One of the hardest parts of running an insurance brokerage is keeping a strong team of producers motivated to meet their sales targets.
The task is especially difficult in today’s tight job market when insurance agencies need to take the extra steps required to put in place the intangibles that are needed to retain and attract top talent. The keys to doing that are a culture of teamwork and support and a company culture that imbues motivation among your producer team. In other words, you want them to want to come to work motivated to give it their all.
The following are tips for making that happen:
Get buy-in from management
The key to the success of any company initiative starts at the top. Management needs to be on board and involved in initiatives to motivate employees and build a company culture that encourages them to strive to be the best.
When you can align culture with broader company goals, your top managers will be more likely to buy in.
To instill confidence in your team of producers, managers need to be approachable and willing and able to lend a hand or provide advice when their producers need them. They should be involved when you have sales contests or other functions aimed at team-building and motivation.
Top management needs to have faith that the producer team can succeed as a group and individually, while showing them respect as they try to meet their goals.
Producers that meet or exceed their goals should be rewarded and recognized for their hard efforts. The result is higher employee satisfaction and morale, and it keeps them motivated to continue their winning streak.
There are different measures to consider for dispensing rewards:
- Output – Agents are rewarded based on their sales production in terms of premiums. If they hit certain metrics, they earn rewards.
- Performance – Agents are rewarded for how many policies that they bind, such as receiving a reward for every five signed.
- Actions – Agents are given special awards for actions or procedures that increase sales, such as an innovative sales initiative or superb customer service.
It goes without saying that you need to communicate your measures of success to your producers. Be innovative in the kind of rewards they receive – and it does not always have to be monetary.
Build a supportive company culture
Many agencies don’t think about their company culture, and they let it just evolve organically. That can be problematic if management is not actively involved in promoting a positive atmosphere in the workplace.
If you want to build a successful team, you need to have a company culture where employees feel free to be themselves and be honest with management about any obstacles or failures they encounter.
More importantly, management needs to be positive and interact with employees regularly and encourage them to celebrate one another’s successes. That kind of support is invaluable in building a cohesive and successful team.
Part of that company culture should include respecting your producers and being honest with them. If management exhibits these values, it can permeate the entire organization.
Finally, encourage innovation and give them some scheduling freedom, like working two extra hours on Mondays through Thursdays if they want to take Friday off. Give employees leeway to be creative in how they meet their goals. They may surprise you with their ideas and methods and, if they meet with success, they can teach the rest of your team some new tricks.