Her benefits committee is comprised of different company leaders to make sure many departments are represented. They work together brainstorming benefit ideas, starting with a three-to-five-year strategy plan. The committee also holds quarterly meetings to discuss the upcoming year’s enrollment offerings.
“It’s a much larger process than I think anyone ever realizes,” Arendt says.
Why the in-depth process for deciding which benefits will be offered? She says it’s because they want to offer more than just the basics. In addition to considering what additional voluntary programs will cost the company, they also think about the lifestyles of associates at Brookdale.
“We want to keep the same benefits available for everybody across the organization, but everybody values something different,” she says.
“You have to make sure you have options that every level of person in the organization would value, and that’s the challenge.”
Along with health, dental and vision, programs like student loan reimbursement, flexible spending accounts, tuition reimbursement and commuter benefits are all available to associates. They also offer a 401(k) plan that matches $.25 of every dollar contributed up to 4 percent. Plus, part-time employees also have access to insurance benefits.
Even with all of these, some of the most popular benefits are the unexpected ones, she says.
“The one that made the biggest splash for us last year was pet insurance, and that’s probably the plan we got the best feedback on.”
For anyone considering a career at Brookdale, the benefits offered are just one part of the bigger goal of making sure associates are happy. There’s a lot to look forward to, especially with perks like associate recognition programs and the company’s focus on career development.
“As a new hire comes in we set them up for success within Brookdale,” she says. “We welcome them, initiate our in-house training program including a position partner and ensure they know the expectations of their role.”
Above all, she says, Brookdale wants associates to know every role within the company adds value to our residents’ quality of life. This is what makes Brookdale so special.
“We want to treat them with respect,” she says. “We want to leave a good impression.”