TEAM approach. TEAM member. Dynamic TEAM of innovative thinkers. TEAM culture. TEAM Poirrier.
Team spirit is not a just concept at Lafayette, Louisiana-based Poirrier Group. TEAM is the living, breathing embodiment of the way the agency and its employees operate all day, every day, according to staff members who responded to Insurance Journal’s 2018 Best Agencies to Work For survey. And it’s those employees’ teamwork that led to IJ’s recognition of the agency as the Bronze 2018 Best Agency to Work For — South Central.
In nearly every written commentary submitted by Poirrier Group employees, the word “team” was used to describe their agency, their relationships with co-workers and management, and their service to customers.
As one employee put it: “There are many agencies who purport a ‘team environment’, but Poirrier Group actually lives it. Everyone in our agency has a voice in every decision made — from the paper products to how to propose our largest account. Our agency principal is a strong believer in working as a team; he values everyone’s experience and opinion.”
Another wrote: “We build each other up and celebrate large and small successes together. I have never worked with a group of people who are so real. We are honest and up-front with one another, including the agency principal.”
Led by CEO Keith Poirrier, Poirrier Group is a young agency — it marked its three-year anniversary on Nov. 1, 2018 — and creating a team was the goal from the very beginning.
“When we opened, we immediately established a TEAM culture, where all employees are MVPs in that they each bring a unique asset/skill set to the table,” Poirrier said.
“Everyone has the autonomy to recommend improvements that will better our processes and operational efficiencies. Frequently, our employees are engaged in many facets of sales, service, and operations — this is a difference maker in building a team culture and great work environment — everyone on the team has to have a part. In our agency, our employees embrace the idea of full participation and fully exude ownership in Poirrier Group,” he added.
Currently, the group has eight staff members, including Poirrier, and the group hopes to hire two more in the Houston-area, he said. Fitting with the team ethos, all Poirrier Group employees are given a say in who they might be working with in the future.
“Our agency principal and operations manager completely involve us in this process,” one employee wrote. “Everyone in the agency meets the prospective employee and we discuss our feelings about how they would fit within the agency and if we believe they will be successful. All opinions are taken into consideration before a decision is made. This continues once the individual is hired so the new employee is afforded the most efficient training and guidance. This goes back to working as a true team.”
Said another employee: “Team effort powers this agency. The mutual support and respect we each have for each other is apparent in how we work together on the behalf of our customers. There is no ‘that’s not my job’ mentality here, it’s all hands on deck with everyone pulling in the same direction from the top of the company on down.”
Keith Poirrier described the operational philosophy as: “TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More!” He said he’s excited, honored and humbled, but not surprised, that Poirrier team members worked together to nominate their agency as one of the best.
His advice to other agency owners who wish to create a workplace where employees are eager to come to work every day? “Keep it simple, be humble, work hard, have fun! Employees embrace autonomy, being treated as important team members, being thanked, being appreciated, and most importantly being respected for their unique value adds to the betterment and growth of the agency.”
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