Company: Allianz Partners USA, Richmond, VA USA
Nomination Category: Employer of the Year -Insurance
Employer of the Year Essay:
Allianz Partners USA is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company. We protected over 40 million customers in 2018.
Our leaders recognize that the right employee experience results in engaged, passionate associates who drive success. Together, our team has doubled revenue in 5 years (2014-18) and delivered 15% growth in 2018.
Gallup has reported 34% of U.S. workers are engaged (https://news.gallup.com/poll/241649/employee-engagement-rise.aspx). Comparatively, we proudly maintain engagement scores above 70% year after year. In 2018 our engagement was 71% (81% participation). Additionally, 81% of participants reported being proud to work here, reflected in the 25% of 2018-19 hires being associate referrals.
Since 2018, we enhanced associate experience:
Performance beyond tasks: We emphasize that how work is accomplished is as important as what is accomplished. Collaboration, customer and market excellence, entrepreneurship and trust are cornerstones of our culture and employee experience.
Agile@Work: Using feedback from engagement surveys, we created a new way to work by scaling agile and breaking silos into cross-functional teams. Empowered teams deliver quality service quickly, eliminate unnecessary complexity, and are nimble in getting product to market and supporting customers and partners. A redesigned workplace offers an open environment (no private offices), supporting collaboration and inclusive meritocracy
Affordable benefit coverage: For the past four years, the company paid the medical premium increase so that the associate’s medical premium has not increased. AON studies show our company contributions toward premiums and Healthcare Spending Accounts exceed benchmark (~7ppts, ~20ppts, respectively).
Retirement savings: The company matches 50% of the associate’s 401(k) contribution, up to 8% of pay, up from the previous 6% of pay.
Flexible scheduling: Responding to requests from associates, we offer nonexempt associates either a 30-or 60-minute lunch and recently extended daily afternoon breaks by 5 minutes. Exempt associates qualify for unlimited time off.
Leadership development: Our second class of emerging leaders graduated from an 18-month in-house leadership development program. Six of the nine were already promoted. In July, we kick off the next application process. For call-center managers and team leads, HR hosts monthly roundtables and CEO lunches to discuss tools and techniques for managing in a 24/7/365 customer-centric environment.
Career development: We encourage Finance, Agile, and HR certifications with time off to study, fee reimbursement and additional pay upon completion, all added since January 2018. Tuition reimbursement increased to $5,250 (+$250), now including textbooks. Our Talent Share Program provides experience and skill-building through temporary assignments in other areas/roles. Of the 37 participants to date, 14 have been promoted.
Comprehensive wellness programs: We encourage physical, mental and financial health through a comprehensive wellness program that received Sports Backers ActiveRVA certification for the sixth year running (2014-19) for our onsite cafés, gym, walking path, field days, lunch-and-learns, biannual onsite screenings—reducing stress, and encouraging healthier eating and activity.
Part of the Community: We hire customer-centric associates “with heart.” Their sense of caring extends to our community:
Every associate receives paid Volunteer Time Off to volunteer at organizations of their choice. Through other company-sponsored events, over 25% of our associates volunteered 500+ hours at diverse organizations—blood drives, meal packaging and food drives, clothing, bedding, inclusion, mental health, housing, the environment, special education and more.
In 2018, we were recognized by FeedMore, the local food bank, for providing over 60,000 healthy meals to our community and by Rise Against Hunger for packaging 119,898 meals.
Patriotic Employer: An associate’s nomination led to a Patriotic Employer recognition for support of guards and reservists through flexible schedules, pre-and post-deployment time off, and caring for families.
Our culture is squarely focused on the employee experience and being a leading employer, providing leading-edge, competitive benefits and perks help us to meet that goal every day.
Employer of the Year Summary:
-Continuous associate feedback from surveys and focus groups drives the employee experience and engagement
-Culture of inclusion where both people and performance matter—what each accomplishes and how it’s accomplished
-Agile@Work promotes collaboration and teamwork in a scaled agile environment
-High engagement (71%), with diversity, inclusion, integrity and community, as well as customer centricity, collaboration, leader/manager effectiveness scoring high
-Company contributions to benefits mean associate medical premiums have not increased in four years (company payments towards premiums and HSAs are above benchmark), and the 401(k) match increased
-Flexible scheduling at all levels, with special options for nonexempt staff and unlimited time off for exempt associates support work-life balance
-Leadership development programs available at the executive level though team-lead level and opportunities for aspiring leaders
-Career development is encouraged, shown through Tuition Reimbursement, Certification and Talent Share programs
-Award-winning wellness program and patriotic employer recognition
-Paid Volunteer Time Off for all