For insurance agents, one of the most important ways they can differentiate themselves from their competitors is by increasing their overall productivity, utilizing what they have available to them so that they're one step ahead of the game. With this in mind, insurance experts Bill Schoeffler and Catherine Oak offer up some tips for the ways in which industry professionals can improve what they produce in the workplace.
Having a quality outlet in which agents can depend on insurance leads is naturally a crucial component of work productivity, but what may get overlooked now and then is how the office is situated. Oak and Schoeffler point out that how long it takes someone to go from their desk to the xerox or fax machine may not seem like that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, but small issues like this add up over time. Thus, insurers may want to evaluate the layout of an office, while agents specifically may consider making some observations about how their own desk is set up and adjusting how they've configured things so that it's more convenient and efficient.
Is the task at hand clear?
Another key component of productivity is communication. Occasionally, in a desire to get a jump start on a project, agents may launch themselves into an undertaking without being fully certain of what the task entails. But this strategy has short-term benefits, as at one point or another, an agent will come up against a problem that they likely could have avoided had they been clear about the assignment from the outset. Oak and Scheoffler recommend that agents have an unmistakable understanding of any project at the beginning so that they're not "bogged down in the minutiae" later on.
The insurance professionals also point out that insurers should make it a priority that all their agents are treated with the same level of respect and expectation, as this will help put in place an atmosphere that fosters a healthy dose of office morale. But this advice also applies to agents themselves, for they too need to maintain healthy relationships with their co-workers so that they can get the most of themselves as well as one another.
The insurance industry is well represented by agents. According to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 411,500 insurance agents in the U.S. as of 2010. The more productive agents are, the more likely the industry will grow, as professionals will be financially rewarded for their efforts.