Words like “fair,” “ethical, and “accommodating,” may not top a list of words you’d think would energize workers, but there was no shortage of enthusiasm found in comments from employees who heaped praise on The Buckner Co. in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Those words took on even greater meaning during the pandemic, when the firm’s leaders had to scramble to accommodate its 178 employees in a working world that was turned upside down.
“The way they have handled the COVID-19 pandemic and allowing employees to work from home has been flawless,” wrote one employee.
The firm was named Insurance Journal’s Best Agency to Work For in the West region. The Buckner Co. earned the Bronze Award.
The nomination process has employees rank the firm in several categories in online forms and also comment on just why theirs is the best agency to work for.
Among the reasons employees nominating the firm called it out were its contributions to the community and the ethical manner in which managers and employees handle customers.
“I have worked for other agencies in the past and Buckner’s community contribution is beyond compare,” one employee wrote, adding that the owner is involved in operations, reviews conducted regularly and on time, and there are plenty of opportunities for development.
The firm reports $32 million in revenue and is often growing. But for Terry Buckner, CEO of the firm, ethics is an important part of the equation.
“I think people like to work at someplace they can be proud of,” Buckner said. “We push very heavy the need for high ethics.”
He explained that insurance isn’t well understood by those who work outside the industry, which means insurance professionals must be serious about instilling trust.
“We have to do the right thing for our clients and for our carriers all the time,” Buckner said.
His grandfather started the firm in 1936, passing on the firm to Buckner’s father and uncle, and Buckner purchased the firm from them in the late 1980s.
Helping with education is another key to success in business and in attracting and retaining good employees, Buckner said.
“We also have pushed, very heavily, the value of education,” he said, adding that the “check book is open for education.”
Education was mentioned in several employee comments.
“I have worked for The Buckner Co. for just over five-and-a-half years,” wrote one employee. “I have been in the business for 26 years and to date Buckner has provided the best agency experience of my career. I am valued, I am respected, I have great co-workers along with a great work environment. Management has been fantastic. I am given what I need to do my job and the education opportunities here have exceeded any agency I have worked for.”
Another employee who’s been in the business about a quarter-century called out some bottom-line reasons why The Buckner Co. is a great place to work.
“I have been in this business for 25 years and worked at four different agencies. And have worked for Buckner for the past 15 years,” the employee wrote. “Buckner has always been the most accommodating and fair for the employee and the salaries are more than fair for the marketplace.”
Of course, employees in their comments overwhelmingly mentioned ethics.
“The employees at Buckner are ethical to the core and we always strive to do what is best for our customers with honesty and integrity at the forefront,” the employee wrote.
“This strong ethical base is passed down from our owner and management team and is based on how the team interacts and communicates with our staff,” the employee added.
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