Back to Assurance
I recently embarked on a small internal adventure. I sat down with 10 employees at Assurance who all had one thing in common: they’d left Assurance and returned.
Following the discussions, I scoured my notes to unravel the common thread so I could summarize it and learn something important. Nothing jumped off the page. I even turned to technology, pasting my notes into a wordcloud generator to see if it gave additional weight to a few words. Again, nothing stood out. But that’s when it hit me.
Not finding a single nugget of wisdom is the nugget of wisdom.
Of the employees I spoke to, they all had different reasons for leaving and for coming back, which I find pretty remarkable. We can’t just be good at one thing to retain and recruit the best talent. It reminds me of what Michele McDermott, our Senior Vice President of Human Resources, likes to say regarding benefits, perks, career pathing and more: “There is no one size fits all. You have to meet employees where they are.”
I’ve shared some of the reasons these employees came back below. This, of course, isn’t intended as a cautionary tale of “the grass is not always greener on the other side,” but merely to share what I heard and to open the dialogue:
• “Assurance feels like a family. We’re team-oriented and connected. It makes me feel like I’m part of something.”
• “There’s a lot of growth and change, but it doesn’t feel corporate even as we’ve grown.”
• “Some of my best friends are here, and they’re not just work friends. They’re my best friends in life.”
• “My husband always says to me – Really, another party?!”
• “Everyone is valued, no matter their role.”
• “After I left, I felt like a number.”
• “My team and my manager have my back.”
• “When I worked somewhere else, I kept comparing everything to Assurance. I even tried to start some initiatives to put better process in place.”
• “When you get on the elevator people say hi. They know who you are. Even the CEO.”
• “There wasn’t enough work for a full-time person where I went. I needed more of a challenge.”
• “I was always proud to work for Assurance. I realized that more when I didn’t feel that same pride at my new place.”
There’s always much talk about how to attract and retain people based on the generational differences – what Generation X’ers want versus what Millennials want. I continue my firm belief that the individual is what matters most. Certainly, broad influences on engagement change over time, but each individual has unique drivers, motivations and goals.
Tapping into the individual is where the timeless golden nugget lies.
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