Applied Underwriters on July 11 said it increased staff salaries across the board by 10 percent to keep up with inflation and its implications.
The dramatic adjustment, far outpacing industry averages, came as predictions of inflation made by the company’s lead economist, Justin Smith, speaking at a leadership panel in February, have become an acutely felt reality during the first and second quarters, and now appear to loom for later this year. Applied’s current industry leading 10 percent adjustment is being complemented with a special plan to revisit the impact of inflation on staff in the fourth quarter with an eye to possible further adjustments for the company’s 1,000 employees.
The wage increase takes effect retroactively to June 20.
“Our staff is vitally important to us, a reality we demonstrate in many ways,” said Steve Menzies, chairman, in a statement from the Omaha, Nebraska-based company. “For decades, we have carefully assessed the impact of inflation each and every year and adjusted wages across the board accordingly. While this 10% salary adjustment appears unprecedented, all of the indicators point to the dire problems inflation continues to impose upon working men and women.
“Our loyalty has always been a two-way street, particularly since Applied operates on a strongly merit-based platform and is thus able to retain the excellent, high achieving talent that has made us an industry leader. We attract top talent consistently and have created a most desirable formula for both keeping them and setting the path upon which they can truly flourish.”
First quarter 2022 and FYE 2021 statistics point to a high level of satisfaction among Applied Underwriters’ growing base of employees across the nation. According to the company, its employee retention levels have held at rates comparable to historical norms. Statistics released by the company show approximately 30 percent of staff advanced in compensation and/or position and over 90% plan to stay with the company for the foreseeable future. In a sample of 100 staff members taken in Q4 2021 the results were overwhelmingly favorable numerically, but even more revealing in comments made anonymously by staff in the section for notes and additions.
“Staff members recognize the values that we have sustained over the years with accurate and honest wage and benefit adjustments as well as the kind of investments we make for the benefit of our staff such as our plans for the new Operations Headquarters at Heartwood Preserve in Omaha that include an amazing set of facilities to enhance their work and post work experiences on a campus that includes climate-controlled underground parking, miles of walking trails, dramatic vistas, award-winning parks and greenways, convenient retail offerings and, most importantly, a design that enables large expanses of light-filled workspace with lofty ceiling heights,” Menzies added.
(This article was originally published on Insurance Journal)