6 Ideas for Attracting and Retaining Talent in the Insurance Industry – InsuranceNewsNet

Two and a half years ago, insurance companies worked hard to retain employees after the COVID-19 pandemic plunged the world into a sudden recession.

Pam Stempen

Then in 2021, we faced a new challenge: The Great Resignation prompted millions of employees to seek greener pastures as they left their jobs. Many leaders thought that hiring levels would soon return to their normal pace, but so far they have not. Simply put, good talent is hard to come by. This is especially true in the insurance industry, which requires a skill set that includes problem solving, organization, analytical skills, and customer service.

Many organizations in our industry are trying to figure out how to hire the right people to fill their positions. While employees are certainly driven by paychecks, they also want to work for an organization that has a sense of purpose. With that in mind, here are six ideas for increasing your applicant pool and getting your current employees to stay with you.

1. Make sure your company’s values ​​and purpose are clear. Insurance companies are focused on their customers, helping people and organizations through difficult times. This may seem obvious to you, but is it obvious in everything you do? Do you emphasize your corporate values ​​during job interviews?

Provide opportunities for your employees to help the communities where they live and work—not just by addressing claims, but also by rolling up their sleeves and working side-by-side with customers to reduce their risk and recover from a disaster. When employees feel they are making a difference at your company, they are more likely to stay – even if another organization gives them an attractive offer.

Give your employees a chance to participate in committees that reinforce your good work. They will feel ownership and personal investment in the organization, which can lead to better employee retention.

2. Offer career paths within your company. Recent college graduates and near-graduates want to know that there is room for growth if they join your organization. Show them that you will provide opportunities for them to continue their education, such as offering job instructors or subsidizing continuing education courses. Depending on the size of your company and the quality of the talent, you can even map out possible career paths available to them for growth.

3. Showcase your company’s unique strengths and culture. And if you don’t have unique benefits yet, offer some! Yes, health insurance and a retirement plan are mandatory, but these days many insurance companies offer their employees much more than the basics. For example, some allow employees to donate their paid time off to another employee facing a personal challenge and needing additional time off. Employee assistance programs are also an important added benefit—especially these days when mental health issues are at an all-time high.

When potential employees interview at your company, they also want to know about your company culture. They will spend a large percentage of their waking hours working for you, and they crave community. You can create that sense of belonging for them so that they feel like they are surrounded by trusted friends and neighbors instead of co-workers. This is especially important for young people who may be starting in a new place and want to feel connected.

4. Offer flexibility. Now that the world has seen that working from home is possible in many situations, work will never be the same. The insurance industry in particular is a great place to offer flexibility. A hybrid workspace is one way to give employees the best of both worlds—time to complete autonomous work at home while creating a personal environment for collaboration, mentorship, and communication as a team.

5. Redefine productivity for your employees. Twenty years ago, many companies considered their employees to be productive if they completed a certain number of tasks by the end of the day. As work schedules have become more flexible, many insurers’ definition of productivity has also changed. They look at an employee’s worth based on their results, not the number of hours they’ve worked or the number of “things” they’ve created.

Imagine you have a choice between two sales associates: One works 50 hours a week and is able to close the deal in an average of five interactions per week. The other only works about 30 hours a week, but usually closes the deal on at least 10 interactions a week. Which employee would you prefer?

6. Recognize good work. Even the most productive, happiest employees need a boost every now and then. Managers will often call out particularly good work – but what if you have a manager who doesn’t do this regularly? You risk burning out that person’s team because they don’t get positive feedback. Instead, you can have a company-wide system for giving praise to employees who have worked particularly hard. Make positive feedback part of your culture so it’s not up to the manager.

Even the highest paid employees won’t stay if they don’t see value in the company they work for. You believe in your company, so make sure your employees do too. Make your business the place everyone wants to work, and you’ll soon find you have your pick of quality talent.

Pam Stampen is Chief People Officer at Church Mutual Insurance. You can contact her at [email protected].

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