In the last 5 years you’ve probably read about the impressive Silicon Valley companies who spend millions on creating “positive” “productive” and “engaging” organizational cultures. While Google can afford to spend millions to guarantee a positive business environment many insurance agencies cannot. How can insurance agency principal create a positive work experience that encourages agents to be productive and have a great work experience?
Make Goals Clear
Establish and make clear what the goals are for your company and agents. In a two principal agency-one principle owner wants to be the best Medicare Supplement Agency in South Carolina but the other wants to be the biggest PNC agency in the nation…that’s a major discrepancy. Agency leaders need to develop what their mission is, their core values, and how they will do it. The core values aren’t simply printed out in the break room for viewing, but acted on and done. You are the role model for your goals and values. Once you know your mission, then you can properly allocate your resources, make smart hiring decisions and determine the business you pursue.
Adopt an open door policy so there is open and equal communication throughout the entire office. The equal access to information, news and updates fosters transparency in the workplace. More transparency decreases the feeling of me vs. everyone else mentally that can poison a workplace. The policy fosters ownership of success, the more your agents know the more they feel empowered and included in business decisions.
Recognition of Success or Achievements
Always give kudos when it’s due. If your agent makes an impressive number of sales or improves their numbers, celebrate it. All employees want to feel valued for their work and recognized when they went above and beyond. Sometimes it’s a shout out in a team meeting, maybe it’s a giftcard or a day off. The recognition of being valued is one of the leading incentives for employees performing at their highest levels.
Inevitably, try as you might to be impartial as possible you will have favorite employees. There will be agents you instantly connect with, have a great working relationship and camaraderie. However, you can’t favor them or give them opportunities that make other employees feel inferior. If you are concerned about a potential bias have your agency partner or a more senior agent give feedback on work situations. Whatever your decision making process is, be consistent.
Allow Fun in the Work Place
If your agents are meeting sales goals being an active and contributing team member let them take have fun. Avoid burnout with allowing agents to have fun in the workplace! Make sure your employees feel like they can be themselves, and enjoy being around their co-workers. Happy employees work harder and contribute more to the company.
Get Employee Feedback
Not sure how to improve your agency’s culture? Ask your employees or top performers anonymously to give feedback. Make sure to ask open ended questions such as “what are the top issues that distract you the most?” They can provide insight into the biggest obstacles, inconsistencies in workflow and pinpoint areas that need improvement. At the same time, be prepared to hear constructive criticism.