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What Makes Geico the Best Place to Work

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"What Makes GEICO the Best Place to Work and Why?"
Professor William LaSalle
Bus 322
July 13,2016

Markets are becoming global. This can present great opportunities with extreme rewards. However, customers and entire markets can be won and lost in the blink of an eye. In order to reap the rewards and manage the risks, GEICO first needs to understand the global forces affecting supply and demand. Markets are also no longer respecting national boundaries. Capital increasingly flows in the direction of wherever the market returns are higher. Human and material resources also do not have much respect for national boundaries. When you have a singular brand focus and idea, customers have total clarity on what you are and what you are not. And to GEICO’s credit, it has stayed true to the same brand positioning for almost 20 years with arguably one of the longest running strategies and taglines in recent history. Because GEICO hasn’t moved from its positioning, it has stuck with a target segment that values price over paying for a traditional agent network model, and has continued to beat a steady, relevant drum through a series of clever ads and characters, whether its cavemen, pigs, the gecko, banjo players or the newly minted camel of Hump Day fame, either way customers know exactly what to expect from GEICO. GEICO also realizes that consistent brand positioning and relevance must go hand in hand. So while the message has stayed the same, GEICO’S advertising campaign tactics and medium usage have evolved. For example, in 2010, GEICO provided mobile users with a first in the insurance industry; the ability to quote and buy a policy from mobile-friendly pages on their iPhone and Android mobile devices. Just recently, GEICO has offered a Prime Instant Video service. It’s a wide-ranging ad deal that also includes banners and placement on the Amazon Pilot Series home page, as well as ads on Kindles with Special Offers, the cheaper version of the Kindle that shows ads. The expansion continues on new, relevant mediums but continues the “save you money” messaging. GEICO has long been known for its catchphrase: "15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance." This motto and an aggressive advertising campaign powered GEICO to be one of the leaders in online care insurance. Berkshire Hathaway bought GEICO in 1996 and has controlled it ever since. GEICO offers low rates, exceptional 24-hour customer service, and high-quality car insurance to over 14 million policy holders in the United States. GEICO also offers insurance products for motorcycles, boats, homes, and personal umbrella protection. GEICO is second-largest private passenger auto insurer in the U.S., thanks to their low rates, clever marketing and great service. In 1996, GEICO became a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, led by Warren Buffett, one of the most successful investors of the 20th century. For the past several years, FORTUNE magazine has named Berkshire's property-casualty insurance operation the most admired in the country. Time Magazine named Warren Buffett one of the most influential people in the world in 2012.

As of 2016, GEICO operates 16 major offices, insures 14 million policyholders (and growing), and employs more than 35,000 associates across the country. GEICO is led by Tony Nicely, Chairman and CEO, and is headquartered in the Washington, DC area. In addition to auto insurance, the company also provides RV, ATV, Boat, Motorcycle, Property and other lines of insurance.

GEICO hires new associates into inside sales, customer service, claims, auto damage, IT, actuary, legal and analyst careers. They also offer fast-track management development programs for college grads. Associates average 3 promotions within the first 5 years; nearly 80% of their management team started in entry level careers! GEICO's seven operating principles help create a workplace in which their associates can thrive.

1. Respect, support and provide opportunity for all associates.
2. Be fanatics for outstanding customer service.
3. Be the low-cost provider.
4. Operate with uncompromising integrity.
5. Maintain a disciplined balance sheet.
6. Make an underwriting profit while achieving optimum growth.
7. Invest for total return. After nearly eight years of working at GEICO, I can still say that every day that I’m proud of the company I work for. I hand out referral cards on a regular basis and make sure to let everyone know that, not only does GEICO have great insurance rates, but it was also named one of the 2013 and 2014 best places to work in Virginia by Virginia Business. And, without fail, someone always asks me, “What’s so great about working for GEICO?” I just look at them with a big smile and ask, “How much time do you have?” GEICO has great benefits: medical, dental and vision insurance, a 401(k) plan, paid vacation and sick leave. While those are all fantastic, they’re very similar to what you might find at a variety of other employers. Two things that I think makes GEICO unique are its dedication to employees’ personal and professional growth, and its commitment to give back to our local communities across the country. Each major GEICO office has a team responsible for organizing activities that support various causes. In April, my office holds a raffle to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides Walk. My Virginia Beach colleagues raise money for March of Dimes by hosting a bake sale and “Zumba Battle.” The list of causes and charities that GEICO supports is long! It’s great to see our associates get involved because when giving is part of your work culture, it can become part of the way that you live your own life. Also, when it comes to educational opportunities, GEICO’s tuition reimbursement and industry-leading training program are hard to beat! Tuition reimbursement is available to full-time employees who have successfully completed their initial orientation period. It provides reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year, plus up to 75 percent of textbook costs. GEICO also offers Training and mentoring programs, to help you advance in the company. For associates looking to further develop their insurance-related skills, GEICO offers courses through the Insurance Studies Program for which the company covers the costs. You can learn more about our educational opportunities on GEICO also offers career advancement and performance based promotions. I feel lucky to work for a company that continues to grow, despite an unsteady economy, and I want to want to make sure GEICO continue to prosper. I’m always on the lookout for great people who exude excellent customer service experience. It is one of the many qualities that sets GEICO apart from other insurance companies. GEICO has 14 major offices across the country, as well as for adjusters to work in many states. I do recommend GEICO if you are looking for a growing company that gives back to the community and supports the development of its employees.
Customers are seeking to buy insurance products outside the established agency and independent financial advisor channels, which will require insurers already in certain markets to retool their existing distribution models. For insurers entering the markets, they might consider adopting more flexible sales approaches that leverage the Internet, mobile platforms and other evolving technologies, which GEICO does offer. All the various ways they make life easier for the customers is one of the biggest reasons I love being a Geico family member!

References Awards We've Won. (2016, February 13). Retrieved July 17, 2016, from Finance & Retirement. (2015, September 28). Retrieved July 17, 2016, from Corporate Culture. (2015, December 21). Retrieved July 17, 2016, from GEICO Honors and Ratings. (2016, April 12). Retrieved July 17, 2016, from…...

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