Closing Leadership Gap

Closing the Leadership Gap in Insurance Agencies

Effective leadership is a key component to your business’s success. If there are issue or gaps in leadership within your company, your employees and bottom line will suffer. Here are some ways to identify leadership issues so you can get them resolved as quickly as possible.

Identifying Leadership Gaps at Your Agency

1. Get feedback from staff and customers
It is important that you are aware of your employee’s feelings about their supervisors. Similarly, you need to receive and be open to customer feedback regarding people in a leadership capacity. Surveys, informal meetings and formal get togethers can all be utilized to review how your leadership is doing. Giving both internal and external customers the opportunity to express their feelings about their job experiences will give you the chance to evaluate how your company leaders are doing and where they may be falling short.

2. Exit interviews
Employees that decide to leave the company can be a valuable wealth of information. People that do not fear for their jobs tend to be more open and honest. Turnover can cost companies a lot of money in lost training and talent. Take advantage of one of the few benefits of losing an employee and make sure you conduct an exit interview. Ask the staff member that is leaving why and ask for feedback regarding their peers, supervisors and company culture.

3. Review the numbers
Look at company analytics to assess how your staff is doing and identify any areas of weakness. If your turnover rate has increased dramatically, try to find out why. If your sales have plummeted in a specific department, carefully analyze any changes or trends. Your company’s statistics contain valuable information if you know where to look.

4. Look online for information
Websites such as Yelp and Google offer specific customer feedback. If the same issue or person comes up in multiple reviews in a negative manner, it may be time to take action. There are also sites like that give current or former employees the ability to rate their employers. Again, if you see a recurring complaint or issues involving one person, you should dig deeper into the root cause.

What Qualities Should a Leader at Your Company Have?

Great leaders tend to share some key qualities that help them excel and bring out the best in others. Make sure your leaders have the following:

1. Integrity
Anyone in a leadership role needs to have integrity. A leader is someone that other people have to trust and look to for inspiration and direction. Because of this, successful leaders within your organization should be honest and forthright. If your staff doesn’t trust or believe in their leaders, the company and its performance will suffer.

2. Strong communication
For any relationship to work, business or otherwise, communication is a necessity. A supervisor must be able to speak clearly and directly to his or her employees. Communication is also key for employees so that they can understand the company culture, vision, and job parameters and expectations. Giving employee feedback is part of being a leader, which is also an overlooked part of professional leadership.

3. Confidence
Leaders tend to set the tone. Your insurance company leaders must carry themselves with confidence in order to inspire those around them. People have an innate way of sensing when someone is not speaking truthfully or with conviction. This is why your leaders have to truly believe in what they are saying and the company they work for.

People in management roles need to be innovators.  They should be able to maintain the status quo and efficient day to day operations while also looking towards new efficiencies, technology and procedures.  If you do not have leaders with vision, your company may stagnate making it vulnerable to more forward-thinking competitors. Your leaders must incorporate innovative insurance marketing ideas as well for your agency.

5. Transparency
Lots of closed door meeting and whispered conversations are a good way to breed distrust. People that operate with transparency tend to be more trusted and respected. While you can’t tell your employees everything all of the time, you can strive to be as transparent as possible about the big and little decisions that affect those that work for you.

6. Commitment
Your leaders will set the tone of all those around him or her. It is important for your business’s success that your leaders demonstrate a strong commitment to the organization and its mission. If you are investing in after-hours team building exercises your leadership needs to be there. If you have a major policy change, your leaders need to vocalize their conviction and commitment to it. Leaders should be people that truly care about their work and show their commitment to it in little and big ways every day they come to the office.

7. Patience
Sometime things don’t go as planned: customers can be surly, staff may call in sick, and inventory can be damaged or delayed. A successful leader will be able to move through these types of situations with patience and grace. Projects can take time and a lot of calm leadership to reach completion. Company leaders need to know when to push and when to be patient.

8. The Ability to Delegate
One person simply can’t do it all. For a leader to excel at his or her job and avoid working 24 hours a day delegation is a must. A key piece to successful delegation is hiring and training competent staff. As your team becomes more knowledgeable and capable, your leaders can delegate more items, making the workload more manageable.

Industry Leaders Are a Resource for You

ASNOA knows what it takes to lead an agency. Our leadership exemplifies these qualities and more. If you find yourself in need of leadership or any other assistance, sign up with us. We have ample training and experts to help you build your business.

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