Workflows and procedures can often be a second thought and take a back seat to the actual work that needs to be done to service agency clients. Without clear guidelines, employees are doing things the best way they know-how, but very likely doing things their own way. When this happens, important steps can be missed and results will be inconsistent.
Here is insight into 4 critical resources every employee needs to be effective:
- Centralized Access – Everyone needs to have access to the same set of information. If information is being housed on individual computers, this can create a couple of issues:
- Not everyone has access to each other’s computers
- Employees may not be using the most updated version of the document.
A central drive can be used not just to house the actual workflows, but also other resources like carrier underwriting guidelines, important contacts, or commonly used forms and applications. By creating a centralized database, all reference documents that employees should be using are in one place that is easy to access and always provides the most up-to-date information.
- Documented step by step procedures – If your agency is creating these for the first time OR if they have not been reviewed for a while, there will be some time involved to get these all documented into a usable format.
Spend time with employees to understand each step they are taking as they work through different processes. Whether it is new business, renewals, audits or endorsements, there are specific steps involved to make those processes work from start to finish. Pull of the individual feedback together to create one singular set of steps for each process. These processes can then be spelled out with a series of step by step directions and screenshots.
- Create video workflows – Once the steps for each process have been clearly identified, take it to the next level by recording the procedures. Employees joining the agency are accustomed to digital learning as they have been consuming video their entire lives.
Using a video recording software like zoom, your team can quickly and easily build a digital resource library for all workflows. Recorded workflows provide a significant benefit as employees can view them whenever and as many times as needed and they will get consistent information each and every time!
- Regularly Review & Update – Workflows will need to be modified from time to time. This may be in response to functionality in the AMS, changes that trickle down from the carriers or any number of other reasons. Rather than making constant changes and creating confusion, schedule regular review checkpoints throughout the year. Examine current procedures, get suggestions from staff regarding improvements and update accordingly.
Collecting all these pieces of information can time-consuming in the beginning. However, having agency processes documented and accessible to all employees will prove to be a significant difference-maker when it comes to training new staff and driving consistency across the organization.
For more on this topic, check out the full episode of The Independent Agent below!