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ALAN TURNER — Southern Farm Bureau: An award-winning workplace

ALAN TURNER

Recently, I visited with Matt Gin, Manager of Corporate Training and Communications for Southern Farm Bureau, and learned about a coveted award that SFBLI recently won.

Matt is a native of Jackson and holds a degree in communications from Ole Miss. He’s been with SFBLI since 2008, having previously worked with the Memphis Red Birds.

Southern Farm Bureau is one of Mississippi’s largest employers, with 650 employees. The company does business in 11 states, and was founded in 1946. The company has over 3,700 agents and more than 1.25 million policies in place.

SFBLI has always been committed to delivering superior value to its customers, and its key theme is “Your Friends for Life”. It also has a strong commitment to providing a great workplace for its employees.

I asked Matt about the coveted award the company has just received.

 

“We’re delighted to have been selected for the Gallup Great Workplace Award,” he said. “This is annually given to only 40 companies throughout the United States, and we’re the only Mississippi company selected this year.”

An award such as this is not given lightly, and the honorees must demonstrate their commitment to providing a quality workplace through Employee Engagement Surveys over a period of time.

“It’s all about how employees are treated, and how they feel about where they work,” Matt said.

SFBLI is also a multiple past winner of Best Places to Work and Mississippi’s Healthiest Workplaces awards, produced by the Mississippi Business Journal and the Mississippi Business Group on Health (Healthiest Workplaces).

“We’re delighted with that recognition,” Matt said. “We have a long-standing and firm commitment to providing the best and healthiest working environment possible for our employees.”

 

 

I asked him to explain what some of their programs are.

“We have an on-site medical clinic, for one thing,” he told me. “An MD comes twice a week, and we have an on-site nurse practitioner. We also have a cafeteria which specializes in healthy food and we are involved in farmers’ market events. We also work to educate employees on healthy lifestyle choices, including diabetes education, the importance of exercise, and other programs. Our employees are very enthusiastic.”

Matt Ginn

What are the benefits of a commitment such as this?

“Good health means great employees,” he said. “It means lower abseentism rates, higher productivity, and an all-around better motivated and satisfied work force.”

SFBLI also offers time off for employees to volunteer for worthy community causes.

“We’re always pleased to see our folks making a commitment to their communities, and it’s this kind of teamwork and pride that makes things better for all,” he said.

As Matt puts it, “this is just the right thing to do”.

I asked Matt about the company’s plans for the future, and the kinds of challenges he sees.

“We are committed to providing the best possible service for our policy-holders,” he said. “We see growth as an extension of that commitment.”

And what does he see as the challenges for business these days?

“I’d say there are both great opportunities and challenges associated with the rapid growth of technology and the ongoing digital transformation”, he said. “We work hard to enable technology to work for our agents and support our policy holders, but as we all know, just keeping up with the speed of change is always a challenge.”

Clearly, it’s good news for SFBLI to have won a prestigious national award such as Gallup, but it’s also good news for Mississippi. To learn more about SFBLI, visit its website at SFBLI.com

» Contact Mississippi Business Journal publisher Alan Turner at alan.turner@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1021.

 

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About Alan Turner