GOLD Best Agency to Work For – Southeast: LassiterWare

LassiterWare employee praise of the agency they say is the Best to Work for in the Southeast increased so much this year, the company was selected as Insurance Journal’s 2017 Best Agency to Work For Gold Award winner, a step up from its Silver honor in 2016.

The Leesburg, Fla.-based agency is deserving of the higher status for several reasons, according to employees.

“Our agency is very compassionate and cares for their employees. Everyone is treated with respect and always receive positive encouragement. These feelings get passed on to our customers,” wrote one employee to the Insurance Journal annual survey.

Another employee praised the management team’s approach to its employees.

“Management bends over backwards to accommodate employees and/or their family members who are ill, injured or need special assistance… Top producers freely and willingly give of their time and expertise to assist newer producers be successful in writing business.”

“This is not just a job, or a place to come to work. We are like a family,” added another.

The theme of family was one that employees emphasized repeatedly in their praise of their workplace.

“As you spend more of your time at work than you do in your own home, we all do become one large family. I truly feel blessed with the people of our agency,” said a respondent.

“There is a genuine feeling of family … We exult in each other’s joys and care for one another when there are sorrows,” said another.

That feeling isn’t an accident, said Doug Childers, Jr., president and CEO.

“Being nominated for this award by our employees reaffirms the consistent efforts put forward to build and reinforce a family culture at LassiterWare,” he said. “We have a great group of people and they genuinely care about each other.”

Childers has been in the insurance business for more than 20 years and grew up as part of a retail insurance family. He said he enjoys watching his team grow in the field by “becoming experts in the business” and seeing how that growth impacts them professionally and personally.

Through the LassiterWare Cares foundation, Childers said employees are able to give back to each other and their communities.

Employees highlighted going into the community to “help at a grass roots level.”

“We get employees together to go and donate time, packing food, fixing up school properties, [and] fundraiser[s],” wrote one respondent.

But being top-notch advisors to their clients is what employees really pride themselves on.

“It’s about providing the best insurance program to get the best results for [clients],” wrote one employee. “What an excellent group of dedicated professionals determined to excel with pride, integrity and honesty in an industry that sometimes seems to have left those qualities behind for the sake of chasing the dollars. Not at LassiterWare.”

Childers said his advice to other agency owners is to “put your employees first and they will put the customer first!”