Group Benefits

Fairfield Watson is a leader in employee benefits, retirement and insurance consulting. Our proven ability to foster long-term, positive relationships between benefit providers, employers and their employees helps create benefit plans that can attract and retain top performers and have a positive effect on our clients’ profitability.

At Fairfield Watson we place great importance on developing strong, relationship based partnerships with our clients.  As a result we look to customize the framework of our service structure to align with a client’s unique preferences and needs.

By working with our clients to design the most appropriate plans while recognizing the unique needs of your organization.  We believe that choice of carrier(s) and pricing are secondary to ensuring the proper plan design.  As independent consultants, we are able to access the marketplace to find the best carrier solution once the plan is properly designed.

Employers and their employees, always have the dedication of our world-class Service Team. We see ourselves as your advocate and an extension of your team.  We encourage you to contact us directly, as we feel we are best positioned to get you an appropriate solution in a timely fashion.

Our primary goal is to become your trusted partner.  Supporting your most valuable resource — your people.

Once we fully understand and establish your program goals, we review your current arrangements and provide relevant and cost-effective options, taking an expert hands-on role in the ongoing coordination of all elements of the programs including a value-focused analysis at renewal and ongoing monitoring of strategic options to meet your evolving needs.
Our multi-disciplined approach brings full service benefits consulting and plan operation expertise to more than 300 Canadian businesses that enjoy a distinct advantage in the competitive market for great employees.  These companies leverage the value of their benefits and insurance investments into long-term employee assets who are healthier, more productive and more likely to improve a company’s bottom line.
With limited capacity or desire to manage employee benefit issues on a day to day basis, many organizations depend on us to design, operate, communicate, and manage their programs with a comprehensive and ongoing commitment to success that includes:

  • Understanding management’s non-cash compensation philosophy and goals
  • Auditing and regularly monitoring employee perceptions
  • Creating communication strategies to leverage the perceived value of the employee benefits investment
  • Continually monitoring the providing carrier’s performance reporting plan operation and financial position to management
  • Supporting our clients’ Human Resource (HR) personnel on all benefit program operations issues
  • Providing updates to management of benefit trends and marketplace developments
  • Developing marketplace specifications to test relative competitiveness of carrier performance
  • Working with marketplace providers in the development of their submissions
  • Developing and presenting comprehensive marketplace reports periodically, and renewal reports annually

Effective communication with staff is crucial whenever changes are made to programs.  We will customize written communications for clients.  In addition, we believe it is prudent to conduct annual face-to-face employee orientations focused on raising the profile of the benefits plan or retirement plan (or both) and the value that these organizational investments represent.  In times where new staff members are joining the organization these meetings may be more frequent than annually, as our view is that all staff should have a good understanding and appreciation of the plans.  At Fairfield Watson we are big believers in the power of employee education and we enjoy building and delivering these presentations on behalf of our clients.

These sessions can accomplish a number of goals including:

  • Helping staff understand that the employer cares about their employees and the importance of protecting their families in the event of a death or disability.
  • Demonstrating how the drug, health, spending account and dental programs represent very tax effective compensation and how these programs can coordinate with spousal programs.
  • With respect to retirement programs, how plan members can access and utilize tools that can help them plan for retirement and build an investment portfolio that is right for them.

To further support our clients, Fairfield Watson has a strategic partnership with Karla Watson. Karla, founder of Tact HR Services, is a Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP) who provides custom HR solutions for business. Karla’s passion is solving challenging human resource issues to help business owners reach peak success.

Her work focuses on creating custom solutions to maximize the talent pool within an organization and develop structure to increase business effectiveness. The results will allow business owners the time and capacity to enjoy the pride and passion of running their company. Services are as follows:

  • Alberta Employment Standards Clarification – It is imperative that employers understand the minimum standards of employment for their organization and their employees. Tact will help guide you through the provincial employment standards, ensuring they are clear and meaningful.
  • Employee Handbooks – Creating a manual of expectations and guidelines is critical to consistency, structure and engagement. With our employee handbooks service, we create a manual of policies and procedures that positions the behavior and standards you want upheld throughout your organization.
  • Performance Evaluations – Documenting and evaluating employee performance is another key element to retaining the right people for your organization. Tact will teach you how to conduct performance evaluations that engage and inspire employees and assist them with their career development.
  • Onboarding and Orientations (O & O) – New employees are 69% more likely to stay after three years if they’ve experienced a well-structured onboarding program. Tact will craft a program to ensure new talent quickly understands the company’s culture, has opportunities to build meaningful work relationships and is made aware of what is expected of them. A strong O&O program offers a consistent, welcoming approach and results in the retention and productivity of your new talent.
  • Recruitment – With people being your most valuable asset and with the high cost of recruitment, you cannot afford to choose the wrong employees. Tact can handle your hiring challenges and teach you the most effective ways to attract the right talent. From sourcing to salary negotiation, Tact will get the right employee for the right job at the right time.
  • Research – Understanding the current and upcoming competitive markets for employee pay and benefits is a significant tool for success within your organization. Companies must ensure their pay rates, benefits and other ‘perks’ are fair and equitable to recruit and retain the right people. Within days, Tact will provide relevant, priceless information for your business.
  • Terminations – The importance of handling employee dismissals fairly cannot be overstated. Tact will help you take the necessary steps to ensure that the termination of an employee is handled sensitively, objectively and justly.