Do You Train Employees to Be Future Business Leaders?

The fact that the overwhelming majority of GEICO managers began their careers in an entry-level position at the company is a testament to the company’s commitment to providing employees with development opportunities and career growth.
“GEICO is truly a place where you can build a rewarding career. More than 78 percent of our management team started their career in an entry-level job, and that’s something really rare for a company,” said Martha Furnas, GEICO’s regional vice president in Tucson, Arizona.
The company has received accolades for its work environment, most recently being named a “Top Company to Work for in Arizona” for the second consecutive year by CareerBuilder. “We’re honored to be recognized as a ‘Top Company’ in Arizona,” Furnas said. “The culture here at GEICO is unique; the environment is challenging, but it’s rewarding and supportive at the same time.”
Numerous learning opportunities
Hundreds of courses on a variety of topics are available to employees through GEICO University. The offerings include business and management classes, Six Sigma training, diversity and ethics, project management, and presentation skills, according to the company’s website.
GEICO also offers a tuition reimbursement program to full-time associates, providing up to $5,250 in reimbursements each year per employee, as well as up to 75 percent of the cost of textbooks, the company reports. In addition, GEICO states that it reimburses 100 percent of an insurance studies program upon satisfactory completion of a national exam.

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The company’s paid internship program not only provides learning opportunities for college juniors and seniors but it also serves as a recruiting tool for GEICO. Internships for computer science and related majors are offered at GEICO’s corporate office in Maryland, and business majors can apply for an internship at GEICO’s regional offices in New York, Texas, Virginia, Georgia, Arizona, and California, according to the company.
Interns spend 6 to 10 weeks at GEICO, “collaborating with other interns, receiving mentoring, and developing … [their] leadership skills,” among other things, the company reports.
Leadership development programs
The company’s fast-track Management Development Program is geared toward college graduates who have earned a bachelor’s degree and who demonstrate strong academics and leadership acumen—in the community, at work, or on campus.
Associates in the program attend industry-leading training; receive on-the-job experience in claims, sales, and customer service; and complete professional insurance licensing. In addition, they learn via mentoring and coaching opportunities, real-life business projects, and management forums.
The Emerging Leaders Program, another GEICO leadership program, is offered to business, math, information technology, and related majors who attain a 3.5 or better overall grade point average, the company reports. The program, which features “in-depth job rotations,” has two tracks: Operations Management and Information Technology.
In addition to working in a variety of departments, participants in the Operations Management track “attend training classes, receive hands-on experience, coach associates, and contribute to companywide projects,” according to the company’s website.
The Information Technology track is aimed at helping promising candidates develop into operations managers or IT leads. GEICO reports that participants are mentored by company executives, gain experience using cutting-edge Web and mobile technologies, attend leadership conferences, and develop their technical skills, as well as business and project management skills.

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In tomorrow’s Advisor, we’ll look at training managers to communicate with Millennials, plus we’ll showcase an entire library of online courses that help you train managers and supervisors on more than 20 key leadership topics.

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