Attracting and maintaining talent in insurance agencies has been a growing challenge in the industry over the last few years. Smaller agencies may feel they are at a disadvantage against larger brokers when it comes to both what they can offer for salaries and career growth opportunities.
What options does an agency owner have when employees are seeking something beyond what the organization can provide?
- Have an open conversation with employees about their expectations regarding salary and career. This will provide them an opportunity to express concerns they may have with their current wage and what changes they feel are appropriate. This is also a great chance for you to find out their long-term goals are for moving forward in their insurance career.
- Be transparent about advancement opportunities that exist within the agency. If their desired income and career path are beyond what you can offer within the organization, it is important that they understand upfront what limitations there are. Embrace the opportunity to help them develop in their career and achieve their professional goals even if it means they ultimately outgrow the company. While it may seem counterintuitive, being a good leader for this employee may mean helping them find their next role with another organization.
- Suggest alternative solutions. While the agency may not be able to offer more money for the position, perhaps there are other benefits that would appeal to the employee like additional time off, more flexible scheduling or an option to work from home. You may find that these are all options that help offset the concerns the employee has about their salary.
- Make sure employees are aware of the value of the small agency environment that you are committed to maintaining. Even if you are not able to complete dollar for dollar when it comes to compensation, it’s important for employees to understand the value you do provide. Whether it’s a commitment to a 40 hour work week and an emphasis on family time or flexibility you’re able to offer within a smaller operation that isn’t subject to layers of management to make decisions. These are all things that may not be immediately obvious to employees who have not had enough experience to know how other agencies operate.
- Implement a strong training plan. There are no guarantees for how long an employee will remain with your agency. By creating and implementing a strong training plan, you will be better positioned to handle those staffing changes as they arise.
The insurance market will remain competitive from a talent acquisition and retention standpoint. Taking the above steps sends a strong message of honesty and transparency and helps create and sustain an agency culture that is attractive to employees.
For more information on this topic, check out the full episode of The Independent Agent podcast below.