Tired parents aren’t the most productive employees, so gaming entertainment-company Activision Blizzard added a smart crib to their benefits package to help everyone get some more rest.
New parents will receive Happiest Baby’s SNOO Smart Sleeper — a responsive bassinet that lulls fussy babies back to sleep with motion and sound while also swaddling them for safe sleeping — in anticipation of their newborn’s arrival.
The $1,500 bassinet is on loan to new parents for six months — the time it takes for a newborn to outgrow the bassinet and transition to a crib — and arrives either brand new or refurbished, with everything but the motor and bedframe stripped away and replaced.
As an organization, Activision Blizzard aims to have a reputation of being early adopters of innovative benefits, says Milt Ezzard, the company’s vice president of global benefits.
The Santa Monica, California-based company also tries to tie its benefits to improved outcomes, which Ezzard says the SNOO sleeper accomplishes by being the safest way to put a baby to bed, preventing crib deaths and helping parents sleep for two hours more per night.
“Sleep is front of mind for us,” Ezzard says, noting that the company also provides six-week sleep improvement program Sleepio to employees as a benefit.
The company says 40 smart sleepers are currently in use, although Ezzard expects about 100 to 200 bassinets will be delivered to Activision Blizzard employees each year. Activision Blizzard pays $3.50 per smart sleeper per day, which amounts to about $630 per employee, Ezzard says.
Employees using Happiest Baby’s SNOO also have access to the retailer’s support line and mobile app, which guides new parents through their child’s sleep training.
Returning parents also have access to a pumping room stocked with supplies in Activision Blizzard’s offices, Ezzard says. The company revealed that it is exploring another benefit: a state-of-the-art breast pump for employees and their spouses.
“It’s a topic of a lot of concern for new moms coming back to work,” he says.
Because Activision Blizzard is mostly self-funded — only 20% of plan enrollees in California enroll in an HMO option — the company works with 27 different partners, such as Sleepio, Ovia, Kurbo and Verta Health, targeted at managing its population health, Ezzard says.
“Our health carrier, Collective Health, has the ability to take claim data and see within a few days if an employee wants to connect with one of the programs,” he says.
Those partnerships not only bring down health costs for the company, which will be lower in 2018 than in 2017, Ezzard says, but they also deliver a myriad of benefits that employees couldn’t get elsewhere.
“We are able to differentiate ourselves to support our employees,” Ezzard says. “We’re giving them things they didn’t even realize were in existence to help them live better.”
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