Corporations in all industries have been dealing with the Great Resignation in recent years. Essentially, the COVID-19 pandemic taught many employees that there’s more to life than work, so they’re quitting in hopes of finding something new. With that said, it’s essential to realize that most people don’t quit their jobs unless they’re unhappy, treated poorly or overly stressed. If stress is an issue at your agency, it could affect your organization’s success.
You need to determine if it is an issue and then solve it with these steps.
Why stress hurts your agency
To be alert and efficient at work, we often need to be engaged, and on our toes so we’re stimulated to handle our tasks for the day. In that way, a bit of workplace stress can actually be a good thing. However, if your teams are really anxious because they are being overworked, they don’t have a proper work-life balance, or they don’t think management cares about them, then that can only bring your business down.
Employees can show their anxiety in many ways, from working less effectively to not showing up to work at all. If your employees don’t feel appreciated, they will stop caring, and they may even partake in another recent trend of quiet quitting. That’s when they come to work, but they do the bare minimum. An insurance agency looking to reach the next level of success will need employees who strive to go above and beyond, and if they don’t, your agency will remain stagnant.
There’s also the chance that you could let the poor environment at your agency get so bad that the stress of one employee can spread to others. Then, you could have an entire department not working to its full potential. Even worse is when there is a manager who is so stressed, and he or she cannot motivate the team properly. That scenario could be detrimental to your bottom line.
Determine if stress is an issue
While stress often can manifest itself as absenteeism or poor performance, it’s not always immediately obvious that anxiety has become the norm at your agency. An employee may be stressed but he or she is able to continue to perform to expectations. However, the employee could be a ticking time bomb that could get up and quit at any time—and other employees may follow suit and put your agency in a bad place.
That’s why it’s important for those in management positions to keep their ears to the ground and stop a potential anxiety issue before it starts. A good way to begin is by sending out organizational environment surveys to all the employees and asking them honestly what they think about their work and the agency. Take the feedback you receive to heart and try to implement the changes throughout your organization.
Another way to communicate with your employees and get honest feedback is through annual reviews. Check in with employees at least once per year, tell them what they’re doing well, provide some constructive areas of improvement, and ask them how they’re doing. When you ask, be more like a friend than a manager and actively listen to what they have to say. Employees are likely to stick around if they know their concerns are heard.
Ease the tension
There can be many different causes of stress at your organization, ranging from a toxic work environment to bullying and harassment. Another common cause could be that your employees are simply overworked to the point that they are becoming burned out. This may be a good time to look at their workflow and make the proper tweaks.
Talk to your employees, find out what causes them stress, and try to modify the workflow. Are there certain repetitive tasks you can automate or repetitive steps that can be eliminated altogether? Look into it. By fine-tuning your operations, you can reduce errors, increase revenue, and make your employees happier, all while enhancing customer satisfaction.
Finally, show your employees that management cares by rewarding them for a job well done whenever possible. When someone sells a big policy or convinces customers to upgrade their coverage, management should call the employee to thank him or her or give the employee a gift card or other reward. When your employees see that you care about their job and well-being, they will be less stressed and may work harder to impress you.
If you want your insurance agency to reach the next level, checking the temperature of the work environment and relieving employee stress is the first step. Put these thoughts into action, and you can create a happier and more ambitious team.