It was supposed to be temporary. With her husband laid off from his job, Susan took a full-time customer service position at America’s Preferred Home Warranty (APHW) out of necessity. Now five years later, the December 2021 Employee of the Month feels blessed to have her APHW work family.
A true family atmosphere at work
“Honestly, my family has been very blessed since I’ve been here,” Susan said. “My car died a few months after I started, and I had to use what I had saved for Christmas presents as a down payment for a new one. Shortly after that I received a Christmas bonus—there wouldn’t have been a Christmas for us without it.”
From that point forward, Susan knew she had found something special. “The energy on the floor here—everybody is approachable. With our open-door policy you can have a conversation with anybody, and our leadership don’t judge; if they say something, they back it up.”
Susan forged some close friendships in that first year as well. “Nicholle and Annetta both sat near me in that first year, and I honestly don’t think I would’ve gotten through it without them,” she said. “Just that camaraderie… it was like we went through the trenches together.” Both Nicholle and Annetta have advanced in the company in the years since as well.
Then came a career opportunity
As one of the fastest growing home warranty companies in America, APHW regularly creates new positions to fill various needs. “I knew I wanted to do more,” Susan explained, having started as a Customer Service Representative (CSR). “I occasionally helped out in other departments, and I’d been helping Beth a little bit with training the new classes at that point. That’s when I realized I enjoyed the teaching aspect—I liked connecting people with information.”
So when HR posted a Quality Analyst position, Susan knew she’d found her next step. “I’m the type where if I make a mistake, I want to know so I can improve,” she said. “I wanted to be a part of that opportunity to help people grow.”
The position grew dramatically, and Susan was soon promoted to Quality Analyst Team Lead. “We started out with around 30 to 40 CSRs. Now it’s over 90,” she said. “While no one likes hearing that they made a mistake, we also recognize people who are going above and beyond. This job is 100 percent you get out what you put into it, and we have a lot of really good people here. It’s uplifting to be part of a team like that.”
While she’s clearly put all of herself into it, Susan credits much of her rise to the leadership at APHW. “Pam was instrumental in making sure I was challenged as a CSR. If she hadn’t done that and worked with me, I wouldn’t be where I’m at,” she said. “And Kellie of course—I know if I need help with anything, I can go to her. It’s amazing to have this kind of management.”
The family atmosphere continues today
Susan’s husband got laid off again when COVID hit a couple years later—and again, an APHW Christmas bonus saved the holiday for Susan’s family. “That Christmas bonus made sure we were able to make house payments and provide presents for our children,” Susan said with some emotion. “It really is a family atmosphere here… it’s not just something they say. It’s something that really is.”
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