Managing Your Insurance Team Remotely
A month ago, it may never have crossed your mind to have a team that worked remotely. Now, it’s imperative. Whether you’ve been headed toward offering flexible options for a while or working from different locales is a new concept, there are ways to keep your team directed, engaged and united.
Lead the Way
The attitude you present will set the tone—so choose a positive one. Make a choice to model flexibility, curiosity, adaptability and an openness to admitting when you don’t know something. Make it clear that it’s okay for all of your employees to ask for as much help as they need while they adjust to a near normal.
Anxiety is high for many, and it may be high for some time. Having a solid, supportive work environment—even online—can go a long way toward bringing a needed feeling of normalcy back into your staff’s lives.
Look for Untapped Skill Sets
Crisis situations can bring out the best in people. As you shift work away from a central office, start looking for how you can let people shine by using skill sets that they may not always get a chance to employ.
Who on your team is most likely to be up on current technology trends? Ask for their input and ideas on how to make remote work easier or more effective. Who understands your insurance-specific technology best? Find out if they’d be willing to do video or phone tutorials with those who’ve been relying on others to fill out online paperwork for them. Who is good at building morale? See what great, creative ideas they can come up with to keep you all connected.
Use Technology to Stay Connected
There are many ways to keep in contact throughout your workday. Some may be integrated into work systems that you already use like Google Chat or Microsoft Teams. Others may be new-to-you platforms like Slack, where you can maintain multiple ongoing conversations with whomever needs to be part of them, or video conferencing tools like Zoom, which will allow you to hold virtual meetings where everyone will have a chance to be seen and heard.
While group check-ins are great, you can also keep cohesion strong by making the rounds with each of your staff members individually on a daily basis. Find out what resources they need to do their jobs and what questions they need to be answered to move forward. Be prepared to spend some money getting them the computer-related items they need. Check-in on them personally to see what stresses they may be dealing with that you can help alleviate.
In a one-on-one setting, they may be more inclined to give you honest responses, which will in turn give you an important read on how your staff is doing and how they need to be supported.
Adjust Your Expectations
Maybe you’ve always been an 8-to-5 manager, expecting your staff to be at their desks selling insurance between those hours Monday through Friday. Or perhaps you have an office hierarchy that dictates which agents get the majority of your shared admin’s time.
Your traditional ways of operating may not work anymore. Parents of children who are stuck at home instead of being at school may appreciate the opportunity to have some daytime hours freed up in exchange for putting in evening hours. Your more tech-savvy employees may be able to do some of their own administrative chores, freeing up the admin to help those who are more technologically-challenged.
Your staff knows best what they need to succeed. If you ask them to tell you and keep an open mind, you will find better ways to accomplish your insurance sales goals in this new remote-work environment, some of which will probably make life easier post-pandemic, too.
Bottom line? This is a time for counting blessings. One of them is that much of the business of selling insurance can be easily conducted over the phone and online. Another is that people still want and need insurance. The security and peace of mind that you and your team can provide will be one less worry for those folks.
Now is a great time to work the fresh insurance leads offered by Hometown Quotes. Call us at 800.820.8921 to start receiving pre-qualified prospects who are shopping for insurance in real-time.