What is the “New Normal” when working from home?

As we transition into 2021, the new work normal is just starting to emerge. Will home offices be the norm or will we return to the pre-Covid office structure? 

The answer most likely lies somewhere in the middle. A recent poll conducted by the BBC of 5,000 office workers, found that 72% would enjoy a hybrid role that allowed for days at the office as well as days working from home.    

With that in mind here are some tips to help your home office team stay sharp.

Keep Procrastination in Check

It’s easy to put off a task that you really don’t want to do. To avoid putting off a task you should motivate yourself with positive rewards. That could be a break, time for exercise or a quick snack. In short, be competitive with yourself. 

2. Understand your Strengths & Weaknesses

Without daily interaction, managers will rely on employee feedback during one-on-one discussions or Zoom meetings. Understand your strengths and weaknesses and articulate those, so management can assist where needed. 

3. Attack large projects in sections 

By breaking up large projects the into sections, those projects become more manageable, and employees avoid some of the stress associated.

4. Block Time & Schedule

Blocking time and scheduling activities (i.e. checking email)  is key to being productive. Especially when working from home. 

5. Daily Planner (and plan the night before)

By 4:30 most people are pretty burned out and ready to pack it in for the day. Use the last 30 minutes to 1 hour to plan activities for the next day. Be specific in the planning.

6. Curb Social Media Time

Per the Harvard Business Review, the average office worker is only productive for about 3 hours a day and on average people spend 3 hours a day on social media. If that ratio seems about right for you, then you may want to re-evaluate the amount of time you spend on social media to see if it is negatively effecting your work.

7. Schedule Breaks

According to experts, the longest employees should work before taking a break is 90 minutes. A popular strategy is to work for 50 minutes and then take a 10-minute break.

8. Exercise and Healthy Eating

Health is something that works hand and hand with being productive at home. So make sure you schedule in time to be active and try to have healthy food available.

9. End of Day

If your work day ends at 5pm, get up and shut down your office space.

Hopefully these quick tips will enhance your staff’s work from home situation, so they can avoid burn out.

10 Deadly Sins of Talent Management 

10 Deadly Sins of Talent Management

Whether you are a 10,000+ corporate giant, or a 5 person start-up, how your leadership manages talent can have a direct effect on the productivity level of your firm. Make sure to avoid the following 10 deadly sins to make sure your team is ready for success.

  1. Fail to make a team of A-Players a priority – according to Brad Smart author of Top Grading, “A” Players produce 8-10 times that of “B” players.
  2. Pay below Market Value for Talent – as the insurance agency sector has an effective 1-2% unemployment rate, the old adage “you get what you pay for” is especially true.
  3. Maintain a long, arduous hiring process – The purpose of the hiring process is to identify the top talent, ensure that they have the experience, skillset, and track record that fits your need. Then you have to sell them on why they should work with you over all others. It’s not an endurance race.
  4. Hire based interviews – this is when the hiring manager moves forward based on personal chemistry, “not” the candidate’s experience, skill sets, track record, and accountability.
  5. Lack of defined career paths – the number one reason for “A” talent moving is the potential for advancement.
  6. No outside recruiting firms, job boards only – companies might save on recruiting fees but often miss out on the very best talent.
  7. Stop recruiting just because the seat is filled – this is especially true for agency production positions. We should be building the pipeline at all times and be open to meeting top talent whenever it becomes available.
  8. Tolerate low performers – lack of accountability can destroy company culture. Don’t lose top producers because you become tolerant of sub-par performance.
  9. Lack of training and development – Leadership and training are critical to “A” players. You can bet the most admired companies on the Forbes list have extensive training programs.
  10. Absence of a Performance Management System – All good systems allow you to set defines goals, track activity, few results, and ratios and to evaluate data effectively. Analytics allow you to understand where the need is and to auto-correct.   

Hopefully, this information is helpful as you recruit and train your insurance agency staff.  If The Rogan Group, Inc. can be of help with any of your hiring needs, please reach out.

Niches and how they can help with Producer Recruiting

Niches and how they can help with Producer Recruiting

It might be more important to recruit Producers in a soft market than a hard market, but it is definitely harder to do.  Agencies need to get a little more strategic with the initial contact and niche programs can play a roll in that. Strong producers get called all the time, but usually, the call goes something like this “Bill, this is Tom over at ABC Insurance Agency and we met over at the Insurance Conference and I wondered if you wanted to play golf”. The hope is that over a four hour round you can get to know each other better and Tom can converse on all of the great things going on at ABC Agency. 

Unfortunately, most folks don’t have the time to do a lot of that in this market, thus your call has to get right to the point and there has to be a “reason” for the contact. Niches can give you that “reason”. Take a look at the niche programs that your firm currently has and write down what add-ons might be good additions or what new niches might complement an existing program. If you have a Lawyers Professional Program, might you add a Producer that focuses on Accountants or Design Professionals? If you do Media in a big way, might a Producer that has a Cyber Risk Specialty be a good addition? An Energy or Environmental Producer might fit with an established Construction block. A Public Entity EB Producer with an established Public Entity P&C team?

When you call the Producer and ask for a time to talk, explain what you are trying to do and indicate that you understand what they do (do your research first) and that you think there could be a mutual benefit. The Producer will appreciate that you are coming from a logically standpoint and not just cold-calling. If there seems to be a fit, that will give you the opportunity to talk further and then you can pitch all of the resources of the firm (i.e. – markets, programs, service capabilities, alternative risk programs, compensation, equity plays, lead generation, account rounding, etc.).

So remember, review what you have in-house and understand what could be built. Research the Producers in the market and have a sound reason for the call. Explain that logic in the first few minutes of the call and ask for a meet based on that possible mutual benefit! To discuss this article or Producer Search in general, call Dan Rogan, President, The Rogan Group, Inc. – at 800-440-0082 or email drogan@rogangroup.com   

6 Tips for a Positive Interview Process

The High Cost of Treating Job Seekers Poorly

One bad review on Glassdoor can be the difference between an A-Player choosing to take an offer with your firm or the competition.

In fact 78% of job candidates say the overall candidate experience they get is an indicator of how a company values its people. (Talent Adore) and 50% of candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even for a pay increase. (TalentNow)

Below you will find TRG’s 6 Tips for a positive interview process. These guidelines are what our recruiters use to make all prospects feel valued and appreciated through out the process and we hope your team finds them helpful.

1. Be detailed
When posting a Job Order on a job site, be as detailed as possible. Indicate exactly what you are looking for and the needed skill set and experience level desired for the position. Outline the salary range and provide the dates that all resumes should be submitted by and when responses to those submissions will occur. This will cut down on unqualified resumes.

2. Be automated
Have an initial automated response to each resume submission telling the candidate that the resume and/or application has been received by the firm.  This should be date stamped.

3. Walk in the candidate’s shoes
If the application process includes testing or additional submission of materials, make sure that the HR/Recruiting team understands that process (knows where the bumps in the road are) and can walk the candidate through the process.

4. Deliver what you promise
Once you layout the application and interview process, meet the stated delivery and response times (this is the # 1 frustration for candidates).

5. Update quickly and be straightforward
If a candidate does not meet the needed requirements of the job, be straightforward and honest, and tell them so. Candidates can handle that news but become frustrated when they don’t understand why they were turned down in the process.    

6. Communicate their value
(even if they are not a fit for the current role)– let prospects know that everyone has value, even if the skill set does not match the current opening. That sign of understanding and respect will go a long way to creating positive feelings with the applicants going forward.

A positive experience by a prospect, even if they are not interviewed or hired, can go a long way in creating a positive impact value on the employer’s reputation. Take a moment to reflect on the above ideas and the company’s current interview process and hopefully your agency will be a few steps ahead of the competition going forward.