Intern Insight

It’s hard to believe August is just days away and Q4 is quickly approaching. With summer coming to an end, our internship program is winding down as well. Our intern crew is an amazing group of smart, motivated, and efficient students and Team BeneFix feels pretty fortunate to have had such talent join us for the summer. We asked each intern to share some insight on their experience at BeneFix. Here’s what they had to say…
“Working at BeneFix as a summer intern has been extremely rewarding and fulfilling experience for me, that includes valued work and perks typical of startup culture. As an intern, whether in marketing or software development, you gain exposure to the many different aspects of running a startup company – a great experience for anyone interested in entrepreneurship” – Joonick (University of Penn)

“One of the best parts about working at BeneFix is the company culture. The positive attitude of every team member, coupled with the comfortable office space, creates an environment that really gets you excited to work. Everyone is very approachable, and every member feels like his/her work is valued.” – Xuerui (University of Penn)

“BeneFix separates itself from other company through its motivating and collaborative work environment.  Working as an intern at Benefix has given me the opportunity to explore many different areas and equipped me with invaluable experience that I hope to apply to exciting projects in the future.” – Drew (University of Penn)

“Working at Benefix hasn’t exactly felt like an internship. It feels more like I’ve been dropped into a group of friends that I’ve known for ages that just so happen to be working toward the same goal of making a great product; everyone expects a lot of each other, but they are also supportive no matter what question you have or what goals you want to achieve.” – Grant (Georgetown University)
“Working at Benefix has given us the opportunities that we would have not gotten at a traditional corporate setting. If it’s from working on operations tasks to sales work to marketing assignments, the exposure we have gotten to the functions of a business is priceless. The startup setting calls for a collaborative environment where as a team, we succeed or we fail together. Thus, everyone is open and willing to help whenever one is stuck or needs guidance. This company is more like a family if anything. I could not have asked for a better internship experience.” – Matt (Temple University)

 

A Minute with Matt: Top 5 Traits

“What makes a startup successful?”

Ask any successful entrepreneur what the most critical aspect of a startup is, and you’ll hear one resounding answer: the team. It’s no secret an efficient and effective team leads a company to excel, but a recent study conducted by Google revealed the concrete characteristics companies should look for when hiring new employees.

1. Dependability.

2. Structure and clarity.

3. Meaning.

4. Impact.

5. Psychological Safety.

At BeneFix, we believe that our people are our #1 asset. Each member, from CEO to intern, is in sync with the mission of our company and demonstrates the top 5 traits that make a killer team. 

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Matt Ranauro, Founder & CEO

See the original article below 

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Over the years, Google has embarked on countless quests, collected endless amounts of data, and spent millions trying to better understand its people. One of the company’s most interesting initiatives, Project Aristotle, gathered several of Google’s best and brightest to help the organization codify the secrets to team effectiveness.

Specifically, Google wanted to know why some teams excelled while others fell behind.

Before this study, like many other organizations, Google Execs believed that building the best teams meant compiling the best people. It makes sense. The best engineer plus an MBA, throw in a PhD, and there you have it. The perfect team, right? In the words of Julia Rozovsky, Google’s people analytics manager, “We were dead wrong.”

Selected to lead the efforts was Abeer Dubey, Google’s Director of People Analytics (HR). Eager to find the perfect mixture of skills, backgrounds, and traits to engineer super-teams, Dubey recruited statisticians, organizational psychologists, sociologists, engineers, and researchers to help solve the riddle. Included in this all-star lineup was Rozovsky.

Fast forward two years, and Project Aristotle has managed to study 180 Google teams, conduct 200-plus interviews, and analyze over 250 different team attributes. Unfortunately, though, there was still no clear pattern of characteristics that could be plugged into a dream-team generating algorithm.

As described in an article in The New York Times, it wasn’t until Google started considering some intangibles that things began to fall into place.

“As they struggled to figure out what made a team successful, Rozovsky and her colleagues kept coming across research by psychologists and sociologists that focused on what are known as “group norms” – the traditions, behavioral standards, and unwritten rules that govern how teams function when they gather… Norms can be unspoken or openly acknowledged, but their influence is often profound.”

With a new lens and some added direction from a research study on collective intelligence (abilities that emerge out of collaboration) by a group of psychologists from Carnegie Mellon, MIT, and Union College, Project Aristotle’s researchers went back to the drawing board to comb their data for unspoken customs. Specifically, any team behaviors that magnified the collective intelligence of the group.

Through Google’s Re:Work website, a resource that shares Google’s research, ideas, and practices on people operations, Rozovsky outlined the five key characteristics of enhanced teams.

1. Dependability.

Team members get things done on time and meet expectations.

2. Structure and clarity.

High-performing teams have clear goals, and have well-defined roles within the group.

3. Meaning.

The work has personal significance to each member.

4. Impact.

The group believes their work is purposeful and positively impacts the greater good.

Yes, that’s four, not five. The last one stood out from the rest:

5. Psychological Safety.

We’ve all been in meetings and, due to the fear of seeming incompetent, have held back questions or ideas. I get it. It’s unnerving to feel like you’re in an environment where everything you do or say is under a microscope.

But imagine a different setting. A situation in which everyone is safe to take risks, voice their opinions, and ask judgment-free questions. A culture where managers provide air cover and create safe zones so employees can let down their guard. That’s psychological safety.

I know, not the quantitative data that you were hoping for. However, Google found that teams with psychologically safe environments had employees who were less likely to leave, more likely to harness the power of diversity, and ultimately, who were more successful.

Engineering the perfect team is more subjective than we would like, but focusing on these five components increases the likelihood that you will build a dream team. Through its research, Google made the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle proud by proving, “The whole can be greater than the sum of its parts.”

BeneFix New Jersey Beta Release

Great News!

BeneFix – the #1 quoting and custom proposal platform in Pennsylvania – is now available in New Jersey!

During the initial New Jersey launch BeneFix will be in Beta – Beta means we are still working to guarantee rates are 100% accurate.

Our BeneFix promise is 100% accurate rates, 100% of the time. In order to deliver on this promise, we work directly with carriers are partners so you can trust every rate and product in the BeneFix platform is right. At this time New Jersey rate information available in BeneFix is state filed data – this is temporary and we will keep you updated with rate status.

As we continue to form relationships in the state of New Jersey our platform will remain in Beta. You can use the entire system, run quotes, customize proposals, and manage your small groups.

Our team promises to work tirelessly to help you along the way:

Happy quoting!

Team BeneFix

A Minute With Matt: 2017 Update

The biggest holiday weekend of summer is almost here, but that’s not the only reason Team BeneFix is celebrating. The start of July means we are more than halfway through the year (time really does fly when you’re having fun… and when you’re really BUSY)! BeneFix jumped into 2017 six short months ago, ready to expand as a company, as a team, and as a platform. We believe in realistic goal setting and that has helped us not only stay on track, but also hit our company goals

We started 2017 with 5 employees. BeneFix now has 15. We even created a summer internship program, bringing on 5 top-quality students from Penn, Georgetown, and Temple University, skilled in programming, engineering, marketing, and sales. These interns are critical in helping BeneFix expand to new states.

As a company, we believe in making concrete connections and staying informed within the industry. So far, we’ve traveled to Medical Insurance and insurTech conferences in Silicon Valley, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, Orlando, and Central Pennsylvania.

As a platform, we’ve revamped our brand, updating our logo and adding new features to make user experience easier than ever. You can now customize proposals, sort plans easier than ever, and we will be releasing some amazing new additions in the coming months – all ready for Q4.

And we are just getting started.

It’s been a big year so far and we are excited to get even bigger. But one thing we promise – we will continue to put our customers first and foremost.

Have a fun Fourth of July weekend!
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Matt Ranauro, CEO & Founder

Trust the Tech

Smartphones. The internet. Memes. Technology has exploded in the past decade, leaving the insurance industry behind. However; the rise of InsurTech has allowed even the most traditional of insurance agencies and brokers to bridge this gap. And although a clear transition is happening, it hasn’t come without its challenges. Two of the biggest barriers: a difference in work culture and a lack of knowledge.

Yes, some insurance agencies continue paying by checks, faxing instead of sending emails, and keeping paper records as opposed to digital ones. Imagine paying for Netflix by sending in cash! The good news is, these agencies are in the minority. A recent study showed that 94% of insurers believe that “adopting platform-based models and forming digital ecosystems are critical to their success as a business” (“The Rise of Insurtech” – Roy Jubraj, Steven Watson, Simon Tottman).


The truth is, Insurers and InsurTech companies want to be on the same page. And they can get there through trust. But to earn trust from an already established and comfortable industry, means being transparent. Take this 2016 study by PwC. It revealed that almost half of insurers fear that they will lose 20% of their business to InsurTech companies. If InsurTech companies become transparent, those fears will diminish. In fact, a large proportion of InsurTech companies actually aim to empower industry professionals by equipping them with the tools to automate outdated processes.

Collaboration is key. Just like Batman and Robin, like Han Solo and Chewbacca, and Thelma and Louise, this critical partnership between insurance agencies and InsurTech startups is on its way to dramatically improving data analytics, infrastructure, and customer experience. Clearly the most adaptive agencies will be the ones to win over the most clients. With the arrival of the Age of Information, where technology is improving every aspect and every detail of society, it’s time for the insurance industry to catch up, too.

A Minute with Matt: Say Hello to our Summer Interns

#TeamBeneFix just got a whole lot bigger and a whole lot better! That’s right, we have officially hired five summer interns! Our interns range from rising sophomores to rising seniors at University of Penn, Georgetown University, and Temple University with skills including programming, marketing, sales, software engineering, and beyond!

Just one week into their internship program and this tenacious bunch has hit the ground running and has filled our office with new and exciting energy! With just one intern from Lancaster, the four others traveled from California, Michigan, North Carolina, and Washington state to become Lancastrians for the summer.

Choosing who would join our BeneFix crew was a lengthy process. BeneFix received an overwhelming amount of well-qualified individuals… more than 250 applied! I’ll be honest, we didn’t make the applying easy… those selected went through two rounds of phone interviews, a deadline-oriented task, and a video chat with our current team.

So how exactly did we pick our top five? There are a few key factors I look for.

How well do they fit our culture? It’s critical that anyone working at BeneFix gels with our team. How efficient and effective will they be? It’s this reason we asked those who passed our phone interview to complete a short assignment. But most importantly, do they have what it takes? Do they have true grit and perseverance?

Bottom line, if you want your company to grow, you must be picky about who you let in. At BeneFix, every single person plays a pivotal role in our success, including our interns.  They are diving in without hesitation and are truly invaluable to what we do and how efficiently we do it.

Throughout the summer we will feature weekly spotlights on each intern so you can get to know our BeneFix bunch!

STAY TUNED TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR INTERNS!

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Matt Ranauro, CEO & Founder

A Minute with Matt- Simple is Simply Better

BeneFix was founded out of frustration. Taking weeks, even months, to get a small business up and running with their benefits seems impossible in 2017 but that’s exactly what inspired the question “why is this so hard?” My excitement to move from Colorado to Pennsylvania, and continue my business, was thwarted by complications of finding new medical, dental and vision coverage.

At the time of my move, I was shocked and honestly disappointed. How in 2016 was there no simple way to do this?

Fast-forward to 2017 and here we are today with the solution I was looking for. The best part of our digital quoting platform? It’s SIMPLE.

The best technology should feel invisible and make your work more enjoyable, even fun. I like to think BeneFix does just that. The BeneFix platform has one purpose – make small group benefits easier than ever before.

Our technology should not get in the way. It shouldn’t be a hassle. It shouldn’t add to that long list of To-Dos health insurance professionals take on every day. Technology, like BeneFix should operate by bringing a simple solution to the most important tasks and bring that solution as flawlessly as possible.

Our simple software is clean-cut. From our straightforward dashboard to our customer service to walking our clients step by step through the process, BeneFix is here to not just answer your questions but to solve your problems. Take it from our current clients.

“I love BeneFix. It’s really easy to use; from beginning to end the app is smooth without any fluff.” ~ Shannon Castro, Producer Services Assistant of Benecon

“BeneFix is the solution we have been searching for. Partnering with BeneFix has streamlined our efficiency with guaranteed accuracy.”
~ Tim Whalen, COO at Whalen Insurance Associates, Inc.

“BeneFix is quick and easy to use. I love that you can instantly get quotes.”
~ Rusty Robb, Client Services Coordinator at Benefit Connections.

Simplify your small group business with BeneFix!

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Matt Ranauro, CEO & Founder