Common threads about our contemporary work-life tend to surface each year when Fortune magazine surveys companies nationwide for its Great Place to Work® rankings.
Companies that made the new 2016 list, which includes several insurance and financial service providers, have found ways to turnaround the widespread problem of disengaged, apathetic employees.
These companies develop managers and policies that build employee trust through active listening and creative problem-solving, and they foster a workplace culture where individual success and performance trumps overall productivity benchmarks.
Creating a Great Place to Work® means encouraging a company leadership team that values collaboration and integrity over bean-counting. These are places where managers:
Involve employees in their decision-making
Keep employees informed about top-level issues
Deliver on their promises
Actively seek and respond to employee feedback
Encourage a multi-generational workplace
It’s clear that fostering a winning corporate culture is essential for a company to get noticed by Fortune magazine and its Great Place to Work® selection committee.
Here are seven insurance or financial services companies that are getting it right, according to the writers, editors and researchers who produce Fortune magazine’s annual Great Place to Work® list.
1. ACUITY Insurance
Headquarters: Sheboygan, Wis.
Fortune 100 Best Rank: 2
U.S. Employees: 1,110
Look no further than ACUITY’s 2 percent employee turnover rate for proof that this property and casualty insurance company is a place where people want to work and stay in their jobs once they arrive. Its employee-centered corporate culture revolves around recruiting and keeping “motivated, experienced, and dedicated professionals who will develop long-term (customer) relationships.” ACUITY, which provides coverage in 24 states, also has distinguished itself through innovative technology and ongoing corporate philanthropy.
2. United Services Automobile Association (USAA)
Headquarters: San Antonio, Texas
Fortune 100 Best Rank: 36
U.S. Employees: 27,595
This well-known financial services company provides insurance and investment services to members of the United States military and their families. USAA has had nearly a century to perfect its business and its corporate culture. Considered one of the pioneers of direct marketing campaigns, today the company’s diversity and philanthropic initiatives help define a business where employees reported feeling welcome, secure, included in decision-making and motivated to become ever better professionals.
Headquarters: Columbus, Ga.
Fortune 100 Best Rank: 50
U.S. Employees: 5,224
People are more than just employees at this 61-year-old company, which is the country’s largest supplemental insurance provider and has made Fortune’s Great Place to Work® list numerous years in a row. People are happy to work for Aflac because they enjoy competitive salaries and an open-door management policy. Aflac also encourages a healthy work-life balance, and runs one of the largest workplace childcare facilities in the state of Georgia.
(The Aflac Duck looked dapper in his sparkling gold bowtie at the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards® in February. Photo by Aflac via AP Images)
4. American Fidelity
Headquarters: Oklahoma City, Okla.
Fortune 100 Best Rank: 64
U.S. Employees: 1,666
This private, family-owned life and health insurance company aims to create a workplace that values collaboration and openness among colleagues and managers. Employees report that their work has meaning, and that their managers are transparent and compassionate. It’s not unusual for the company chairman and CEO, Bill Cameron, who holds a position that was filled by his father and grandfather before him, to interact with employees at all levels. People who work at American Fidelity also are encouraged to chime into the corporate culture conversation through an anonymous online feedback platform. On-site walking trails and an outdoor pavilion are just two of the perks of the company’s Oklahoma City headquarters.
5. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.
Headquarters: Columbus, Ohio
Fortune 100 Best Rank: 71
U.S. Employees: 33,903
Let’s start with this company’s $15 minimum wage. From there, Nationwide manages to recruit and retain happy employees by promoting a culture where people are valued above all else, and where honesty, integrity, trust and respect inform performance results. Protecting people and families is at the core of the Nationwide brand. It follows that employees enjoy competitive benefits and salaries. They also take pride in working for a company that activity encourages diversity, and that supports community-based initiatives through a corporate-funded philanthropic foundation.
(Above: Brill Garrett, second from left, wife of Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, not picture, and Lu Yarbrough with Nationwide insurance, far right, present a check to Sheila Ortiz, second from right, before an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons on Sun., Sept. 27, 2015. AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
6. Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
Headquarters: Minneapolis, Minn.
Fortune 100 Best Rank: 80
U.S. Employees: 1699
More than 95 percent of the employees of this historic insurance and financial services company feel good about the work that they do and the ways in which their employer contributes to the community. Employee events and celebrations are regular happenings at the Allianz headquarters, which includes an outdoor courtyard with a putting green, shuffle board court and a gas fire pit, along with a TotaLife Fitness Center, a gift shop, dry-cleaning services, subsidized food services provided by a 5-star café, coffee bar and covered parking.
7. First American
Headquarters: Santa Ana, Calif.
Fortune 100 Best Rank: 94
U.S. Employees: 11241
Procuring happy, well-trained employees starts early at this insurance and financial services company, which hosts a far-reaching undergraduate and graduate student internship program. More than 9 out of 10 fulltime employees say they feel challenged, rewarded, and proud of their workplace. They also enjoy communicative managers and a warm work environment. “Progressive,” “Dynamic,” and “First-Class” are some of the words that First American employees use to describe their employer.
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