A lot of time and energy is put into the hiring process to help ensure that your agency finds the right people to join your team. But even the most experienced candidates need training and continuous learning to maintain success. It’s essential that you identify the training needs of your employees and implement a strategy to help your staff grow. Here are a few steps to get you started.
Define Job Characteristics
The insurance industry is interesting in that no matter how different two positions may seem on the surface, there is a lot of crossover in the skills and knowledge needed to perform the jobs effectively. However, there are still unique aspects of each role in your agency that need to be defined before you can accurately determine the specific training needs of each of your employees.
Your original job posting likely includes position requirements like product knowledge and software expertise. These are important aspects of the job role but aren’t the only skills to consider. Take a deep dive into the soft skills that could help your employee excel. For example, sales representatives and claims adjusters are both client-facing and require general customer service skills. However, where a sales person would focus on strategic prospecting and asking open ended questions, a claims adjuster may utilize conflict management techniques. Taking the time to create an in-depth job description for each role in your agency will allow you to accurately develop training programs for everyone.
Determine Training Needs
Once you’ve defined the characteristics and requirements of each job role within your agency, it’s time to determine the training needs of your employees. It’s easy to identify and develop trainings to cover the general insurance knowledge and agency processes every employee needs to learn. But how do you discover specific needs and new opportunities when they arise?
Look to your agency’s goals and aspirations to determine potential new training opportunities. Are you exploring new markets or products in your office? You may want to investigate industry specific seminars and forums that your employees can attend. Will your marketing efforts focus on digital mediums? Providing social media and email marketing training to your sales team can help fill potential skill gaps and set your campaigns up for success. Matching training opportunities with your strategic goals will give your employees the tools they need to succeed and help your agency grow.
Keep Your Employees Involved
Each position in your agency was created to provide value to your organization. No one understands the day-to-day needs of these jobs more than the employees themselves. Giving your employees a platform to provide input into their own learning and development enforces that you are invested in their success and their future. In turn, your staff can grow within their roles and provide even greater value to your clients.
Evaluate & Improve
Just as you evaluate your sales and marketing plans throughout the year, it’s important to analyze the progress and success of your employee training program. Include your employees in the discussion and determine what’s working and what needs to be changed or updated. Training is an investment in time and capital, so it’s important to make sure that your staff is benefiting from what is provided.
By: Tim Woitach