Too often we as employers do not do enough to get the most out of our insurance agency employees. We may feel we are paying them for what they do, and they owe it to us to do the job they were hired to do as part of the sales team, customer service, or in general as members of the insurance agency. However, demanding a certain number of phone calls or book of business growth is not necessarily the way to grow your business, if you’re not treating your employees the right way.
I used to think this many years ago as a young insurance agent looking to one day manage an insurance agency of my own. Thankfully, over time, I matured with experience and learned more about what really worked and how to get the most out of my employees to run a successful insurance agency.
I have learned through hiring, managing, and working with dozens of employees over the years that every person wants to be recognized, appreciated, valued, and feel a part of the team, both in the insurance industry and anywhere else. Too many agency owners I see just don’t want to commit the time that is necessary to get the very best out of their employees. It takes time, some creativity, and a sincerely consistent approach that can be felt by every employee.
Here are a few suggestions to consider:
- Communicate constantly with your employees. Let them know how they are doing. Let them know how the company is doing, share your plans for growing your agency, and help them to feel they are a valued part of the company.
- You can never show and say thank you enough for the good work. Take time to express in writing, in person, and often. Be sincere and look for things to compliment!
- Seek the input from your employees in problem-solving and future changes in the agency. They know more than you think and often have great ideas you would not think of regarding social media or management systems.
- Do unique things to show appreciation often. We have massages twice a month for all who want a massage. They love it!
- Take them to a surprise lunch on occasion. Tell them how much you value their efforts in making the company successful.
- Foster input from employees when looking to improve or change things in your company, and ask for ideas for new products, services, goal-setting, etc. Your employees are on the front line and really do know more than you do about the daily realities of the operation.
- Generously incentivize desired behaviors and outcomes. Quit being a cheapskate saying “they are paid a salary or enough hourly”. Incentives offered can move the needle of desired results. Give them benchmarks to hit for the incentive and celebrate their success publicly.
Make a commitment of your time to put some things in place that will work for you. The more your employees feel valued and part of the team with the opportunity to give input, the more they will work harder for you because they feel a part of something more than a job.