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Auto Club of Southern California Photos
Doesn't RecommendNegative OutlookDisapproves of CEO
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
- Comp & Benefits
- Senior Management
I have been working at Auto Club of Southern California full-time (More than 8 years)
This review is long overdue. First and foremost, the biggest issue with this company is that it is now 2015, and management is operating as if it were still 1995. The company's stringent top-down management style is the sole reason preventing any minute hint of innovation whatsoever. First pros: 1. It's been around for over 100 years. The fallacy that is misconceived here is that since the company is old it will be around for another 100 years. With the path this company has been taking, it won't be relevant in 20. The issue is that management is so reliant on aging management styles that there is an apparent lack of thinking outside of the box and recognizing the elephant in the room which is the dire need to drive towards innovation. 2. The pay is "somewhat" (and i stress the word somewhat) fair, so long as you work here long enough and throw enough people under the bus to make yourself look better. You may also be rewarded with a 2% annual increase, enough for about 2 lunches outside of the cafeteria on fridays. 3. They are giving away free fitbits!! Oh, and they recently gave us a free half melted ice cream sandwich as an employee recognition day. Consider it your annual bonus, but they may just tax you for it later. 4. We recently tasted a hint of the 21st century by getting Microsoft Lync installed on our workstations (Instant Messaging) Now we can quickly message our colleagues with simple questions instead of being heavily e-mail/meeting dependent. Egads!! But if you take a step back, you will quickly realize that it was just an act of management control....you see...so that they can now easily track and see if you are at your desk and/or if you come in late/leave early and aren't meeting your "core hours" (more on that later)
The cons: 1. We are sitting on a massive war chest of reserve funding, yet we are nickel and diming the hell out of employees, general resources, technology, equipment, office furniture, carpeting, the list goes on and on. Our manual processes, refusal to introduce technology into our workplace practices, and member/insured experience, heavy reliance on printing every single document and driving paper/toner costs, and our age old behavior and customs is what is driving all of our expenses up. This translates directly into our higher insurance rates. The company would rather let a valuable employee leave over a pay discrepancy and instead replace them with another worker of lesser skill and experience, just to save a couple bucks. The quality of workers at this company has drastically declined from just a few years ago. Also, our office furniture is over 20 years old, and the executive floor looks like a movie scene, from the 1970's. 2. Top-down management style. Basically the entire business is dictated by a single person. We can make recommendations based on sound and objective data, but this can be completely ignored based on the mood of that one executive. The entire executive floor operates based on fear, and thus no one is capable of voicing what's right. Instead we have been cultivated to keep our heads down, not to ask questions or second-guess anyone, and do as we are told. This entire notion has created an environment where no one is taking a proactive approach anymore, and instead we are all just assembly line workers waiting for direction. But what direction are we heading in? We spend so much time fixing yesterday's problems (and there are plenty of them) and literally no time planning for the future. What happens in 20 years when all of our lifelong members and insureds start to decease? Who will be left to purchase our products? We don't target the millennials because we CAN'T. We don't have the on-boarding processes of the GEICOs and State Farms, we don't have the ability to communicate the way they want to be communicated to, and we lack the "cool" and the competitive rates in today's society for anyone under 50 years old. 3. Management control. A few months ago, management decided to run turnstile reports for all employees in the Administrative office. As a result of exempt employees working less than 40 hours per week, they implemented a "core hour" rule, meaning all exempt employees are required to work from 8:30 to 5:30, with very few exceptions. At a time where companies are offering work from home, 10 hour / 4 day work weeks, and other flexible scheduling options to accommodate employees, the Auto Club is going in the opposite direction by tracking employee's work hours and mandating hours of operation. This has infuriated many employees and has caused many resignations, simply because they need to work certain hours of the day to accommodate their family's needs. Executives are so out of touch with not only modern society, but the needs of their employees. One executive recently stated that they didn't understand why insureds couldn't pay their insurance bill in full every year. Lest they forget that not all people make $250K to $1M a year in salary. Lastly, and perhaps most unfortunate of all, is that in management's minds, all of us employees are expendable and replaceable. Hardly anyone under the executive floor really feels valued as an employee here. They will rub it in our faces with a day of free ice cream, and then reprimand us for working 7.5 hours per day instead of the full 8 hours. Is that even legal? Probably not. Core hours have forced many good employees to find a better work environment elsewhere, and nearly all of them are happier now. It's sad that no one seems to bat an eye upstairs about how low employee morale is around here.
Advice to Management
1. Treat your employees with respect. Our blood, sweat, and tears (especially front-line employees talking to our members everyday) work extremely hard to keep this company afloat. Value your employees and your work force. Creating an environment where you have to beg for raises, even if it's well deserved, and restricting annual raises to 2% even though we are so financially well off, will leave sour tastes in everyone's mouths. Think of the little people who directly attribute to your success. A little reward (and not a warm ice cream bar) can go a long way. 2. Help us help you. Take a small slice of the financial war chest and start investing back into this company. We are constantly asked why we can't grow as quickly as GEICO or Progressive. Why don't we start thinking about moving away from green-screen based data platforms, clean up our massive data issues, invest in innovative solutions that can speed up our internal procedures and make it easier for employees and customers to purchase products from us? At the same token, we can reduce our internal expenses driven by all of these manual processes, and perhaps reduce our expenses translating into more competitive pricing for our customers? Stop nickel and diming employees, the company, the product, the technology, the office furniture, and most importantly, the brand. It's now 2015, isn't it about time we started operating like it? IF we don't, in 10 years we won't be relevant anymore. Consumers these days are demanding more, and we can only give them less. 3. Let go. There are competent talented workers in your arsenal. Utilize them and reward them. Disengage from this top-down, fear tactic work environment, and let others make important decisions. Make them responsible for the result, and, who knows, you just may be satisfied with the result. Stop worrying so much about growing each year, and instead focus on improving the quality of business that we are writing. Take a few years off from these massive growth goals and focus on improving retention and profitability. Make our current insureds happy, the same insureds who have been loyal all these years despite there being a better product and better service features available elsewhere. (Not to mention, the invention of a certain plastic material called a credit card, which is accepted in every coffee shop, parking meter, department store, pizza shack, and insurance company worldwide...well..except for the Auto Club.) Once we catch up to the rest of the industry, then we can start targeting a younger customer base and ensure this company survives past 2020. Some of the decisions made recently have been downright mind-boggling. Employee morale is the lowest I've ever seen. Employees are leaving for better, more flexible, and friendlier work environments. Not to mention, companies that prioritize innovation. Members and insureds are leaving us for companies that will treat them how they wish to be treated., and to companies with better rates because their operating expenses are under control. The time to act is NOW. Start valuing your employees, treating each and every one of them with respect. They are human beings that depend on their jobs to survive, not another widget that can be erased from your desktop. Implementing absurd rules like core hours is not the right direction to take. We have now reached a teetering point where insureds are leaving us through attrition. We need to continually innovate our product, processes, and brand to stay relevant in this competitive industry. If we don't start investing back into this company, we will have fallen so far behind the rest of the industry that we may reach a point of no return. We have made it so difficult for both employees and customers to remain with the Auto Club, that this company that supposedly has it's members best interest in mind may be at risk of being nothing more than an afterthought in 10 years.