In February 2013, Economical Insurance was honored once again by Training magazine for global excellence in workforce learning and development, a designation that highlights the organization’s continued commitment to investing in its people. Economical clearly sees success, now and in the future, through its ability to attract and retain top talent—in which recognition plays a key role.
Founded in 1871, Economical has always been a leader in the property and casualty insurance industry. Its decision in 2010 to demutualize coincided with organization-wide rebranding efforts. Wanting to positively address the changes, the company’s new leadership looked to leverage recognition as a key driver of engagement.
The challenge: recognition existed, but varied by department and location. Economical needed a consistent solution to make the practice of recognizing employees easier for leaders, while providing tracking and reporting capabilities and insights into how to implement it from coast to coast.
Several years ago, survey results from an Aon Hewitt Best Employers Engagement Survey revealed recognition was indeed an area where the organization could make improvements. Tools and processes were in place across all office location—but not in a systematic way or aligned to an overall vision. The introduction of ‘Employee Appreciation Week’ and other initiatives showed slight improvements, yet employee appreciation, especially around every day and peer-to-peer recognition, was missing. Leaders needed to truly understand why making time for recognition was important and how to do it effectively. Metrics were needed to better comprehend how the budgets were being spent and if the programs had the intended impact.
11,000 eThanks have been sent and more than 400 awards given since December 2011.
In the exploration for a robust appreciation tool, Economical reached out to several providers. Not wanting to deploy an off-the-shelf program but rather build a customized solution specific to Economical, O.C. Tanner was selected for its technology and consultative expertise and approach. Together, teams on both sides designed, implemented, and launched Economical’s new recognition platform. This launch was supported by extensive leadership training and internal communication.
“We’re in the midst of our journey. But we now know when and where recognition is occurring and how that investment is contributing to our employees’ feelings of success.” —Lianne Buchanan, Manager, Employee Rewards
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