The employee experience at Transamerica Retirement Solutions is defined by the firm's mission to help people achieve a comfortable retirement. “It is part of our culture. It's who we are,” said Peter Kunkel, president and CEO. Mr. Kunkel said having a focus that employees value helps drive employee satisfaction.
Many responses to the employee survey for Best Places to Work in Money Management confirmed Transamerica's mission as important to their work experience. One employee proudly said, “What we do helps Americans save.”
Transamerica, Harrison, N.Y., has been on the list each of the three years that Pensions & Investments has ranked organizations. “We win because of our team. No one is any more important than anyone else. We really encourage a team environment, where everyone is comfortable contributing,” Mr. Kunkel said.
To maintain open lines of communication, Transamerica provides training to help managers respond effectively to staff input. “We've put in quite a few modules on coaching. To our surprise, every single class has been filled with managers,” said Alice Hocking, chief operating officer.
Volunteer activities illustrate the teamwork at Transamerica. In May, employees worked with Habitat for Humanity at a dozen locations around the country. “From New York to California, we have impressive turnouts from people. It's team building because they're going out with their fellow employees,” said Mr. Kunkel.
Transamerica officials are beta-testing a volunteer program in which employees teach financial literacy courses in their communities. “Our belief is that financial literacy is a lot more simple than our industry has made it seem. Great ideas belong in the public domain,” said Stig Nybo, president of U.S. retirement strategy.
To reward work-related accomplishments, the company gives Quality Service Awards to employees that improve any area of the business and sponsors the STARS (Saluting Talent and Rewarding Success) program to highlight innovative employee ideas. Transamerica executives describe these programs, in which employees receive gifts and congratulations from the CEO, as encouragement for employees to generate new ideas and challenge the status quo. “For our organization to be successful, all of our employees have to be empowered,” said Mr. Kunkel.
Transamerica also sponsors employee-driven awards. The employee-run SPACE (for smart, progressive, adaptive, challenging, and experimental) team works across departments to brainstorm new ideas and gather insight from co-workers. A peer-recognition program called Raving Fans gives employees the opportunity to reward their colleagues or staff for exceptional work. Employee appreciation week celebrates contributions of all employees with an array of themed events held across the country.
Mr. Nybo said meaningful work is the greatest reward at Transamerica Retirement Solutions. “A lot of what makes a fun place to work is pride, feeling like you're doing something beyond just selling a product, and I think that's something that we do well,” he said.