After closing in response to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, many businesses are now preparing their operations for re-opening. There are some top agency management system tools and transition tips that can apply to any change your agency experiences, including one you’ve never tackled before.
Disasters, by nature, are unexpected. We hope one never hits, but must be prepared once it does. The recent coronavirus pandemic is evidence of the unexpected becoming real, and businesses across the world are learning how to cope.
The insurance industry has changed over the past 20 years. Paper files and phone calls have given way to digital processes, email, texting, and more. Your insurance support team’s needs have changed, too – or so we hope.
The average insurance agent is 59 years old and only a few years off from retirement. To keep your team fresh, you need to bring in younger agents. Soon enough you’ll have no choice – Millennials and Generation Z will account for 58 percent of the workforce by 2029. You need to “get with the program” to attract and keep young talent – but how?
How to Attract Young Hires….
Technology usage is the first thing new hires will notice. Members of the young workforce are used to using tech for business and leisure. They’ll expect you to provide more than a laptop and cell phone; they’ll look for paperless processes, modern communication and collaboration tools, and opportunities to get work done virtually.
Read more on going paperless – why your customers want it and how to get started
Young hires expect information to be found and shared easily through a centralized location. Leverage your agency management system to bridge the processing gap. Tap into your system’s ability to store files, capture emails, and add tasks among other capabilities. And, make texting part of your communication strategy, both internally and externally. This is an area where young hires will be savvy – they’ll expect to use texting for communicating with their team, lead generation, and closing deals.
The best thing you can do to attract and keep young talent is to embrace virtual work systems. Sales hinges on creating and growing relationships, so a virtual sales team may seem counterintuitive. However, as a virtual team your agents can connect more efficiently. Virtual work allows them to connect from anywhere, making it easier to bring meetings to clients and get work done while they wait. In less than ten years, it’s estimated 73 percent of businesses teams will have remote workers. Offering virtual work opportunities is not just smart; it’s inevitable.
Get more resources on how to make your agency virtual, yet personal
…And How to Keep Them
Getting Millennials and Gen Z to apply is only the first hurdle. Once you have a quality candidate in the door, how do you get them to say yes for years to come?
Start by updating your interview process. The work has changed, the workforce has changed, so how you interview needs to change, too. Focus more on how candidates work in a team and their ability to understand and leverage technology. Be sure to talk about how you’re team-focus and tech-adaptive, too. And, focus more on culture. One author found millennials were willing to take an over $7K pay cut to gain a better workplace culture. Now that’s leverage.
You’ll also need to update your onboarding. The first few months in any new position are challenging, so the smoother you can make the ride, the better. Culture again plays a key role. Be intentional about introducing new hires to team members, setting aside time to outline the processes and tools used within each environment.
Provide training + mentorship. Pair new hires up with someone to walk with them through training, serving as a guide to answer questions along the way. This pairing provides a double benefit to you: new hires feel connected, and veterans get a refresher on your tools and processes. Assuming they have a positive experience, new hires can later pay-it-forward to the next fresh team member.
Don’t forget about your long-term employees – help them transition to new tech and processes, too
Helping Your Team Grow
Growing your team is about more than adding new people to your staff contact list, it’s about listening and providing people what they need to improve. Meet up regularly with old and new team members, both individually and as a group. This simple act shows you care – and that goes a long way.
We know how important it is to listen and connect because that’s what we do at SIS: listen and learn to mutually grow. Through our workgroups, Regional Learnings, and forums, we focus on staying in touch with our Partner Platform community. Like any community, when our clients grow, we do, too.
Find out more about the Partner community– read our client stories and connect with us at 800.747.7005, Option 6 or
Agency succession is coming. You have two choices: make it happen or let it happen to you.
As an independent agency owner, you know the first option is the best. Taking control of your succession planning means you’re ready when the time comes. To prepare, you need to do things like choose a successor, determine your agency’s worth and have the right insurance agency support procedures in place. In short, you need to think about three areas: People, Profit, and Process.
The average insurance agent is 59 years old. That means they’ve lived through multiple insurance agency systems, having been in the workforce through the advent of PCs, the rise and fall of CD-ROMs, the introduction of email and Google, and a whole host of other major technological changes. And it’s time to embrace another.
It’s been said, “when you know, you know.” This is true for all major moments in life: getting married, having kids, buying a house, and even when you’ll retire. But, when it comes to insurance agency perpetuation, you need to think ahead for that “the time is now” moment.