It makes sense that enjoyment should be part of the workplace culture at 116-year-old Sentry Insurance. In addition to being a leading insurer, Sentry has been in the hospitality business for decades.

Executive Summary

A focus on fun remains a part of the culture at Sentry Insurance, but a focus on financial success makes the rest of the culture possible, CEO Peter McPartland says. Here, he and CHRO Amy Rislov also discuss how work-life balance fits into the equation. "We look for people who want a work-life balance because we provide a work-life balance," McPartland says.

Sentry’s fun tradition is a legacy of John Joanis, an eccentric former CEO whose enjoyment was not restricted to insurance and who thought Sentry should be in multiple businesses. Joanis had an Olympic-sized swimming pool installed in the basement of the headquarters, and in the late 1970s he opened SentryWorld, a recreation complex complete with a championship 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, event space and restaurants.

After Joanis enjoyed his run, the insurer fell on not-so-fun times in the mid-1980s.

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