This is the 2nd post in a series of 6 by Jack Burke, President of Sound Marketing, Inc. Jack’s posts on Talent Management are sponsored by ReSource Pro. Talent Management – Part I provided the foundation to the problem of talent and time management within the insurance industry – or, quite honestly, any business.
Talent management is all about maximizing the value of each employee to the overall goals of the organization. It begins with defining specific corporate and departmental goals and objectives. Then a thorough evaluation of employee skill sets, capabilities, expertise, and passions. Management’s task then becomes the aligning of corporate needs with the highest and best uses of employee talents and activities. Accomplishing such high value employee utilization often requires redeployment of activities that are not the “highest and best use” of an employee’s talents. Such transitions require change management skills as well, since many employees may initially be fearful of the changes.
Similar to the back-office activities, many agency owners also complain that their producers spend too much time in the office when they should be outside selling. Unfortunately, like the CSRs, today’s producers are besieged with data processing and paperwork that really has nothing to do with the sale. From interaction with underwriters and companies, to application processing and presentation preparation, producers are pushing a lot of data and paper – work that could be done by others more proficient in processing. And, since the CSRs are so busy processing data, a producer is frequently called upon to work on service issues for the client.
The dichotomy is that we judge our agency performance by revenue per employee, yet we saddle the employees with non-revenue producing tasks. The income of most professionals, such as lawyers, doctors, and accountants, is limited by billable hours and they use support staff to maximize the number of hours that can be devoted to clients and therefore create revenue. Insurance agencies have a distinct advantage in that revenue is only limited by the number and the size of sales. Hours come into play in determining how much effort can be directed to selling.
The management of talent must be directed towards the production of revenue, which means that:
1. Producers must be freed up to produce revenue.
2. CSRs must be freed up to serve customers and cross-sell accounts.
In order to accomplish those two goals, agencies must find a way to eliminate tasks that do not maximize the value of each employee’s talents and core competencies. Otherwise, you are managing task performance, rather than talent.
In our next post, we’ll be talking about some of the obstacles facing businesses in regards to the management of talent.