With locations in small towns throughout Northwest Ohio and Southern Michigan, Tiffin, Ohio-based UIS Insurance & Investments serves its clients with a small town sensibility and big city capabilities, and that combination suits its employees just fine.
Responding to Insurance Journal’s 2021 Best Agencies to Work For survey, one UIS employee put it this way: “We are able to offer carriers and coverages comparable to the very large agencies, but with the small town touch when it comes to the service — I call it the BEST OF BOTH WORLDS!!!”
Another respondent wrote: “UIS Insurance & Investments is truly a conglomerate of hometown personalized service and technology that allows us to work with clients across the globe. When many in our industry are consolidating and moving out of small town USA, we thrive in these areas! Our belief is that personal attention to detail with face-to-face service will never go out of style.”
Through IJ’s Best Agencies survey, employees nominate their agency, rate its performance in numerous categories, and offer their personal commentary on why they think their workplace is the best. As result of UIS’ employees enthusiastic praise for their employer, IJ selected UIS Insurance & Investments as the 2021 Bronze Best Agency to Work For in the Midwest.
The agency currently has 113 employees and an annual revenue the $11 million to $25 million range, said UIS President Chuck Ritzler. “We try to create and maintain a family atmosphere through supporting our employees and their families. We focus on teamwork across all departments and acknowledge the outstanding job our teams do taking care of our clients. This nomination reinforces our efforts to reward and recognize our associates in many different ways,” he said.
“UIS looks for ways to develop our employees and provide them opportunities to utilize their specific skill set. We support those that want to broaden their talents and encourage people that look for new challenges. We also make it a priority to invest in our communities through time and money giving our associates paid time off to volunteer,” Ritzler added.
In their comments, employees noted and expressed appreciation for UIS’ commitment to its employees and their communities. “Our agency is committed to the towns we are in. We have brick and mortar agencies in a lot of small towns where we know it might benefit the bottom line more to consolidate but being part of our communities is very important,” one wrote.
Another commented: “UIS is very involved in their communities. Not just in Tiffin where the main office is, but at all of our office locations and more. They are continuously giving donations to charity events, schools and businesses. Also, UIS gives each employee 15 hours a year. Which is called ‘UIS Cares Time’. This time is for you to volunteer to work in your community or at an event and UIS will pay you to be there. This is something that gives you as an employee the time to volunteer and not use your personal/vacation time to do so.”
Ritzler said his best advice for an agency owner seeking to create a workplace of choice “would be to consistently ask for feedback from your employees and look for ways to meet their needs. Asking how you can improve and providing updates on what the agency is doing to make changes where needed is key — communication!”
From UIS employees’ points of view, that strategy works. One survey respondent praised the agency’s ongoing practice of seeking feedback from team members, adding: “I started as a customer service agent and have grown over the last ten years with this agency. I know this is where I will retire from. I feel valued as an employee.”
Another summed up their experience at UIS saying: “I’ve been in the insurance business for 30 years and these last 6 years have been the best. This agency is by far better in many ways than other agencies I’ve worked for. Only wish I had started my career here!”
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