4 Nov 2021
How to Build a Stronger, More Positive Agency Culture
Estimated read time: 4 minutes
The topic of company culture is getting quite a bit of attention these days—and with good reason. Research indicates that a strong company culture yields many business benefits, from more productive employees to a better bottom line. This holds true for companies of all sizes and applies to insurance agencies, too.
Perhaps you’ve consciously constructed your agency culture around specific qualities you hold dear. Or perhaps it grew organically out of your business approach and style. Either way, your culture is a reflection of your organization’s values, beliefs and behavior. It’s reflected in the way your people treat others—clients as well as each other. It influences your business operations in myriad ways large and small.
Culture isn’t something we think about on a daily basis, but it does significantly impact our day-to-day operations. For this reason, it’s worth giving some thought to your current agency culture and considering ways you might go about making a good thing even better.
Defining Your Agency Culture
Much of your company’s culture is defined by your core values. Chances are, one of those values is providing excellent service to clients—most likely by communicating thoroughly, responding promptly and going the extra mile.
Other worthy core values include building a sense of teamwork, fostering collaboration, operating with transparency and developing a vision for the future.
Of course, your culture is also defined by your workplace environment—whether it tends to be more formal and businesslike or more laidback and casual.
When you recruit new agents and employees, you most likely gravitate towards those who share your values and style. Undoubtedly, they return the favor. Typically, those who are most comfortable with your culture—or can comfortably adapt—are the most likely to stay and flourish. That’s how powerful company culture is.
How Your Agency Culture Impacts Your Business
Research indicates that a strong company culture will positively impact many aspects of an employer’s business. Some of the benefits include the ability to:
- Recruit Top Talent – Obviously, people want to work for employers with good reputations—i.e., companies known for treating their people well. That is why companies named “Best Places to Work” by local business publications usually have their pick of top talent and the results to show for it.
- Earn Employee and Agent Loyalty – Providing a positive work environment—one where people enjoy going to work each day—encourages employee retention. Turnover is disruptive to business results.
- Reap Improved Productivity – Companies with strong cultures experience higher worker performance and overall productivity. According to Gallup research, companies with great cultures have seen net profits grow by 85% over a five-year period!
- Increase Morale – Employees who are supported by their employers have higher morale and less workplace stress, even in busy offices. And happiness is contagious. When your people are happy and confident, your clients and prospects will feel it—and be drawn to it as well.
9 Ways to Enhance Your Agency Culture
Chances are, you already have a positive agency culture. That said, there is always room for improvement. Here are some simple ways to take it to the next level.
- Celebrate agency achievements with your employees and agents. Had a great quarter? Gather the troops, spring for lunch or a celebratory cake, and thank everyone for their hard work.
- Recognize top performers. An extra day off, a gift card—or even a prime “employee of the month” parking spot lets people know that you appreciate their efforts. And that encourages them to keep it up.
- Support employee wellness. Make sure you’re providing benefits and resources that allow your staff to maintain good physical and mental health. If a worker is stressed out and struggling, consider giving them time off to take care of themselves.
- Be a good role model. Be optimistic. Smile often. Stay calm during tough situations and employees will follow your lead.
- Give your people a shared purpose. Most people crave meaning beyond collecting a paycheck. Be vocal about sharing your agency mission and goals. Remind your people what an important role they fill by providing health and financial protection to the clients you serve.
- Foster workplace camaraderie. Use events such as company picnics and holiday parties to encourage employee social interaction. Encourage humor and a little fun in the office. This will help build a collaborative, team-based approach, even if it is in a virtual remote environment.
- Be a good listener. Ask for suggestions, and implement as many ideas as you can. Let your people know that you value their input.
- Invest in your people by offering meaningful perks, such as flexible work schedules and career development opportunities. Let your people know your care about them.
- Engage in corporate social responsibility programs—and support your employees’ causes, too. Giving back to the community is a great way to enhance company culture, build a positive image, and make your people proud to work for you.