Posted by: jmwilsonmga | February 21, 2012

Why We Focus on Fun

“The insurance industry is fast-paced, ever-changing, and can put a large amount of stress on our associates.  It makes sense to stop, lift the tension and ease the air now and then, which is why I think we’ve always found it important to have fun at JM Wilson.  Fun means different things to all, so a variety of activities and opportunities is also important.  We don’t just focus on play (through employee relations), we also combine healthy competition, philanthropy, and wellness activities to (hopefully) capture as many associate’s attention as we can.  Wendy Ballast, Human Resources Manager

As Wendy states, J.M. Wilson Associates have fun in a variety of ways.  Of course, we all want to enjoy the time we spend at work, but it is so much more than that.  To share the value of “fun”, here are my top four reasons we focus on fun.

  1. We serve our customers better. Everyone wants to work with happy people.  When we pick up the phone, we want to hear a smiling voice on the other end – the same is true for our customers!  When you call a business, wouldn’t you rather be greeted by someone who is genuinely happy?  Of course!  Happiness is contagious.  By having some fun, whether that means doing a Super Bowl guessing game or baking your famous Chocolate Chip Cookies for a charity bake sale, it lightens your mood, brings a smile to your face, and makes all of your interactions throughout the day even better.  Alexander Kjerulf, from Chief Happiness Officer Blog , states that “happy people work better with others..translates into: more satisfied customers..”
  2. We treat ourselves better. We focus on fun through fitness – physical and mental.  When we treat ourselves, our

    Michigan P&C Water Challenge Board

    minds, and our bodies better we feel better and we’re happier.  We create fun activities that help us reach those goals like our current “Water Challenge” where all JM Wilson teams are encouraged to drink 64 ounces of water per day or the brain teasers we distribute throughout the year.   We also host events to educate our associates on a wide variety of wellness topics – from healthy eating and superfoods to perscription drugs and health insurance.  We even provide samples of new superfoods every other month for our associates to try!  This month we will experience Chia Seeds.  We try to find creative ways to encourage our associates to focus on their wellness.

  3. We treat our co-workers better.  Just as we serve our customers better when we’re happy, we also serve each

    2012 Chili Cook-Off Winners! Christa Loudin and David Wilson

    other better when we’re having fun! Seeing a smiling face or hearing a cheery voice lightens your mood and creates an incredible working environment.  Simply by greeting a coworker with a happy “Good Morning!” sets the tone for the day and encourages us to pass that smile on.  We recently hosted the 2012 JM Wilson Chili Cook-Off, where associates bring in their favorite chili – creating an environment of friendship, fellowship, and healthy competition.  Another way we encourage a positive working environment is by saying “Thank you” to fellow co-workers through an “Encore”.  We encourage associates to write an “Encore” (a thank you) when a co-worker goes the extra mile to help them or a customer.  Sending and receiving Encores is another way we create a great environment at JM Wilson and have fun!

  4. We serve our communities better.  We focus on fun through philanthropy.  The same JM Wilson Team that creates fun events and keeps us fit, helps us give back to our communities.  We host coat drives, walk or run for charity, bake, knit, craft, and bead for our communities.  We feel good by giving back to our communities.

It is truly amazing what we can accomplish for our customers, ourselves, our co-workers, and our communities – just by having fun!

How does your agency have fun?  We’d love to hear your stories!

About The Author : Kristin O’Leary, Marketing Research Coordinator

Kristin has been a proud member of the J.M. Wilson Marketing Team since 2005 and currently serves as the Marketing Research Coordinator.  She graduated from Western Michigan University in 2005 with a Bachelors Degree in Marketing.  Outside of the office, she enjoys running, working with her family at their pet supply store, and spending time with her husband and their Miniature Schnauzer, Vinny.

Connect with Kristin on LinkedIn  Circle Kristin on Google+

Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use. Legal

Copyright 2012 J.M. Wilson Corporation


  1. We have seen the same true of our Insurance Company. We try to serve together twice a year and when we do the work place is more casual and fun.

    We should try to implement something like a campaign similar to your health campaign focused on drinking water and eating healthy.

    Did you ever experience negative response from co-workers?

    • Hi Alan, Thanks for your comment! We haven’t experienced a negative response, however participation does vary. I think the key is trying different things and finding what speaks to each individual to help get them involved. We’ve even surveyed our associates to let them tell us what they would like to see. For example, we choose which charities we support throughout the year by sending a survey asking for our associates’ feedback. It helps to ensure that everyone can be involved in making a decision. Please share some of the ideas that you come up with! We love to hear how others implement these initiatives. Thanks, Kristin

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