Employer Spotlight: Vertex Pharmaceuticals
01 October 2019
The backbone of any successful business is made up of happy and healthy employees. The benefits a company offers can have a huge impact on the strength of that backbone. While benefits are intended to boost an employee’s overall well-being and satisfaction, the financial obstacles they face can prove to be a stressful distraction at work. When it comes to solving this problem, a little financial education goes a long way.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals believes in the value of financial education. So, they engaged with us to give their employees just that. We sat down with Cathy Rochford, VP of Total Rewards at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, to talk all things benefits, perks and financial wellness.
Q: How are benefits an important part of the recruiting/hiring process in your industry?
A: At Vertex, we recognize that, to achieve our best, we need to be able to bring our best selves to work. We believe the key to building a sustainable organization is to attract, develop and retain the best talent. That’s why our benefits are designed to help employees focus on what matters most – whether it’s getting that long overdue eye exam, planning their next vacation or welcoming a new family member.
The job market is very competitive, especially within our industry and benefit offerings within pharma and biotech tend to be very robust. Offering industry-leading benefits, compensation and recognition motivates people to do their best work and we recognize the need to offer benefits that help make us attractive as an employer and meet the needs of our diverse workforce.
Q: What prompted you to look for a financial education provider for your employees?
A: Our employees are the lifeblood of our organization and we’re committed to helping them with all aspects of their lives, including financial wellness in and outside of work.
We’d been hearing a lot about the impact financial stress has on employees and how different generations have different stressors. Since our employees are very diverse, we decided to dig a little deeper and survey them to see if financial education is something they might be interested in. Given the programs we already offer – from stock rewards and employee stock purchase programs to resources available for navigating topics like college debt, eldercare and home purchasing – we were curious to see how employees would respond. We made sure to ask what they were most interested in learning about, not only around financial education topics but also around our current offerings.
When the survey responses came in, the feedback was overwhelming. There was definitely a need for more education. This meant that we needed to build on our current offerings, so we worked with In Good Company to take a different approach on financial education – to make available more intimate, interactive sessions with topics ranging from budgeting to retirement. And, we aligned some of these sessions with our annual benefits open enrollment to promote and educate on some of our existing programs (e.g. HDHP vs. PPO, HSA vs. FSA, Roth vs. Traditional 401k). We’ve received such great responses to the In Good Company curriculum.
Q: What role do you believe the employer should play in their employees’ financial education?
A: We believe a comprehensive benefits package goes beyond traditional offerings to meet the needs of our employees at all stages of life. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. So, the programs we provide are focused around helping employees and their families live healthy lives physically, mentally and financially. Since financial stress has such an impact on an employee and his/her family’s overall wellbeing, it made sense to add financial education as an offering. When we implemented financial education, we made a point to incorporate education on existing programs to ensure employees understand them, are using them properly and know how to utilize the programs to help them achieve their financial goals. Offering a great benefit to an employee is one thing, but to have the employee truly understand and appreciate the benefit of the program is something that we believe goes above and beyond to support our people and their wellbeing.
Q: How do you believe companies can benefit from offering employees financial education?
A: To us, the benefits are a no-brainer: increased employee productivity, attracting new and retaining current talent and increased employee appreciation and morale. But, these benefits can only make a true impact when employees are participating in the programs and are walking away with actionable advice that can help improve their financial situation.
When you’re a mission-driven organization like Vertex, it can be a challenge for employees to take time away from their work to attend an education session. That’s why it’s so important to make the sessions relevant, offer topics employees are most interested in and make them interactive and engaging.
From investing to retirement, In Good Company has created a series of immersive workshops that focuses on the key components of building a better financial future. Our financial professionals lead the way with your employees’ needs in mind. It’s time to invest in your employees’ financial well-being. Get in touch with us today.