Acquiring talent is an expensive and time-consuming process for any company. Independent insurance agencies in particular, see an average annual turnover rate of more than 12%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Therefore, retaining employees is so critical to the long-term success of your business.
Just as it is less expensive to retain current clients, it is also more cost effective to invest in retaining current employees. Insurance technology more often than not focuses on client-facing solutions, and rightfully so. However, investing in technology for your employees may just be the key to rising above your competition.
The next time your agency evaluates upgrading its technology, determine if one of the following five tech solutions should be on the upgrade list.
1. Keep Employees Connected
Technology has the ability to bring together people from all over the world. But, in today’s office environment, it is common to see employees isolated at their stations; working away with the latest music fed through a pair of earbuds.
As social animals, we humans want to be a part of a herd. This includes those individuals with whom we spent most of our week. Technology can provide the impetus in creating camaraderie with your team.
Many websites and apps exist to bring employees together. There are online charitable contests where employees can work toward a common goal to exercise apps that encourage healthy competitions. Agencies can create private intranets or social media groups to help build a sense of workplace community. Collaboration tools like Slack can enable your team communicate in a free, easy and efficient way.
Also, you could include employees in company-wide exercise contests, such as those available through Fitbit. Or, consider enlisting the help of the Good Cards; a technology-based gamification that encourages individuals to pay it forward. Technology offers endless opportunities to bring employees together.
Related: Improve your Employees Effectiveness
2. Organize Data and Information
Does your agency have a go-to person for those difficult insurance questions?
Free your agency’s collective knowledge by using technology to organize important information. Three-quarters of employees surveyed believe their value to the company they worked for would increase if they improved their level of knowledge. By organizing your agency’s data and information, employees will have ready access to knowledge too often held by associates that are more senior.
Cloud services allow access to information from anywhere in the world aiding producers in the field. While at the office, a growing database of insurance information will be right at your CRMs fingertips allowing them to do what they do best – service your clients. And, by including your staff to participate in building and maintaining your agency’s knowledge base, employees will feel included and apart of something bigger.
Digitally organizing information may seem like a daunting task. However, consider using the opportunity to build out your website content finally. Think about it; nearly every piece of general insurance information is a blog post or article waiting to happen.
Reorganizing all that knowledge may very well increase the number of visits to your website. More website visitors equal more insurance prospects!
3. Grow Talent with Online Training
The old adage “if you’re not growing, you’re dying” is more applicable today than ever before. Your employees want to grow, both personally and professionally.
Insurance education used to be a dry, tedious endeavor. Nowadays, however, there are countless ways to provide training in an engaging and fun way. Independent agencies can spend thousands on the latest online training programs utilizing webinars, online course learning, and virtual classrooms.
For agencies on a budget, leverage the learning technology resources provided by insurance companies or create your own digital education program (more website content!). Regardless of the delivery method, the key to training success is to make sure employees know the tools are available and accessible at any time.
4. Increase Efficiency and Streamline Workflows
More and more employees want to feel a sense of purpose. Unfortunately, the insurance industry can be laden with many routine and uninspiring tasks.
Luckily, technology has evolved to a point where simple tasks, such as data entry or other mundane tasks, no longer requires human input. By partnering with a software vendor specialized in working with insurance agencies, your employees will have more time enjoying doing what they do best.
More importantly, your employees will do more of what you hired them to do in the first place. Producers can solicit more business and client service representatives can spend more time helping customers. In the end, everyone wins!
5. Telecommuting and Remote Work Opportunities
Remote work at the agency level is still in its infancy, but working remotely is the most desired of all working arrangements according to FlexJobs.com. Some key findings which are worth highlighting:
- 73% of respondents ranked work-life balance as more important than salary (70%) when evaluating a job prospect.
- 76% of workers also said they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options.
Allowing employees to work remotely requires a great amount of trust between associates and employers. However, if armed with solid processes and procedures, remote work capabilities may ignite your agency’s productivity.
The investment in remote work capability can provide a tremendous return on the required investment. Employers can reduce the amount of space and equipment required on-premises while employees no longer have to commute.
It is important to check with your state laws regarding employees who work remotely, or more technically, unsupervised. Some states require on-site employee supervision. Even so, having the ability to allow remote working for a few employees could have tremendous benefits for your agency.
At Agentero, we believe in the combination of technology and the trusted advisor. Our ultimate goal is to help independent insurance agents digitize and simplify their business. Automating mundane back-office tasks and using the right technology for your agency can definitely help you improve your employees’ effectiveness and retention. Explore what we can do for you!