Schaumburg, IL (May 17, 2013) - In 2013, Assurance, an independent insurance brokerage with offices in Chicago and St. Louis, faced a technological challenge that could have turned into a nightmare – switching client computer management systems. While the conversion would generate improved servicing for Assurance's 5,800 clients nationwide, it was a giant undertaking internally. Years back, a similar conversion created stress and unhappy times for employees, and company performance suffered as a result. To avoid the same fate, lots of forethought and preparation was conducted by Assurance leadership.
The first step to the successful conversion was communication. Employees were notified as early as 2012 of the changes that were coming in May of 2013. They were told how the new system, Epic® from Applied Systems, would ultimately benefit them and their clients.
The next step was to set the corporate mood. Every year, Assurance creates an annual theme that playfully communicates the company's focus for the year. Often set to a bad yet popular 1980's tune, these themes have played a vital role over the years in the happy employees equals happy clients culture at Assurance. With this new technology conversion about to commence, leadership appropriately selected Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy” to set the tone for 2013.
To keep employees "happy” and motivated during the transition phase, a team of employees from different departments formed an Epic committee. This committee kept the rest of the company aware of its progress along the way. With the official conversion date set for May 8, a variety of different activities and events were planned to support the launch.
Here are just a few of the key motivators Assurance tapped into to improve company morale during Epic Week:
- Relaxation – Employees were treated to ten minute on-site massages from Asha Salon, and the entire week was deemed casual dress.
- Food – The day of the launch, Assurance rented a grilled cheese truck, and all employees chose a sandwich cleverly named after a member of the leadership team. Another day, a hot breakfast was served. Finally, the week ended on a sweet note when a cart made its way to all floors delivering cupcakes to all employees.
- Cash – A special Assurance Casino event was planned in conjunction with Epic Week. Assurance Casino is a quarterly event whereby employees who have participated in a series of designated company activities earn the opportunity to spin a Wheel of Fortune sized wheel for cash prices. Each Casino, more than 50 employees are given the chance to win up to $300 in cash on the spot.
- Libations – Employees received a special delivery of ‘Don't Worry, Be Happy' boxes containing a beer glass, coasters and other goodies. The beer glasses came in handy at the company's "Cheers! Happy Hour” held in the company Penthouse. Additional drawings for cash prizes took place, and the event was a festive way to wind down.
"Epic Week was set up to ensure minimum worry and maximum happiness,” said Jackie Gould, Chief Operating Officer at Assurance. "As the week rolled on, we told everyone to keep singing ‘Don't Worry, Be Happy'. It turned out to be a lot of fun, and a great reminder to employees that their happiness is our priority.”