3 Ways Corporate Heavyweights Are Improving Employee Retention by Prioritizing Maternity Healthcare Partnerships with specialty providers diversify the life-changing benefits available to employees.

By Walter Chen

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Whether you're buying the latest tech device, booking a flight or looking for a cloud storage solution, you interact with corporate giants every day. They have far-reaching influence and require a strong team to support their operations. This means not only recruiting the best people possible but retaining them by meeting real needs.

Many large companies are leading the charge to provide a wider range of support to female employees and families through maternity healthcare supports. Leaders in this area are setting an example that can serve as a guide for others to follow.

Here are a few bolds move these trailblazers are making to accommodate the workforce.

They partner with maternity-benefits providers.

Today, people do everything on their phones -- buy groceries, book a trip or even find a soul mate. Large companies see opportunity in the increased use of apps in day-to-day life. Ovia Health applies this philosophy to meet the healthcare needs of women right where they already do most of their business.

Established in 2012, Ovia Health set out to help employers enhance their maternity-healthcare benefit programs while reducing costs. It offers a line of apps meant to help female employees and their families manage fertility, pregnancy and the early years of parenthood. With more than seven million users to date, Ovia emerged as a leader in the market.

The most forward-thinking employers recognize this transition toward app-focused interactions and expect their benefits companies to deliver more innovative healthcare coverage via mobile devices. Large companies understand that apps are one of the best channels for connecting with employees. Working with maternity-benefits providers allows corporations to give team members as much support as possible, all in an intuitive and accessible format.

Related: 19 Companies and Industries With Radically Awesome Parental Leave Policies

When GE partnered with Ovia Health, the engineering powerhouse launched the GE Babies Ovia Companion app. It links directly to Ovia's own pregnancy app, providing personalized healthcare advice based on data the employee shares. The companion app also connects employees to GE's larger benefits universe. If data suggests a potential issue, the app recognizes the pattern and notifies a maternity-healthcare coach to work closely with the employee. These coaches offer support related to high-risk pregnancies, premature babies and much more.

Activision Blizzard is another company that's made significant investments in employees' health and wellness. Workers earn rewards for participating in healthy activities, exercising and maintaining a balanced diet. Activision also partnered with Ovia Health, engaging an employee base eager to take advantage of uncommon healthcare benefits.

1. They diversify their benefits.

Tech companies have upped the ante to attract the best talent. Many have done so by offering new types of benefits.

In 2014, Apple made waves when it announced its benefits package would cover costs for female employees to freeze their eggs. The news garnered a lot of attention from many sides, as leaders undoubtedly knew it would. It's just one example of how far a corporate giant is willing to go to accommodate its workforce.

Related: Employees With Infertility Are Leaving. How These 11 Companies Entice Them to Stay.

Lactation counseling, breast-pump rental and a private space to pump while at work are becoming the norm at tech companies. To set themselves apart, some organizations are footing the bill for costly services. Spotify leads in this aspect, offering unlimited coverage toward fertility treatments.

Here are a few others that offer competitive and diversified benefits:

  • Yahoo! covers baby-related expenses (especially helpful for first-time parents) as well as $5,000 toward adoption costs.
  • GE offers an Adoption Assistance Program to provide financial support.
  • American Airlines offers up to $4,000 to help parents through the adoption process and provides round-trip flights for adoptees who don't live nearby.

In addition to financial help, more and more companies (especially those in the always-innovating tech sector) offer benefits for women returning to work. These groups recognize that quality childcare is a crucial component not only for safety and development but also for a parent's emotional well-being.

Intel has partnered with childcare providers near its offices to offer priority admission to employees' children. GE provides childcare counselors to help parents figure out their options. Anyone who has "shopped" for childcare knows what a relief it is to have access to high-quality, affordable and convenient care.

Related: Tech Companies Should Pave the Way to Better Parental Leave Policies

2. They're responsive to their changing workforce.

As large corporations continue to grow and onboard an ever-more-diverse workforce, healthcare packages must reflect that evolution. Companies whose leaders understand the value of retaining top talent are taking the lead. Accommodations to support female workers are becoming policy.

As more corporations step up, they not only set an example but help develop a new standard for maternity benefits in their respective industries. It's becoming increasingly necessary for larger companies to follow suit, if they wish to cultivate the best possible work environment -- and recruit the best talent.

"We believe in leading by example and are so proud to be recognized by our employees for our efforts to create an inclusive and positive work environment for all employees and their families," says Molly Howard, Ovia Health's head of People Operations.

Related: 2017's Best and Worst States for Working Moms

3. They create a template others can follow.

Corporate giants have become more proactive in putting their people first. They've taken time to research and roll out a wide range of relevant parental benefits designed to appeal to top talent, support female workers and nurture an inclusive environment.

Even without the resources available to large companies, any employer can make a difference in the lives of its team members. Putting people first strengthens the workplace culture by fostering loyalty and motivating employees. If you're looking for ways to build family-centered policies in your company, follow these simple directives:

  • Know that it's OK to start small and grow your benefits as your workforce changes.

  • Listen to what your employees have to say. Inclusive programs are more likely to boost team members' job satisfaction and improve employee retention.

  • Understand that change starts at the top. CEOs must set the tone and treat maternity benefits as standard practice. For guidance on how to begin, partner with a maternity-benefits provider.

Related: How to Revamp Your Employee Benefits in 3 Steps

Wavy Line
Walter Chen

CEO & Co-founder, iDoneThis

Walter Chen is the founder and CEO of iDoneThis, the easiest way to share and celebrate what you get done at work, every day. Learn the science behind how done lists help you work smarter in our free eBook: The Busy Person's Guide to the Done List. Follow him on twitter @smalter.

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