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Better work-life balance goal of ‘responsible time off’ policy at large independent brokerage

Insurance Forums Staff

For the past year, Holmes Murphy team members across the nation have overwhelmingly embraced its Responsible Time Off program, according to the company.

The Des Moines, Iowa-based independent insurance brokerage began a redesigned, more flexible time off practice for exempt employees on July 1, 2016, and announced this week it has netted “positive results across the board.”

Responsible Time Off (RTO) is a paid leave program that affords exempt employees from all 12 Holmes Murphy locations the flexibility to balance work and personal life. Employees are expected and encouraged to take time away from work when they need it, and the amount of time an employee has to take off is no longer specified. Rather, time off is available when necessary for employees to operate at their highest level while providing the best service to clients.

“As a company, we strive to be on the leading edge of the industry both in our services and company culture,” said Dan Keough, chairman and CEO of Holmes Murphy. “As such, we recognized Responsible Time Off as an innovative, cutting-edge benefit that allows us to continue supporting a culture of mutual trust and empowerment. It has allowed us to continue our focus on productivity and results for our clients and away from the hours spent at work.”

Following implementation, Holmes Murphy says it has been approached by several employers asking how it works and what it takes to make Responsible Time Off a successful program.

“We recognize the growing national trends of working longer hours and taking fewer vacations, and it’s up to employers to combat those behaviors for their employees’ wellbeing,” said Heidi Buttolph, chief engagement and talent officer at Holmes Murphy. “At Holmes Murphy, we pride ourselves on innovation. We think it’s incredibly important to evolve with the times in order to attract and retain the best talent, and RTO has certainly helped. Existing employees and new hires are not focused on the time they have left in the PTO bank, and take time off as needed.”

In addition to rolling out RTO, Holmes Murphy implemented several enhanced work/life integration programs for all employees. These new benefits include Parental Leave, an enriched short-term disability plan, “Celebrate” your day off for an employee’s birthday, and Volunteer Time Off for employees to dedicate paid work days to the causes they care about most.

“Holmes Murphy is a strengths-based driven company. Responsibility is our company’s top strength, and that includes responsibility to not only our clients, but to the communities we serve,” Keough said. “Community and charitable involvement are priorities we’ve always encouraged, and employees can dedicate even more time to giving back in meaningful ways.”

The company says its RTO program further aligns Holmes Murphy’s sales and service career positions and the important role they play in the organization, as the sales operations have already had this type of flexibility in their roles.

“Holmes Murphy has always been known for our great customer service and our ‘putting clients first’ philosophy,” Keough said. “This new policy is just one more way we’re ensuring our employees are at their best so we can continue to deliver top-notch service to our clients.”

Holmes Murphy is headquartered in Des Moines with offices in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. The company has about 750 employees.

Editor’s Note: After the Fourth of July holiday last week, many people no doubt returned to work this week wondering how much time off they have left in 2017 – and whether they’ll be able to take more time off again during Thanksgiving week and the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Seemed like a good time to take a closer look at this new “unlimited” paid time off program described in this article. Seems to be working for them – for those of you who work at a bigger company, is it something you’d want or do you think it’s ripe for abuse? Please chime in on this thread: “Responsible Time Off” policy

About Holmes Murphy: Holmes Murphy prides itself on selling “thinking,” not insurance. In a nutshell, the company sells the cumulative knowledge and experience that makes insurance and businesses work better. It’s a philosophy that’s worked since its inception more than 80 years ago. As an independent brokerage, Holmes Murphy serves business and industry leaders across the nation in the areas of property casualty insurance, employee benefits, captive insurance, risk management and loss control. For more information visit www.holmesmurphy.com.



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