SILVER Best Agency to Work For – Esser Hayes Insurance Group
One of the hallmarks of Esser Hayes Insurance Group is that its employees tend to stick around for a long, long time — not because they have to but because they find the agency to be a challenging, fun and supportive work environment.
The Naperville, Illinois-based agency, which is Insurance Journal’s Silver award winner for the Best Agency to Work For in the Midwest, has 80 employees, a median staff tenure of 11 years, and will end the year with more than $14 million in revenue, according to Esser Hayes CEO Bill Hayes.
Responding to IJ’s Best Agency to Work For survey, one younger employee who’s been with the agency for only four years said staff members “really value the culture that has been in place at this agency for decades.” The work can be challenging, the employee wrote, “sometimes I stay late or come in early, but when you love what you do, and love who you work with, does it even really count as work anymore? At 33 years old and in the insurance industry for 10 years, I have found the place I want to retire at.”
Another employee, who’s worked at Esser Hayes for more than 10 years, said it’s “more than an agency, it is like a family. … They work with you, support your decisions to advance yourself and help you fund it. My co-workers are always willing to help and make the 8 hours we share in the office fun and energetic.”
One employee who had been laid off from the banking industry came to Esser Hayes 11 years ago, thinking they would eventually go back to banking. However, the employee wrote, “I learned to love my job. The people that work for our agency are hard-working, team players. We always have each others back. The Partners treat you like family. They truly care about each employee. We strive for a drama free workplace. … I have never been bored or felt I was not challenged. I truly enjoy working for Esser Hayes Insurance Group.”
That Esser Hayes employees nominated the agency as a Best Agency to Work For “makes our leadership team feel like we are on the right track,” Hayes said. But, he added, “if you didn’t receive 80 nominations, we still must have some work to do!”
Still, he said, “we are a great place to work because we have an excellent reputation in the marketplace, we like to work hard, we celebrate our successes and our teammates genuinely like each other.”
What sets Esser Hayes “apart from other agencies is our commitment to provide value beyond the insurance policy for our clients,” Hayes said. “A great customer experience is derived from two key components: our strong commitment to ensuring we have the best team in place, and our deep-rooted relationships with the carrier partners we represent. We believe this combination allows us to better execute for our clients than other agencies!”
Many Esser Hayes employees backed up that assertion in their survey comments. Said one: “Our service to our clients is outstanding. Our goal is to go out of our way to make sure the client is happy and confident that they have the best policy for their needs at the best possible price. Our attention to detail is exceptional. … We have the passion to do whatever it takes to get the job done. We respond to our clients, partners and colleagues with an ambitious sense of urgency.”
Hayes said in order to achieve an elevated level of success agencies need to continually evolve. However, he added, “don’t drift from your core values. It’s important to always understand that you are only as good as the people who you work with and that you attract to your agency. At Esser Hayes, our mission is to attract, develop and retain quality people.”