Our first Executive Breakfast was a huge success, thanks to the many great insurance leaders from around the Puget Sound. We had 13 industry leaders for a 90-minute breakfast to talk about how to effectively recruit, train, and retain talent in the insurance business.
Here is a summary of the event….
You are the recruited!
We as an industry, and you as an agency are the ones being recruited by talented individuals looking for a career. As an industry, we need to change the mindset of our “prospects.” They view us from the lens of television marketing, which often casts insurance in an unfair light. Create a new paradigm by using outcome-based language to express the value and personal reward they will realize by being a part of this industry and organization. Example – Instead of “We have a training program;” say “You will realize success more quickly.” Think in terms of the outcomes they receive; not the methodology you employ.
You have them…now what?
The cost to hire someone is 1 ½ times his or her salary. You need to protect that investment. Formal mentoring and coaching programs are key strategies to quick and effective “on-boarding” of new employees. Mentors should feel engaged and not burdened by their role as a mentor. This allows for healthier and more productive relationships. Training them to be effective communicators and mentors is advised. By promoting a formal program for bringing on new people, your organization reduces the chance of a bad morale, misunderstandings, and poor performance.
Poor performers are often the consequence of bad training. Areas that lead to poor performance can be mitigated if proper training is in place. We discussed the concept of accountability partners. Accountability partnerships, when done correctly, have a three-fold result for the organization. First, you get out of being the “accountability partner” for your entire team. Your time increases and stress level reduces! Second, a culture of “team” is proliferated. The lone wolf mentality dissipates into a more collaborative setting. Finally, there is a forum to change behavior and activity to reduce poor performance and help “bounce” gravitational pull. Gravitational pull is that calamitous condition where people sink back into bad habits and don’t reach their desired goals.
Talking ‘bout my generation
There are now four generations in the workplace. Understanding what motivates each one (knowing that people are still individuals) is key to recruiting and retaining. It’s more than just money!
Dan’s 4 Rules for Generational Bliss
- Don’t assume they are damaged. Thinking that the younger generation is entitled, lacks motivation, expects constant praise, and other such generalities leads to miscommunication, distrust, and bad morale.
- Just because it worked for you, doesn’t mean it’s right for them.
- Reach them where they live. Find out and be willing to communicate with them in their world. They appreciate your efforts.
- Be willing to learn from them. We may be able to learn more than we teach!
Note that it works both ways. You may be finding exceptional talent in people who are in their 40s and older. Your younger talent may be very helpful in mentoring to an “older” crowd!
Resources on Generations in the Workplace:
- Roberta Matuson – http://www.YourHRExperts.com
- Anna Liotta – http://www.AskAnnaLiotta.com
- Cheryl Cran – http://www.CherylCran.com
What they said…Biggest takeaways from the group
Accountability partners (6); Meeting young guns where they live; Don’t assume they are damaged; Creating a formal mentoring program; Changing the insurance paradigm; outcome-based language; continual learning; and the definition/difference of mentoring vs. coaching
Web Site – http://www.DanWeedin.com
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For more information on “insuring the success” of your organization and your team, please contact me. I work with all types of insurance professionals from agency owners, executives, producers, and consultants to accelerate their professional and personal growth and thrive in their careers.
© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved