Building an exceptional culture starts with what matters most. “Family means everything,” says Mark Roberts, Equity Partner/Managing Director at HM Risk in Springfield.
“To have happy associates, there has to be a balance. Putting family first creates that balance and happiness – and builds loyalty in our associates.”
HM Risk associates are able to work from home with what Roberts calls a “freestyle culture.” This allows for flexibility that today’s employees are seeking and has allowed for an increase in production and an increase in the quality of work product for the agency, in addition to attracting high-level talent within a shrinking workforce.
“It takes a certain type of person who appreciates a degree of autonomy but manages to take care of their responsibilities in a timely fashion, benefitting their team and the rest of the company,” said Roberts. “We’re not here to micromanage. We look for that personality match that fits our people and our culture.”
For several team members, it’s more than just working from home or a hands-off approach that keeps an exciting culture. Several times throughout the year there are company outings for associates and their families to enjoy. “We invest in the happiness of our people,” says Roberts.
Most major holidays are acknowledged, allowing the office to close early to get people home to their families. One example is Halloween, when the office closes at 2 p.m., allowing parents to be with their children for trick-or-treating.
Gestures like these are just the tip of the iceberg that make employees feel that they’re valued members of an organization where they spend so much of their time.
“Mark stresses personal accountability – allowing each of us the independence to perform our jobs with our own strengths,” says HR consultant Valerie Adams. “You have to hire good people that respect the culture because it is unique.”
HM Risk isn’t just a work and go home environment. The company understands that overall success starts with each and every associate that works there, creating a culture their associates like to brag about.
Sunday night blues are few and far between for HM Risk associates. Every Monday morning starts with a catered breakfast allowing associates to come together for informal interaction, opening up that line of interoffice communication.
“This is the kind of stuff you don’t get from a ‘normal’ organization,” said Stacy Schneider, PR/Marketing Specialist.
If that’s not enough, every Friday there’s a drawing to see which associate will have flowers waiting on their desk the following Monday morning. There are also manicure-pedicure days, facial days and more.
Out-of-office excitement is a frequent practice, as well. In April, the team all goes to Dave and Buster’s in St. Louis and in June, they take a trip to the horse races. Not to mention, a bowling holiday party where every associate receives gifts to take home and share with their families.
“Things like these are just above and beyond,” said Leanette Harrington, Assistant Vice President. “They don’t have to do any of these things and yet, they do them for 130 associates and their families.”
The Hiring Process
“Our interview technique is very different and the hiring process is not short,” says Roberts. “I can call anybody in here and get the standard answers. We make the process lengthy so we can get to know you and home in on who you are as a person. I’m always looking for that personality match for the individuals they’ll be working with and the company culture, as well as who they are.”
Giving back to the community is another area HM Risk values, giving paid time off to allow associates to volunteer. In addition, the company does an annual back-to-school supplies drive and adopts a family each holiday season.
Encouraging associates to get involved as a company, but also individually, is just one of the ways HM Risk has a culture that’s not only inclusive but also impactful throughout the entire community.
“We have a moral responsibility to this community and its people,” says Roberts.
In Springfield alone, the company is associated with more than 45 organizations, including: Springfield Public Schools, Convoy of Hope, Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks, and more.
“We invest in our people and our community not only professionally, but personally,” says Roberts. “Most importantly, we empower our people to have success in their professional lives as well as their personal lives.”
• 2925 E Battlefied, Ste. 120, Springfield, MO 65804
• Service: Business Insurance and Benefits Consulting
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