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Client Stories

Stronghouse Brewpub's Journey to Employee Health Benefits

Company Profile-Stronghouse Brew Pub

Strong House Brewpub, a historic brewery in Telluride, Colorado, faced challenges in retaining staff in a high-turnover industry. Despite its success and unique offerings, the brewpub, with approximately 30 employees and no dedicated HR department, had to address the complexities of health benefits crucial for employee satisfaction.


Partnering with Take Command, a specialist in health benefits solutions, Strong House Brewpub overcame its lack of a formal health benefits plan. This case study explores their journey in selecting, implementing, and managing a health benefits plan, highlighting its positive impact on employee satisfaction, retention, and business success.

Tackling Health Insurance Challenges at Strong House Brewpub

Strong House Brewpub's commitment to employee care underwent a pivotal transformation as they embarked on the journey to provide health benefits. The absence of a formal health benefits plan posed an increasingly challenging obstacle to retaining crucial staff members in an industry characterized by high turnover rates. In response to this challenge, Pam Cunningham, responsible for marketing and unexpectedly employee benefits, took on the task of navigating the complexities of health insurance, despite lacking an HR background. 

The predominantly hourly workforce in Telluride, known for its independent nature and frequent job changes, necessitated a flexible benefits solution. The need for such a plan became evident when staff members voiced their desire for health benefits. This prompted the consideration of the Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA) and the exploration of third-party administrators to manage the evolving benefits landscape.

Selecting Take Command: A Turning Point for Employee Benefits

The journey to enhance employee well-being at Strong House Brewpub reached a crucial turning point with the discovery of Take Command. The decision to partner with this company was driven by their specific needs and the unique advantages offered by Take Command's approach to health benefits.

Why Take Command Stood Out

Several factors influenced the choice of Take Command as the preferred health benefits partner for Strong House Brewpub. First and foremost, Take Command's expertise in handling Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRA) aligned perfectly with the brewpub's requirements. 

The flexibility and adaptability of ICHRA plans were ideal for addressing the diverse needs of their staff, especially in an industry with a fluid workforce.

Take Command's reputation for simplifying the complex processes involved in health benefits administration was a significant draw. For a small business like Strong House Brewpub, without a dedicated HR department, this ease of administration was crucial. The prospect of handing over the intricacies of health benefits management to a trusted third party promised to alleviate the burden on their staff, particularly on Pam, who had no prior experience in this area.

The Decision-Making Process

The decision-making process involved Strong House Brewpub evaluating various health benefits providers. They considered factors such as ease of implementation, cost-effectiveness, and the level of support offered. Take Command's ability to provide a tailored solution that could easily integrate into the brewpub's existing operations played a decisive role. The transparent pricing structure and comprehensive support system provided assurance that Strong House Brewpub was making a sound investment in their employees' health and well-being.

Strong House Brewpub chose Take Command because their services aligned with the specific challenges and needs of the brewpub. This choice not only addressed the immediate issue of providing health benefits but also indicated a long-term partnership in managing and adapting these benefits to the changing needs of the brewpub and its employees.

HRA Highlights-Stronghouse Brew Pub

Implementing Take Command’s Health Benefits Plan

The implementation of Take Command's health benefits plan at Strong House Brewpub marked a significant step forward in their commitment to employee welfare. This phase was characterized by a streamlined enrollment process and a hands-off management approach, aligning well with the brewpub’s operational needs.

The Enrollment Process

Take Command’s enrollment process was designed to be straightforward and user-friendly, a crucial feature for a small business like Strong House Brewpub. They appreciated that the system allowed employees to manage their own enrollment. This autonomy was important in a setting where personal choice and independence are highly valued.

The process began with a simple email sent out to the employees, explaining the new health benefits and guiding them on how to enroll. This approach minimized the involvement required from the brewpub’s side, particularly important given the absence of a dedicated HR person. It also empowered employees to make their own health insurance choices, fitting well with the independent spirit of the workforce.

Financial Structure of the Plan

Strong House Brewpub decided to allocate a specific monthly amount towards each employee's health benefit – a decision that reflected their commitment to their staff’s health and well-being. This structure provided flexibility, allowing the plan to adapt to the varying needs of different employees. For instance, some employees were able to utilize the benefit alongside their existing plans, such as those covered under a spouse’s insurance.

Employee Autonomy and Satisfaction

The feedback from employees regarding the new health benefits plan was overwhelmingly positive. They appreciated having their own plan, supplemented by an additional amount per check from the brewpub. This setup was not only beneficial in terms of health coverage but also added a straightforward and transparent perk to their employment.

The introduction of the health benefits plan with Take Command was more than just a policy change; it was a clear message from Strong House Brewpub to its employees that their health and well-being were a top priority. This move not only enhanced employee satisfaction but also contributed to a more positive and stable work environment.

Transformative Impact: Health Benefits at Strong House Brewpub

After implementing Take Command's health benefits plan, Strong House Brewpub entered a new phase in managing employee welfare. Partnering with Take Command streamlined benefits management, reducing administrative burdens significantly. This efficiency was particularly beneficial for a small business without a dedicated HR department, allowing them to focus on core responsibilities while ensuring employees received necessary health benefits.

Take Command's self-sufficient system required minimal employer intervention once set up, empowering employees to control their health plans, aligning with the workforce's independent nature.

The implementation of health benefits at Strong House Brewpub significantly boosted employee morale and retention, essential in an industry with high turnover. From a business perspective, these benefits enhanced the brewpub's appeal as an employer, improving its reputation and service quality.

The successful rollout underscores the brewpub's commitment to its team, enhancing loyalty and community. This partnership positively impacted both employee well-being and business performance, highlighting the value of tailored health benefits for small businesses.

The introduction of health benefits at Strong House Brewpub significantly enhanced employee morale and business operations. Employees now experience increased security and recognition, leading to higher satisfaction and lower turnover rates. For the brewpub, these benefits have bolstered its appeal as an employer in Telluride's job market, improving both its reputation and service quality.

This initiative reflects the brewpub's commitment to its team and adaptability in addressing operational challenges. The success in implementing these benefits, despite the absence of a dedicated HR department, illustrates the effectiveness of responsive and tailored solutions in meeting employee needs.

Looking forward, Strong House Brewpub's approach to employee health benefits positions it for continued success in both staff retention and business growth. This case study serves as an inspiring model for other small businesses, demonstrating the significant impact of investing in employee well-being for a thriving and loyal workforce.

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