A 132-year old insurance agency with seven full-time employees generating approximately $750,000 in commission revenue was struggling with performance, attitude and relationship issues. The owner, who purchased the firm approximately 11-years prior was the primary rainmaker causing him to be away from the office a significant amount of time focusing primarily on selling and servicing accounts with little time to focus on environmental issues. Certain relationships in the office were causing internal and external customer service issues and with the market for commercial and personal insurance beginning to change improving the team performance was essential for maintaining bottom-line performance of the agency.
Project objectives were varied but included:
- Improve the overall work environment and the way team members interact with each other.
- Create a “Performance Management & Improvement Program” to set job performance expectations and hold individual team members accountable to fulfilling agreed upon performance standards.
- Meet 1:1 with all employees to obtain anonymous, anecdotal feedback on which to craft initiatives to improve the environment.
- Institute a 360-degree feedback process for all employees. Have all employees provide insights into each other’s positive contributions to the effort and areas each could improve. Each employee was also to complete a “Self-Evaluation.” Compile feedback from all sources and add it to the feedback of the agency owner for use in 1:1 performance improvement discussions.
- Hold 1:1 performance improvement sessions with all employees to review contributions since hiring date (no performance reviews had been done in the 11-years since the owner purchased the firm)
- Engage all employees in creating their own solutions and holding them accountable to implementation with regular (twice a month) facilitations to ensure progress.
- Individual 1:1 coaching of agency principal and other commercial lines producer.
Increase in the agency’s gross commissions by 33% after one full year. The agency is now generating over $1 million in commissions and the agency’s top commercial lines producer has doubled his productivity each of the last three years (1:1 coaching with the producer continued for two additional years after the initial project). The agency has since added two full-time employees and has a much more congenial and enjoyable working environment with improved attitudes and levels of teamwork.
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