Assurity Partners with Continuum to Better Understand Associates

Assurity Partners with Continuum to Better Understand Associates

Assurity has been a member company since 1997. Learn how they partnered with Continuum to understand preferences in communication and working styles among their associates using the MBTI.

The MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) inventory is one of the most popular and widely used personality instruments, first published in the early 1940s by mother-daughter team Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers. The tool commonly used to better understand personality differences is rooted in the theory that personality type evolves from preferences on how we use our mind and focus our attention on four dichotomies: how we see the world (internal or external), take in information, make decisions, and structure how those decisions are made.

While it may seem there could be numerous random variations, individual behavior actually fits in an orderly and consistent framework of 16 personality types identified from the 93 question self-report assessment. Understanding people differ in what they perceive and in how they reach conclusions offers an advantage to employers who want to correspondingly match employees in their interests, reactions, values, motivations, and skills.

To remain a successful organization in the insurance industry and consistently rated one of Lincoln’s best companies to work for, knowing and building on strengths matters. According to myersbriggs.org, “Type can be introduced into an organization to support many functions and situations including: managing others, development of leadership skills, conflict resolution, executive coaching, change management, and other more customized needs.”

Three years ago, Assurity partnered with Continuum to pilot the integration of the MBTI. It began with the Human Resources team and eventually became an integral part of the new employee onboarding process. It serves as an add-on to their use of the popular Clifton StrengthsFinder that identifies one’s “Top 5” strengths based on 34 talent themes.

Utilizing both instruments ensures meaningful recognition of employees’ unique contributions, and as Susan Becker, Director of Human Resources, has discovered: low turnover, high engagement, an enhanced spirit of inclusion and improved communication in the four-generation workplace. Additionally, they have used the concepts for individual goal setting and performance coaching.

Assurity’s award-winning, state-of-the-art corporate office overlooks Antelope Valley and employs just over 400 people. They have coupled the StrengthsFinder and MBTI personality assessments to maximize personal and professional development and leverage the innate talents of each employee in the organization. Susan explained, “You can accomplish great things with different strengths. By understanding how each person’s preferences and strengths balance out with their colleagues’ there is a greater likelihood to stay in the “balcony” and avoid the “basement” of their strengths.” Her Input theme, for example, drives her to collect information and ideas that can be intriguing but distracting. She has learned from her teammate’s when it is necessary to pare back and focus.

Continuum’s Executive Director, Gail Sutter, a qualified administrator of MBTI since 2000, facilitated a series of training sessions for supervisors to use the MBTI as a tool for communicating with varying personality types and enhance teamwork in their respective departments. As 2014 unfolded, monthly sessions were held for 30-50 associates at a time to complete the instrument, attend informational courses and learn useful strategies for putting the MBTI into collective practice.

Susan noted that while there are positions in the organization that require specific and significant experience, using the Top 5 and MBTI has especially benefited their robust intern development program, since they take pride in promoting from within. Each employee’s workspace displays the individual’s four letter type code and Top 5 strengths. Assurity hosts open forums and training workshops as an opportunity to update employees on company news and promote further insight and practical application of their strengths and Type preferences. To learn more about their services, visit www.assurity.com.

Our Customers Say it Best

  • MacPractice, Inc
    MacPractice, Inc

    "The support and assistance Continuum provides to our employees, their families, and to our company is invaluable. We are proud to partner with them in providing our staff with such a tremendous resource."
    - Loretta Young, Director of Human Resources, MacPractice, Inc.

  • Hexagon Lincoln
    Hexagon Lincoln

    “Hexagon views Continuum EAP as a key business partner and a valued resource for our employee populace. Continuum provides high-quality — and confidential — educational and counseling services for “Team Hexagon.” The professional staff is always available and willing to help at a moment’s notice.”
    - Matt Becker, Human Resources Manager, Hexagon Lincoln

  • NebraskaLand National Bank
    NebraskaLand National Bank

    “Continuum has been such a great benefit for NebraskaLand National Bank. Once a month we offer employees a “Lunch ‘N Learn” where we feature a Continuum HelpNet webinar and provide lunch. We have received great feedback from employees and attendance continues to increase each month.”
    - Stacey Dawkins, Human Resources, NebraskaLand National Bank

  • Lincoln Electric System
    Lincoln Electric System

    “Continuum remains proactive in offering monthly workshops that address what organizations are currently experiencing in today’s work environment. They are also a great resource when wanting to bring customized training onsite to address topics relevant to the larger employee population. The Continuum staff has been professional, helpful, cooperative and effective.”
    - Anita Schinstock, Learning & Development, Lincoln Electric System

  • Duncan Aviation

    "We look to Continuum as a strategic partner, in helping our employees cope with stress at work and at home, which leads to improved work performance, decreased absenteeism, and greater workforce retention."
    - Leon Holloway, Team Member Services Manager, Duncan Aviation

  • Union Bank and Trust
    Union Bank and Trust

    "Continuum EAP's dedication to providing a vast array of personalized services to our employees and their family members is invaluable. Their response time, individualized attention, and thoroughness to make our employee's personal and professional health and well-being a top priority is superior."
    - Chad Thies, Vice President, Union Bank & Trust

  • Assurity Life Insurance
    Assurity Life Insurance

    "Continuum is part of Assurity's high performance culture. Trust has been created for associates who use their services for personal life issues but also for work issues whether they refer themselves or a supervisor refers them. Continuum's expertise demonstrated by all staff aligns to our mission and values and helps associates understand there are resources available for them and their families. The value the Assurity Team receives from Continuum is a measure of performance and risk management. I have worked with them for over 20 years and would choose them over the other two employee assistance programs that I have worked with."
    - Jan Zoucha, Assurity Life Insurance

  • NE State College System
    NE State College System

    "The Nebraska State College System has been very pleased with the services we've received from Continuum. Continuum's experience and expertise have served our employees and College administrators very well. Continuum is extremely responsive and skilled at coaching, consulting, and providing a variety of employee assistance services. In addition, our employee feedback from training sessions has been very positive."
    - Kristen Petersen, General Counsel & Vice Chancellor, NE State College System

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