Your agency has a high performing producer bringing in quality business and meeting new business goals year after year. The problem is, there is a revolving door of Account Managers because of this producer’s behavior. This is a tough, but not uncommon, dilemma many agencies will face.
What should an agency do when they encounter this very problem? Here are a few things you will want to consider when deciding on next steps.
- Evaluate the behavior against what the agency would consider to be good and prudent conduct between staff. Does this meet those guidelines? Ignoring this type of behavior can have a long-term effect on the rest of the agency. While turnover may be the most pressing concern, allowing this type of behavior to go on can send a message to other employees within the agency that it is condoned by leadership. Left unaddressed it will quickly erode agency culture.
- Have an open and honest conversation with the producer who is causing the problems. While this may seem like a chronic issue that would be obvious, the agent may be oblivious to the extent to which their behavior is impacting other people or the organization. The conversation should happen sooner rather than later and focus on what specific behaviors are contributing to the resignation of other staff. This discussion should be used as an opportunity to discuss the problem and appropriate solutions. These solutions should be actionable by the agent and measurable by the supervisor. Ensure there is a process in place to follow up and monitor progress.
- Review alternative setups to alleviate stress. Perhaps the friction is stemming from being in the same office. If this is the case, moving the producer to another location or having them work from home will provide enough distance between the agent and the account manager to reduce tensions.
- Recognize that while this is not strictly a dollar and cents issue, the resulting turnover is costing the agency time and money. It can take weeks, if not months, to find and hire a new employee. There is also a time and cost component to onboarding and training a new employee to get them to a point where they are ready to service a book of business.
It can be very challenging to deal with a producer who is bringing in revenue but damaging relationships within the agency in the process. Chances are your agency will encounter this issue more than once and it is critical to be prepared to handle the situation the next time it arises.
As you continue to weigh the options, keep in mind this message from Gary Vanyerchuk:
Why You Might Need to Fire Your Most Talented Employee:
- Toxic employees will slow your organization down. Employees aren’t spending time executing if they’re thinking about who’s trying to “ruin” them.
- We are at the dawn of an era where emotional intelligence will be far more important than technical skills.
- The speed of your company is determined by your internal culture.
For more insight on this topic, check out the full episode of The Independent Agent podcast below.