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Best Places to Work in Insurance 2013: Assurance Agency Ltd.

Schaumburg, Ill.<br><br>RANK: 1<br><br>Medium Employers, Retail Agents/Brokers

Best Places to Work in Insurance 2013: Assurance Agency Ltd.

Just because insurance is a serious business doesn't mean they don't have fun at Assurance Agency Ltd.

In fact, fun inside and outside the office is a priority at the Schaumburg, Ill.-based agency, said Dan Klaras, Assurance's president, citing the company's quarterly casino night and annual employee appreciation day.

“What we do is a lot of hard work, so we want to give employees a fun environment,” he said. “We try to do a lot of things throughout the year that give employees a chance to experience some nonwork fun together.”

Yet, the atmosphere at Assurance is not a matter of chance; it has been purposely nurtured and protected since the company started in 1961. “One thing I'm most proud of is that we have grown tremendously but have been able to maintain our culture,” Mr. Klaras said.

The company employs a three-pillar strategy to ensure employees are happy, he added.

The first pillar is making sure the company's operations are transparent, which helps keep all employees connected to the company, Mr. Klaras said. “We want to make sure that employees understand the financial numbers and how they help drive them,” he said.

The second pillar revolves around clearly identifying a career development path for each employee and making the requisite investment in the employee to make sure goals are achieved. “We make sure that when an employee enters the company at one point, we help them to see where they can go within the organization,” he said.

The third pillar, according to Mr. Klaras is making sure that employees engage with the community through charitable works.


“We want our employees connected to the community,” he said. “It helps give them a sense of purpose.”

Another area of focus for Assurance is wellness. In addition to having fitness classes on-site with a personal trainer, the company hosts an annual 5K race, Mr. Klaras said.

“We are shooting for everybody in the company to complete a 5K this year, whether they run it or walk it,” he said.

Blake Croson, an account executive for Assurance, said the sum of these efforts to put employees first is not lost on him and his co-workers.

“Our management goes above and beyond to make sure we are happy,” he said. “To borrow a sports analogy, it makes us willing to run through walls for the good of the team.”