As INN editor-in-chief Pat Speer recently pointed out, USAA was recently determined by an IT industry trade publication to be the top place to work in IT – surpassing all other companies in all other industries.
USAA also always ranks near the top in customer service in industry reviews and surveys.
Coincidence? I think not. The corporate culture fostered on the inside is reflected out to the market. Being a great place to work also makes for a great company to do business with. USAA understands the value skilled employees provide, and that these skills are essential for moving the company forward in today's volatile markets. As I have discussed in previous posts, insurance companies have the challenge of competing with many other industries – including the social networking startups – for recruiting the best technology talent.
Contrast that with an insurance company that appears to be at the opposite end of the spectrum. I was recently speaking with an IT services manager from a major healthcare insurance provider, who enlightened me with stories about how the company treats its employees. First of all, he was on his wife's health insurance plan because his employer's benefits were too meager! Plus, the entire department was under enormous cost pressure, with vacated positions being left open, with additional responsibilities piled on the remaining staff. In addition, many parts of the company's IT operations had been outsourced to India, and the fear of further outsourcing is constantly in the air.
It also just so happens I have a friend who is a customer of both USAA and the aforementioned health insurance carrier. He raves about USAA's service, and has nothing but complaints about the health insurer.
Coincidence? I think not.
Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.
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