“What spurred you to raise staff wages and how well was it received: …it was very well received and it was pretty emotional meeting with the employees when I announced it in the auditorium. I wasn’t quite prepared for that but it was a pretty big moment. You know I’m active on social media and my employees were contacting me about how hard it was to make ends meet and so I said to the team ‘why don’t you give me a look at what these folks do for a living, who are they, how much do they make, what do they do inside the company? Then we found some interesting statistics: most of them were working single mothers and they have families at home. They were doing phone and claims kind of service. A lot of them had their children on medicaid because they couldn’t afford our own employer sponsored plan, because of the out of pocket cost, and a good number of them were on food stamps (WOW) and so when you look at that and say wait a minute we’re a fortune 50 company and we have employees who are on food stamps and are putting their kids on medicaid does this work? Is this fair? And can we afford it? So we looked at turnover costs: $120 Million a year. We looked at you know retention of our customers: Lower than we’d like it to be. We looked at customer satisfaction: You know our net promoter score has us in the middle of our industry but the industry is below everyone including airlines and cable companies. The only people we have to stand on the shoulders of is Congress, Congress is lower than we are from a net promoter score standpoint. So when you look at that you say we’ve got to do better on the frontline when dealing with customers particularly if it’s going to be more of a retail market. And so how do we invest. How do we make an infrastructure investment in our people. Let;s get them engaged. Let’s get their attention. Let’s get them trained and let’s make them better knowledge workers for the future. It’ll help us with our customers but more importantly it will help them live healthier lives and take a lot of the stresses off at home that we don’t want them to have at work”
Mark Bertolini, Chairman and CEO, Aetna Inc (an American managed health care company that sells health care insurance plans and related services) talking to Fox Business about lessons he took from engaging with employees on Twitter and how the company has increased pay for employees as part of their strategy to reposition itself to service the direct to consumer retail models.