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Why It's So Important for Your Insurance Agency to Invest in Employee Happiness

by Precise Leads

August 31, 2018

While the insurance industry as a whole ranks low for overall employee satisfaction, your agency doesn’t have to.

As an insurance agent, have you ever wondered if everyone on your team is happy in their roles? That question may not be top of mind as you manage the day-to-day operations of your business, but it’s as important to your success as product expertise or effective technology.

Unfortunately, statistics show that the insurance and finance industries are falling short when it comes to workplace happiness and engagement. Only 20% of employees in those fields said they were content, according to previous research from TINYpulse, an employee engagement software company. Of the 12 industries the firm studied, insurance and insurance placed eighth.

The TINYpulse survey delved further into what was making insurance and financial services workers so unhappy. Nearly 80% cited a lack of recognition for good work, and only about half gave their direct supervisors and co-workers high marks.

Although those percentages aren’t too rosy, the results point to ways that agency owners can increase worker satisfaction. By instituting morale-boosting strategies, you can make your office a more satisfying place to work.

Creating a Positive Workplace

As the TINYpulse survey highlighted, your employees want recognition for work done well. If an agent finally closes a major sale, celebrate that achievement by bringing it to the attention of the entire agency, giving the agent some personal time off, or presenting them with a token of your appreciation. Reward noteworthy accomplishments when they happen, and don’t just wait until the annual review.

Creating a positive and productive workplace culture also makes your workers happy. The TINYpulse survey revealed 46% of insurance and finance industry employees were dissatisfied with their team members and colleagues. To avoid that thorn, foster a healthy workplace setting in which everyone supports one another.

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In fact, according to the TINYpulse survey, having strong personal bonds with co-workers does more to create a pleasant work environment than great benefits or a flexible schedule. As the agency’s head, you can start building those relationships by getting to know each employee on a personal level.

Understanding Career Goals

At the same time, be sure to learn what each employee’s career goals are and how you can help them advance to the next level of their professional life. Offer to help cover certifications and licenses so they’re able to sell more types of insurance policies. You could also consider providing time off for continuing education courses that will increase their skill set.

On a related note, there was one bright spot in the TINYpulse report: more than 80% of insurance employees ranked the industry high on workplace transparency as it related to establishing clear goals and responsibilities. This also included knowing how each worker contributes to the company’s overall success.

You can build on that by keeping the lines of communication open between yourself and your team. Ask them for feedback on how to improve logistical processes or let them take on more impactful work.

Securing Your Agency’s Future

As independent insurance agencies confront a looming workforce shortage, agency owners will find themselves in a fierce battle to recruit and retain the next generation of talented agents. While salary and benefits are important, industry newcomers will also be searching out a workplace where they can advance their careers and have satisfying relationships with their co-workers. An agency that puts a high priority on employee happiness will attract and keep those workers for the long haul.

Most important, engaged, satisfied employees enhance your agency’s reputation. They serve as the face of your business to prospects and clients who all expect excellent customer service. If your team doesn’t feel supported, it’s possible that your clients won’t feel supported either.

By investing in your employees’ satisfaction and professional development, you’ll be setting them up for success at every level of your business and in their interactions with your clients. Because insurance professionals often work with customers at times are great personal stress — after car accidents, property damage, or long-term illness — it’s vital that they have the tools and backup they need to go above and beyond.

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