Peter Kellogg, the owner of IAT Insurance Group, has always said: “Take care of your employees and they will take care of your business.” For those of us with a direct role in talent management at IAT, this is not just a slogan but something we put into action every day.

Executive Summary

An insurance organization created out of a series of mergers needed a common culture to become a place that could retain employees and improve financial results. Here, IAT Group CHRO Alisa Miller explains how creating "a family of answers" as the internal brand for a culture based on employee feedback was the first step to set the group down the right path. Training, technology, openness, and leadership best practices for listening and frequent communication are other ingredients of the five-year journey to the culture that exists today.

And it’s even more important with the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 and the toll it is taking on everyone right now.

Well before the pandemic, IAT was already focused on employee engagement. It has been a priority for the past five years. We have invested heavily in both attracting and keeping skilled, knowledgeable workers in order to remain a vibrant and growing company. And that investment is having unexpected benefits now, both in terms of our ability to operate in this ever-changing environment and how our employees view where they work.

Culture Is Key, Particularly Now

Assuming a competitive salary offer, it used to be that companies could win the talent game by offering a strong benefits package. Those days are gone. We’ve come to understand that at IAT. We’ve always provided competitive benefits, including a lucrative 7 percent 401(k) matching program and an additional discretionary profit-sharing contribution (3 percent in the past), generous paid time off, as well as other incentives. As a baseline, this is essential. It gets new employees in the door. Today, though, it likely won’t be enough to make them stay.

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