It’s not the largest of agencies and it’s certainly not located in the largest of cities, but Bryan Insurance Agency (BIA) in Graham, Texas, (population around 9,000) is a very big deal to the people who work there.
Responding to Insurance Journal’s 2018 Best Agencies to Work For survey, BIA employees were generous in their praise of the company’s management and their fellow employees. IJ’s “Best Agencies” awards are employee-driven and BIA’s ranking as the Silver 2018 Best Agency to Work For in the South Central region is a product of its employees’ clearly communicated respect and admiration for their firm.
“Bryan Insurance Agency is best because you are appreciated as an employee, have great benefits, a really nice place to work, great people to work with plus you are able to help others through your work. The agency has always had the attitude of doing what is right for the customer,” wrote one employee.
Another wrote: “Management acknowledges your accomplishments and shows their appreciation, to me this is HUGE. Sure, everyone is busy with their own tasks, but when you are recognized/thanked for your hard work, it is encouraging. This is the best company I have ever worked for, and by far the best company to work for.”
To agency principal, Tommy Dies, that his employees nominated the agency for this award, is “both exciting and humbling.” Their efforts make “me feel really good about this place, and I am humbled because it isn’t me that makes this such a great place to work — it is the employees that make us who we are! I’m just glad they let me keep coming to work here!”
He said management and staff care for and help each other out, share information and strive to make sure their customers have the best coverage and service possible. “For our clients this is transparent, but it really benefits them to have so many knowledgeable people in the background looking out for them and helping ensure that they have the proper coverage,” Dies said.
BIA specializes in the oil and gas industry, and as one employee put it: “We are deeply passionate about our customers. We will decline to offer underrate coverage to our clients if it does not cover all of their exposures. A prime example is the program we have for our oilfield consultants. We developed a special program for these guy[s] to limit their exposure in the event of a claim.”
For BIA, it’s definitely not all work and no play, however.
“We also like to have fun,” one employee said. In addition to a yearly party for employees and their families at a nearby lake, and an annual Christmas party, the oil and gas specialist agency also sponsors a “price of oil contest.” Every year, employees “guess what we think the price of oil will be the following year. Around Christmas time, we get together at the office to determine who came the closest. That person will win $1000!” one person wrote.
Several staff members expressed pride in the great reputation the agency maintains in their community, pointing out that BIA this year won Reader’s Choice Awards from the local newspaper, The Graham Leader, in not one, but six categories: Best Receptionist, Best Insurance Agent, Best Salesperson, Best Boss, Best Secretary, and Best Insurance Company.
Others wrote that they appreciate the agency’s emphasis on education and “the scholarship program that was set to honor a deceased agency owner and acknowledges his contributions to our agency and the community as a whole.”
Dies summed up his approach to maintaining an thriving workplace, saying: “Love your employees. Treat them with respect. Let them know what your expectations are and get out of the way! Let them amaze you!”
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