Does your Agency’s culture SUPPORT or
UNDERMINE your strategy?
I recently posted on Social Media one of the COOLEST and most AMAZING compliments our agency has had…
“Just had one of the greatest compliments to our staff and GDI as a whole!!!
A new client sincerely asked to meet with me to specifically discuss our hiring practices. Our team member was understandably nervous in relaying the message to me, especially since he was in the lobby waiting for me. He looked me in the eye and asked me how we go about hiring.
I asked him why (not knowing if was for a positive or negative reason for his request).
He said that he's had nothing but great experience with everyone he's met on our team and that he'd like to do some of what we're doing as it pertains to hiring in his own business.”
Pretty cool, right?
It has NOT always been this Great
I returned to our family’s agency after a 4-year hiatus in May of 2010. I remember vividly walking in about 2 months after my return with my head down and thinking that returning to the insurance industry (specifically the family agency) may well have been the worst career move I could have made. The reason for this thinking was due to the agency’s culture. To get an idea of the culture at the time we need to look at the prior few years that led to the mid-2010 agency I walked in to – in the years leading up to the financial meltdown of 2007/2008 our agency was heavily weighted toward clients in and around the residential construction market. When I went down, so did our revenue and by mid-2010 the agency moral was tapped out and many of the team were on the verge of burnout.
The moral was so bad that I (the owner’s son at the time) didn’t even want to go to work – so how was I supposed to expect our team to be e
xcited about it?
I’d love to say that it was by the stroke of intelligence, business savvy, or some other innate quality of mine that we turned our moral (and agency as a whole) around, but honestly it wasn’t my doing.
We started off by having a revolving door of employees for a period of time which luckily led to some really beneficial hires. With these new hires putting their faith in our management we began the arduous task of identifying the “target” for our hiring.
We made the initial mistake of taking too much time filtering and not enough time meeting candidates, once we flipped that over and started meeting them we found the foundation for our winning process.
FIT & ATTITUDE
We then look for qualities and abilities that are aligned with the position we’re looking to fill. And the most important two are ALWAYS: (1) Will they fit with our organization based on their attitude/personality, and (2) are the WILLING to learn?
The BEST Strategy will fall flat without supportive Culture
Our staff now does more than they ever have and routinely surpass the plans we as ownership put forth and base our agency goals upon.
Now that our Culture is aligned with our Strategy, we’re in a winning mode!
I am thankful for our stellar team and am excited to see where we can go from here.
Matthew Davis, MBA, CPCU, AAI