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What drove Wipfli’s decision to enhance employee benefits

By Maureen Pistone 

At Wipfli, we are always challenging ourselves about the associate experience. A part of that is regularly reevaluating our benefits to make sure they’re meeting our associates’ needs. Last year, we saw an example of why this is important to retaining a diverse workforce.

In 2022, Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court. It had broad-reaching impacts for family planning and medical care, impacting all birthing and pregnant people and their families.

When the decision was announced, organizations across America reacted quickly. Perhaps they released a statement or made important benefits decisions, but ultimately, they were quick to choose a stance on the political debate.

Wipfli took a different approach. We diligently and intentionally studied this impactful Supreme Court decision. We listened to our employees. We gathered intelligence.

We saw this as an opportunity to put our associate-centered values to work and foster a better associate experience. It was an important moment for us to reflect on whether our benefits served everyone on our team.

We asked ourselves big questions: How can we move forward from this protecting and even enhancing our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) focus? What does this decision change about the way we offer health and family planning benefits? Can we use this as an opportunity to shine light on other areas of the benefits package that could be changed to improve health equity, including for our increasingly remote workforce that may live in rural areas?

In tandem with other work on equity, we used the momentum from this conversation to make some key changes to our benefits offering, ultimately deciding to add new benefits or enhance existing ones:

  • Medical travel benefits: Travel benefits to give associates across the country equitable access to quality care across a broad spectrum of needs
  • Family formation benefits: Maternity and paternity leave, surrogacy and adoption benefits, and fertility services benefits
  • Gender-affirming care benefits: Resources and benefits to help associates receive gender identity affirming interventions and therapies

It’s important for us as employers and colleagues to challenge ourselves about what our peers need. As generations change, needs often change too. In today’s labor market, that means it’s not just about “compensate me, reward me.” After the pandemic, we are all reflecting on what makes us happy, what we need and want, what we want in a career, and what we are — and perhaps more importantly — are not willing to sacrifice.

For employers that means removing barriers and helping employees to foster the types of lives they want to live, both inside and outside of the workplace. We want to create a benefits package — and place to work — that empowers associates to find this harmony for themselves.

I’ve always believed that associates are just as important as our clients. They deliver everything that is Wipfli. When they are emotionally connected to us, we are a better place … a human organization.

Maureen Pistone

Maureen Pistone
Partner, Chief Human Resources Officer

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