: Okay. Well, let me get back to my early start into further offerings by The Conference Board. But once again, thank you both. We’ve gotten a lot of very positive comments about this presentation in the chat, so I’m not going to go over again. We have the upcoming engagement work on July 11th, 12th in New York. And then we also have a TCB Insights App and we are very proud of this and we would encourage you to download it, get registered. It’s a way of staying up to date on what’s happening at The Conference Board, all the great research that’s being done and to connect with your peers. So with that, is there any other or any further wrap up comments that, Cassandra, you or Anna might have for today?
Cassandra: No. Just thank you so much for being here. You can reach out anytime if you have any questions. Love to connect and really appreciate being able to share our story here today. So thanks for having us.
Anna: Thank you.
Jo: Thank you. Okay with that, I think it’s a wrap. Bye.