Washington’s Kreidler & a Report Address a Toxic Work Environment

For the last couple of years, Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has been under attack from former employees and current employees of the Washington Department of Insurance. The gist of the complaints is a toxic work environment fostered by the insurance commissioner.

To address the issues raised by current and former employees, the commissioner hired Communications Resources NW to assess the workplace culture. Last week Kreidler met with his staff to assess the results.

The department issued a news release about the meeting. It said Kreidler felt such a survey was important considering how “tumultuous” the last year has been.

Here are some of the conclusions reached by the researchers at Communications Resources NW.

“When asked to describe the OIC in three adjectives, very few participants used only positive and neutral adjectives, with approximately three quarters of participants providing at least one negative adjective,” the Communications Resources NW report stated. “More than half of those surveyed and one third of those interviewed used no adjectives with clearly positive connotations.”

Communications Resources NW said most of those interviewed, or who just responded to the survey, said the alleged behavior of Kreidler is important to how they perceive the agency and their jobs within the agency. 

“Even though questions about the Commissioner’s alleged behavior were intentionally left to the end of the survey to avoid influencing earlier questions, most of the respondent comments were provided before direct questioning about the Commissioner, his alleged actions, and the impact of subsequent media coverage,” the report stated.

Here are some other findings:

  • Almost 64% of the respondents to the survey made at least one negative comment about Kreidler and/or his actions.

“Importantly, negative comments came from employees from across work groups, both those who reported positive perceptions of the culture within their work units and those who reported toxic or negative subcultures,” Communications Resources NW concluded.

  • Perceptions Commissioner Kreidler related to his alleged behaviors were uniformly negative.

“The majority of participants either had direct experience with the Commissioner’s behavior or reported being indirectly impacted because of the agency’s inability to attract new employees, behavior- related resignations, and the unwillingness of the State’s legislative/executive branch to work with the Commissioner and the OIC as a result of the Commissioner’s alleged behavior,” the report added.

  • Many if those responding said their concerns about Kreidler’s behavior happened before recent media coverage.

“Interviewed employees reported direct experience and/or anecdotal knowledge of the Commissioner berating, belittling, or demeaning staff and being hostile to receiving negative information,” Communications Resources NW said. “This has resulted in employee perceptions that the Commissioner is disconnected from the day-to-day operations of the OIC and surrounded by leaders who tell him what he wants to hear.”

In the news release, the Washington Department of Insurance noted that the consultants at Communications Resources NW interviewed 57 employees and received results of the survey from 71 of them.

The findings were shared with all 250 OIC employees during an all-staff meeting. Kreidler opened the meeting with personal remarks on the steps he’s taking to improve his relations with staff.

“The assessment also considered the OIC’s results from the state Employee Engagement Survey, conducted annually by the Office of Financial Management,” the commissioner’s news release stated. “The final report was not intended to be a report card, but to help the agency understand its current culture and present clear opportunities for improvement and growth.”

Source link: Washington Department of Insurance — http://bit.ly/3R4KzFZ

Source link: Washington Department of Insurance — http://bit.ly/3R7fGRo

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The Professional Insurance Agents Western Alliance is a membership organization promoting and enhancing the success of independent agencies seeking to grow, learn and be heard within the industry.


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