If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘The Internship’ you’d probably agree with me that Google looks like the coolest place on earth to work. Nap pods. Slides instead of stairs. In house café and dry cleaning. Team building games and challenges.

While nap pods in an insurance agency are not realistic and slides instead of stairs probably have you screaming “LIABILITY HAZARD!” there’s something to take away from this: they’re doing something right with creating a positive culture.

I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve seen about how to attract millennials. But the truth is, the changes being made in the workplace are attractive to anyone in the workforce—avocado-toast-obsessed millennials or not! So while this article may be focused on the secret to snagging a millennial’s attention, it can really be applied to attracting talent across the board.

So, without further ado, what’s it going to take to fill the gap in the insurance workforce?

Culture

Culture—it’s a buzz word in pretty much every industry these days. But what is it? Instead of giving you the cheesy Merriam Webster dictionary definition, I’m going to give you examples.

Zack Gould and Matt Naimoli of G&N Insurance have this culture thing down on lock. All you have to do is scroll through their Facebook or Instagram account and you’ll see very quickly how much their employees love working there. I’ll let you take a look for yourself, but I will say that there’s champagne, horse masks and bobble heads involved…

Don’t believe me when I say how important culture is? Here’s what my friend Jason Ernest, President & CEO of Insurance Agents & Brokers has to say about it:

“The key for an agency to attract and retain millennials is culture – and 100% culture. To entice good, young talent in to an agency, you must have a vibrant, successful and flexible agency culture.

I’ve been in a lot of agencies, and you can quickly identify those agencies where millennials would want to work, and those agencies where millennials just won’t be interested.

Those agencies that fully embrace technology and those agencies that have a robust marketing campaign, including social media, are going to keep the attention of millennials. Additionally, an agency must have a flexible environment to work in. The millennials that I have been meeting are heavily involved in other industry and community groups, as well as trying to raise a family. They will work hard, but not necessarily during the standard operating hours of a typical agency. Telecommuting and flexible hours are another key part of culture. And finally, fun. An agency has to be out-of-the-box, with a team environment and everyone enjoying what they are doing.

This winning culture is what youth in the industry are looking for. It will attract new talent, and more importantly retain that talent.”

That leads me to the other way to recruit (and keep) millennial talent…

Work-Life Balance

Oh, the beauty of technology. If you’ve been paying attention to the recent Forge3 emails (side note: you clearly should be because they rock) you’ll see that they are crushing it when it comes to work-life balance. They’re are able to work remotely from any location – whether that be the beach, their home, a coffee shop – wherever they want as long as they have an internet connection. Technology makes it easy to track if they are meeting their goals and getting their work completed.

The beauty of this is that any agency can benefit from some culture changes. Walk into your office tomorrow morning and look around. What does it feel like? Do you just come in, get your work done and leave? Or is this a place you WANT to be. Where you ENJOY being.

You don’t need to dive in head first with culture changes, send everyone home to work remotely and start popping champagne bottles on Friday afternoons. Instead, I’d suggest starting to improve your agency’s culture and work-life balance by doing something small like bringing donuts and coffee in and taking ten minutes to enjoy them as a team. Or surprise everyone with an ice cream social on a hot afternoon. Just do something fun that builds up the strength of the team.

I want to hear from you

What is something your agency is doing to promote a positive culture? How about work-life balance? Connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know! You may be able to help someone in the future with your ideas!

Author Ashley Fitzsimmons

Ashley Fitzsimmons is a millennial. An insurance nerd. And a self-proclaimed expert on dirty martinis. Living in Forest City, PA and having been in the insurance industry since graduating college in 2010, she's excited to have an outlet to express her enthusiasm about the insurance world!

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