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Name of Organization/Company: IBM, Armonk, NY USA
Category: Benefits or Payroll Administration Team of the Year

Entry Title: Your Benefits Team – “The Game Changers”


“Teamwork makes the dream work”

We, the IBM India HR Benefits team, believe that the artwork of promotion of corporate culture is backed up multi- directional frontages of ‘Identification’, ‘Direction’, ‘Integration’ and ‘Implication’ when it comes to redressal- Requital, Revision, Rework, repair and finally, Restate. We constantly amend ourselves and our programs in this manner for betterment of organization and its employees.

Several initiatives like National Pension scheme, voluntary Top-Up Plan for life, compassionate leave, maternity care, Meal card program speak volumes on our support to employees which has been a positive pointer.

During last year we executed several key changes to our policies in an attempt to improvise IBMers benefits and overall experience. We have extended coverages in our medical plan with addition of new features on OPD, Gender realignment, day care procedures, Ayurvedic treatments , same gender partner cover etc which are distinct in their own way and not a prevalent practice in the market. There was a significant spike in enrollments to the voluntary medical plans, life insurance plans, voluntary pension programs, company car lease which is a clear manifestation of the tremendous success.

We have a holistic approach to the way how we devise and deliver benefits for our organization. To enhance our Medical Insurance plans, we collated and shared feedback for development/improvement plan mapped against our Global Health principles, and analyzed it for further action to address pain points. The SLAs/TATs were restructured to deliver better employee experience.

For the Life, Accident and Travel Insurance coverage we carried out market analysis to better understand the current trends in the industry. With that information on hand we engaged in frequent discussions with the vendors to gain premium commodity and benefit to the organization. We were able to inaugurate a Voluntary Top-up Plan, which is the first of its kind in ITES industry and our team holds the flag of pride to this achievement.

A small subset of benefit enhancements that we introduced in 2020:

• I wide range of COVID related benefits such as hospitalization, extension of home care treatment, additional coverage for life treating conditions for employees and dependents, extended paid sick leave to recover from COVID, etc..
• Enhanced Day care
• Addition of surrogacy, infertility, gender alignment treatments
• Paternity leave / paid time-off on baby’s birth / adoption for male employees / employees with same gender domestic partners
• Maternity care and parenting programs

By laying down such policies, we have allowed employees to spend time with their families in their hour of happiness and crisis, while also helping with differentiation and creating of positive perception of our company.

Listening to/obtaining input from our employee(s).

We, at Benefits team, supporting tens of thousand employee base, strongly believe in making a voluntary and strong conscious effort towards adhering to the core values of hearing our employees words, irrespective of affliction of issue put forth. Such practices not only tap into the creativity of the team but also spark greater efforts from the workforce.

Taking ownership of the problem, working across organizational boundaries to deliver a solution.
Achieving sustenance by aiming towards recognizing problems and threading in amendments keeping in mind the prospective of future significance. We executed several key design changes to our Benefit programs in 2020 to help all IBMers to have an improved experience.

Within the confines of the plan rules, ‘making it right’ for the employee(s).
Amendment and adherence are two key points of balance that we aim to achieve with every redressal we acquire from the employees. A balance, so crucial for the management of the organization.

Using the Design Thinking methodology to guide our ideas to design better experiences, helping the team to develop practical and innovative solutions.
We value our employees time and hence, we vouch to make the most of their least given time. Hence, our methodology of presentation and employee addressal techniques have been renewed by the day to capture utmost attention in least possible words.

Innovation for employees benefits and experience at workplace is an ongoing process of our daily business and we believe to make it better by the day.

Some example of outcomes and solutions introduced by the Team:

• Ask HR Chat Bot to address employees generic benefits queries or to address their pain points
• For medical insurance plans, Medi Buddy Mobile App to have one-on-one chat real time with the representative for support, initiate cashless hospital treatment requests, claim submission , enrollments, schedule appointments, health check-up , view information and status from employee’s mobile itself.
• Learning Module - A short audio video presentation introducing medical insurance policy design changes , highlights to employees and addressing few myths and conception. COVID manager tool-kit
• For life insurance, Voluntary Top up Plan and NPS – Virtual webinar and virtual helpdesk to manage employees’ concerns and provide them more insights.
• Launch of Online enrolment option for National Pension System
• Quickfit & Health-a-thon: Virtual health and wellness sessions for promoting employees well-being
• Option to locate the nearest COVID hospital with real-time bed availability through mobile
• Partnership with Portea to provide telemedicine services during COVID19 quarantine

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