You often hear companies touting their “great culture” or “fun environment,” but it can be hard to know if those claims are based in reality or simply a marketing tactic. For Discovery Benefits though, there is no doubt that both of those phrases apply. Discovery Benefits is well-known for its great work environment, with a work hard-play hard mentality, so it’s no surprise that they were named the Business of the Year winner at our most recent ChamberChoice Awards. For them though, it was a nice surprise and great honor to be named a finalist among a pool of other great nominees.
The company’s story starts in 1987 with flexible benefits administration, and in the years since, they’ve expanded to also offer COBRA, health savings accounts, HRAs, billing solutions, wellness plans and more.
One requirement to enter as a Business of the Year is to show stability or growth in sales, services and expanded products, and Discovery Benefits definitely fits that criteria. Stephanie Schroeder, the company’s communications director, shared that they are seeing tremendous growth year after year. They’ve even been recognized on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America for three consecutive years!
While that in itself is quite the distinction, it certainly isn’t all that makes this innovative company unique. Schroeder says that in one word, “integration” defines what set Discovery Benefits apart. “We’re really proud of how we leverage technology platforms and partnerships with other vendors, to make it easier for our clients to send and receive information from us so that we have a more seamless experience for the end-user,” she said.
And then also, there’s that culture bit. “It’s something that you see when you walk through the doors,” Schroeder said, maintaining that a great culture starts with hiring great people.
Putting employees at the heart of everything they do is easy to see. Take a walk through the halls of Discovery Benefits and you’ll run into ping-pong tables, ice cream socials, and yes, even a slide. But it’s not just fun; they also offer a robust training catalog for learning opportunities, have an open-door policy with management and invest in employee empowerment.
Discovery Benefits believes in five core values: integrity, open communication, leadership, teamwork and continuous learning, and Schroeder says it’s much more than writing on the wall and is lived out in everything they do.
Just one example of that goes back to their open-door policy. Employees are empowered to bring ideas, questions or concerns to anyone at any level of the company. There’s even a submission form on the company’s Intranet page for those who prefer to submit questions directly to the CEO and VP of HR electronically, and they’re guaranteed a response.
It’s evident that the people at Discovery Benefits care about the work they do. Schroeder considers the benefits they provide the most rewarding aspect, since it gives consumers financial peace of mind in keeping health care costs affordable. “Health care can be a scary thing,” she said. “It can be expensive, and it can turn your world upside down. The fact that we can provide a cushion for people is really rewarding.”
While they obviously care deeply for their customers, the people at Discovery Benefits also care for their community. They hold an annual United Way campaign, which consists of a week long series of events that gets employees having some fun while helping those in need. They also have a YWCA donation bin on-site and encourage volunteerism. “We’re always looking for new ways to provide support to the community that supports us,” Schroeder said.
Discover More about Discovery Benefits
• Number of DBI offices: 2 (Fargo and Brookings)
• Number of employees: 582 (and counting)
• Number of employees added in 2015: 217
• Number of years on Business Insurance’s Best Place to Work List: 6
• Number of years on Inc. 5000’s List of Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America: 3
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