How do your employees act around your insurance clients? As you work to improve your insurance agency, look inward. Much of your agency's culture comes from the tone that you set as a manager. By changing the way that you manage people, you can change the way that your insurance agency works, both at a structural and a cultural level.
Set Goals and Objectives Together
As a manager, it's important to have well-reasoned conversations with your entire staff about your business goals and objectives. What do you want to accomplish this year in your insurance jobs? What's the timeline for those accomplishments?
Instead of setting unreasonably ambitious goals for your staff, work together with them in goal-setting so that everyone has a voice in what goals you have for your agency and how they can be accomplished. This will make your employees feel heard and feel like they have a say in their workload.
Honor What is Working
Just because you have a system in place at your company doesn't mean that it needs to be fixed. Think about what systems are working and honor the fact that they work well. As a manager, you don't need to come in and change everything – just what actually needs to be changed to improve the company.
Resist the temptation to make your mark everywhere. According to Forbes, you should know when to step away: don't "ask randomly invasive questions, or interrupt when things are working well."
Give Constructive Feedback
Let your employees know how they are doing so that they know where they can grow, and give them authentic opportunities to grow professionally. Have a regular practice of sitting down with your employees for formal and informal evaluations.
Working in an atmosphere of zero feedback can make people nervous since they don't know if they are reaching goals or may not feel like they are a valued part of the team.
Listen to Your Employees
If your employees come to you with a concern, listen. If they don't come to you with a concern, don't assume that there are no problems. Create intentional opportunities for your employees to express themselves and reflect on your business practices. That way, helpful suggestions for the future can emerge to make your insurance agency better.
Invite people to suggest solutions to problems in addition to bringing the problems forward. As a manager, act as a boundary-setter, working to protect your employees in situations with clients that are challenging or could get out of control.
Consider Your Employees' Personal Lives
According to Inc, the more you can "be generous with gratitude, praise and concern for (the) individual wellbeing" of your employees, the more your employees will be able to give to your agency. By treating employees like people who have real, complex lives, and by acknowledging them when they go above and beyond or when they are struggling, you can create a positive workplace culture that demonstrates how much you value your employees.
Always consider ways that you can make your agency better, starting with yourself. How is your leadership impacting the business? Through consistent self-reflection, you can constantly strive to better yourself and therefore improve your insurance agency.
At American Agents Alliance, we want to help you create insurance jobs that work. Whether you're trying on a new tool for your insurance agency or seeking new employees, we are here to provide you with resources. Take a look at our many membership benefits and sign up as an American Agents Alliance member today.