Excellent client service, emphasis on fundamentals, culture of giving back, focus on employee well-being, sound financial management, and a bright prospect for the future. Those are just a few of the many positives the employees of Texas-based Hotchkiss Insurance cited in nominating their agency as a best place to work.
Hotchkiss employees responding to Insurance Journal’s 2019 Best Agencies to Work For survey were full of praise for their company, which has 121 employees in offices in Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth and San Antonio, and revenues of $25 million annually. The result of that widely expressed enthusiasm is Hotchkiss Insurance’s selection as Gold 2019 Best Agency to Work For — South Central.
As one survey respondent put it: “I feel that Hotchkiss is a great place to work. Our leadership changed and went to a partnership with a CEO, CFO and COO. This change was very good for our agency as the CEO’s vision is bright for our future. Considering all the agencies that are being bought and sold in this day and age, it’s comforting to know that this is not the plan for Hotchkiss! We have a goal for 2020 — enterprise wide — and every associate is contributing to this goal!”
In emailed comments to Insurance Journal, CEO Michael Hotchkiss said the agency’s employees often communicate “that they appreciate the fun and engaging environment, as well as the chance to accelerate their careers here. We’re very committed to supporting and growing our employees inside and outside of the walls of Hotchkiss Insurance, and we’re honored to receive recognition of that focus.”
He added that the agency over the past five years has “grown significantly” and continues to expand its offerings for clients. “Our firm only grows when our people grow. Growth and accomplishment feel good. I believe these are some of the reasons our team members enjoy working at Hotchkiss Insurance,” he said.
As one of the few larger, independent, private insurance agencies in Texas, Hotchkiss Insurance has benefited from the tremendous opportunity that exists in the state, he said. “We have worked hard to create a values-based culture at Hotchkiss that gives team members room for initiative and growth. When these aspects come together and we provide valuable impact to our clients, work becomes a great place to be.”
Responding to IJ’s survey, one employee credited Hotchkiss’ leadership for developing sound financial and sales management plans “that have paved the way for our past, current and future growth. Our ability to attract and retain top talent ensures that we have the human capital in place to execute and maintain our growth plan.”
Another said: “I have never worked for another employer whose main focus was their employees’ happiness and well-being were priority. The work – life balance is amazing and could not ask for more.”
Several employees expressed their appreciation for the company’s emphasis on fundamental behaviors that contribute to the success of the agency, staff and clients.
“We spend significant time as a firm every week focusing on fundamental behaviors. We’ve created 35 different behaviors, and we call these the Hotchkiss Way. When each team member at our firm is focusing on the right values and behaviors, our co-workers, trade-partners and clients win,” Michael Hotchkiss said.
Others employees highlighted Hotchkiss Helps, a conduit through which the company and its employees are able to contribute to their communities and support those charities that are important to them.
“Giving back to the community is very important to me. We have given either our time or have raised funds to benefit different charities. This year’s charity is Soldiers’ Angels which is near and dear to my heart as it supports our veterans!” said one employee.
“We’re a purpose-driven organization dedicated to impacting our clients and the world around us. We know what we do, how we do it, and most importantly why we do it,” Hotchkiss said.
“When you’re focused on your purpose, with your whole team aiming at the same target with the same values, everything else takes care of itself,” he added.
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