According to Inc. Magazine, a critical step in improving employee retention is having policies in place that attract candidates who are a good fit for your company.
At iMGA we do not want to attract and retain just any type of employee. We’re looking only for people who really stand out, particularly in the insurance world. The more clear we can be about what we want the better the chance that the current team and any new employee are both happy with the result.
So, we publish the following “iMGA Philosophy” (inspired by this great work at Gaspedal):
At iMGA we believe that every day at the office should be exciting, interesting, challenging, rewarding, and fun! You work too hard for it to be unfulfilling, and life is too short to not have fun at work, where you spend most of your waking hours.
At iMGA we do:
- Put our employees and their well-being over everything else. We take care of our people first, second, and third. They’ll be better positioned to care for each other, our agents and policyholders from a position of confident security.
- Work that has meaning. We literally help put peoples’ lives back together after tragedies. If that’s not a worthwhile calling for you we strongly encourage you to work elsewhere.
- Create great moments. Look for opportunities to make everyone stand up and clap, cheer, and open a beer! Be able to shout to the world, “I really CHANGED how we do what we do.”
- Make mistakes. No one is perfect. If you’re not making occasional mistakes you’re not trying hard enough or making enough decisions. When you make one, own it, get whatever help you need to fix it if possible, and make sure everyone learns from what happened so it isn’t repeated.
- Have fun at work. If you’re not enjoying yourself, you should find something else to do. No job is worth long-term suffering.
- Take breaks. Great work comes from clear, well-rested minds. Naps are encouraged. At least two weeks of vacation each year is required, preferably at one time. Every few years take your two month sabbatical, do something completely different, and bring a fresh perspective back to the office.
- Require improvement. From everyone. So help “the boss” and your peers out and let them know where they need to get better. They’re required to do the same for others – return the favor.
- Deal honestly with everyone. Messing with this is the fastest track to no longer being employed here.
- Want you to make a lot of money. We’re red-blooded capitalists through-and-through, and the more valuable you are the better off the company will be. We’ll find as many ways as possible to spread the wealth.
At iMGA we don’t:
- Continue to do something “just because”. If you see – or are doing – a task that seems to have no purpose, or seems like “there must be an easier way” – speak up. If there’s no purpose, we’ll kill it. If it can be done more easily, we’ll help make that possible.
- Miss out on life. Time with family and friends is critical. You’ll regret missing your kids’ games or your parents’ visit a lot more than some meeting. Don’t even consider it.
- Mess around when it comes to office politics. We are on the same team and act like it. If you are the backstabbing, taking credit for the work of others, promoting personal agendas over the common good, foot-dragging, whining, gossiping, complaining, mean-spiritedness, pettiness, self-important type, do not apply. You’ll have a very short stay here if you do.
- Repeat mistakes. If we repeat a mistake it means someone didn’t own it the first time and/or didn’t spread the learning. A mistake’s not a problem. A coverup is.
- Care “how everyone else does it”. Saying those words or thinking that way is a fast road to a short tenure here. We want to do everything better than everyone else, not the same.
- Deal with dishonest people. It’s not possible to make a good deal with a bad person. Don’t be tempted. You’ll have our full support.
We believe that being clear about our philosophy will make it more likely that we’ll be able to work with the kind of people we really want to have on the team. More importantly, we believe this kind of team is most likely to make us successful for the long term.
Is turnover an issue for you? What do you make clear to your staff and prospective employees? Could/should you do more?
P.S. We have a great opportunity available right now for someone in the Austin area who’d like to be a part of an environment like ours. It’s a paid internship – starting at $10/hour but with the opportunity to increase – and with strong support and the chance to learn a ton about systems, user experience, user interface design, and game theory. If you know of anyone who might fit the bill, please have them contact us via the form on the iMGA Careers page.