Carly and Tony met at Nationwide Insurance, and very recently Nationwide made its first appearance in the 2015 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. This has caused us to spend more time than usual thinking about exactly what makes a great employer. This is certainly a big question, and this article could have easily been called “11 Things That Great Employers Do” or maybe even 111.
After a very intense week and during a long 3.5 hour drive home, it finally hit Tony.The one single thing that pretty much immediately tells you that you work for a great company: they are investing in helping you grow in ways that you can take with you even if you left.
Every company invests in training you. But some train you only on their products, their systems and the intricacies of being productive at the job you have today. Only great companies invest in training you to gain knowledge, hard skills and especially soft skills that you can take with you when you leave, skills that make you more valuable for future jobs, inside and outside of the company!
Tony’s first company out of college taught him how to be a good truck dispatcher at that company, nothing less, nothing more. No tuition reimbursement to further his education. No classes to develop transferable soft skills. Although he didn’t know it then, that wasn’t a great company.
On the other hand Farm Bureau pushed Tony to get his AIC and AINS, and they paid for it. They helped him fall in love with the insurance industry and taught him transferable insurance, communication and customer service skills. That is a great company to work for.
Nationwide paid for Carly’s CPCU and MBA. They paid for Tony’s CPCU and 7 other designations. They put them both through their Emerging Leaders Program (which focus heavily on very transferable soft skills) and they invested a LOT of formal training in Tony during his time in the Financial Leadership Rotation Program (FLRP) in helping him build skills as varied as Excel, Public Speaking, Effective Negotiation and Problem Solving. That is a great company to work for.
Erie Insurance gave Carly an intense 6 month long Underwriting Trainee Program where she leaned much more than their products, she learned to think and behave like an underwriter, even going as far as giving her research projects in products they’re considering but not currently writing. That is a great company to work for.
American Modern Insurance flew Tony all around the west coast to get him in-person experience traveling with some of their best Territory Sales Managers. They assigned him a formal mentor to help him be the very best he can be. They gave him formal sales training and even had an experienced sales consultant travel with him for multiple days, seeing him in action, giving immediate and real feedback and helping him learn how to be a much better consultative salesperson. That is a great company to work for.
Do you work for a great company? Tell us about it in the comments below!