The Importance of Crawford Town Halls

As the largest claims administration company worldwide, achieving, maintaining and improving upon this pinnacle of success isn’t something that we take lightly at Crawford & Company. We know it takes diligent planning and the hard work of every member of our team. To ensure we are all on the same page, I strive to maintain regular communication with employees, sharing information as well as hearing directly from our team members who interface regularly with our clients. They know first-hand where challenges may exist, and I encourage their candid feedback whenever possible. But as geographically dispersed as our company is, it can be a challenge to see everyone face to face. That’s why every quarter I try to meet as many employees as I can, holding a series of informal Town Hall meetings at different Crawford locations to recap the previous quarter’s or year’s activities and undertakings, reviewing what we’ve accomplished in the past and what we strive to focus on in the future. These visits are a learning opportunity for us all.

It's a full house at the Schaumburg Town Hall meeting.

It's a full house at the Schaumburg Town Hall meeting.

As president and CEO of a global company like Crawford, it’s important to communicate as much as possible to ensure employees stay informed and engaged with our business goals. Without a regular dialogue with our employees, it would be impossible to achieve our objectives as a company. Feedback indicates employees appreciate the opportunity to express themselves face-to-face and know that Crawford leadership cares. Conducting these Town Hall meetings is invaluable not only because they afford us the opportunity to discuss the state of the business, but my leadership team and I also get valuable feedback from the people who contribute directly to the success of our business. Recent Town Hall visits have allowed me to meet with employees in Sunrise, Fla.; Lake Zurich and Schaumburg, Ill.; Seattle, Wash.; and Folsom and Brea, Calif. Through these meetings, we’ve celebrated successes and uncovered challenges, but most importantly, I’ve been able to engage face-to-face with our most valuable asset: our employees.

Organized by business unit, the smaller setting of our Town Hall meetings allows for more interaction with individuals and is a great opportunity to ask questions. In addition to updates on our company and the industry, the meetings give me an opportunity to address issues and concerns that may be unique to employees on different teams in other parts of the country. I encourage participants to ask whatever is on their mind, either at the meetings or in advance by submitting questions to an email box. We’re constantly looking for ways to make our Town Hall meetings better for our employees, too. This year, we’re introducing interactive voting technology during the Atlanta meetings, March 24-28 at our World Headquarters, where audience responses to Crawford trivia questions posed are instantly tallied onscreen. It’s a new way to deliver the information while boosting audience participation.

Want to be a fly on the wall? Here’s an inside look at our global successes and what we discussed during this round of Town Halls:

  • 2013 was filled with successes, important milestones and international events for Crawford & Company, which we compiled in our 2013 Year in Review video
  • We unveiled our 2014-2016 Strategic Plan along with newly revised vision and values statements, which reflect our goals for the future and guide us in our day-to-day activities
  • Our dedicated Broadspire team continued providing stellar service and fostering lasting client relationships throughout the year, enabling us to finish 2013 on a strong note
  • In February, Crawford Canada hosted an industry seminar on catastrophe management. The event was extremely well attended by Canadian insurers and brokers, with over 25 companies represented
  • We’re focusing on thought leadership in our Global Technical Services business unit, increasing articles published in our Tech Talk publication and public speaking engagements; we’ve also expanded our relationship with the Wharton Business School Risk Center, where GTS will be sharing claims data and statistical forecasting models and working with prominent academics in the field of Risk Management
  • Extensive bad weather in the U.K. as a consequence of the shifting jet stream has seen the U.K. run at 200 percent increased volumes for eight consecutive weeks, starting the week before Christmas
  • We developed Tech for You, a series of brief monthly messages sent to global employees internally promoting our leading technology with advanced, robust features that we continue to evolve and improve

And the list goes on. All of these accomplishments were made possible through the dedication and hard work of our excellent staff. I look forward to continuing the Town Hall tradition with our employees, who are crucial to helping Crawford to be all it can be.

Jeffrey T. Bowman, president and CEO, Crawford & Company

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