Addressing Equity and Diversity In Your Insurance Business Practices
How can you attract and retain clients and employees in your insurance agency? Insurance isn't just about your products. It's also about your practices. How are you ensuring that everyone feels welcome to become a client or an employee of your insurance agency? Addressing issues of equity and diversity can help you achieve this goal.
What is Diversity at Work?
People are diverse, and there are many aspects of diversity. When you say that you're a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, what do you mean?
Different family statuses, such as unmarried and married people and families with children
Different races, ethnicities, and languages
Different types of abilities, such as visual or physical challenges
All those across the spectrum of gender and sexual orientation
Differing income brackets
There are as many elements of diversity as you have clients - and more.
Consider Who You Hire and Why
As you look around at your employees, note who you hire and why. Employers tend to advertise through their own networks, which are often made up of people who are similar in some ways. It's hard to become diverse by default.
Randstad says that "one of the telltale signs that a company takes diversity seriously is if they have a diverse team." More often than not, you'll need to look at your current employees and consider who is missing from your team.
Consider advertising for new employees in places that you would not normally advertise. Reach out to different communities and ask if there is a place that you can post a job.
When you're hiring, go out of your way to make sure that everyone feels comfortable at your interview. For instance, if you're hiring someone with a mobility challenge, talk with them in advance to make sure that they can easily get into your building. Recognize that people have differences. Be open and welcoming to that diversity in order to diversify your workforce.
Make Sure Your Work Culture and Values Synchronize
Employers that are trying to become more inclusive and diverse should ask themselves: "Does your workplace culture reflect those values?" An inclusive workplace would be one where:
Everyone values everyone else's contribution to meetings and daily workflow
People work as a positive, collaborative team
There is training available - equally to all
There is support for families, all ages, and abilities by providing work options such as flexible hours
As a diverse business, you can:
Provide and outline peoples' options for access, without being asked. For instance, is your storefront accessible? Are services available in multiple languages?
Be welcoming of peoples' diverse needs. Ask about those needs. Be compassionate when they are articulated.
Advertise and reach out to communities of color and other diverse communities.
Set processes in place that allow your workplace to gather feedback, grow, and change.
Workplace diversity is not something that happens by accident. It's a conscious process of understanding and assessing your decisions so that you don't end up with a workplace that works for your founder and not for all employees, clients, and prospective clients. This means that you need to accept feedback on an ongoing basis.
Have a process for employees and clients to submit feedback to you, and create a reflective process to consider who you are as an organization and where you want to go with your workplace culture and initiatives in the future.