Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. recently became the only insurance brokerage firm to be named a “World’s Best Employer” by Forbes magazine in its second annual Global 2000: World’s Best Employers List.
The brokerage firm, now known as Gallagher, takes pride in following ‘The Gallagher Way’ – a concept introduced by Arthur Gallagher when he founded the firm on October 01, 1927. Some key tenets of The Gallagher Way include: dedication to providing excellence, supporting and believing in one another, trust, transparency, loyalty and teamwork.
The tenets are followed by Gallagher’s 26,000 employees in 33 countries around the world, and they’ve played a big part in the brokerage being recognised in the Forbes list. Gallagher chief human resources officer Susan E. Pietrucha, commented: “This recognition is particularly meaningful because it signifies that our unique culture resonates with our nearly 30,000 employees around the globe.”
As chief human resources officer, Pietrucha said she feels like “a steward of the Gallagher culture” and is “over the moon” about the firm being recognised as a “World’s Best Employer” by Forbes.
“Companies today are always talking about their culture – but what does that mean? For me, I feel like I’m carrying on the Gallagher legacy,” she told Insurance Business. “It’s my responsibility to continue Arthur Gallagher’s legacy of building a business where there’s a strong culture of integrity, acceptance and support.
“At Gallagher, we do a significant number of acquisitions every year and we’re always adding talented people. For me, this recognition by Forbes is the best indication I could hope for to show that we’ve succeeded in carrying on the legacy of the Gallagher culture. I feel so honoured that we’ve come so far and we haven’t lost sight of who we are.”
At 26,000 employees and growing, people often ask Pietrucha, “How can Gallagher possibly feel like a team?” It’s because ‘The Gallagher Way’ of treating each other with fairness, being open and honest, and making sure clients are first and foremost translates all over the globe, regardless of a country’s unique cultural norm, she explained.
Being recognised as a “World’s Best Employer” is not just a result of the Gallagher culture. The global brokerage offers training and development opportunities for all employees (from entry-level to executive-level), and takes a holistic stance on wellness and benefits, regardless of where employees sit in the globe.
Training and development is more important than ever for Gallagher’s broker network as new risks emerge at an ever-increasing rate and market trends of consolidation and the insurtech boom disrupt more traditional insurance practices.
“At the end of the day, we’re a relationship-driven business. Brokerages are there to help their clients, and clients trust brokers to say: ‘here’s the coverage you have; here’s what you need to think about’,” Pietrucha said. “At Gallagher, we look at the huge market disruptors like Amazon and we look at how we can leverage any opportunities that disruption brings, while also making sure our brokers have everything they need to provide the best possible service to their clients. Certainly, digitisation is going to come into play but I still believe the broker-client relationship will remain absolutely critical moving forwards.”
Developments in technology are also keeping Pietrucha on her toes from a human resources perspective. The human resources unit is digitising everything as much as possible to ensure operational efficiency, while still maintaining the human-touch at the heart of ‘The Gallagher Way’. Pietrucha is also helping to ensure Gallagher brokers and producers get the digital tools they need so that they can be as efficient and effective as possible.
She added: “I go into work every day and I’m so excited because I don’t know what the day’s going to bring. It used to be all about the employee’s behaviours, and now what’s happening is the marketplace is moving so fast that I have to think completely differently than I would have about five-years-ago – it’s so exciting!”