This year, insurers that made Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list included three property/casualty insurers: ACUITY at No. 3, USAA at No. 33 and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., joining the list for the first time at No. 95.

Among the reasons for the honors:

  • Communications: 89 percent of ACUITY employees describe their managers as approachable and say the company keeps them informed; 87 percent say the same thing at USAA and 83 percent at Nationwide.

See related article, “How Great Leaders Value Their Employees.”
At ACUITY, “employees enjoy regular small group lunches with officers and leaders of the company, which ensures everyone is on the same page and knows the role they play in achieving the vision…And the company maintains an open door policy ensuring that any employee can drop in and talk to a member of management at any time about anything,” according to a white paper about the honors.

  • Integrity/Keeping their word: 95 percent of ACUITY employees describe management as honest and ethical; at USAA and Nationwide, the comparable figures are 92 percent and 87 percent, respectively.

USAA believes in its mission statement, and that shows in every way we do business. Our members are not faceless people we are just trying to sell things to. They are individuals we care about,” said on employee.

  • Opportunities for training and development.The percentage of employees saying they receive training and development to further their careers is 92 percent at ACUITY, 89 percent at USAA and 85 percent at Nationwide.

“At Nationwide, with such a variety of departments, you can do any type of job that interests you without leaving the company or losing tenure,” according to one surveyed employee.

In general, insurers and other companies in financial and professional services sectors that made Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list this year are characterized by high levels of trust and transparency—especially employees’ belief in the credibility of their leaders, reports Marcel Schwantes, an executive coach with Leadership From the Core, in a related article he wrote for Carrier Management, “How Great Leaders Value Their Employees.”

The research behind the list is conducted by Great Place to Work, which reports that 92 percent of employees surveyed at these companies believe that management is transparent in its business practices. (Source: White paper titled “Industry-Specific Strategies of Winning Companies, An Analysis by Great Places to Work,” page 7, available for download on the Great Places to Work website.)

The researchers found that these best-in-class companies have leaders who do these things year in, year out, which correlate well with leadership trust behaviors:

  • They keep the lines of communication open.
  • They share their vision for the future with employees.
  • They take the pulse of the organization by constantly listening and responding to what they hear so they can serve the needs of their people. Whether it’s sharing quarterly financials or making strategic decisions, they make sure to listen.
  • They offer employees ample opportunities for training and development.