The global platform specialized in online open innovation made the switch to blüüm team group medical insurance from traditional insurance providers, to streamline their onboarding processes and better support staff’s needs. They have continued to stay with blüüm team since then.
Rebeca: Agorize is the world leader in online open innovation challenges that helps businesses to innovate and identify the best talent by connecting them with communities of innovators.
When Agorize decided to switch from traditional insurance providers, they were looking for more dedicated customer service that can support each individual need of their young and energetic team in Hong Kong.
Sabine: blüüm team ambition is to transform the health insurance employee benefits industry in HK by making it more human and simple. We take great pride in behaving like your personal health insurance partner.
Sabine: Agorize has renewed the blüüm team group medical plan. Why did you decide so?
Rebeca: Simon (Customer Care Manager at blüüm) has been paying attention to our questions. Besides, we have a young team which some of them didn’t have insurance before so they don’t really understand the whole process, while I don’t have time to cater to each individual need or requirement. The fact that all of our issues were resolved was a big deciding factor for the renewal.
Sabine: How does your team find the services in CareVoice App?
Rebeca: Clinic search feature is one of the features that the team appreciated because some of our employees don’t live near our office located in Kennedy Town, and often they don't know if there's a nearby network doctor.
Sabine: COVID-19 situation has lasted for over a year, how has it impacted the business of Agorize?
Rebeca: As COVID-19 hit our company, we actually had to adapt a lot. So right now some of our team members aren’t even working in Hong Kong, and that’s why I appreciate the international coverage of blüüm team insurance.
On the business side, a lot of our renewals or contracts weren’t renewed because of COVID-19, as the companies we’re working with do not have open innovation budgets anymore, which is our primary source of business. As you know, Agorize is responsible for open innovation challenges. Because people are already having a hard time as a company to keep their head counts, this was one of their primary budget cuts.
Sabine: Do you think your employees’ health and productivity are affected from the prolonged remote working and change in working style?
Rebeca: Yes, in terms of overall mental health. Some of our employees had to go through quarantine, but more than that, we are unable to have team gatherings or even events or farewell parties, which is something that our company used to do a lot. We had to be creative and host virtual meetings, which I think have helped us to stay more closely with each other.
I was therefore also considering to add some mental health benefits, which was difficult as I don’t think many insurance providers focus on providing mental health services as well as the primary protection.
Sabine: As a HR manager, what specific challenges are you going through?
Rebeca: I still feel the mental health aspect as the biggest challenge because obviously it's not just about seeing a doctor more often, and a lot of the stigma on mental health hasn't really been taken away. People are not talking about it. It’s hard for me as an HR to figure out why this employee is experiencing challenges. Is it because of working from home or loneliness from not being around their peers and colleagues? It has become a challenge to determine whether or not there is something we can do about it.
Sabine: What are the current key components that form your employee benefits package aside from group medical insurance?
Rebeca: As a start up, apart from group insurance coverage, we also have snack allowances in our Hong Kong and Singapore offices and work anniversary celebrations. We try to avoid financial incentives and focus on making our employees happy beyond financial aspects. As many of our team members are environmentally conscious, we’ve been planting trees for each individual who has reached their first year and would give a special paper gift or a dedicated recycling corner. It's about understanding each employee’s needs and offering them something meaningful.
Sabine: When COVID situation is over, do you foresee any changes in your employee benefits strategy?
Rebeca: I think in terms of improving what we can offer for our employees, that's definitely there. We are already keeping the work from home measures until further notice as the situation in Hong Kong has been fluctuating. We’d also be interested to look into benefits related to mental health aspect.
Sabine: Would you have any tips to share with other HR of small businesses?
Rebeca: For me, the most important one is to have a close relationship with your suppliers. Even if the contact point from the supplier changes, keeping constant conversations makes it easier to stay connected. I noticed that if I'm not consistently keeping in contact with our vendors, then our quality of service would also be impacted. As a small company, we're competing for attention when bigger companies are more lucrative in general. So I think what really helps us as a small company is to constantly keep close contact with the suppliers’ contact persons.
I don't think many big companies are able to pay attention to our issues as much as your team has. Like I said, our previous insurer or agent didn’t improve a lot of things for us, while we were with them for at least two years. So blüüm team is a better choice for us.
Sabine: Why would you recommend blüüm team?
Rebeca: If you want to streamline your insurance onboarding process, then blüüm team would be a good choice, especially if you're new and have no idea of how to start. blüüm team also offers good support if you have a young team like us which not every team member is familiar with insurance processes from the get-go.
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