Assurity's Tips from the Insurance Pros

Tom Henning: The importance of values

December 13, 2018 Assurity Season 1 Episode 7
Assurity's Tips from the Insurance Pros
Tom Henning: The importance of values
Chapters
Assurity's Tips from the Insurance Pros
Tom Henning: The importance of values
Dec 13, 2018 Season 1 Episode 7
Assurity

Assurity is joined by our own President and CEO, Tom Henning, to talk about why values are essential to long-term business success. He shares his thoughts on building a positive company culture and how values-based organizations are emotionally connecting to clients for improved business results.

FOR PRODUCER USE ONLY. NOT FOR USE WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC.
Assurity is a marketing name for the mutual holding company Assurity Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries. Those subsidiaries include but are not limited to: Assurity Life Insurance Company and Assurity Life Insurance Company of New York. Insurance products and services are offered by Assurity Life Insurance Company in all states except New York. In New York, insurance products and services are offered by Assurity Life Insurance Company of New York, Albany, New York. Product availability, features and rates may vary by state.

Show Notes Transcript

Assurity is joined by our own President and CEO, Tom Henning, to talk about why values are essential to long-term business success. He shares his thoughts on building a positive company culture and how values-based organizations are emotionally connecting to clients for improved business results.

FOR PRODUCER USE ONLY. NOT FOR USE WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC.
Assurity is a marketing name for the mutual holding company Assurity Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries. Those subsidiaries include but are not limited to: Assurity Life Insurance Company and Assurity Life Insurance Company of New York. Insurance products and services are offered by Assurity Life Insurance Company in all states except New York. In New York, insurance products and services are offered by Assurity Life Insurance Company of New York, Albany, New York. Product availability, features and rates may vary by state.

spk_0:   0:07
Hello and welcome to a sureties podcast. Tips from the insurance pros In our podcast, we connect with industry sales pros from around the nation to tap into their insights on how to grow their business and redefine success. I'm your host, Matt, and I'm excited to be here today with a sureties, very own president and CEO Tom Henning, where we'll be talking about a central topic for any successful business creating a values based business. How things that are good for your organization should also be good for the customer. And how shared values can shape not only a company's culture but outcomes to let's dig in. Welcome, Tom. It's a pleasure to have you here with us today.

spk_1:   0:50
Well, thanks, Matt. It's great to be here.

spk_0:   0:53
So values. It's natural for any company to establish or re establish a set of core fundamental beliefs upon which their business and it's behaviors are based. But at a high level. Why does having a set of company values matter so much to the organization? Ultimately, where is the impact Greatest?

spk_1:   1:12
Well, Matt, I think we need to think of a company's core values as the true North of its brand compass values. Don't describe what your company hopes to achieve or how it intends to achieve it, or even why it hopes to do so. Instead, core values get at the way in which your brand promises to act. It's what a company stands for. Values. Air foundational values are what make a company's culture. And for most companies, culture is the only true differentiator. The impact your values have on your company include everything who you hire, how you celebrate success or face failure, your morel retention and productivity as an organization and, of course, ultimately profits. The research is clear. Companies with outstanding marketplace performance tend to have outstanding cultures.

spk_0:   2:04
Now you just touched on this. It's not a news flash that our industry seems to exist in a commodity environment in your blawg to a surety associates, you've talked about ways to combat the pressures of commoditization, to establish an emotional connection with our customers. Why is this so important?

spk_1:   2:22
Well, emotions are a huge part of the customer experience. Over half of what a customer does in any organization is related. How they feel. A growing number of companies recognize emotions are a part of their customer experience. They realize the level of a customer's emotional engagement triggers different behavior, which also impacts customer loyalty and retention. But it's not only important, we emotionally connect with customers. It's important we emotionally connect with each other, especially at work. The one unifying characteristic for most associates is their desire to connect with one another and to a cause greater than themselves. Now connective ity can come in to primary forms. The first involves connecting with other associates at work. The second is the desire to connect with a cause greater than anything that could be accomplished on your own. People inherently want to be part of something bigger than themselves. You know more, more. We conduct our business through machines, sophisticated voice response programs, artificial intelligence and algorithm driven service standards. But if you're kept on hold long enough, the message your call is important to us starts to sound less and less true. Companies always need to remember tow, walk their talk as humans. We long for an emotional connection with the people we do business with. This value have lived fully and internalized, can definitely give us a competitive advantage in our very competitive marketplace.

spk_0:   3:51
Now let's talk about trust in the insurance industry. This word is tossed around a lot, but trust is extremely important when it comes to what we do and how we do it. What's your viewpoint on the value of trust in our industry? And how do you push a surety toe? Live this value every day?

spk_1:   4:10
Matt Trust is fundamentalism, mutual insurance organization, Trust that you will get what you pay for that we'll do what we say. Well, d'oh! As a CEO of a surety, I think this is my most important responsibility. To be sure, we'll be able to honor our promises to our policyholders. You know, for a surety, our number one values integrity, doing what's right, being transparent and worthy of trust. And most companies list integrity or ethics as one of their core values, listening the value and living up to what the value means. However, two very different things. Let's take Wells Fargo as an example. Their code of conduct, their code of ethics, I should say, was in conflict with their actions. Words on paper do not mean much. If it's not backed up by walking the talk, we need to walk or talk and demonstrate by all our daily activities that we're an organization who always conducts itself ethically, and we must be vigilant about it. That's how trust is earned. Transparency plays an important role of trust. If a company isn't transparent, it fosters negative speculation. Gossip and politics at a surety were open, honest and inclusive with our associates and clients about our company's performance, the good and the bad and its future through transparency. You get respect. I've always liked this quote by Warren Buffett. It takes 20 years to build a reputation in five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.

spk_0:   5:40
That's a great quote, I agree now. Many believe that a company's value should be evergreen. Well, mission or vision statements can change with the years. Your core values should be solid enough to stand the test of time. Do you agree with this?

spk_1:   5:57
Yes. Core values should be stable. We recently engaged in about a year long effort to re examine our values. As a result, we expressed our values in a more succinct way, and in more contemporary language, we also included some aspirational values. What

spk_0:   6:13
is an aspirational value.

spk_1:   6:14
Well, an aspirational value is a value which may not be fully developed a practice but a value which management believes the organization's needs to develop to be successful in the future. An example for us is to values, agility and ingenuity.

spk_0:   6:30
What's the one piece of advice that you would share with others who are possibly considering a refresh to their value? Set

spk_1:   6:38
well? In article, The Harvard Business Review Management expert Patrick Laconi Rights. If you're not willing to accept the pain, real values incur, don't bother going into the trouble of formulating a value statement. And this is so true for values to mean something, they'll inflict some pain. They make some associates feel like outcast. They limited organization strategic and operational freedom and constrain the behavior of its people. The leave executives opened heavy criticism for others will interpret your values differently, an attempt to twist the meeting of values to get what they want.

spk_0:   7:13
Well, thank you, Tom, for your thoughts and insights. Today we appreciate you taking the time to spend a few minutes with us as we help share ideas with our distribution on howto look att doing business through a shared values approach. Thanks, Matt. It's great to be part of the conversation, especially as we look to 2019 and what we'll do differently to continue building upon our success and to our listeners. Thanks for tuning in to a sureties podcast. Tips from the insurance pros If you'd like to learn more about our company, head over to a surety dot com. You can also email us at podcast that a surety dot com and we'd be happy to connect you with one of our regional reps in your area to take a deeper dive. Thanks for listening for producer use only not for use with the general public not for use in New York. Maturity is a marketing name for the Mutual Holding Company, a surety group Incorporated ended subsidiaries. Those subsidiaries include, but are not limited to, a surety life insurance company. And a surety life insurance company of New York. Insurance, product and service is our offered by a surety like insurance company in all states except New York. In New York, insurance product of surfaces are offered by a surety life insurance company of New York, Albany, New York Product availability features and rates may vary by state