Innovation at Argo is a companywide effort, driven by employees who are empowered to make positive changes.
“The people at Argo both inspire and drive change,” says Kirsten Charlton, Chief Global Business Services and Innovation Officer. “Employees are empowered to innovate business ideas and identify opportunities for Argo to give back to the communities in which we work.”
Empowering and rewarding innovation
Through an open forum called Argo Innovates, all colleagues can submit suggestions on everything from business opportunities to ways to give back to the community.
“The approach is holistic and encompasses the entire organization,” says Chris Sekerak, Innovation Leader. “Our culture thrives on diverse perspectives, support from leadership and a shared focus on obtaining the best possible results.”
Changes at Argo are also advanced by the Innovation Council, a network of ambassadors from every area of the business. In 2021, the Innovation Council’s “Economy of the Future” event challenged colleagues to develop proposals related to digital environments, supply chains and sustainability.
“We recognize when colleagues go above and beyond to innovate,” says Sekerak. “In 2020 and 2021, Argo Group paid $17,450 in rewards to colleagues for innovation.”
Empowered people empower their communities
At another Innovation Council event, an Argo colleague proposed the company’s paid volunteer leave policy, which gives every employee eight hours of paid leave each year to volunteer. In 2021, Argo employees gave 1,310 hours of their time to community causes.
“Employees help connect us to charitable organizations and present volunteer opportunities that really make an impact in our communities,” says Jennifer (Edwards) Mendez, Marketing Program Manager.
These opportunities include volunteering at food banks, cleaning up the environment, raising funds for disaster relief and helping with other nonprofit initiatives. Argo further supports these efforts by matching 100% of each employee’s eligible charitable contribution, up to $5,000 per employee per year. In 2021, the company match totaled $136,090.
“We have a collaborative approach to innovation and philanthropy,” says Mendez. “As a company focused on corporate responsibility and sustainability, we welcome and encourage employee efforts to find new ways of supporting our planet and communities.”