Editor’s note: This is one of 10 employers chosen for Employee Benefit News’ Benefits Leadership awards, spotlighting companies who are taking a fresh approach to employee benefits.

Sure, the benefits behemoth is known for its employee benefit offerings to other companies, but perks for its own employees are equally as innovative. For Aflac, it’s all about providing benefits — such as professional development — that both engage and retain workers, says chief resource officer Matthew Owenby. And it’s working: The average tenure at the insurance firm is 18 years.

“If you take care of employees, they will take care of the business,” he says.

One of the things Aflac “really focuses on is coaching,” he says. “We have people tell us online what their strengths and weakness are. And then we put them into groups to network and discuss how they can get better at work.”

The company takes a wide approach to engaging across different groups of employees, and Owenby recommends Aflac’s approach to reaching multiple groups.

For its female employees, the insurer holds a “women’s tea” where women gather with female executives to discuss career development and challenges women face in the workplace. “It’s a small, simple thing that we get wonderful feedback from,” he says.

Aflac also holds “men’s coffee” meetings where men come together to hear from male executives about workplace issues and strategy. “We talk about personal development and how people can advance their careers,” he says.

Employee surveys and reaching out via social media are ways the company targets its younger groups. “We have a nationwide career expo where we talk about our jobs, and in some cases we do speed interviewing,” he says. “Employees can connect to a real person who is hiring managers.”

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