Employee Benefits Story Diamond Ameritas 2015 Annual Report

enhancing the quality of life for thousands

When you walk into its headquarters plant in rural Missouri, there’s little about Diamond Pet Foods to suggest it’s different from a thousand other manufacturers across the nation. However, in fact, Diamond Pet Foods is exceptional, and is as well known in business circles for its employee benefits philosophy as it is among animal lovers for the quality of its products.

The company has been getting national attention for expanding its benefits package and enhancing personnel policies at a time when trends among other employers seem to be moving in the opposite direction. Taking good care of its workers is nothing new at Diamond Pet Foods, which has been owned by the same families since it was founded in 1970. Today, it employs more than 700 people at five facilities in four states – Missouri, California, South Carolina and Arkansas.

“Diamond Pet Foods takes care of its people because it’s the right thing to do, but that approach is also smart business,” explains Andrew Brondel, corporate director of administration. “We know that employees who aren’t worried about paying for health care can focus on improving processes and growing our business. A healthy team is a more productive team. We also know loyalty and dedication work both ways.”

“The company’s owners have always insisted our employees and their families share the same benefits they themselves enjoy,” says Dru Haines, human resources manager. “Adding supplemental benefits like dental and vision care have contributed to our success in attracting and retaining talented workers at each location.”

Of course, a company that puts so much thought into employee satisfaction is also selective when it comes to insurance benefits and the people who stand behind them. Steve Baker is one of those people, an independent agent who has watched over Diamond Pet Foods’ interests for 16 years.

“Ameritas leads the industry with these kinds of benefits, both in range of offerings and pricing,” explains Steve. “And from a client standpoint, no one is more committed to their employee well-being than Diamond. It’s a natural fit. So when Kenny Tobey, my Ameritas contact, brought a new benefits bundle to my attention about 18 months ago, I’d never seen anything like it and knew it had great potential. Hearing care and LASIK were just the kind of thing Diamond looks for, and Ameritas combined them in an attractive package.”

“Senior management approved the proposal right away,” says Dru. “As a responsible manufacturer, we have an active hearing conservation program. We also understand the links between good hearing and success in school, and wanted hearing coverage for our families. The LASIK piece was icing on the cake … some of us already knew how life-changing that procedure can be. But we also knew that, despite demand, many of our employees couldn’t afford it without a lot of help.”

When asked about the ways Ameritas benefits help fulfill the lives of Diamond Pet Foods employees, Dru offered up a recent example. “One of our truck drivers failed the Department of Transportation hearing exam. He couldn’t get licensed, and that meant he couldn’t do his job anymore. Even worse, this was an unexpected financial burden for the employee. Fortunately, we had just implemented the hearing care benefit and he was back on the road in no time, thankful to work for Diamond Pet Foods.”

“That kind of happy ending is exactly why we invest in high-quality benefits from Ameritas …because everybody wins.”

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