You might be a skilled and experienced insurance agent thinking of taking things to the next level. Maybe you’re a dynamic individual ready to make an adventuresome change in your profession. Or perhaps you are drawn by the field’s flexibility and unlimited earning potential. Whatever your objectives are for putting together a team of insurance agents, you will want to effectively lead your team to a common goal—financial success.
Experts in behavioral finance and business development believe that fostering trust within professional relationships is vital in developing a financial advisors (insurance agents) team. Below are a few recommendations on how to build an enduring foundation for business relationships within the team:
Mentorship and Development
Mentoring an employee involves pairing them up with a more experienced peer or a leader in actual work tasks to develop the mentee’s skills. A qualified mentor is someone with the ability to provide guidance and support to a mentee, direct them to the right resources, and encourage them to want to succeed.
One effective way to approach mentoring is to single out a top-performing team member. While allowing the rest of the team to spectate, subject your top performer to the most rigorous performance coaching. Those team members who have a genuine drive to excel in the job will want to be coached as rigorously as you would your star player. As you go full blast with mentoring everyone else on the team, make sure to place your lead performers in positions of authority in the mentoring process. Yes, these are the ones you put through the most rigid performance coaching for others to see.
Change is inevitable in any environment. In workplaces, any work process modification usually implies a need for the team to learn new skills or knowledge to interpret and work accordingly correctly. As the leader, you should be prepared to provide all necessary channels for your employees to learn the new approaches for implementation. After which, you should give your team ample opportunity to practice the learned skills.
Let’s say you are implementing metrics that measure effectiveness in finding and attracting clients individually and for the agency. Before implementation, you should ensure that your team members undergo adequate training about insurance agency marketing ideas and so forth. That way, you also have input from people on the front lines.
Goal-setting and Achievement
How well and how rapidly your agency of financial advisors realizes the organization’s vision depends on the systematic setting of goals, strategies to maintain focus, and the orientation toward accomplishment.
Goal-setting helps intrinsic motivation along. Intrinsic motivation is what drives an individual to accomplish a task. Systematic goal-setting facilitates employee output and overall team performance. It is essential to set precise and measurable goals that are time-bound.
Make an objective self-assessment. First, ask yourself what qualities of an effective leader are and objectively evaluate yourself against these standards. Next, consult with your staff about what they think you can improve. Ensure to remain objective and take all feedback, especially negative ones, constructively.
Leadership in Challenges
It is important to be prompt in communicating with your employees and to do it often. For your business to run smoothly, it is essential to keep your employees aware and foster a feeling of security. Even in the face of business challenges and you don’t yet have all the answers, your team will work better when they know you are “all in this together.” Keep your team current on changes, leadership decisions, and other elements that impact the agency.
The ability to empathize is vital. There is no benefit to shielding your team from knowing about challenges. Acknowledge fears, apprehensions, and doubts and assure them that, with collective effort, the business can overcome the tide. This is especially true in these pandemic times. Assure everyone that there is no shame in reaching out to you, a health counselor, or human resources for help.
It helps that leadership is consistently visible, especially in times of crisis. Engage your team and process their negative emotions together.
Lasting motivation is more intrinsic rather than external. In other words, incentivizing good work with external rewards may work in the short term. However, an employee’s innate drive is what will propel them to persist at their goals. Some managers instinctively resort to typical tactics such as asserting authority or fostering fear and rely on an employee’s goodwill to keep working for their pay. Doing so is not entirely practical and can harm your credibility as an effective team leader.
Starting and managing your own insurance agency can be truly daunting. But with absolute determination and plenty of hard work, mentorship, systematic goal-setting, motivation, and challenge leadership, turning your insurance agency vision into reality with the help of your motivated team members will make the business significantly easier.