For the Sims, trusted relationships at home and work

Work-life balance eludes many young professionals as they juggle the demands of their jobs and their families. For Ryan and Dani Sims, working together at Grinnell Mutual offers both meaningful work and flexibility as a family.

Sharing perspectives, gaining understanding

The Sims first met in a middle school math class and will celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary this May. Their commitment to open communication has helped them bridge some of the gaps in their work.

“It’s interesting to hear a perspective different than your own department’s,” said Ryan, a business analyst who joined Grinnell Mutual in 2015. “Whenever we’re discussing work and Dani shares the reason why something is happening, it helps me get a different understanding.”

Likewise, Dani, a quality management professional who has worked at Grinnell Mutual since 2009, appreciates Ryan’s IT expertise and out-of-the-box thinking.

“The business side sometimes does not know the processes it takes for IT to accomplish something,” said Dani. “It can get foggy. Something that I think should be an easy fix is not always an easy fix, but Ryan sets me straight. It makes for interesting conversations.”

Carpooling with your spouse brings unexpected challenges

The Sims often commute together to the office from their home in Grinnell, but carpooling brings its own set of challenges, such as “where’s our other car?”

Ryan shared the story of getting ready to come into work early, only to realize their pickup truck was missing. 

“I walked out the house and the truck wasn’t there,” said Ryan. “I looked in the driveway, down the street. Then I remembered that Dani left the house early to work with the praise team at church last Sunday and the rest of us came to the second service. We all rode home together.

“The truck had sat in the church parking lot for six days. We drove by it every day. Twice!”

It’s not the first time, according to Dani.

“That stuff happens to us all the time. You have to laugh about it.”

Feeling at home at work

The Sims find that Grinnell Mutual supports what matters to them.

“Grinnell Mutual is family oriented,” said Dani. “This company is unique in taking care of employees with time off and benefits. I think our management is extremely good at making sure we have flexibility.”

The short commute and shared workplace allow the Sims to share parenting duties, too.

“When Ryan was in Des Moines he couldn’t be at the school in 10 minutes to pick up a kid. Because I was the only one working in Grinnell back then, I was the one running to school and staying home with sick kids,” said Dani. “Now we can switch on and off.”

The family feel of Grinnell Mutual has made the Sims feel so at home that Dani has brought some habits from home to work.

“There have been a few times when I’ve caught myself yelling ‘Hey, babe!’ down the hallway,” said Dani. “Then I’m all, ‘Oh, shoot. Sorry! I probably shouldn’t call you that at work.’”

Dani and Ryan look each other in the eye and share a laugh.

“You work in the HR bay. It’s a short walk,” Ryan replied with a smile.