Good Enough to Hire, Good Enough to Keep! Retain your Talent at American Income Life


American Income Life Weekly Leadership Message

Developing and retaining a team at American Income Life isn’t as simple as having a training schedule and going through the steps with new trainees in the first few weeks of their careers.  What about your managers, HR callers, trainers, and administrative staff?   What are you doing to reinforce what they need daily?  For managers, the Company offers leadership classes, but without proper follow through when they get back, that’s not nearly enough.   Everybody needs additional, ongoing training and development to help in the adjustment of changing job requirements and expectations.   It helps to create a pool of qualified and available people who are ready to step into new roles as your American Income Life Agency grows and needs them.  Ultimately, you will develop a more effective, efficient, productive, and motivated workforce.   When done properly, this will ensure that you achieve your objectives and improve your results.

4 Areas of Development

  1. Understanding the needs of your organization and team.
  2. Leadership development.
  3. Training and career development.
  4. Coaching and mentoring your people.

Understanding Organizational and Team Needs

A great way to accomplish this is through regular one-on-one meetings.  These give us the opportunity to develop a relationship with our people and show them that we truly care about their success within American Income Life.  They give us the opportunity to explore their current goals and performance, identify areas for improvement, and most importantly ask the question, “WHY?”  Why do they want to achieve their goals, what is their purpose, what really motivates them?  Knowing the “why” is the key to holding them accountable.  We need to keep that in front of them at all times.  From there, we can help create a plan that can be successful as long as we are willing to inspect and hold them accountable.  Manage them to their goals, and yours will follow.

Leadership Development

Successful teams and organizations at American Income Life typically put a lot of effort into developing future leaders.  If you identify and develop competent Agents and managers, you’ll ensure that you have people ready to fill new leadership positions.

Start tracking and talking about leadership opportunities from the very early stages of a person’s employment.  This should start in the group overview. Create the vision and keep it in front of them.  Maintaining weekly leadership development meetings will help you ensure that your people develop their skills and knowledge.   Reward the best and most deserving on your team with appropriate promotion opportunities.   Understand that not everyone wants to be a leader/manager with American Income Life, but everyone wants an opportunity to achieve his or her full potential.   So, whatever the skill set, expertise, or position, your people should be encouraged to learn throughout their careers at American Income Life.

Training and Career Development

Look for ways to train staff on a daily basis through prompt and effective feedback and offer training to help people develop the specific skills they need at American Income Life.  Continuous education meetings are a great way to achieve this.  Do you have them some of the time?  All the time?  Is everyone there or just a handful of people?  Are you sitting down with individuals on a regular basis or just when they seem to veer off course?

Communication is key and must be clear from the start.  Encourage people to come to you with training ideas and to share ideas and expertise with each other.  Provide and identify best practices, and look for ways to work more efficiently with one another.  You’ll probably find ways to inspire and innovate through sharing ideas. 

Make career development with American Income Life a strategic objective.  When people can map out career paths within your team and organization, this improves retention and increases the likelihood that they’ll develop the skills they need for the future.

Coaching and Mentoring

We have to develop an attitude of giving and sharing to show your team members that you truly care that they improve their skills and develop a satisfying career with American Income Life. This is highly motivational, and it’s almost guaranteed to improve performance.   As a coach and mentor, remember that your primary role is to help people better understand their roles and positions that give them their best chance at success.

The advantage here is that both the coach and the mentor can benefit from the relationship. When you have an opportunity to think about your own experiences and share them with others, you’re learning and developing yourself.

By making a commitment to developing and training your American Income Life team, you send a clear message that you care about your people and that you’re willing to support their growth and job satisfaction.  You can’t be selectively engaged in this process, this is something that needs your attention all the time.  It will help you retain good people, and ensures that your organization has the skills and growth it needs in the future.   Nobody has all the answers; they need help learning new skills all the time. The day your people stop learning is the day they stop growing.

About Murray Horowitz

Murray Horowitz is a Regional Sales Director at American Income Life Insurance Company. Google+

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