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I just hit my 1 year anniversary. Honestly, I wasn't pursuing Genworth as a job destination. It was a fluke when I was between contracts, and I got the call. I didn't even remember applying for the role, so I had to bluff the phone screening until I figured out what I applied for. This company is nice. Really nice. Too nice. Maybe it's a negative. You don't always know where you stand because people are so nice, they don't tell you if they don't like what you're doing. The other amazing thing to me is that behind closed doors, they do the right thing. I've worked for a few very big companies. I have been lucky enough to be privy to some really interesting stuff, strategic stuff. Stuff with attorneys and outside counsel, and SEC and regulators and conversations about stock blackouts and C level executives and non-competes. That experience says that most companies do the letter of the law, just barely, and usually only if it works fiscally. Some companies will fudge a little if the profit margin is larger than the fines after being caught. I know I'm being way more conversational in this post than I would be in my daily communication. Let me just say that Genworth is like your grandma that goes to church every Sunday - the kind that would drive back to the store if she saw that the clerk at the grocery store didn't charge her for a can of beans. They are serious about making sure that every customer gets every penny of their benefits. I know they (we) just had a bad run with the reserve statements, but I can tell you it was not because they were trying to hide money or do anything unethical. It was just overly complicated and they didn't have good systems at the time to calculate it correctly. They also got a terrible deal from GE. Here's an analogy: GE buys a car that's about to need a complete overhaul. Then, they give it a Maaco paint job, and sell it to a pizza delivery guy. This is the pizza guy's whole livelihood. He's trying to make it work with the piece of crap that was sold to him. Anyway, If I could say anything about Genworth, it is that behind closed doors, it is the most ethical company I have ever worked for. If you have a policy with them, they will pay it, all of it, no matter what. You can count on it. GE? I wouldn't buy a light bulb from those guys... Oh, one last thing I just remembered. My last company charged the same for health insurance and the gym membership to everyone. Fair, right? So the CEO at his $200M+ salary with 6 kids paid the same for insurance as the single mom taking phone calls in customer service, or the entry level associate working swing with her husband so someone at home could watch the baby. Here at Genworth, its based on pay. So, you're at the bottom of the rung? you pay a fraction. I'm at the high end, so I pay the full weighted cost, but I remember being the entry level person. It was tough. Even something as small as this shows their integrity. Other than pregnancy, usually the higher wage earners are also older. That usually means more medical costs. So, they have a very appropriate distribution. That just gave me the warm and fuzzies, even though I was paying the highest rate.
Okay, well, there are some. The company is running some really old software. They know it, but these are huge hurdles. I've run several large system conversions and been a part of others, and it's a tough haul for any company. There's a lot of gray hair here, which besides having to hold your breath from all the cologne and perfume in the elevator, it also means 2 things: Lots of tribal knowledge, and some slow adoption of new ideas and technologies. That also means though an appreciation for fresh new ideas. They are open to new people and new ideas. The buildings are a bit dated. They look a little better inside than out, though the campus is pretty nice. Lynchburg is a really nice quaint little town, and if you could believe it, the folks there are even nicer than the ones here in Richmond. The cafeteria in Richmond is really pretty good, and they do some decent Indian food. The cafeteria in Lynchburg - not so much. Pay: Not the greatest, but not the worst. I had been offered a role a long time ago from Genworth, but the pay was not even close to what I was looking for. This last time around, when I looked at total compensation, I was happy enough. Bonus isn't really anything to speak of - it's based on how the company is doing. You can look at the stock price and figure that one out. I hear people are stressed, but since I'm still somewhat new, I don't have a whole lot of confidants to give me the straight scoop.
Advice to Management
I know sales are important, but you have to look at other things too. There are some great new things going on out there. You need to get your brand out there more. More stories about how you pay claims over and over. Run a ticker on Facebook on how much you've paid out today. Ask people for testimonials. Go video tape them. Take pictures of grandma being taken care of and post it to Instagram. Pics of grandpa cruising in his mobility scooter paid for by his LTC policy. Your greatest asset, your integrity, is not being put out there enough. People don't trust insurance companies, but they can trust Genworth. And whatever you do, maintain that trust. Just because times are hard, don't think this is the time to cut any corners. People are expecting you to. Don't.