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4. Feb07


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4. Feb07

  1. 1. The Standard A magazine for employees February 2007 2007 Focus Page 4
  2. 2. Contents February 007 4 Industry Leadership 2007 is a critical year in our progress toward industry leadership. Find out where we need to focus. Our Vision The Standard will lead the financial services industry in integrity, expertise and customer service. Our Purpose To help people achieve financial security so they can confidently pursue their dreams. 6 Company Updates 7 Mentoring Editor What progress have we made on the Two soon-to-be graduates of the Mark Goldstein Invesmart integration and California PEAK mentorship program discuss Teachers Association preparations? how the program has benefited them. Senior Designer Steve Ferrero Writers Kathy Born Jennifer Floyd Tami Matthews Michael Tevlin Photographers Eric Coleman Corin Dupree Director of Creative Services Will Carter 8 Change Management 10 SMI Employees Take the Stage THIS IS WHY. Making money isn’t really about making money. It’s about the retirement you can build with it. For more than 70 years, The Standard has been trusted by companies to help As The Standard continues to their employees build financial futures worth waiting for. They Performances help make customer pick the dream and the time frame. Together, we strive to make it happen. To find out how we’re redefining what a retirement plan change, how can you develop your The Standard is produced by Standard service training come alive. should be, talk to a pension consultant at 877.805.1127. INSURANCE Insurance Company’s Corporate ability to adapt to our constantly RETIREMENT Communications Department, changing work environment? INVESTMENTS ADVICE 1100 SW Sixth Ave., P7A, Portland, OR 97204. Please send story ideas, comments or suggestions to or call 971.321.6039. Recycle! When you’ve finished dibs. reading this magazine, please place it in a newspaper recycling container. The Standard is printed on recycled paper with soy ink. 12 Brand in Action The Standard February 007 STANDARD.COM 877.805.1127 RETIREMENT PLANS 401(k) 403(b) DEFINED BENEFIT PROFIT SHARING MONEY PURCHASE Group variable annuity and group annuity contracts issued by Standard Insurance Company are distributed by StanCorp Equities, Inc., member NASD/SIPC, which may also provide brokerage services. Third party administrative services are provided by Standard Retirement Services, Inc. Investment advisory services are provided by StanCorp Investment Advisers, Inc, a registered investment advisor. Standard Insurance Company, StanCorp Equities, Inc., Standard Retirement Services, Inc., and StanCorp Investment Advisers, Inc. are subsidiaries of StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. and all are Oregon corporations.
  3. 3. President’s View Eric Parsons Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer I magine Possibilities is one of our newly stated company values, but what exactly does this mean? Among other things, it’s a reminder to all of us to be open to the enormous potential that can result from change. When we look around our company and see changes happening, as we often do these days, we should try to envision future success. While that sounds good in theory, in practice change can feel unsettling, or worse. I’ve long thought that those feelings just come with the territory. That belief was challenged last month when I attended a presentation by the employees of StanCorp Mortgage Investors. SMI has been a great customer service organization for a long, long time. They also have been among the most aggressive areas of our company at working to improve what they already do well. They’ve reached the point where they recognize that change is not only good for their customers but also for themselves, and it isn’t something to be feared. Our new change management model, specifically designed to help teams address the many facets of change, is starting to spread across the company. I’m excited about the new model, and I encourage all of us to keep an open mind. When we choose to embrace change, we enhance our own ability to shape it and almost certainly strengthen our feeling of accomplishment. The reality is that the most successful organizations not only adapt well to change, but also are keenly focused on the critical few things they need to do well. The Standard has a short list of organizational priorities for 2007 through 2009 that clarifies where we absolutely need to excel in order to achieve our vision. Completing the Invesmart integration and preparing our organization to take on the California Teachers Association account top the list. Other things need to happen in a logical sequence to move us closer to our leadership goals. That means investing with the long term in mind, and the IT Strategic Solutions Program will help us with that. By phasing in our technology enhancements, we’ll be able to improve customer service and reduce unit costs almost simultaneously. The more efficient we are, the more resources we’ll have to reinvest in technology that provides service our customers and prospective customers value. As a company, we are well-positioned for change. We’re small enough to be able to implement new programs with relative speed but big enough to have the financial resources to invest in new initiatives. Because our employees often wonder how they can contribute to the vision, here’s what I say when asked: No matter what your job is, keep an open mind when you see change coming and look for opportunities to jump in and contribute your expertise and initiative. The Standard February 007
  4. 4. It’s an appealing image, but continued progress toward this vision requires that the company focus on specific areas this year. WhAT ArE ThE nExT STEPS? If there was a mantra for 2007 at The Standard, it would be focus. Focus on customer service and cost reduction, on integrating Invesmart and preparing to take on the California Teachers Association account, and on building our technology capability. These critical steps toward achieving our vision are what we need to do this year, and our values tell us how to do them. Our people provide the passion, expertise and leadership to turn these goals into reality. The desire and need to serve our customers better is the driving force behind our 2007 operational priorities: reducing unit costs and improving customer service. Each of us can make a difference in these two areas. At the Forefront for 2007: Unit costs are the costs associated with activities such as getting a proposal out, a mortgage loan underwritten, a claim paid, Improving Service, a 401(k) case set up. No process is perfect, so there’s a good chance a process you work with could be improved to make things Reducing Costs run smoother, faster or with less waste. Perhaps you’re aware of a better way. If so, speak up! This is how most good process Guided by our values, mission and purpose, improvements begin. we’ll also focus on integrating Invesmart While it may not seem immediately obvious, unit cost reductions go hand-in-hand with and preparing for the CTA improving customer service. T “Our customers want accurate and easily hey’re questions that have been The best and brightest prospective employees accessible information and fair prices for asked time and again the past few make us their first choice. quality products,” Eric Parsons said when years: How will we know when The he addressed Quality Service Leaders in Standard achieves industry leadership? What Cities where we have offices recognize January. Making everyday transactions as will industry leadership look like when we the value we bring to their communities quick, as easy and as inexpensive as we can get there? from both a business and a philanthropic standpoint. Imagine this: The year is 2014. Our customer base is 50 million — and growing — because Investors are well rewarded for holding people recognize our brand as synonymous our stock. with expertise, integrity and top-flight customer service. Our values are evident in both large-scale and day-to-day decisions. The Standard February 007
  5. 5. will give us more flexibility with pricing. It Developing more competitive pricing • also opens up more time to help customers for EB small cases. Small cases are a with the things that are most important to valuable part of our business because them. It comes down to continuing to deliver they diversify our risk and, with on our promise to do what matters some producers, are a prerequisite for customers. to winning large accounts. In the small-case market we need to be Among other things, this is all dependent on more competitive while recognizing the strength of our information technology. that our value lies not exclusively in That’s why IT is building a company-wide price, but also in our brand attributes technology framework designed to address of personalized service, expertise, multiple problems across the company, integrity, commitment and doing instead of implementing “one-off” or things differently. “point” solutions that solve one problem at a time. In 2007, IT will begin building this Focusing on our immediate priorities framework with an almost exclusive focus on doesn’t mean we won’t also be working year, and more if we’re able to enroll more Invesmart and CTA. The improvements put on long-term strategic priorities (see box CTA members. Invesmart will improve in place for these projects will then be used below). Looking into the future is imperative our market position in the retirement companywide. These are IT’s top priorities, because each year, 2014 grows nearer, and plans business and help us meet our goal and other approved initiatives will start later with it our goal of industry leadership. of diversification. Our reputation and in the year as IT resources become available. We will achieve it if we focus on our top our brand hinge on these projects being priorities and are guided along the way by executed well. A FEW ProjECTS TAkE PrECEdEnCE our values, mission and purpose. S If it sounds like the Invesmart and CTA Two other projects also demand immediate projects will get a lot of attention this year, attention: it’s because they will. These two projects are critical to our future because they help Understanding EB claims fluctuations • set the stage for future acquisitions and and taking action if required. Higher- large accounts. than-expected claims led to an earnings decline in 2006. Such fluctuations are normal in our industry; in fact, a lower-than-expected number of claims contributed to our earnings boost in late 2005. Additional analysis will help us gain a better understanding of the causes of fluctuations so we can address them if needed. 2008 and beyond Diversifying our earnings base through acquisitions — StanCorp Investment Advisers will • continue acquiring investment advisory firms. Other acquisitions are possible as well. Extending our brand awareness — This year, that will involve focusing on customer first • impressions, such as our Web sites and telephone system. Of course, there’s also the impact to our Increasing our organizational capacity — Our expanded values and the Managing at The Standard • bottom line. The CTA account, which takes program are examples of how we’ll enhance management and leadership skills, promote a culture of effect in September, is our biggest ever in innovation and readiness for change, focus our planning, execute crisply and reward results. terms of premium — about $40 million a The Standard February 007
  6. 6. Invesmart Integration Update The Standard’s acquisition of Invesmart was finalized last July. New participant statements and enrollment materials are in • Since then, integration teams have been working in earnest to development now and will be introduced this summer with an combine the two companies. Here are some recent developments: updated look and format. A new StanCorp Financial Group subsidiary has been • The first step toward developing uniform processes is nearly • formed. Standard Retirement Services includes many of complete — a comparison of all business processes within the the employees who were formerly part of Invesmart and organization and creation of a gap analysis. The Standard’s Retirement Plans business unit. All sales, marketing and advisory employees now work for StanCorp All former Invesmart employees now have e-mail accounts at • Equities, Inc. The Standard and access to most system resources. The sales forces of the two organizations merged and are • now selling The Standard’s trust and group annuity products. We also merged our broker/dealer and registered investment advisor organizations. California Teachers Association Update In September, The Standard will begin administering group life The CTA Marketing team hired its first team member — • and disability for the California Teachers Association. In terms Danielle Flagg, senior marketing analyst. The CTA marketing of premium, it will be the biggest case in the company’s history. manager position is also being recruited. Here’s what’s happening with the preparations: Nicole Steuch, Human Resources associate business partner, • • John Granato, CTA general manager, and Cristi Dayton, has been working closely with the CTA’s leadership team director of CTA benefits and services, are actively recruiting since before the case was sold. Mark Johnson, senior staffing for key leadership positions on the 75-member CTA team, partner, joined the project last fall to coordinate and execute including CTA sales manager and supervisor positions for the the team’s staffing plan. To ensure focus on CTA as a unique Operations Call Center and Member Services teams. hiring project, HR has contracted with Monica Rotzien to act as a program manager and recruiter on the project. She will In addition to essential functional and behavioral skills, partner directly with Nicole, Mark and CTA’s leadership. candidates are being evaluated on their abilities as entrepreneurs, innovators, change management leaders and • Once the entire CTA team is in place, the project plan calls champions for delivering an exceptional customer for moving the team to the new building currently under experience. Once hired, each leader will begin recruiting his construction at the Tanasbourne Home Office in Hillsboro, or her respective teams. Ore. The 72,000-square-foot building will have the capacity to house 300-400 employees. The Standard February 007
  7. 7. First PEAK Participants Reach the Summit Two soon-to-be graduates of the mentoring program discuss how it worked for them Brian Leet, sales training and development consultant in Individual DI Sales and Marketing, said his PEAK mentor, Ellen Steel, taught him the importance of A adaptability to change. Ellen, vice president of Employee Benefits Operations, said she participated in the program because of a responsibility to help train the next generation s The Standard continues to expand and diversify, leadership of leaders. ability at all levels in the company becomes increasingly important. Ellen: “Brian takes his responsibilities as a mentee seriously. I sit back In 2005, a group of employees participating in our Advanced and talk with him, coach him, but he does all the work, including Leadership Program recognized this and proposed an internal setting up the meetings.” mentoring program to nurture people from within our own ranks and help them become the leaders of the future. The Organization What are some of the most significant things you’ve learned as Development Center (ODC) took it from there, and in January 2006, a mentee? the PEAK (Performance, Excellence, Achievement, Knowledge) Brian: “At first I didn’t know what to make of the shift in my program welcomed its first participants. responsibilities. Ellen emphasized the importance of being adaptable because change is constant. I’ve also enjoyed the opportunity to learn Last year, PEAK ran as a pilot program, seeking 30 members to begin about the company from someone who works in a different division cross-divisional mentor/mentee relationships. However, due to the and is well-respected.” volume and quality of participants, the ODC and the management committee ultimately agreed to accommodate 88 people. This Why did you want to participate as a mentor? March, 42 pairs of mentors and mentees graduate, including 13 pairs Ellen: “I feel that I have a responsibility to help prepare a new who are participating from our field and regional offices. generation of leaders.” Brian Leet, sales training and development consultant in Individual What have you learned about coaching that you didn’t know before? Disability Insurance Sales and Marketing, and his mentor, Ellen Steel, Ellen: “That many of the challenges people face are universal, no vice president of Employee Benefits Operations, recently discussed matter where in the company they are, so the coaching skills you how and why the PEAK Mentoring Program worked for them. acquire in your department may be applicable in other departments, Why do the two of you click? even across business units.” Brian: “For one, we’re both going through changes within the What were some of the hurdles you faced? company. Shortly after Ellen and I started meeting, I was assigned Brian: “The time spent understanding how things work in Ellen’s to be an acting supervisor for a team outside my department. At area of the company was a bit of a challenge. With that said, I the same time, Ellen had a number of changes going on in her personally haven’t encountered too many challenges that we haven’t department. We’ve been able to use real-life experiences. And even been able to overcome through communication, and I look at Ellen though she’s in a different business unit, she’s passed on to me a lot as someone in the company I can really trust.” S of wisdom from her experiences during 24 years with the company.” 7 The Standard February 007
  8. 8. Change Management earnin H elen Bibb has the smoothest transition she’s ever L some advice experienced. Helen credits this gt for managing improvement to skills and tools hanges change: communicate she discovered in a workshop o roll early and often. in September, part of a new companywide effort focused The disability on change management. benefits supervisor wi c is currently running “The change management we’re t h t he Consultants in training: Isaac Doyle, supervisor of an effort to redefine talking about here is the people corporate imaging services in Corporate Administration; the role of the processor side of change,” says Jane Paligo, Sekhar Chatterjee, senior project manager in the IT position, a key frontline support for a performance consultant with The Project Office; and Tony Petrillo, project manager in the benefits analysts. She’s been involved in Standard’s Organization Development IT Project Office look on as colleagues present their spearheading change before, but this is Center. Jane is leading the change change management plan. The Standard February 007
  9. 9. integrating a newly acquired company, “ implementing a new process or technology, You have to communicate or reorganizing a business or service unit, the volume of change is growing and to ensure that people the pace is quickening to meet customer demands and competitive challenges. And, as our 2006 employee survey indicated, have time to process the there’s room for improvement in how we ” manage change. idea of the change. So far, more than 60 employees have Helen Bibb earned change consultant certificates disability benefits supervisor — the cornerstone of the program — and they in turn help project and line managers implement changes. The change management program, an initiative consultants include process-improvement designed to develop our ability to adapt consultants, project managers, to change and master transitions. The performance consultants, human resources program includes online resources and business partners and business managers, tools available to all employees, as well all of whom become deeply skilled in the as trained employees who can help guide change management methodology. teams through changes. At one-day workshops facilitated by the “People are the factor that makes or consultants, employees get away from day- breaks a change, so the ways we help them Laura Graham, lead systems analyst in IT Business to-day operations and learn to incorporate adapt to it are critical to our success,” Solutions, works with her team on its change management plan presentation. strategies for change into project plans Jane says. from the beginning. The program also provides a way for the consultants to share The workshop Helen attended was led Tools for independent learning experiences and learn from each other. by Nicole Steuch, an associate business “Having those of us responsible for change partner in Human Resources and one initiatives go through the certification class of the first employees to be certified as Everyone can learn to better manage change creates a community of change consultants a change management consultant. One by using the material on StandardNet’s Change that can share success stories, questions or of the things Nikki showed Helen in Management site. concerns,” says Nikki. the workshop was how to put together a communication plan to explain the Online tools include: The program is so new that it’s too early change and keep employees updated. • change management overview and best to gauge results, but anecdotal evidence practices is encouraging. Helen says the tools “You have to communicate to ensure that • downloadable change management have “absolutely” helped. “I’ve been people have time to process the idea of the templates and assessments involved in new projects before, and I’ve change,” Helen says. “The plan helped me • troubleshooting guides for common had more positive feedback, and more think about who the audiences would be, problems understanding, in communicating this how to deliver the message to them, who • guidance for specific change management project than with the other projects,” the primary stakeholders would be, how roles such as project managers, sponsors she said their communication message should be and project teams different and why it’s important to ensure • online learning “For many people, change can seem that you have the right sponsor for the sudden, unnecessary, uncertain,” Jane says. change — a strong leader who buys into “But with this program, we can reduce that. and participates in the communication.” Find it on standardnet Change management has been proven to Change Management help organizations succeed in achieving One thing is certain at The Standard as their initiative’s business objectives.” S we strive toward industry leadership: changemgmt/index.html Change will continue. Whether it’s The Standard February 007
  10. 10. “As we were looking at the case studies, we thought ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we had case studies related to our business?’ ” said Mark Fisher, vice president and managing director of SMI. “How much more meaningful would it be to translate the course material to commercial real estate lending?” And so the case study assignment was born. Teams of employees from all parts of SMI were challenged to create case studies based on their own business to illustrate the principles they had learned in one of the customer service training courses. They would present their case studies to each other, and just to make it exciting, they would compete on stage at PCC in front of judges — Eric Parsons, chairman, president and CEO; Performances bring customer and Kim Ledbetter, senior vice president of the Asset service case studies to life Management Group. discovery through training A It can be tough to remember everything you learn in a training lthough the theater at Portland Community session. By asking employees to create case studies based on College’s Rock Creek campus buzzed with their own work, SMI supervisors helped ensure that the anticipation, this was no ordinary dramatic lessons would stick. Here’s what a few employees took away performance. This was fierce competition — among from the experience: employees from StanCorp Mortgage Investors. Astoria Howard When did taking to the stage become part of the job loan closing supervisor: description at SMI? The story began last year, when SMI “The simplest things can dazzle a customer; we just need to employees participated in two customer service training take the time to get to know our customers’ needs.” courses offered by the Organization Development Center. Reaching for Stellar Service and Dazzling Your Customers use Nichole Martin case studies — real-life examples — in their curricula. mortgage loan servicer: “We began to realize just how large a part we all play in our borrowers’ lives and in the lives of each other. Through these sessions we understood better how our roles and various job responsibilities affect one another. It was valuable to hear about the life of a loan through the eyes of a different department.” Holly Nakada senior mortgage loan service specialist: “I want to be aware of opportunities to make someone’s day. It could make a huge difference to the person on the other end of the phone.” Scott Tumbleson Alex Do, loan participation mortgage loan specialist: specialist in SMI Investment “I think sometimes we are so caught up in doing our jobs we Administration, and Marguerite don’t realize we are providing the service that differentiates us Schmidt, compliance from our competition. The case studies allowed us to step back specialist in SMI Investment Administration, make and acknowledge the service employees provide daily.” convincing newlyweds in their case study, Life’s a Beach. 10 The Standard February 007
  11. 11. Customer service training available to all Delivering exceptional customer service is a priority for The Standard and is crucial to our vision of industry leadership. The following classes can be customized for intact teams: Reaching For Stellar Service This class, with online learning and classroom- based practice components, explores the value of stellar service and the service provider’s role in achieving it. Dazzling Your Customers This class enhances a team’s ability to make customers feel valued, thereby creating experiences so surprisingly positive that customers will tell others about them and will build their relationships with the organization. Prerequisite: Completion of Reaching for Stellar Service. Healing Your Customer Relationships This class will help teams develop skills to assist customers who are concerned, angry or upset after a service breakdown. Prerequisite: Completion of Reaching for Stellar Service. Caleb Coffman, mortgage loan analyst in SMI Real Estate Finance, plays a gas station tycoon in his team’s case study, Scott Gets Gas: A Case Study on the Phillips Oil Transaction. ServiceMentor This class is available for teams and individuals and is designed to achieve measurable results. According to Mark, the project was designed One team took the stage to perform a The series prepares people with customer to improve the quality of learning. “It case study called “SMI Superheroes.” They contact to take control of the call, quickly and helped us make connections between the depicted the behind-the-scenes teamwork clearly identify what customers really want and training and the real world,” he said. “It — and scrambling — that goes into closing offer solutions. reinforced and promoted behavior that’s a loan quickly for a customer. They poked focused on delivering exceptional customer fun at themselves and their co-workers, and service, which Eric has emphasized as an in the end they won the competition. It’s the If you’re interested in offering one of these organizational priority for The Standard.” win for our customers, though, that matters courses to your team, contact one of these most of all. S performance consultants in the Organization Development Center: Cathy Miller, at cmiller4 or ext. 1 • Jan Spradlin, at jspradli or ext. 7 • BACk CovEr “Dibs” is a new ad designed to build name and brand awareness for our retirement plans business. The ad is aimed at plan sponsors, brokers and other retirement plan intermediaries. It will run in Investment Advisor in February, March, April, August, September and October; PLANSPONSOR magazine in February through December; and planadviser, a quarterly sister publication of PLANSPONSOR, in April, July and October. 11 The Standard February 007
  12. 12. THIS IS WHY. Making money isn’t really about making money. It’s about the retirement you can build with it. For more than 70 years, The Standard has been trusted by companies to help their employees build financial futures worth waiting for. They pick the dream and the time frame. Together, we strive to make it happen. To find out how we’re redefining what a retirement plan should be, talk to a pension consultant at 877.805.1127. INSURANCE RETIREMENT INVESTMENTS ADVICE dibs. STANDARD.COM 877.805.1127 RETIREMENT PLANS 401(k) 403(b) DEFINED BENEFIT PROFIT SHARING MONEY PURCHASE Group variable annuity and group annuity contracts issued by Standard Insurance Company are distributed by StanCorp Equities, Inc., member NASD/SIPC, which may also provide brokerage services. Third party administrative services are provided by Standard Retirement Services, Inc. Investment advisory services are provided by StanCorp Investment Advisers, Inc, a registered investment advisor. Standard Insurance Company, StanCorp Equities, Inc., Standard Retirement Services, Inc., and StanCorp Investment Advisers, Inc. are subsidiaries of StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. and all are Oregon corporations.