This company not only does charitable good -- it wants you to get involved, as well

Oswald Companies will select one individual, nonprofit group or small business that shares the same commitment to making a difference to win $500

Oswald employees
Oswald employees (Photo provided by Oswald Companies)

Do you talk about work and life as if they’re separate things to balance on a scale?

Do you tip one way and then the other, in search of perfect equilibrium?

Maybe we could toss out that scale, meaning work and life wouldn’t have to compete for our undivided attention.

At least, that’s what Oswald Companies in Bloomfield Hills wants to do.

What if we thought of work and home as the integrated sum of what consumes our hearts, heads, and time? Oswald asked. The company aims to make that shift a top priority.

Oswald Companies is one of the world’s largest independent insurance and risk management brokerage firms, but the business said it wears many unexpected hats.

“Sometimes, we wear chef’s hats when we’re serving meals to the guests at Pope Francis Center,” a company spokesperson said. “Other times, we wear hard hats as we battle overgrown Detroit alleyways.

“Yet, at the end of the day, it’s always a corporate hat that allows this interchangeability.”

Oswald, a 100% employee-owned company, has been around for more than 125 years -- a long time to reflect on what matters most. And one of its core values has always been, and continues to be, its commitment to the community. In fact, the company has made it an important action item on its to-do list.

From Oswald’s home office in Cleveland across all six of its branches, there’s even a formalized structure designed to catapult employees into action.

Some of its programs include:

  • Days of Caring: “We don’t need to take a vacation day to support a cause,” the company said. “We all get a paid day to volunteer wherever and however we want. On top of this, we work as a team to serve various nonprofit organizations throughout the year.”
  • Oswald Cares: They created an internal organization to bring all fundraising and volunteering opportunities under one roof -- which includes supporting fellow employees in the times when they need it most.
  • Oswald Charitable Giving Committee: Employees can request Oswald contributions and involvement in causes that matter to them.
  • Oswald Conference Centre: How cool is this? The Cleveland office makes its first-floor conference space freely available to the same community that has supported the business since 1893. The Michigan office also welcomes charitable organizations to its space in Bloomfield Hills.

Modeling the way for community involvement often has a “halo effect," Oswald has found.

“Clients, partners and insurance carriers have often recognized the passion behind our programs and gotten involved themselves,” the company spokesperson said.

Being conscious like this isn’t only profitable. It has helped Oswald attract and retain employee-owners, the company said.

By their survey responses, employees in the Michigan office have rated their workplace satisfaction level high enough to earn the company first-place honors in Crain’s Detroit’s Cool Places to Work program in back-to-back years.

Does this perhaps prove that giving back both within and outside the company is working?

Now, Oswald Companies wants to recognize others who have jumped off the scale that separates work from community involvement.

The business wants to select one individual, nonprofit organization or small business that shares the same commitment to making a difference.

Oswald will celebrate the winner by donating $500 to the deserving charitable cause of their choice.

“We advocate spreading the halo effect that makes us all happier, more productive corporate citizens,” the company said.

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