DSP Insurance Services, Inc.
Best Agency to Work For – Midwest
A Safe Haven of Respect and Appreciation
Bob Schutz and Steve Pohl launched their Chicago-area independent agency, DSP Insurance Services Inc., in 1981 with five employees and a modest book of business.
Nearly 35 years later, the Schaumburg, Ill.-based agency has a team of more than 45 insurance and risk management professionals who, judging from their responses to Insurance Journal‘s survey of Best Agencies to Work For, really love where they work.
Awarded the Bronze designation as IJ‘s Best Agency to Work For in 2015 – Midwest Region, DSP is an agency with a commitment to integrity, client service and technical expertise, employees say.
As one put it, DSP is focused on “providing the best product and service to our clients. We are as a group, highly qualified professionals working in an environment of mutual respect and co-operation. This agency is family oriented and committed to operating profitably for the benefit of all employees.”
Other staff members emphasized the atmosphere of equality that permeates the agency, as well. Said one: “All employees receive the same level of respect and appreciation. All three principals are always available, ready to listen or assist on any appointment.”
Still another DSP employee wrote: “We never run sales contests. The goal here is to create a team atmosphere and an environment where teamwork is rewarded, not [to] embarrass someone who hasn’t met sales goals. As a result, most producers highly encourage each other and often work together on large deals.”
The DSP environment praised by these employees is not accidental, according to President Bob Schutz.
“Many people have worked a long time to make this an OK place to spend the majority of their waking hours. There is so much stress and strain in everyone’s personal life and the industry we work in. I want the four walls of DSP to be everyone’s safe haven. Doing what’s right for the people that work here is easy if we really care about them and their families, and all of management does,” Schutz wrote in an email to Insurance Journal.
There is no “class system” at the agency, Schutz added. “There’s not a single thing that we do that would possibly make someone feel that they are not as good or as important than someone else. Humor is also an integral of the culture. Being silly and playing practical jokes once in a while have a very positive impact on culture and morale.”
Staff members also praised DSP’s integrity and its recruitment of younger team members with an eye to the future.
“DSP’s ethics are of the greatest importance to us,” one employee commented. “I have seen us lose a new business account to another agency because we would not lower ourselves to ‘hiding’ or not quoting coverage that the insured needed just to lower the price and get the business.”
Bringing younger staff into the agency has been a recent focus, said another. The goal is “to bring innovative ideas and practices in while building the agency. I am proud of this because there is an effort being made to evolve the agency into something even more great rather than sticking with traditional procedures and practices. There is an emphasis on mentoring, teaching and learning among all employees which not only pushes individual employees to greatness but the agency in general.”
Schutz said he was drawn to and remains in the insurance industry because he realizes the service he provides to his clients is very important.
“It’s always been personal for me. Just like the people I work with I treat the people I work for the same way and that is as I would like to be treated,” Schutz said.
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- Best Agency to Work For – Southeast: Wallace Welch & Willingham
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