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IBX Insights

Top Workplaces 2019: More Than Just a Recognition

By May 22, 2019March 24th, 2022Company Culture Well-being
Members of the Women of Independence Associate Resource Group

Jeanie Heffernan (left) and other members of the Members of the Women of Independence Associate Resource Group celebrate the group's fifth anniversary.

It’s no secret that today’s employees are a different breed than employees from previous generations. While 40 years ago, many employees clocked in and out and often spent their entire careers with one company, employees today want something different. Purpose. Meaning. Connection. These are powerful motivators that today’s employees (Millennials, Generation Xers, and Baby Boomers alike) actively seek out. Simply put, they want a company that reflects their core values.

Beyond the Label

That’s why when The Philadelphia Inquirer announced earlier this year that they awarded Independence Blue Cross a Top Workplaces 2019 designation, we were honored, to say the least. As an employer, hearing that you earned a Top Workplace designation or were named a Forbes “Best Employer in America” is the kind of acknowledgement you dream about. But that’s just a small part of it, because although we’re certainly proud to claim these designations, it goes deeper than the recognition that comes along with these labels.

Being a Part of Something Meaningful

The reason we were so honored to receive these recognitions all goes back to our associates. You see, we knew the Top Workplaces designation was a result of anonymous feedback from our associates. And it went beyond traditional measurements of compensation, benefits, etc. It measured other, more nuanced, aspects of workplace culture, including how associates feel about company values and whether their job makes them feel like they’re a part of something. This designation is validation that our associates truly feel that we live our mission and values. And what more could a company ask for? Our associates are the reason we are successful as a company, so we were thrilled to hear that they feel valued, connected, engaged, and motivated to learn.

Enrichment and Growth Opportunities

As the chief human resources officer at Independence Blue Cross, I’m proud to work for a company that invests in our associates by offering meaningful work, a collaborative environment, and the opportunity to impact the lives of millions of people. Some of the enrichment and growth opportunities we offer our associates include:

  • Tuition deferral and reimbursement programs
  • A free on-site fitness facility
  • Nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian
  • Year-round farm-share programs
  • Indego bike share discounts
  • The “Know Your Value” national employee development and empowerment program

Associate Perks that Reflect Our Core Values

Our associates are eligible for special perks that reflect our company’s core values, including paid time off for volunteer work and preventive health screenings. We also believe that doing things on the job besides work is one of the best ways to increase motivation, productivity, and happiness. That’s one reason we offer a variety of identity groups, activities, and clubs — including Associate Resource Groups where associates connected by common characteristics pursue professional development, networking opportunities, and community outreach.

The Blue Crew, our comprehensive corporate volunteer program, is another great representation of our company’s core values. The Blue Crew connects all levels of associates, their families, and retirees with meaningful community service projects. With more than 1,300 volunteers providing over 11,000 hours of service annually, the Blue Crew is responsible for bringing our social mission to life in the communities we serve.

Looking Ahead

We will continue to invest in our associates’ enrichment and growth opportunities, always looking for new ways to connect, engage, and motivate. And we will continue to listen to our associates about what they are looking for in an employer. Their feedback is invaluable and has played a huge part in shaping Independence into the great company that it is today.


Jeanie Heffernan

Jeanie Heffernan leads the People Strategy for Independence Health Group (Independence). In this role, she helps the organization attract and develop talent; advance a culture of engagement, inclusion, and innovation; and achieve business strategy and goals. Ms. Heffernan began leading human resources at Independence in 2011, with 25 years of experience in multiple business sectors, including health care insurance, technology, and banking. Ms. Heffernan has been active in the nonprofit arena throughout her career. She currently serves on the board of Graduate! Philadelphia and West Catholic Preparatory High School. Previously, she was on the boards of the People’s Emergency Center and The Veterans Group. She also has been an active volunteer with Rebuilding Together Philadelphia for more than a decade.