Engaged employees are productive employees, productive employees are successful employees, and successful employees are happy employees. Businesses with the highest levels of employee engagement are 22 percent more profitable than those with low levels of engagement, according to a recent Gallup poll. Here are top ways to boost engagement in your agency.
What is employee engagement and why does it matter?
Employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel invested in their occupational roles, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work. It’s a successful combination of professional fulfillment and organizational pride. Not only can engagement help your staff feel motivated when things are going well—but it can also help keep them from leaving when things aren’t going so well.
Employees who are more engaged typically have higher productivity and less turnover, often helping them deliver better service to clients.
Tips for increasing employee engagement
Ask for employee feedback. When employees are given a voice and asked to share their ideas, they are more likely to buy into organizational decisions. Provide opportunities for everyone to share ideas and contribute to the success of the agency. Be open to receiving constructive criticism, and be prepared to make changes in your agency’s policies if necessary.
Say thank you. It’s so simple, but sometimes it’s a lost art. Express your appreciation for your employees verbally and with treats like bagels in the morning or drinks during happy hour.
Encourage friendly competition. Sales and commissions are rewarding but can become table-stakes. Liven things up with new sales contests between your producers. Design the contest so that everyone has something to shoot for, not just the top-performing salespeople in your office. Consider contests that reward the actions that lead to sales, like x-dates or referrals.
Invest in staff training. Providing educational opportunities shows your staff that they are valued and their potential is seen. Training also helps agents learn new ways of accomplishing their tasks and improving sales. Leadership training (including communication tips) can help your managers develop skills that will help them be more effective.
Offer schedule flexibility. Especially important to millennials, a flexible work schedule helps employees find the work/life balance that works best for them. Consider offering alternative start and stop times or four-day workweeks.
Reduce repetitive tasks. The insurance field is mired in paperwork—and some of that work is repetitive and time-consuming. Invest in digital solutions that can automate these processes and improve your agents’ workflow. The time saved can be used to find new prospects and connect with current clients.
Make some noise. Celebrate a sale by ringing a bell or banging a gong. Invite the agent who secured the sale to do the honors.
Track and smash office records. Who holds the record for the most policies sold in a day? Who’s made the most cold calls this week? Who bound the most policies last month? Track these milestones where everyone can see and celebrate when individual or team records are broken.
Schedule time for breaks. Give your staff the freedom to take a short break to refocus and reset. Encourage short afternoon walks, a mid-afternoon stretch, or a mid-morning coffee break to help your employees recharge and finish the day strong. Be sure not to jam schedules with too many meetings so everyone has some downtime.
Celebrate work anniversaries. Celebrate employees on the anniversary of their employment, the day they passed their first licensing exam, or when they made their first sale. Unlike a birthday, office anniversaries are only shared with co-workers, which makes them a bit unique.
Set the example. Attitudes trickle down, so project a positive mindset as much as possible. You help set the tone, so make it a good one!
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