by Art Levy
Early in his career, FCCI CEO Craig Johnson worked for USF&G, a mammoth insurance company that he says didn’t concern itself much with employee morale.
FCCI CEO Craig Johnson says he focuses on keeping employees happy. [Photo: Mark Wemple]
The culture, he says, was more about quarterly profits and less about people. Amid frequent layoffs, many workers worried more about keeping a job than doing good work. By the time he left USF&G, which was merged into another company in the late 1990s, Johnson had a template for how not to create a positive workplace.
Johnson, 44, joined FCCI 10 years ago and became CEO in 2011. He cares about the bottom line but argues that happy employees build stronger companies. They work better, he says, stay longer and care more about carrying out the company’s goals.
He cites his “Coffee with Craig” program as an example of FCCI’s culture. At the bimonthly sessions, 15 employees spend the morning with the CEO and are encouraged to openly voice suggestions and complaints. Johnson says half a dozen initiatives — examples include expense-savings ideas and ways for departments to collaborate more effectively — usually result from each session.
Once, he says, FCCI severed a business relationship with an insurance agency after an employee explained during a coffee session that some of the agency’s employees were treating FCCI employees rudely.
» Sarasota-area business owners seeking workers’ compensation insurance for their employees created FCCI in 1959 as a mutual insurance company.
» Today, the commercial property and casualty insurance provider does business in 17 states, works with 528 insurance agencies and has 17,645 policy holders.
» FCCI has 700 employees, including 400 in Sarasota. Regional and branch offices are in Duluth, Ga., Carmel, Ind., Ridgeland, Miss., Richardson, Texas, and Lake Mary.