A business that is not evolving is falling behind the competition. You’re reading this article because you are a leader who has a vision for your independent insurance team, or wish to sell your insurance agency, and want to implement strategies that will elicit enthusiastic, sustained buy-in from your team. You understand that it is up to you to foster a culture that leans in to the roadmap you’ve plotted.
Over the past decade, insurance agencies have been improving the experience of both their customer base and their employees by continually incorporating, then upgrading insurtech systems. Insurtech upgrades improve profit margins, as well, making them a clearly beneficial strategy.
However, despite training days and repeated explanations of the clear benefits that will result, some employees have been resistant to learning the software and strategies that these improvements require.
Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.
—Harry S. Truman
Another scenario we have frequently observed is one wherein a private insurance agency owner is ready to sell (either to retire, or shift their focus to a different career), and one or more employees dig in their heels and refuse to see the positives that may result from a change in ownership.
The truth is, change is difficult. While there are a few personality types that enjoy change, most people dread the hard work that substantial change requires.
However, with a few evidence-based leadership strategies, you will be able to ease worries that will crop up in your employees’ minds and draw them forward into your vision for your agency’s successful future.
Gain Support from Your Key Members of Staff
Before you approach your entire team of employees with your plans, take some time to confer with those key players whose support will be vital going forward. By taking them into your confidence and explaining how important their leadership will be in achieving success, you’re far more likely to experience a smooth integration of new technology, policies, or cooperation with new ownership.
Devise Small, Actionable Steps
While you no doubt have a plan for your agency that will require significant operational changes, it’s vital that you avoid culture shock by introducing change in manageable increments. This approach may slow your progress, but you will ultimately face less opposition and attrition.
Commit to Communication
Without continued communication from you, your employees will not have a clear idea of how they are progressing relative to your plans. Set up meetings to check in with both your key members of staff and your entire team.
Do not reschedule or cancel these meetings unless a true emergency arises. Your commitment to these check-ins will demonstrate your dedication to your vision for change.
Remark Upon the Remarkable
Whether or not you choose to offer financial incentives is up to you, but you absolutely should take the time to recognize those who are working to meet your goals. Whenever possible, thank these dedicated employees warmly in front of your staff. Take the opportunity to reflect on your team’s progress and be clear when discussing why this employee’s actions have helped propel the company toward further success.
Leading your company to new heights will require you to do what you say you will, when you say you will. Only this form of leadership will enable you to ask the same from your employees. Are you prepared to meet the challenges that lay ahead?
Springtree Group has decades of experience supporting agency owners as they lead their staff through change. Contact us today to speak with us about your goals; we are here to help you succeed no matter what challenges you face.