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How 7 insurers earned a place on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list

Brian Anderson

Fortune recently released its 2017 list of “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Google took top honors as the No. 1-ranked company (for the 8th time in 11 years), but a bunch of insurance companies cracked the list, topped by P&C carrier Acuity Insurance out of Sheboygan, Wis., in 9th place (interestingly known for having the highest flagpole and largest free-flying American flag in the country).

San Antonio-based USAA was 35th; Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide was 54th; Santa Ana, Calif.-based First American Financial Corp. 82nd; Oklahoma City-based American Fidelity 89th; Columbus, Ga.-based Aflac was 91st; and Minneapolis-based Allianz Life just made the cut at 100.

To create the list, Fortune partners annually with Great Place to Work® to conduct a Trust Index Employee Survey© and a Culture Audit©. More than 250,000 employees at those companies were surveyed to identify the 100 Best Companies to Work For®.

The survey asks questions related to employees’ attitudes about management’s credibility, overall job satisfaction, and camaraderie. The other third is based on responses to the Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay, benefits programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring practices, internal communication, training, recognition programs, and diversity efforts.

Here’s a closer look at some of the attributes and programs that helped these insurance companies make the list:

9. Acuity Insurance

Acuity Insurance claimed the #9 spot in the 2017 Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For®” list. For the third straight year, Acuity has ranked among the top large employers for its workplace and corporate culture.

Acuity’s award-winning culture makes employees happy and engaged—creating an environment where they go the extra mile for its customers.

An on-site fitness facility, Ping-Pong, and happy hours—the future of the workplace is here, and Acuity is leading the charge. From the Fortune piece: Employees feel “a sense of purpose and responsibility” at this Midwestern casualty insurer. It installed a permanent 65-foot Ferris “Charity Wheel” inside its headquarters for local fundraising events, and staffers can vote to direct its charitable giving. Other perks: a 45-foot climbing wall and a jeans-friendly dress policy.

The company’s culture is centered around its customers. “We understand if we don’t treat our people well, they won’t stay. And if they don’t stay, we are losing the knowledge and on-the-job training that help us serve our customers in the best possible way,” proclaims the company’s website.

By the numbers at Acuity:

• 98% employee retention rate

• 97% of employees are proud to tell others they work at Acuity

• 96% customer claims satisfaction rate

• 8.8 on a 10-point scale company rating from verified customers

• 54: Average annual hours of training per employee

35. USAA

USAA has been ranked No. 35 on the Fortune list, earning the San Antonio-based financial services provider its eighth straight year on the list’s Top 50.

“Providing our members the world-class service they deserve requires we have superior employees,” said USAA CEO Stuart Parker. “We continuously invest in our employees and provide them the resources needed to fulfill our mission and stand with our members when they need us. This recognition is as much about the everyday effort of our employees as it is the culture we strive to create.”

USAA employs 30,000 people across the world, including Phoenix, Tampa, Colorado Springs, London and Germany. USAA, catering to military members and their families, recently surpassed 12 million members.

Earlier this year, USAA was ranked No. 25 on the FORTUNE® World’s Most Admired Companies®. USAA was also ranked No. 11 on the Harris Poll Reputation Quotient (RQ®) and No. 10 on the Best Workplaces for Diversity. USAA is No. 114 on the FORTUNE 500®.

This is the 12th time USAA placed in the 100 Best Companies to Work For® since FORTUNE® first published the list in 1998.

54. Nationwide

For the third consecutive year, Fortune has named Nationwide to its “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. The annual survey is the national benchmark for rating companies that deliver high performance while creating an outstanding and supportive corporate culture.

“At the heart of our company are Nationwide’s values and our ability to work together to serve our members, communities and each other,” said Steve Rasmussen, CEO for Nationwide. “That’s why we could not be more proud to be named among Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For.”

“Congratulations to the 2017 Best,” said Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work. “Leading companies, like Nationwide, are at the forefront of developing the full potential of all their employees. They are working to build Great Places to Work for all, which is better for business, better for people and better for the world.”

Nationwide promotes a culture that provides meaningful and engaging career growth opportunities for over 34,000 associates across the country. The company continuously evolves its innovative talent development strategies, as well as comprehensive health, well-being and retirement benefits and resources to meet their individual needs. Nationwide offers associates broad opportunities to give support to one another as well as the communities where they live and work.

The recognition by Fortune follows other local and national honors Nationwide has received in the past year recognizing the company’s dedication to its members, its commitment to diversity, the breadth of career opportunities and the numerous programs and resources available to associates. This includes being recognized as one of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies, by Gallup for five consecutive years with the Great Workplace Award, receiving a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for 13 consecutive years and many other top workplace awards.

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance.

• Agents – what insurers do you find to be the easiest to work with? Speak out on this thread: Best insurers to work for – and with

82. First American Financial Corporation

First American Financial Corporation,a leading global provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions, announced March 9 that the company is one of the 2017 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®, according to Fortune and global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work®. This marks the second consecutive year that First American has earned a place among the Fortune’ 100 Best Companies to Work For®.

“Ranking among the best companies in America to work for two years running is a tremendous accomplishment. Our people consistently impress me with their integrity, commitment and teamwork, so I’m proud to see their efforts to create a premier workplace recognized nationally again,” said Dennis Gilmore, CEO, First American Financial Corporation. “Embracing a culture that emphasizes people first continues to deliver returns for our employees, our customers, our shareholders and for the communities in which we work.”

In 2016, Fortune® and Great Place to Work® also named First American as one of the 2016 Best Workplaces for Women and 2016 Best Workplaces for Diversity. First American has earned recognition as a “best place to work” 48 times in publications across the United States since 2012.

Internationally, the company’s Canadian subsidiary, FCT, was named by Great Place to Work® as one of that country’s Top 50 Best Workplaces in 2015 and 2016, and a 2017 Best Workplace in Canada for Women.

First American Financial Corporation traces its heritage back to 1889. First American also provides title plant management services; title and other real property records and images; valuation products and services; home warranty products; property and casualty insurance; and banking, trust and investment advisory services. With revenues of $5.6 billion in 2016, the company offers its products and services directly and through its agents throughout the United States and abroad.

89. American Fidelity Assurance Co.

American Fidelity once again received national recognition as one of the 100 “Best Companies to Work For” as recognized by global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work® and Fortune Magazine.American Fidelity came in at number 89 on the list, and the only Oklahoma City-based company on the list.

“According to the survey, 98% feel great pride in what we accomplish together and 92% of colleagues believe American Fidelity is a great place to work. Our colleagues work diligently to care for our customers across the country and really enjoy coming to work,” said Dave Carpenter, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Moving to our new headquarters has helped us grow our culture of collaboration and launching our new brand last year has helped renew our focus on making life easier for our customers, which in turn has helped American Fidelity be an even better place to work.”

How colleagues rated American Fidelity according to a survey conducted by the Great Place to Work Institute:

  • Great challenges: 96%
  • Great atmosphere: 95%
  • Great rewards: 96%
  • Great pride: 98%
  • Great communication: 94%
  • Great bosses: 94%

American Fidelity helps colleagues balance work and life with 70% of colleagues working flexible schedules and 84% having the option to telecommute. Colleagues receive 26 days of paid time off for holidays, vacation and sick leave plus 20 hours of paid volunteer time. Colleagues can also get their car washed on-site, pick up prescriptions at the medical clinic or work with a personal trainer at the office gym. Pension plans, 401(k) and Health Savings Accounts matching contributions and bonuses help colleagues feel like they are in it for the long term.

Learn more about the results and the American Fidelity culture:http://reviews.greatplacetowork.com/american-fidelity-assurance-company.

American Fidelity currently has more than 50 positions open, many in the Oklahoma City area. Openings are currently available in actuarial, IT, auditing, Customer service, compliance, underwriting, benefits, administrative and sales. View all current openings and career information:https://americanfidelity.com/careers/.

American Fidelity was selected among hundreds of companies vying for a place on the list this year. Applicant companies opt to participate in the selection process, which includes an employee survey and an in-depth questionnaire about their programs and company practices. Great Place to Work® then evaluates each application using its unique methodology based on five dimensions: credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie.

91. Aflac Inc.

Aflac, the leading provider of voluntary insurance at the worksite in the U.S., has been named as one of Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For – marking the 19th consecutive year Aflac has appeared on the prestigious list.

“Winning the Best Company to Work For award for 19 consecutive years illustrates a remarkable consistency at Aflac when it comes to our friendly and safe workplace,” Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos said. “Our company was founded on the principles of treating customers, shareholders and employees like family, and we are extremely satisfied to know that the research validates our long-held belief that if you treat the employees well, they will take care of the company.”

Aflac, based in Columbus, Ga., has long been a leader in workplace issues such as diversity and philanthropy. The company boasts a workforce that is 67% women and 40% minorities. In addition, Aflac’s independent associates contribute more than $500,000 every month to the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center in Atlanta for the treatment and research of childhood cancer, helping the company surpass $113 million in donations since 1995.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list, and according to Fortune, 2017 winners continue to show that a high-trust culture fuels better business results. Great Place to Work research shows that winners continue to outperform the stock market, beating industry rivals when it comes to talent retention and demonstrating higher levels of productivity than peers.

100. Allianz Life

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America made the 2017 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list for the sixth consecutive year.

In the 2017 edition, Fortune recognized Allianz Life for its commitment to recognizing employees, creating an energetic culture, and offering unique benefits. The company employs 2,200 employees nationwide, with more than 1,800 people at its corporate campus in Minneapolis.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from Fortune for the sixth year in a row,” said Allianz Life President and CEO Walter White. “While it is important to receive outside validation that Allianz Life truly is a great place to work, the fact that feedback from our employees was a key component of this accolade makes it that much more meaningful.”

Allianz Life was recognized for creating a culture focused on employee recognition and support. An integral part of this approach is that employees have access to an internal social networking site where they can easily give each other recognition. The company also dedicates a month, known as SOAR month, to recognize employees by sponsoring several events, hosting key note speakers, and having a month end all-employee celebration.

Allianz Life was also recognized for offering several unique benefits, including paid bonding leave for new parents, financial assistance for adoptions, special needs planning for families with special needs children, a critical need fund, and resources for end-of-life decisions to help employees at every life stage. Additionally, employees have access to sabbatical leave, pet insurance, fitness memberships and education reimbursement.

In addition to the recognition from Fortune, Allianz Life has been named to the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Top Workplace list for seven consecutive years (June 2016), was ranked one of Working Mother magazine’s 100 Best Companies (September 2016), and was designated as a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation.

• Agents – what insurers do you find to be the easiest to work with? Speak out on this thread: Best insurers to work for – and with



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