When employees describe Acuity, one word comes up a lot: generous. That's thanks to the company's charitable giving, as well as an 8 percent contribution to 401(k) accounts, profit sharing and regular employee celebrations.
When employees describe ACUITY, one word comes up a lot: generous. That goes for this insurance company's extensive charitable endeavors, as well as the 8 percent company contribution to 401(k) accounts, profit sharing and 50-pound gift boxes at the holidays. Then there's the workplace, which is planning to host an indoor Ferris wheel and has get-togethers that have included a chocolate festival and a free breakfast each quarter served by executives. In turn, employees say they put a lot into their work and are proud to do so. A few report growing pains here and there as the company expands. Nonetheless, insurance professionals who like a fun work environment and a congenial group of colleagues will find both at ACUITY. “Our health insurance benefits are awesome, our schedules are flexible and we can keep our bodies healthy at our gym,” says one team member. “ACUITY takes not only good care of me, but also my family.”
WHAT THEY DO
ACUITY is a regional property and casualty insurance company. It provides commercial and personal insurance products through a diverse group of independent insurance agents.
How much responsibility would I have? What kind of support is there for professional development?
Great Rated! conducted an anonymous survey of randomly selected employees to assess the quality of the workplace challenges the company provides. At ACUITY, 90 percent of employees report the company often or almost always provides needed training, fair promotions and personally challenging work. Another 7 percent report the company sometimes provides these opportunities, for a combined positive rating from 97 percent of employees in the Great Challenges category.
ACUITY employees manage a range of insurance products and services. The company has approximately 1,039 employees in the United States, where they operate two offices.
A large majority of team members (95 percent) say they carry a lot of responsibility in the organization, and nine in 10 also say that managers trust them to carry out these responsibilities without micromanaging them. Additionally, 88 percent of ACUITY employees say their work is "more than just a job."
At ACUITY, 92 percent of employees feel they receive the training and development they need to further their careers. While it is often difficult for companies to ensure that promotions are awarded fairly across organizations, at ACUITY, 84 percent say that promotions consistently go to those who best deserve them, exceeding what one can typically expect even at the very best companies in the country.
Supporting Employee Development
Average annual training for part-time hourly employees: 67 hours
Average annual training for full-time salaried employees: 89 hours
Employees have access to extensive instructor-led professional training specific to the insurance industry. ACUITY also provides an onsite leadership training program for recently promoted managers.
Though the work we do can be tiring and challenging, ACUITY makes it enjoyable to come to work every day. ACUITY understands the balance between work and fun. Both are incorporated in our workday to allow us to be the most productive we can be.
What would my colleagues be like? How do people have fun? How formal a workplace is it?
At ACUITY, 92 percent of employees say they often or almost always enjoy their colleagues and find their workplace to be fun and cooperative. Another 6 percent sometimes benefits from these qualities, for a combined positive rating from 98 percent of employees in the Great Atmosphere category.
ACUITY's main office in Sheboygan, Wis. features a 24-hour 9,800-square-foot fitness facility with free yoga and Spinning classes, as well as a subsidized employee cafeteria.
Fun and Celebrations
In 2013, the company organized a chocolate fair, with three chocolate fountains, ice cream and gift basket draws. This marked the 10th anniversary of the chocolate fair. The company's summer picnic features activities for kids, including a petting zoo, as well as food, rides, door prizes and a draw for a grand prize worth $3,000.
Caring and Support
ACUITY provides three to five days of funeral leave for employees, as well as extended paid medical leave for those facing serious illnesses. An employee assistance program offers confidential counseling resources to people facing struggles in their personal lives or in their families.
People celebrate special events around here.
All the fun creative events that they hold here, they make you feel welcome, and part of a team.
What kind of perks and benefits are part of the employment package? What is the work-life balance like? Does the company appreciate hard work?
At ACUITY, 91 percent of employees often or almost always find the company compensates them fairly, provides special and unique benefits, supports their work-life balance and shows genuine appreciation for their contributions. Another 6 percent reports they sometimes receive these benefits as well, for a combined positive rating from 97 percent of employees in the Great Rewards category.
The company routinely gives gifts of chocolate, gift cards, chair massages, breakfast, luncheons, company-wide meetings that involve entertainment and some form of a little gift/goodie. Employees regularly have lunches with executives/officers which helps connect everyone. This company goes above and beyond to make everyone feel appreciated and rewarded for the work they do.
COMPENSATION BY THE NUMBERS
87% Company-paid health coverage for employees
87% Company-paid health coverage for dependents
30 hours Weekly hours at which part-timers receive health care coverage
Pre-tax savings account
PERKS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER
Free snacks during the day
Free lunch on a regular basis
Free breakfast foods on a regular basis
Free beverages during the day
Subsidized lunch on a regular, daily basis
Onsite package/mailing service
Discount ticket sales
Weight Watchers meetings
WORK-LIFE BALANCE BY THE NUMBERS
20 days Holidays & vacation days after one year of employment
30 days Paid maternity leave provided through the sick leave policy when not eligible for FMLA
I am able to take time off from work when I think it's necessary.
People are encouraged to balance their work life and their personal life.
I really enjoy flex time. It gives you so much freedom. The company's organization and tools make work much more pleasing.
HEALTH INSURANCE COVERS
Prescription drug subsidy
Treatments, such as acupuncture or chiropractic
Mental health care
ONSITE HEALTH BENEFITS
Subsidized offsite gym memberships
What inspires employees' company spirit here? Do people stand by their teams' work? What impact do people have outside the organization?
At ACUITY, 92 percent of employees report that they often or almost always carry meaningful responsibilities within the organization and are proud of their accomplishments, community impact and the company's reputation in the world. Another 5 percent report that they sometimes experience this pride as well, for a combined positive rating from 97 percent of employees in the Great Pride category.
ACUITY strives to provide superior customer service and financial performance through its range of insurance products. The organization insures hundreds of thousands of businesses and individuals, and it has counted itself among the 50 best-run insurance companies named by Ward Financial Group for 14 consecutive years.
I'm proud to tell others I work here.
ACUITY treats its employees awesome. I'm proud to say I work here. They have fundraisers and we get to enjoy it, also. We are a team, and we contribute to the community. We are highly recognized as a great place to work.
Supporting the Community
$1,056,850 in philanthropic donations in the last year
In addition to community donations from ACUITY's charitable foundation, its employees raise money and volunteer for a range of causes. In 2013, for example, the company hosted a book exchange, where gently used books were collected and donated to a local charity.
I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community.
ACUITY holds fundraising events for special community projects, such as raising money for a neonatal intensive care unit. Employees were invited to participate in special events during the day, before the public was invited to attend at night. We have had a Ferris wheel inside the building, which employees could ride as part of a fundraiser. We also held a fundraiser for palliative care in Sheboygan.
How easy is it to talk with managers and get the information I need? Will managers listen to my input?
At ACUITY, 86 percent of employees say they often or almost always experience a free and transparent exchange of ideas and information within the organization. Another 10 percent sometimes has this experience as well, for a combined positive rating from 96 percent of employees in the Great Communication category.
Although ACUITY employs more than 1,000 people in two offices and 22 states, most employees say they have consistent access to the information they need within the organization. A large majority (89 percent) describe their managers as approachable and say the company keeps people informed about important issues and changes. Nearly as many team members (87 percent) also report that managers make expectations clear, while a similar percentage say their leaders genuinely seek and respond to suggestions and ideas.
The amount of communication that goes on between upper management and each and every employee is unbelievable. I have never worked for a company that has an upper management team that is so forthcoming and approachable. They are always praising us and you can tell we actually are making a difference in the organization.
What are managers' leadership strengths?
At ACUITY, 88 percent of employees say their managers often or almost always act with integrity and care, are competent in their positions and provide clear directions and vision for the organization. Another 8 percent say their managers sometimes display these characteristics, for a combined positive rating from 96 percent of employees in the Great Bosses category.
ACUITY employees widely appreciate the comfortable atmosphere and friendly culture their leaders encourage at the company. They also express a widely held confidence in the company's leadership, believing that the organization has employees' best interests at heart. A significant majority of employees (96 percent) say ACUITY would lay people off only as a last resort, while 95 percent say their managers are honest and ethical in their business practices. Additionally, 93 percent of employees say their leaders have a clear view of where the company is going and how to get there.
I go downstairs to our fitness center on my lunch break to exercise. I say hello to our president and CEO, who is also exercising on his lunch break. He's approachable and I never feel uneasy saying 'hi' as we pass each other in our gym clothes.
Great Perks and Programs
Lunch with an Officer:ACUITY aims to give all of its employees the chance to ask questions of its senior management. The Lunch with an Officer program gathers a dozen or so team members at a time for an unstructured meeting where people can learn more about the inner workings of the company and its strategic goals.
Free Food: Every quarter, company officers serve a free breakfast for employees before work. As another token of appreciation, the company gives its employees seasonal gifts throughout the year, like pumpkin pies and fresh strawberries. Goodies also come standard with the company's town hall meetings, when employees are treated to lunches, pizza and gift cards.
Happy Holidays: ACUITY's annual holiday gifts usually contain more than 50 pounds of seasonal snacks, games and other treats. While the annual summer gift might entail a large box filled with steaks, ribs, chicken and fish.
CPCU Trip: Employees who earn their Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation are awarded an all-expenses-paid trip for themselves and a guest to the national CPCU conference.
Stress Relievers:ACUITY's headquarters features a 9,800-square-foot fitness center that offers massage rooms, country-club-style cherrywood locker rooms and free fitness classes. The workplace also features a dedicated space for nursing mothers, a dry cleaning service and a bank branch. Because many members of the field staff spend a lot of time in their cars, the company also offers a $75 allowance for audiobooks.
Great Rated! collected feedback from ACUITY employees via an anonymous survey. Following are common reasons employees said they appreciate their workplace.
"We have random themed events to help keep the morale up. We had a snow-building contest this past January and the participation was overwhelming."
"The corporate culture and climate at ACUITY is not only unlike any other insurance company, but unlike any other business I've been involved with. Doing things like toga and beer stein parties, snowman-building contests, mechanical bull riding, roller skate parties and Ferris wheel rides, all of which were done in the building or on the grounds, truly makes ACUITY unique."
"This company is one of the kindest companies I have worked for. The reason I have worked here for so long is the fairness, the flexibility and the respect they have for me."
"You feel very welcome and empowered to do your job. Even upper management will know you by name when you see them in the hallways. That goes a long way to feeling part of the ACUITY team."
"Since the day I started with this company, I felt welcomed by management and staff. People seemed curious to learn about who I was as a person. I have learned in a very short time that this company truly does care about their employees."
"Very high level of communications about everything – emails, flyers, handouts, etc. We celebrate our successes – gift cards, chocolate fair, buffet breakfasts and lunches, comedy shows, bands, greater contributions to the 401K plan and other things."
"They enjoy spoiling us with activities during the day. My job is hard and takes a lot of time and just to be able to take a break during the day and laugh helps the morale. Our president is great, has great humor which makes it fun to work here. He prides himself on spoiling his employees. I am honored to work for him."
"Management is very interested in everyone's input and they do a great job of keeping us informed."
"I always tell people that ACUITY is a great place to work. They give us so much, but they expect a lot out of us in return, which is not a bad thing. We are respected and management knows nearly all employees by name which speaks volumes for the company. I have worked for other employers and know that ACUITY is not steps but flights above others."
"ACUITY not only treats me quite well but treats my spouse the same. They treat both me and my spouse as we are family and part of the company."
"ACUITY rewards our hard work with periodic gifts, such as gift certificates to Applebee's and Target, as well as a huge Christmas basket with various food items and gifts. My company contributes 8 percent of employee pay each pay period to the 401K plan, whether or not the employee contributes to the plan. Programs such as 'Magic Happens' give special recognition to employees who provide superior service to our policy holders, our agents or to other employees."
"This company gave every employee an iPad, provided free breakfast for all employees quarterly. Every employee was selected to eat lunch with a company officer six times a year."
How to Get Hired
We asked ACUITY for some inside information on how to get hired at the organization. Here is what they had to say.
What key characteristics tell you a prospective employee will be a great fit for your company?
When considering a prospective employee ACUITY evaluates an individual’s strengths and competencies as they relate to an available position. It’s also important to ensure candidates are a match with our corporate culture. By hiring candidates that correspond with ACUITY’s values and excel in the competencies necessary in a particular role, we anticipate our employees will enjoy a successful career at our organization.
What can prospective employees do to get your attention?
An essential part of ACUITY’s hiring process is for a candidate to be themselves! We want to get to know our potential employees and the characteristics each brings to our organization. It is our goal to give candidates an accurate picture of who we are and how we operate. In exchange, we ask our candidates to do the same. This transparency allows applicants to make the right decision for themselves to join the organization and for ACUITY to offer people the appropriate positions.
Are there any unusual or especially rigorous steps of your hiring process that candidates should be aware of?
ACUITY’s hiring process does not have any rigorous or unusual steps. Every part of an interview with ACUITY has been created to evaluate a candidate's competencies and how they fit within our corporate culture. The most difficult part of our process is simply for the candidates to be themselves. We want a potential employee to show us their strengths and what they value. If there is a match between their skills and values, we can’t wait to make them a part of the ACUITY team!
Are there any positions or types of candidates you are particularly focused on hiring in this coming year?
ACUITY is growing across the organization. While we strongly believe in promoting from within, numerous opportunities are available at our corporate headquarters in Sheboygan, Wis. There are also various openings for experienced insurance professionals throughout our 23-state operating territory when available. To find the most up-to-date list of open positions, please check the careers section of our website at www.Acuity.com.
What should interested candidates do to find out more and get started?
To apply with ACUITY, interested candidates should visit the careers section of our website at www.Acuity.com. ACUITY provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, national or ethnic origin, marital status and all other protected categories in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.