Experienced leaders will tell you that their most important asset is their people. “Good to Great” author Jim Collins said, “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”

Executive Summary

Most companies now tackling the initiative of establishing positive culture are the progressive startups and tech companies focused in Silicon Valley. Here, the authors reveal how the best insurers are already bringing unifying visions to life and offer some suggestions for the rest of the financial services sector to excite and energize their teams. For those that already have compelling and differentiated cultures, they toss out some ideas for bringing workers together to perpetuate those cultures.

The question then becomes not only how do you attract and hire good people, but how do you encourage them to stay. The answer: culture.

Culture is often overlooked in considering business growth and longevity. Most executives prefer to focus on the measurable statics as a gauge of health and success. To understand current revenue, they look to sales numbers; to understand potential revenue (marketing success), they look to leads; to understand customer retention, they look to customer satisfaction scores. But how do they determine if their team is aligned, engaged and reaching the epitome of their performance? The answer always is the organizational culture.

If we had to assign a metric to culture, it most likely would be measuring when culture does not work. That means attrition. Frequent and voluntary employee turnover has a negative impact on employee morale, productivity and company revenue. The Society for Human Resources Management says every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs an average of six to nine months’ salary. For example, a manager making $40,000 per year would cost $20,000 to $30,000 to recruit, train and onboard. This doesn’t even begin to tally the lost productivity of the team to which this person once belonged, nor the potential value he or she could have contributed to the organization through increased efficiency and innovation.

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