Spotlight Series: News Corp

Thanks for following along with our “Spotlight Series,” highlighting forward-thinking employers and the influential work they’re doing in the benefits space. Keep reading to uncover best practices from key decision makers in HR & Benefits.

We interviewed Marco Diaz, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Benefits at News Corp, to better understand his decision-making processes as a benefits industry leader and how Ovia Health is helping him achieve his goals.

The mission of News Corp and the mission of Marco’s benefits team is one and the same: deliver extraordinary experiences. This idea stretches across properties, departments, and team members, allowing all of News Corp’s business lines and its benefits team to work toward the same goals.

“Benefits is a series of experiences,” Marco explains. “We want to make those benefit interactions extraordinary.” The reason News Corp has done that so well is their ability to leverage technology effectively. “Technology has become the delivery mechanism by which almost everything is brought to us,” Marco says. By providing benefits through evolving technology, benefits solutions are able to meet employees where they already are.

As a portfolio company (News Corp encompasses Dow Jones, New York Post, Wall Street Journal, and many others), News Corp and the benefits team there have a unique set of challenges. They service all of these diverse groups and employees, but Marco has a good understanding of what works and what doesn’t. “I’ve been doing benefits for 17 years,” Marco says. “With that stretch of time behind you, you’ve had an opportunity to try a lot of things and have an empirical sense of what works and what people want.”

To help him make the best benefits decisions for his workforce, Marco says he abides by the Hippocratic oath: first do no harm. He understands that the average benefits experience can be frustrating, and employees are often navigating unfamiliar systems at stressful points in their lives. Trying to understand what a certain procedure is going to cost them, how to log in to a transportation benefits portal, or even what’s covered by a certain health plan can all be confusing experiences. “We ask ourselves, how can we make these easy transactions for our employees, but how do we also delight them a bit?” he says.

Marco and his team built a benefits website for News Corp employees — a beautiful, modern (and purple!) website with comprehensive benefits information. “The website includes a purposeful confusion of articles with links to other relevant articles,” he says. “We want employees to go in looking for one thing, find it, then find something else that’s relevant too that they weren’t looking for. Benefits is all about sending the right message at the right time, when that message resonates for that particular employee.” Marco is tapping into the typical ways people behave online and is optimizing for browsing and exploration.

Sending a message to employees who could benefit from maternity care is a priority for News Corp, since maternity is one of their largest cost components. In looking for a way to help reduce this cost and support his employee population ready to start families, Marco used Ovia Health. “Ovia Health really fit in perfectly across a number of things we wanted to impact,” Marco says. “As an organization that is historically printing and publishing, we’re continuing to look at new ways of delivering content, utilizing technology.”

To continue to help his organization use technology and think mobile-first, Marco said that as new benefits programs come to the floor, one of the requirements should be that they’re a natively mobile program like Ovia Health or have a strong responsive design. “We know mobile is the way people want to engage with information; it’s increasingly popular,” he says.

Marco prioritizes maternity because he sees it as a unique benefit. “In the healthcare space, for the most part, the things that drive your healthcare cost like cancer, accidents, and heart attacks, are things you would want to help prevent” he says. “But we’re certainly not trying to prevent maternity! With a high cost driver that we have no interest in preventing, what can we do to manage that cost?”

What it comes down to is education and informed health decisions. “An app like Ovia Health is an incredible way to do this,” Marco says. Ovia Health offers clinical programs to help employees understand the risks of unnecessary C-sections, education on prenatal health, and in-app coaching for live personalized support. “By offering Ovia Health, we have the opportunity for our employees to think: ‘Oh, this is cool! It’s forward-thinking, serves a real need for me in my life, brings forward a delightful experience, and has curated content for me.’”

“Benefits play a huge but subtle role,” Marco says about recruiting and retaining top talent. “The benefits we offer are a signal of what type of company we are.” By investing in innovative benefits and care, News Corp is sending a signal to the world about its high-value benefits programs and commitment to the wellbeing of its employees.

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