4 Retention Tips for the Post-COVID Workplace

Throughout the insurance industry, employee retention has become a growing problem. This notion is supported by the turnover rate being an alarming 12%. Coupled with unexpected retirements and an unemployment rate that is far less than the national average. 

It’s a war for Talent!

During these trying times, elevated employee turnover rates are something you can’t afford.

Research indicates that it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary on average to replace one salaried employee. Suppose an agent makes $60,000 per year. That will cost you between $30,000 to $45,000 in recruiting and training expenses, with zero return.

There are already multiple operational challenges faced by the insurance industry because of COVID-19. Losing employees and scrambling to replace them will unnecessarily compound those issues.

Thus, the 4 retention tips below will prove integral to keep turnover rates low and everything smoothly running as you adapt to the new normal.

 1. Treat Employees like Users or Customers (Sort of)

This first suggestion is an overarching theme that should connect the rest of the blog’s sections.

2020 has presented employers with top talent who aren’t afraid to jump ship. This notion is reflected in the insurance industry’s high turnover rates.

Employers must shift their perspective from the idea that they’re doing employees a favor by hiring them. Yes, that might be an oversimplification, but there does tend to be a sense the talent “owes” their company something.

No, that doesn’t mean putting up with subpar work and bad attitudes. Instead, you must provide the necessary support, empathy, and guidance that makes employees feel valued and secure.

Akin to creating marketing campaigns that appeal to your target customer, you should craft internal strategies that soothe employee pain points.

Whether you’re providing more perks, higher salaries, better amenities, succession planning, or appealing career trajectory depends on your workforce’s preferences.

Failing to provide this kind of environment means the top-tier talent will land themselves more appealing gigs elsewhere.

2. Adjusting to Remote Technologies

Unsurprisingly, given the COVID-19 landscape, offering employees the option to work from home should be a no-brainer. No matter your personal feelings about the pandemic and work-from-home orders, much of the population is anxious about going into the office.

Be empathetic to these fears and equip your company with technology that allows for efficient and productive remote work.

The above suggestion is relatively straightforward, but let’s add something a bit more advanced:

Part of retention is recruiting the most suitable candidate. Nowadays, this should be done remotely to keep everyone safe. A company forcing someone into the office for an interview isn’t really sending the right message to potential employees.

However, that presents another set of challenges. Namely, you must convey your employer brand story over video chat. Consider offering virtual tours, videos, or recorded employee testimonials to help establish the workplace culture.

3. Focus on Internal Mobility

There’s nothing more demoralizing for loyal employees than getting passed up for promotions due to an external hire. Of course, you need to bring people in from outside in specific scenarios, but it shouldn’t be the hard-fast rule.

Consider these two statistics:

An employee remaining in one position has a 45% chance of sticking with an organization. Conversely, promoted employees have a 70% chance of still being at the company.

Ambitious forward-thinkers don’t want to stick around doing the same thing. They want to grow. And those are the people who are best equipped to help your insurance company flourish for years to come.

4. Adjust Benefits to Meet Current Behaviors, Expectations, and Preferences

COVID-19 has changed the way a lot of people see the world. As such, there’s been a shift in values throughout the US.

Allowing for long-term remote work and providing the various technologies and support required have been discussed already. It needs to go deeper than that. For instance, consider providing on-site childcare or underwriting childcare expenses as part of your employment plan.

Also, design your workspace in a way that adheres to new health and safety standards. Lacking in readily available sanitation will act as a red flag for top talent. Similarly, the layout should be such that it promotes social distancing.

Martin Grant Associates

Are you struggling with increasing turnover rates at your insurance firm while feeling the burn from COVID-19?

Then contact Martin Grant Associates to help recruit top talent that’ll stick around for the long haul and help your company thrive.

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