Business Smart: Wells Insurance

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Wells Insurance, a family-owned, fourth-generation insurance agency headquartered in North Carolina, is committed to serving the community and its employees with integrity, compassion, and expertise. Celebrating 100 years of service, Wells Insurance prides itself on being a family-run and privately-owned agency with over 75 employees in four offices in New Hanover and Brunswick counties.

Although employee benefits have evolved over the century, Wells Insurance leaders remain steady in their support of their employees’ professional and personal lives. But even further, Wells puts a priority on providing employees with the chance to serve and make a positive impact on their local communities.

One unique, family-friendly employee policy implemented seven years ago is 24-hours of paid volunteer leave employees receive each year. Employees use these hours in numerous ways, including spending time with their families, such as supervising school field trips, coaching a school sports team, or using hours to attend grandparent’s days with their grandchildren.

“We very much believe in a work-life integration at Wells Insurance, and look to help provide that opportunity for our staff,” states Cheryl Morlote, director of human resources.  “We believe it’s important to look at each person’s situation, so we try to implement benefits that will take that into account, such as paid volunteer leave, where employees can spend extra time with their families or get fulfillment in other volunteer opportunities.”

Dana Barnhardt, compliance manager at Wells Insurance, is celebrating 25 years of employment with Wells. Over the last seven years, she’s used her paid volunteer leave to chaperone her daughter’s school field trips.

“There have been numerous school events for my daughter I’ve been able to chaperone because of the paid volunteer leave, from school field trips to cheer championships in Disney,” Dana explains. “I’ve been very fortunate to see many of my daughter’s firsts, things I wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on.”

Dana Barnhardt’s daughter, Mattea, on a school field trip at the zoo.

 

Dana continues, “Wells Insurance encourages its employees to spend time with their families in addition to supporting their communities. It’s all-around a great place to work as everyone cares and serves as a support network for each other.”

According to the National Education Association, children whose parents have time to support their social, emotional and academic development:

  • Earn higher grades and test scores, and enroll in higher-level programs
  • Attend school regularly
  • Have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school
  • Are more likely to graduate and go on to post-secondary education

When it comes to coaching his son’s sports teams, Garrett Strader, marketing executive at Wells Insurance, refers to it as the most rewarding thing he does. And when Garrett started at Wells Insurance over a year ago, he wanted to ensure it could remain a priority in his life.

Garrett explains, “When I moved to the coast and accepted my position with Wells Insurance, I wanted to be sure I could continue to coach my son’s sports teams. Knowing I could use paid volunteer leave to do so helped alleviate the worry of having to use traditional paid time off and also gave me the freedom to spend time with my son for a work-life balance.”

“Since I’m not worried about being at work or losing money, I’m able to enjoy my job more in addition to the coaching aspect,” Garret shares. “Since I began coaching six years ago, I’ve been able to witness each child improve in some area, whether it be in the sport itself or just in life. And I can’t think of anything more rewarding than that.  If not for the paid volunteer opportunity Wells provides, I would not have the pleasure of seeing these kids grow.”

In addition to paid volunteer leave, Wells Insurance offers an entire educational program targeted on making employees’ personal lives more comfortable during the workday. This program includes bringing in estate planning professionals for employee lunch and learns, massage professionals and nutritionists for employee self-care, a sharpening service, wellness plans, and an in-office holiday shopping spree so employees can Christmas shop during office hours.

“We hope that by offering these services during the workday to employees, our staff is able to save time and money so they can in turn spend more time with their families,” says Cheryl.

Sample benefits: Wells Insurance

  • Health Insurance, access to voluntary dental, vision, disability, hospital, accident, cancer, and life insurance
  • FSA, HSA, DCRA
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Massage therapist
  • 401k retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Paid volunteer leave
  • Nine paid holidays per year
  • Lunch & Learns

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