As you work to build up your business, it is important to keep in mind a few key fundamentals. Happy employees are productive employees; the best ideas come from those who are encouraged to spread their wings from time to time; and all work and no play makes the office a dull place to be. Besides, you'll have a much easier time recruiting new talent if people know that your agency is a great place to work becasue it's fun, fair, and productive.
So how can you create a company culture that is fun and upbeat while at the same time runs productively? It’s not hard to do, but will require a bit of commitment on your part. Here are five ways to do it:
Insurance producers should row in the same direction
Make sure that everyone on the team understands the goals of the company and what is expected of him or her. If your team members can’t answer the questions, “What do we do?” and “How do we do it?” there’s a disconnect; a lack of cohesive functioning of the team. A good way to get people on the same page is to post the company’s goals and mission around the office; and be creative about it. The goals can be written in block letters or calligraphy, and then framed and hung up. If they are just written on a piece of paper handed out during orientation, they will likely get filed away and forgotten. Check out our article on how to write the perfect mission statement to see examples and get started on one for your insurance business.
Employee feedback is key
Focus on the common consensus through feedback from employees. A good way to learn what challenges face your company, workflow, or engagement is to use anonymous , non-invasive polls to learn what makes them frustrated or excited. Analysis and execution on these findings is just as important however. Use the findings to help create and foster a platform of trust and response to issues where employees feel their opinions are a valued part of the organization and make changes where change is needed. Survey’s show that employers want to make a better environment but direct execution on some of the findings is where the rubber hits the road.
Encourage team building
A good way to foster a positive work environment is through team building exercises that naturally encourage people to work together, and go out of your way to make them fun. One way you can do this is by assigning people to work together to plan the games that will be played at a holiday party or company picnic. Another is to encourage employees to work together on a mural for the company lunchroom or encouraging people to interact with one another at company sponsored lunch by randomly selecting lunch partners on occasion.
Offer insightful job training
Don’t just throw new employees into their jobs on day one. Without the proper training they can’t be expected to know all of your company’s processes and procedures. And who better to do the training than other employees who not so long ago were newbies themselves? Encourage and enable people to become role models for new employees at the company.
Anticipate, innovate, & dream
The most successful companies are those that challenge employees and partners to think beyond the norm and foster innovation. A good way to encourage people to go above and beyond is by offering rewards for exemplary achievements, and encouraging people to try new things. The rewards don’t have to be fancy. Maybe a $50 gift card for someone who comes up with a better more efficient way of doing something; or a $1,000 bonus for a sales person who brings in a huge contract that allows them to not only meet but exceed their goals for the month. Receiving a reward proves to the employee their hard work is appreciated.
Be spontaneous and offer something unexpected every once in a while that will be appreciated by all the employees. Some ideas are free lunch for the office, closing an hour early on a Friday, bringing in coffee/donuts/bagels in the morning, etc. These can be powerful motivators so long as they are not over-used to the point where spontaneity wears thin and gives way to expectation.