American Auto Shield
American Auto Shield specializes in Vehicle Service Contract development and automotive claims administration.
Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, American Auto Shield (AAS) provides nationwide coverage and claims services for vehicle and home service contracts offered through dealers, agents, direct marketers, membership organizations, and lenders.
When AAS discovered Cooleaf, they were facing increased employee turnover and the overall challenges of employee engagement in a pandemic-driven landscape. Ultimately, as a people-first organization, implementing the Cooleaf platform allowed AAS to meet its team members with a clear, renewed commitment to their well-being and satisfaction with the work environment.
Improving employee retention through strategic employee engagement
A year into the pandemic, AAS was experiencing higher than expected turnover and struggling to attract new talent. Though the turnover was partially due to COVID, they knew other factors were at play in creating such a drastic change.
Jennifer Franklin, head of Employee Engagement, shared how things changed at AAS post-pandemic. “As we worked through the challenges of the pandemic and the transition to a remote workforce, we lost sight of company culture,” said Jennifer. “Then the job market became so competitive. With so many other job opportunities, it became easier for employees to leave if they were not satisfied with their job. We realized we needed to put more focus on the employee experience.”
With a renewed commitment to the employee experience, AAS moved forward with the following changes:
- Focus on seamless recruiting initiatives to attract talent
- Employee testimonials and day-in-the-life videos were added to the process to provide a better feel for the company culture
- Improved onboarding process for new hires
- Instructional Designers added to assist in creation of improved content delivery for training programs
- Added more frequent check-ins with new employees
- Enhanced Performance Management framework
- Initiated Career Pathways program for employee professional growth and opportunity
- Hired full-time Employee Engagement Manager to develop and implement strategies to foster high levels of engagement
AAS’ number one goal was to nurture a culture where employees felt engaged with the company, happy, satisfied, and able to perform their best work. For an employee engagement strategy to be effective, it needed to work in tandem with overall engagement and retention plans to improve outcomes.
Keeping employees fulfilled and connected to core values
It was important for AAS to create a work environment where people want to stay. That meant making company core values a fixture of the culture, serving as guiding principles for every AAS employee.
Accountability to a high standard set the tone for what type of work environment AAS wanted to offer its employees. Through Cooleaf, AAS could influence core value behaviors to keep employees inspired to do their best work, not only for themselves but for their coworkers.
Consolidate and streamline employee engagement with a single platform
Keeping everything on a single platform was a top priority for AAS. The intentionality with which AAS created a diverse workforce meant that team members come from a multitude of generations, lifestyles, and abilities.
For AAS, a streamlined engagement solution was necessary to ensure that employees were not spread thin or burnt out by additional activities. AAS needed a platform to provide a one-stop-shop to boost employee engagement, workplace satisfaction, and overall inclusivity.
“Cooleaf gives me a new idea every day! I am always thinking about how I can freshen things up and do even more to get our people engaged. With Cooleaf, I have new ways to collect feedback. The platform helps me to think about how I can better the culture of our organization through the power of transparency and consistency.” – Jennifer Franklin, Employee Engagement Manager, American Auto Shield
Simplifying Employee Education and Training
Facilitating employee education was a high priority for AAS. For organizations that are people-first, it can be challenging to find a flexible, streamlined way to offer important educational resources to team members.
The team at AAS knew right away that Cooleaf would be an excellent way to educate employees. Implementing a platform that kept everything readily available to team members and easy to organize for administrators made all the difference.
The first part of AAS’ education series centered on Pride month, offering a variety of educational programs and resources related to the LGBTQ community. Through Cooleaf, AAS was even able to give their employees a platform to crowdsource a pride playlist; during the month of June, team members added songs by LGBTQ artists that they could listen to in one place.
Defining and Refining Core Values
Before implementing Cooleaf, AAS had an idea of how they wanted to execute their core values and communicate them to their team, but they hadn’t yet solidified a plan for making their values permanent.
AAS knew they wanted all employees to embody the following core values:
Once they put Cooleaf in place, AAS had the tools needed to make their core values a prominent, permanent feature of the company culture. “We used Cooleaf to recognize and reward our employees in real-time for exhibiting our core values,” shared Jennifer.
Cooleaf enabled the team at AAS to make their core values a prominent feature throughout their organization. “For us, it's all about the act of gratitude and appreciation for our team members,” Jennifer added. “Cooleaf allows us to reward and recognize each other and to measure how our employees are responding to the values.”
Through tools like automated recognitions and pulse surveys, coupled with data-driven recommendations to site admins, Cooleaf allowed the AAS team to not only put their core values firmly in place but to measure how they impacted employee performance and satisfaction over time.
Supporting a multigenerational workforce
At American Auto Shield, the importance of a team-building platform that took a multigenerational population into account was key.
“Our workforce is very diverse,” noted Jennifer. “We needed a platform that would allow us to engage not just people from one specific demographic, but a platform that appeals to our entire workforce and makes them feel supported, valued, and seen.”
Supporting a multigenerational workforce meant finding a platform where team members of all ages could come together through a range of activities that felt universal without being “one-size-fits-all.” Employees at every level seek a work culture that fits their individual needs; through Cooleaf, AAS found they could create this culture by bringing out people’s best work for all their colleagues to see.
Through Cooleaf, AAS was able to implement the following culture enhancements in one platform:
- Delivery of Core Values
- Activities like Wellness Wednesday, providing wellness tips for their teams through various hosts within the platform
- Flexibility for employees to leave their comfort zone
- Social investment
- Encouragement of collaboration through regular communication
- A more inclusive workplace
- Consistent acknowledgment of employee accomplishments
- DEI Programming and Education
Since launching their recognition program, 83% of employees have adopted the platform, with 33% of employees participating in engagement challenges and 56% of managers recognizing their team members. As a result, their employees feel more appreciated, and American Auto Shield’s company culture is more connected and engaged.
“We’ve been able to implement things with Cooleaf that we just didn’t have before,” said Jennifer. “The best part is being able to quantify initiatives and see their success over time.”
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