The Great Resignation has impacted businesses across all industries. Insurance industry workforce trends are shifting —– and the pandemic brought new changes with it.
Before the pandemic, the insurance and risk management business was suffering from an identity crisis. The industry was changing but people’s perceptions of it remained the same. And now, the pandemic has caused new disruptions.
How can agents and brokers manage the insurance talent gap? Read on to learn more about the latest trends and how to handle the Great Resignation at your agency.
Changing Insurance Industry Workforce Trends
Many businesses are facing a talent shortage. It’s clear when you go to the grocery store and notice the empty shelves or call your favorite restaurant for takeaway and they’ve reduced their hours because of a lack of staff. But this talent gap is also affecting the insurance industry.
When the world shut down for the first time during COVID-19, it forced employers and employees to get creative. People figured out how to work from home and learn from home. And business went on.
We are now living in a world where COVID variants pop up and travel restrictions come and go. Many people have learned new ways to work and live — and going back to the old way of doing business seems unlikely.
For the insurance industry to thrive, it needs to continue attracting top talent. And this means doing things differently in a post-pandemic world. Insurance agents and brokers have to plan for the future and hire talented employees.
Here are some ways to beat the insurance talent gap at your agency:
Focus on automation.
Many potential employees want to work for a company with great technology. Investing in automation increases efficiency and reduces waste, both goals for many young workers. Finding ways to automate your workflows through technology means saving money and building a business that attracts the next generation of talent.
Create a diverse environment.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are important aspects of your agency. Studies have found most people prefer to work for companies that value diversity, equity, and inclusion. Promote an environment where everyone is welcome and can be successful. If you don’t already have an established DEI program at your agency, consider hiring an external vendor to help you create a more diverse workplace.
Build talent from the bottom up.
Homegrown talent is a great way to build your agency. Invest in training and education programs to help your employees grow and succeed. Consider hiring interns or creating a summer program for students. Engaging with high school and college students early means you could become their employer of choice when they graduate.
Grow your professional network.
Become an excellent networker. Establish connections with other insurance agents, risk management professors, local community organizations, top insurance membership organizations like the American Agents Alliance, and industry credentialing groups. You never know where your next talent will come from, so expanding your network gives you more chances to find that right employee.
Be an employer of choice.
Learn what your current employees want and find creative ways to provide it. Establish your business as the place people want to work. This means having happy employees and promoting the industry to your community. Focusing on ways to provide value to your current employees is an effective way to attract new employees to your business and our industry.
Succession Planning is Critical to Your Agency’s Future
Beating the talent gap also means focusing on succession planning. While you may not be planning to retire anytime soon, it still makes good business sense to have a succession plan in place. It’s not limited to the large companies, either — even the smallest agency should have a plan for the future.
Think of succession planning as filling the talent gaps in your agency. You’ll need to develop people for specific skillsets and roles, building their confidence and abilities along the way. Succession planning involves talking with your staff and knowing their motivations and future plans.
When you hire new people, consider how they fit into your future plan. Look at the ways new talent can fill current and anticipated gaps — and how they can contribute to growing your agency in new ways.
And finally, keep an open mind during succession planning. You may find the employee you thought would take over in the future isn’t the best choice after doing your due diligence. Staying dynamic and embracing change can help you beat the insurance talent gap.
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