Nurturing the Entrepreneurial Spirit
One of five core values that guide the operations of DSP Insurance Services in Schaumburg, Ill., states: “We will respect and support all employees.” The agency also pledges that it will “treat our employees as our most valuable resource and by doing so we will deliver a superior client experience.”
Judging by their responses to Insurance Journal’s 2019 Best Agencies to Work For survey, DSP employees clearly appreciate that their agency’s leadership holds true to those stated core values. They treasure the fact that the agency encourages its staff to be innovative and self-directed while providing the support and encouragement that enables employees to thrive and achieve success. They also like that the agency inspires employees to work as a team, to support each other, and to join together in both celebrating their accomplishments and learning from their mistakes.
“DSP is a family owned and privately held company offering great flexibility and opportunity to build a desirable career,” commented one employee responding to IJ’s survey. “The agency has a strong entrepreneurial atmosphere and a flat hierarchy allowing direct access to the agency owners/partners. The owners truly care about the company and all employees and are mostly concerned with manageable, profitable growth versus growth at all costs. It’s a great place to work with a bright future.”
According to agency President Steve Webster, there’s a strong belief in the “entrepreneurial spirit” at DSP. Among the insurance professionals at DSP, the best fit “is an individual that does not need to be managed. … They own their own work, their clients and their desk. Employees like that type of culture and work environment,” he said in an email to Insurance Journal.
The agency has 75 employees and revenues in the $11 million to $25 million range annually. One DSP team member characterized the agency’s atmosphere as “incredibly vibrant,” adding that management “truly cares for the well-being of their employees. There is ample support and flexibility when it comes to flex time and work at home policies. Our education committee has invested thousands of dollars in our people to ensure we all are constantly developing and improving.”
The agency’s leadership team went through a transition this year as a previous owner retired and two current producers took ownership, an employee noted. That the agency’s new leadership has shown a commitment to retaining DSP’s status as an independent agency brought praise from several employees.
Others expressed gratitude for the generous support and opportunities the agency provides. Said one: “As my book of business has rapidly grown, the ownership has invested in both technology, and human capital for my team. There is a commitment to client success, account management as well as internal work/life balance that is a true astonishment for me. I see where ownership values the opinions, thoughts, and wishes of all employees. Over the last two years, not only has our agency grown in revenue and head count; individuals that work hard and provide unique skill sets are being promoted, as well as given greater management internally. DSP is evolving into a model agency, and continues to impress me day in and day out.”
Webster said he’s pleased that DSP’s employees appreciate their workplace culture and environment. “We are flexible with work schedules, offer work at home and are accommodating to those that need time for their families. We also believe in education and support those that work on their technical skills.”
He said management strives to give “employees a voice” and be consistent in “reminding them that what they do matters. We also try to recognize families, birthdays and individual accomplishments when they happen. It’s the little things sometimes that create a positive, caring culture.”
Ultimately, employees “are your greatest asset,” Webster said.
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