There’s an axiom in the business world: If you want your company to succeed, ensure that your employees are happy.
This is no small task for Kim Van Orman. As senior vice president and chief human resources officer at USI — a Valhalla-based insurance company — Van Orman is responsible for the welfare of some 7,000 staff at more than 150 offices across the country. She would be well within her rights to brag about this responsibility but chooses humility, instead.
“I am not alone,” Van Orman says. “I am one of many responsible for the well-being of our employees. I am lucky to have so many eager collaborators.”
During her time at USI, Van Orman has had no shortage of achievements: She successfully integrated some 2,500 new employees during the company’s largest-ever acquisition. She’s grown the recruiting team from just a handful of staff to more than 60. She champions August as USI’s corporate-service month. And she’s helped launched countless employee initiatives. (Just two: leadership coaching for rising female leaders in the company, and USI Educates, a program that provides college scholarships to employees’ children.)
“I want USI to be known as a firm with great people practices, a great place for HR colleagues to perform their craft, and an extraordinary company all of our associates can call home.”
How does she do it? “I insist that the HR team use logic, reason, and data to help drive our decisions,” she explains. And “we fiercely resist the natural creep of bureaucracy.”
Van Orman offers up a few guiding principles, too: “I want USI to be known as a firm with great people practices, a great place for HR colleagues to perform their craft, and an extraordinary company all of our associates can call home.”