Blog Post 5 min read

Eastern Benefits Group: A People First Strategy

By Nina Terenzi, Nov. 20, 2020


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At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Eastern Bank’s CEO, Bob Rivers, came out of the gate with a “People First Strategy.”  Our focus – as it has always been – was placed on the safety and wellbeing of our employees, clients and communities we serve.  Since then, Eastern Bank became a founding donor and administrator of the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund issuing nearly $10M in support to our neighbors in communities across New England.


By aligning with our parent company’s strategy, Eastern Benefits Group has seamlessly supported our employees, clients, customers and community – keeping the wellbeing of all a top priority.  Thanks to our employees’ outstanding leadership and commitment to superior customer service, we were and continue to maintain “business unusual” during these uncertain times.  We were here for you then, and we will continue to be there for you now and in the future.


Wellbeing of Employees


The success of Eastern Benefits Group can be attributed to our employees.  When COVID-19 hit, a plan was quickly put in place to ensure all team members were set up for success while working independently from home.  We wanted to remain focused on keeping our employees engaged and happy; happy employees are more apt to collaborate and contribute to the growth of the company.


As soon as the “Stay at Home” policy went into effect, Eastern Benefits’ Senior VP, Group Sales Product Leader, Michael Uretsky pushed Skype and Zoom training.  His patience and clarity connected our field management teams with both clients and each other.  Adopting the use of remote technology so quickly allowed our team to continue working with minimal disruptions, keeping productivity high.  The seamless transition was a testament to the amazing employees we have on the Eastern Benefits Group team and understanding that supporting colleagues’ success is ultimately the most important part of a business. 


It’s been remarkable to witness the evolution of our employees’ longstanding history and strong working relationships – two things that truly set our team apart from competition.  Several of our team members have known and worked together for decades.  We have each other’s backs and make consistent efforts to connect during the pandemic.  Each morning at 8:30AM, our team gathers for a virtual “huddle” – an opportunity for us to discuss the latest updates in New England’s re-entry and recovery.  With our industry rapidly changing, these huddles have been crucial for us to connect and collaborate so we can continue to best serve our clients and customers.  We have also hosted bi-weekly happy hours so our team can keep in touch in a more relaxed environment at the end of the day.  


Wellbeing of Clients


With a plan in place to support our employees, Eastern Insurance Group quickly shifted gears to our clients and how we could provide the best possible service during the pandemic.  We were able to adapt to new technology without missing a beat – an initiative again spearheaded by Michael Uretsky.  Our quick transition ensured that we were able to offer the best service and support to our clients when they needed it and continue to need it the most.


New laws and regulations are being released in the employee benefits industry daily; interpreting and relaying that information to our clients has been crucial.  Our team has gone above and beyond to stay knowledgeable on the ever-changing industry – staying one step ahead of client questions and providing guidance and support as we look to re-entry, liability and managing employees.  With the amazing work of Colleen Doherty, SVP, Compliance & Client Services and our team members, we’ve released webinars to break down the latest regulations and guidelines for employers.  


For example, we recently released a webinar on the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML).  One of our participants noted there was, “So much information broken down into well-thought-out segments – hard, dry gray subjects that you make understandable.”  Another participant stated, “This webinar brought light to the questions we have encountered due to the pandemic.”  Eastern Benefits Group is pleased to provide the support needed to navigate these new challenges.


As we continue this period of “business unusual,” we’re developing the best approach to transitioning back to in-person operations, while maintaining the safety and wellbeing of all.  Until that time, Eastern Benefits Group continues to provide a personal touch to our clients and employees through one-on-one conversations working through all questions.


Wellbeing of Community


Serving our community has always been an integral part of Eastern Bank, Eastern Insurance Group and Eastern Benefits Group.  Now, more than ever, our neighbors need our support and we are doing all we can to help those in need.  Aside from our efforts related to the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, many of our employees have taken a hands-on approach to giving back.  From donating to food pantries and charities to working with nonprofits and virtually serving on Boards, we’re proud that our team is taking action during these uncertain times.


Our employees’ commitment to serving the community is unmatched, and many truly go above and beyond throughout the year.  One of Eastern Benefits Group’s standout employees, SVP Patty Bean, is highly involved in organizations that support military veterans and families.  As a military family member herself, Patty has led the way for our team to get involved in many military events throughout New England.  This year, many of those events were cancelled due to COVID-19 – Patty took the time to submit a video to Mass Fallen Heroes thanking them for their service.  Patty is one example of many community-involved team members – something that truly sets us apart from others in the industry.


As we continue to move forward and transition to recovery and re-entry, our commitment remains the same – people first.  The wellbeing of our employees, customers and community members is essential to the success of Eastern Benefits Group.  We will continue to strive to go the extra mile for these populations.  


For help navigating the evolving benefits industry, visit our page and submit a consultation request, or speak with one of our team members at (877) 542-7267 today.  

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