Attract and Retain Top Producers by Creating an Exceptional Employee Experience
July 19, 2021
The insurance industry’s talent crisis has become such an over-referenced topic that it’s almost cliche. Articles and studies dating back to at least 2010 have warned of the impending insurance talent gap. A decade later, these predictions have proven true.
While you may be sick of hearing about it, the battle for talent in the insurance industry is still a pressing issue that can’t be ignored. For an insurance agency or brokerage, the reality of an aging workforce combined with the expectations of the younger generation can spell trouble when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.
Three often-cited reasons the insurance industry is hit particularly hard with a labor shortage are its poor reputation, the limited knowledge high-school and college students have of the industry, and a lack of training and growth opportunities for those already in it.
With the battle for talent already fierce, and with insurance competing against much more glamorous industries for the best and brightest of the new generation, employee experience is one area where insurance agencies may have an upper hand (assuming they play their cards right).
What is employee experience?
Employee experience describes a combination of factors that make up how employees feel about their company and jobs. Beyond employee engagement, employee experience emphasizes the elements of belonging, purpose, achievement, happiness, and vigor. Studies have shown that in organizations where employee experience is rated highly, there is a significant increase in work performance and retention.
How employee experience impacts insurance producers
At an insurance agency or brokerage, producers are the backbone of the company’s success. You rely on your producers to bring in new business and retain current clients, as well as round out accounts to increase annual recurring revenue. Doesn’t it make sense to provide the best possible experience for these producers, so they’re empowered to bring the most to your agency?
The issue of employee experience is not unique to the insurance industry. But, thanks to the industry’s challenges as mentioned above, it’s even more important to focus on producer experience if you want to grow your business despite the current obstacles facing the industry. When you provide producers with a positive experience, you’ll reap the benefits of a more motivated and harder-working sales team, better client relationships, and ultimately, a better bottom line.
At this point, you’re probably wondering what you can do to enhance your producer experience and realize these results. We’re glad you asked!
Three best practices for enhancing producer experience
Increase diversity by looking outside the box
The challenges facing today’s insurance agencies are unique to this generation. So, the solutions must also be. While it might sound counterintuitive, experts recommend recruiting producers who have no insurance industry background, rather than just poaching experienced producers from competing agencies.
The primary benefit of doing this is that bringing in people from entirely outside the insurance industry opens up the possibility of recruiting talented women, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, and others who historically aren’t already represented within the industry.
Increasing diversity isn’t just some “politically correct” box to check off for your agency. It’s been found to drive innovation and revenue, because teams perform better when challenges are tackled from a variety of perspectives.
With the insurance industry’s reputation for being dominated by old, white men, it can be a game-changer for your agency to bring in fresh talent by recruiting those with no prior insurance experience.
Invest in modern technology that helps producers do their jobs
One point all sources agree on when it comes to producer experience is that agencies need to invest in modern insurtech that makes their entire staff’s lives easier. From the practical side, investing in systems that help producers reduce busy-work and repetitive data entry will obviously lead to greater productivity. But it’s more than that.
The benefits of modern technology within your agency have a ripple effect, starting with the producer feeling more valued since their time isn’t being spent on tasks they see as beneath them. Producers who have access to systems that automate the tedious parts of their job will feel like their agency values their time and expertise.
They won’t be easily wooed away by competitors that promise them better, and higher-tech, resources. They’ll have more time to devote to relationships – both with clients (which obviously helps sales), and with other team members. Investing more time in building relationships has its own benefits, which we’ll hit on next.
The bottom line is, producers who are empowered to do what they’re good at and what they love will positively impact the entire agency ecosystem – just as producers who don’t can poison those around them.
Prioritize internal mobility, upskilling, and mentorship
This best-practice is actually the culmination of the first two: When you diversify your talent pool with those outside the insurance industry, and when you create a positive experience for your producers through eliminating tedious, repetitive tasks, you create an environment where the more senior producers can mentor the more junior ones resulting in a stellar experience for all.
When asked, employees often cite mentorship and opportunities to grow their skills as some of the top things they look for in a career. Millennials have a reputation for “job hopping” but the truth is they are just as likely to stay in one place as older generations, if they feel their career growth is being fostered.
This is why investing in your producers’ skills and professional development, be it in the form of sales bootcamp, leadership training, or offering technical training, can really pay off.
Looking for a way to enhance your producer experience by streamlining everything from the onboarding process to licensing and appointment to continuing education? Check out AgentSync’s solutions.