USAA: More Than Just Insurance

By: Tyler Starr



There are a lot of insurance companies throughout the country, and for the most parts they are all ran very similarly. USAA does not choose to conform to the rest of those insurance companies. In this case study we will look at the way that USAA trains their employees to handle and deal with the unique wants and needs of their clients. At more than 13,000 employees they have quite a large workforce (McGregor, 2005). They have a different clientele than most, since they work with former and current members of the US military.

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Organizational Culture

The USSA Standard is the main set of goals that they want their employees to operate under (USAA, 2015). The first of these six goals is to keep their membership and their mission first. This means that the biggest factor when making a decision should always be what is best for the member and the mission of the company, not themselves. The second and third goals go hand in hand with their four values of service, loyalty, honesty and integrity, followed by their will to build trust with the members. If the members can fully trust the employees investing their money then they will have a much stronger relationship with the employees. The fourth, fifth, and sixth goals can be summed up by saying that they want their employees to always be looking for improvements (USAA, 2015). Whether that is adapting to a change in their customer’s needs and modifying their tactics or just being innovative for the company. Just like any large corporation, USAA is always looking for the next best thing.

The USAA standard follows the relationship-based perspective of ethical decision making. This is because the choices that the employees make are to help develop a stronger bond and relationship with the members. Having strong employee to member relationships within the company is something that USAA holds very highly and it has helped them to be as successful as they are. Each one of their members has very different needs than the next so knowing the member well is an important aspect of their policy. If the policy needs to change in a short amount of time the employee will be ready to make the adjustment.

The training that goes into becoming a USAA employee is vastly different than the training of almost any other company. The employees are put through a boot camp for 10 weeks to give them a little bit of a look into what some of their customers go through being in the military (Fleurke, 2009). They do everything from wearing ten pounds of gear to eating MRE’s for lunch. They are also put through a normal PT workout that includes pushups, sit-ups, and running (Shevory, 2014). This is to give the employees an idea of where their members are coming from. This helps the employees to make the right decisions for the members because they gain an added understanding of where the members are coming from and what their specific needs are.

Critical Analysis

Working at a golf course on the grounds crew is a job that I have worked at previously that, like USAA, has a very specific group of people to work for. The people that you are trying to satisfy are the members of the golf course and your mission is to make their experience on the course as nice as possible. The four ethical standards that I would put in place at the golf course would be to always put the members’ wants before your own, always treat any member like they are your superior, always conduct your job in the most respectful way possible, and to build relationships with the members of the course that will last a lifetime.

I would instill these 4 ethical standards in training by making sure that the employees knew who a lot of the members of the course were before they were sent out on solo jobs around the course. I would also make sure everyone has proper training on any job that a member of the course could ask them to do and not just the job that they are sent out on. Finally, I would train every employee the absolute best way to do each job on the course so they would make the smallest mess that they could. With those standards put in place, the relationship between the members and the grounds crew would greatly improve. The course would be run a lot smoother than it is today.


Fleurke, X. (2009, January). Walking a Mile in the Shoes of Your Customer. Retrieved from

McGregor, J. (2005, October 1). Employee Innovator: USAA. Retrieved from

Shevory, K. (2014, September 1). Boot Camp for Bankers. Retrieved from

USAA. (2015). The USAA Standard. Retrieved from




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