The work-from-home era is five times more ubiquitous than before the pandemic . Employees and employers alike are realizing the amount of work that can be done remotely and it’s shifting the landscapes of countless industries — including life insurance.
Managing a life insurance agency comes with its own set of pitfalls to avoid and lessons to learn. When we combine that with the transition to remote work, managing your team requires a new set of skills and processes to add to those existing learning curves.
We’ve put together this list of best practices to consider when managing your remote team. From a well-defined structure to putting together virtual get-togethers, it’s important to adapt to a growing workforce that chooses to work from home.
Knowing the specific challenges that come with managing a remote team is important in overcoming them. Aspects of building a strong team that you might have taken for granted at one point now require more nuance and intention with remote work.
Things like building trust and engagement among your team members are something that can easily be left by the wayside if you’re not establishing a work culture that leverages digital solutions.
Similarly, monitoring your team’s performance, nurturing a work-life balance and simple technological issues can bring a unique challenge to managing your remote team.
One of the greatest challenges to adapting your team to remote work is basic communication. So much of what went into effective communication before the transition to remote work can be lost behind the computer screen.
Keep these challenges in mind when imagining what your team’s remote-work life will look like. By understanding the hurdles that can show up, you can more easily get through them and create a positive work culture for your remote agency.
Clearly defining your team’s remote-work structure is key to avoiding a lot of issues with managing your remote team. Give your agents specific roles and responsibilities to keep them on track and not feel lost in the wind in between virtual meetings.
Having established processes and protocols can also go a long way in defining the remote structure for your team. From email to text and everything in between, give them guidelines for what communication requires a meeting and what can be handled over an instant message.
The more details you can provide as the agency owner, the better off your team will be in building structure around their workday. With that in mind, make sure they understand the importance of their own autonomy. They will have clients to meet and carrier calls to make on their own. Give them just enough structure to where it doesn’t feel like micromanaging.
A well-defined structure will give your team guidelines to work with and a set of protocols they can rely on.
Without leveraging technology, you and your team could be missing out on some powerful tools for communication and collaboration while working remotely.
For instance, having agency-wide communication software like Microsoft Teams or Slack is a great idea for your daily conversations.
Not everything needs to be handled by a Zoom meeting, and often using an instant-messaging service can be critical for conveying short pieces of information when you need them. They’re also great for knowing when your team members are busy or want to avoid any disturbances during the workday.
More than that, having a project management software like Jira or Asana can also enhance your team’s remote workflow. Outside of meeting with clients and writing policies, your team probably deals with plenty of administrative duties like social posts or organizing agency-hosted events.
Having project management software can help keep your agency on the same page.
When it comes to meeting with clients, scheduling appointments and digital underwriting, there is no better option than our very own Switchboard . This proprietary platform gives your agents a virtual, omnichannel experience where they can meet with their clients on their terms.
With features like automated campaigns, a centralized CRM and live chat support, Switchboard is the ultimate Swiss army knife for your remote team.
Team morale can be a hard commodity to come by during the work-from-home era. Without regular engagement, it’s easy for your team members to feel siloed and on their own virtual island. To that end, make sure to give them ample opportunities to come together socially.
The possibilities for these social gatherings are nearly endless. You could host a virtual movie night with your team using any streaming services, a group watch extension or a third-party app like Kast .
Also consider hosting virtual holiday parties, employee anniversaries and birthdays. Coming together virtually for reasons outside of the business is a great way to keep your team engaged.
Whether that’s an after-hours, virtual movie night or just a weekly team gathering, it’s important that your team regularly checks in with each other and flexes those social muscles — even if it’s only through a computer screen.
Managing an agency can be a challenge on its own. Throw in remote work, and many agents need new skill sets to manage their teams.
Whether you’re leveraging our proprietary technology or planning a movie-watching party with your team, we hope something in this guide has helped you. Remote work is seemingly here to stay, and adapting to this transition to the industry is important in growing your life insurance agency.
As a Symmetry agent, you will have access to high-quality life insurance, disability income insurance, critical illness insurance, and annuity products from more than 30 well-known insurance companies. This gives you the flexibility and reach you need to tailor plans to meet clients' individual coverage needs.
To learn more about how to begin a fulfilling career as a life insurance agent, contact us today .