Suzie Arment

Why I love my job

Why I give the gift of life at work

Change your relationships with three words

I’m a Human Resource Associate Business Partner at Grinnell Mutual. I received a Bachelor of Arts in Human Relations and Sociology from William Penn University. In addition to my Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation, I have designations for Certified Human Resources Specialist (CHRS), Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Associate in Claims (AIC), Associate in Underwriting (AU), and Associate in Personal Insurance (API).

I am a board member for Poweshiek Leadership Program. Since 2012, I have been active in this program as a participant, a facilitator, and a board member. This a great way to learn about our county and network with other professionals.

I am passionate about helping other people be successful.

Why I love my job

If you asked your friends and family members if they love their jobs, would they say “Yes!” or give you a lot of reasons why they don’t?

There are lots of factors that influence whether people are happy with their jobs and where they work. Employee happiness is a big factor in how successful the company is. Research has shown companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20 percent. Happy employees are 12 percent more productive. Employees that are unhappy use 10 times more sick days than happy employees.

How do you define being happy at work?

Happiness has various meanings. Factors that affect how happy someone is at work may include working conditions, opportunities for advancement, workload and stress levels, respect from co-workers, relationship with supervisors, financial rewards, job security, interesting work, flexibility, and opportunities for training and education.

Job satisfaction is much more than compensation. Two things that are very important to me are friendships and continual learning. One of the best things about working at Grinnell Mutual is the people. I enjoy coming to work to see my coworkers, my friends. This company has many educational opportunities which allow me to learn new things and give back to the company. Over the 10 years I have worked for the company I have had the privilege of earning nine designations. The more I learn, the more I want to learn.

Grinnell Mutual has so much to offer

Even though we are a 107-year-old company, we are adapting and changing with the times. With all the changes there are opportunities for growth, variety in jobs, and various career tracks. Grinnell Mutual wants innovative thinkers, people who are not afraid to make mistakes and learn new ways to resolve problems. We respect our employees and our customers. The core beliefs of this company are trust, respect, and being there for people in their time of need. Our focus is on our employees and we know that if we take care of them, they will take excellent care of our customers.

There is something for everyone here. We have a fitness center, a health clinic, a beautiful conference center, a cafeteria with a great view, a walking path around the pond, free parking, recent building renovations, flexible working schedules, career advancement opportunities, clubs and groups (like Toastmasters), employee activities group, and Live Healthy Iowa. For some it is the free ice cream and soda or maybe the free flavor-infused water. There are even ways to give back to the community through donating volunteer hours, food drives, holiday toy and gift drives, and blue jean fundraising days.

Grinnell Mutual may be a small company located by a corn field in central Iowa, but we have a lot of heart and a family atmosphere that allows us to have a big impact on the insurance market.

I love my job. I love where I work. I plan to retire from this company. Can you say the same?

Why I give the gift of life at work

In the United States someone needs blood every 2 seconds. That’s why Grinnell Mutual hosts blood drives six times a year. In 2016, 302 registered donors gave 265 units of blood — enough to save up to 795 lives — including 12 first-time donors. 

This is a wonderful opportunity to give the gift of life to someone in need.

Why is blood in demand?

There are various people who need blood. Cancer patients, people undergoing orthopedic or cardiovascular surgery, receiving organ or marrow transplants, or having treatment for inherited blood disorders. There are also emergency situations when injured people need blood donations.

There is no substitute for blood, which cannot be reproduced artificially. One out of seven people who enter the hospital will need blood. More than 15 million pints of blood are transfused each year in the United States, and every day more than 40,000 pints of blood are transfused in the United States and Canada.

From blood drives to those who need it most

Thirty-eight percent of the population is eligible to donate blood but only 10 percent donate annually. I don't like needles at all, but no matter what discomfort I may feel from donating, it is clearly outweighed by knowing my donation will help someone in need.

Donating blood is easy. Visit your local blood center’s website to schedule a donation. (In Grinnell, it’s LifeServe Blood Center.) Show up at your scheduled time and place, check in, read the donor information, and have your iron checked. Once you are in the donor chair they prep you and start the blood flowing. This usually takes about 10 to 20 minutes, and the more hydrated you are, the faster the donation goes. It is not painful and the staff is very professional.

Donated blood is processed into three components: red cells, platelets, and plasma. All donations are processed and available for use within 24 to 48 hours after collection.  During the processing there are 14 tests performed on each unit donated — 10 of which are to identify infectious diseases.

You can earn points for each blood donation through LifeServe to redeem for great items like t-shirts, bags, hats, cups, chairs, and coolers. Grinnell Mutual offers additional incentives to employees who donate, including homemade cookies, movie tickets, and gift certificates to our company store. Best of all, you are giving the gift of life to someone in need.

I hope you will consider donating blood this year.

Change your relationships with three words

Relationships are key to our business success.

And every day presents opportunities to make a positive impact on the lives of people we interact with. Choosing the words we say — and being aware how we say them — can make someone’s day, affect moods, impact actions, and establish lasting relationships. Anyone can do it and in just three words (or even fewer)!

There is one word that is considered music to your ears

Your name.

Dale Carnegie said that a person’s name is, to him or her, the sweetest and most important sound in any language. A person’s name is the greatest connection to their own identity and individuality. Next time you have a conversation and you want to get someone’s attention, call them by name. Saying someone’s name makes a positive and lasting impression, and is the fastest and most reliable way to build rapport and create a good first impression.

There are two words that show you appreciate someone

“Thank you.”

Sometimes we forget to say thanks to those who help us. It is so simple to say thank you, just two little words can make a big difference, not only to the person receiving the thanks, but to you, too. Not saying these words can make someone feel unimportant and taken for granted. Over time that can erode a relationship.

Three words can also evoke positive reactions

“I am sorry.”

“I trust you.”

“May I help?”

There are many more three word sentences that can positively move people to the greater good.

How amazing that just a few words can make someone’s day brighter, build trust between people, and change people’s actions.