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Ushering in a modern work experience in Fond du Lac

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July 1, 2024

FOND DU LAC – M3 Insurance has hit a new milestone in the Fond du Lac office (325 Trowbridge Drive) with a converted workspace, which Cathy Christensen, senior client executive and managing director, said offers a new sleek modern look and feel with technology to fit the needs of clients and employees.

“The update has made things lighter, brighter and incredibly more conducive to collaboration,” she said. “It’s increased productivity, and I think it’s encouraged workers to come into the office. It’s a nice office.”

More on M3 insurance

As an insurance broker, Christensen said M3 helps manage risk purchase insurance and those who provide benefits to employees.

The company, she said, provides insurance offerings within property and casualty, executive benefits and employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Christensen said M3 Insurance is privately owned and independent, meaning it can do what’s best for clients – not what’s best for Wall Street or private equity.

Seven of M3’s eight offices are located in Wisconsin – the last being in Rockford, Illinois – though Christensen said the company has clients throughout the country.

M3’s personalized approach to insurance and risk management services, Christensen said, means when clients need access to world-class resources, they can tap into them from anywhere.

The company’s “yes/and” brand promise, she said, highlights its focus on offering world-class expertise and individualized attention – not one or the other.

With M3, Christensen said clients get both an insurance team offering personalized guidance today, with the resources and expertise to protect businesses for years to come.

An important history

Before becoming M3 Insurance, Christensen said the Fond du Lac location was Hierl Insurance. To a degree, she said the former company’s respected reputation in the community helped the merger and acquisition process.

Christensen said Hierl entered into a strategic partnership with M3 in January 2020 – which in turn, allowed M3 to provide the Fond du Lac region with a broader range of insurance offerings and resources while maintaining Hierl’s strong commitment to individual attention and personal relationships with clients.

A handful of former Hierl employees, Christensen said, have continued to work under M3 Insurance – continuing to carry on the tradition of understanding the nuances of the community.

A cohesive look

The recent renovations of the Fond du Lac office, Christensen said, establish consistency between all M3 locations.

“This renovation makes us feel like we’re more M3 branded,” she said. “The previous space was more of an older ’80s-style office with big offices on the outside and a small collaboration area. I couldn’t imagine doing what we are now in that space.”

Christensen said many of the offices were too large for what M3 Insurance employees needed in terms of its modern working processes.

“It’s crazy now when I look at the windows where my office was originally – it was massive,” she said. “What we’ve now fit in that space is incredible.”
The office setup, Christensen said, was designed in part to accommodate M3 Insurance’s hybrid work culture – because the company understands that life happens.

Employees from other M3 Insurance locations can pop in as needed.

“For example, if someone has a client in the area, the employee can come here and work – it’s fluid-like,” she said. “It’s also a more seamless experience for the visitors now.”

The renovations, Christensen said, were designed with collaboration at the forefront.

“We are better when we’re together,” she said. “That was part of the goal here, and it’s helped. I would say the number of people actively here four to five days a week has increased 50%, if not more.”

A team effort

Though renovations were an essential aspect of bringing the building up to speed to match the needs of both clients and employees, Christensen said it also highlighted M3’s commitment to investing in its employees.

“(The company) invested significant money to accomplish this,” she said. “In terms of needs, we are cutting edge with the latest technology. We have new workspaces and collaboration spaces,  too.”

Christensen said employees even got to name the rooms, such as walleye, lighthouse and Winnebago – adding to the local flair of the office.

The rooms, she said, also have Zoom meeting capabilities.

Compared to what it was before with a lack of light, dark woods and heavy bookcases that might house manuals and other large documents, Christensen said the big offices and old cubicles with high walls were not conducive for discussion.

The change, she said, is a stark contrast with high ceilings, daylight-colored lights, bright white walls and accented blue walls to match the M3 logo.

Simply put, Christensen said this renovation was a milestone game changer for the Fond du Lac location that will be useful for years. 

“The layout is much more efficient and effective,” she said. “We can pick up our laptops and confer. We have more informal areas like the cafe, we have a lounge – places where you don’t necessarily need privacy but where we can still put our heads together.”

All said and done, Christensen said the renovations – which were completed by CD Smith with help from Ahern-Gross Plumbing and Helmer Electric – took about three months to complete, finishing earlier this year.

A supportive company

Christensen said updating the Fond du Lac location shows M3 Insurance is putting its money where its mouth is.

She said the project is part of a longer-term plan for M3 to become more visible within the state, especially in Fond du Lac – which includes giving back to the community.

“This year, we’ve increased our contribution to various local events and causes,” she said. “We’ve increased participation at events like Sturgeon Spectacular, Walleye Weekend, Power of the Purse and Charity Opens.”

Christensen said her experience with M3 has been excellent, and she appreciates how the company emphasizes providing a good work experience for its employees.

“It’s nice to have resources available if I can’t do it all,” she said. “We have people who are experts at anything we might need – things like workplace experience, risk management, people and claims specialists.”

Christensen said she sees the growth M3’s Fond du Lac location has experienced in the last six months as being directly related to the renovations.

“I can’t imagine having our interns in our old space,” she said. “It would have been deflating. I think this is more inviting, and they feel more part of what’s happening. It’s a good experience for them and us.”

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