The Top 5 Ways to Prepare for the Future of Work

December 14, 2021

Safeco Insurance

A group of independent insurance agents huddled around a tablet reviewing charts on the screen.There’s no question that COVID-19 drastically reshaped our work lives – and many of the changes are here to stay. As we emerge from this time of uncertainty and start planning for 2022 and beyond, it’s clear that workplaces cannot return to “business as usual.” Future-thinking insurance agencies are adapting the way they attract and retain talent, build cultures, and lead their teams. Here are some of the things agents should do to prepare for this new era of work:

Get Comfortable with Hybrid Work

After months of working from home, many workers found they enjoyed the flexibility of remote work. Accenture found that 83% of workers prefer hybrid working arrangements, with many wanting the option to work remotely at least a few days a week.

Hybrid work is here to stay. Rather than trying to force everyone back into the office full-time, forward-looking insurance agencies are brainstorming with their teams to create working models that set everyone up for success.

Invest in Technology

Technology tools are only becoming more essential to help insurance agents connect with their colleagues and customers. They’re also proven to help agencies grow. Research from Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance found that highly digital agencies grew revenue 60% faster than agencies that hadn’t adopted as many technology tools.

Future-thinking agencies know that investing in technology is key to meeting the ever-higher expectations of consumers.

Lead with Empathy

The past few years brought many hardships and challenges in people’s professional and personal lives.

It’s paramount that leaders care for their employees and lead with empathy. In fact, 78% of employees strongly believe their employer is responsible for helping them become net better off, according to Accenture.

What does it look like to build human-centered agency cultures? Agency leaders suggest focusing on the business’s core values, giving staff a voice in decision-making, and implementing frequent check-ins.

Invest in DEI

The global population is becoming more diverse, and both job seekers and customers expect businesses to reflect that diversity.

Glassdoor found that 76% of job seekers say they consider a diverse workforce an important factor when evaluating job offers. And according to The Harris Poll, 8 in 10 Americans say they expect a company’s leadership to support racial equality.

Agencies that want to thrive in the future are working to diversify their talent pipelines and engage their employees in diversity, equity and inclusion work.

Create more growth opportunities

2021 brought about what many called “the great resignation.” PwC found that 65% of employees are looking for a new job. Many of the employees who are considering quitting cited a lack of growth opportunities as a top reason.

To retain current employees and attract new talent, insurance agencies need to show that they can offer opportunities for growth.

Forward-thinking agency leaders invest in their employees and keep an open dialogue about employee goals and growth opportunities.

For more insights and resources for navigating the future of work, check out The Independent Agent’s Guide to the Future of Work at AgentForTheFuture.com/FutureOfWork.

Cover of the 2021 Issue 6 Smart Choice Magazine titled "2021 Year in Review"2021 Year in Review

Even though we turned the calendar on 2020, the pandemic lingered, and so did the obstacles for many industries, including ours. Yet Smart Choice, our agents and carrier partners all worked together to hit some amazing milestones and put together another great year in the books. Check out the 2021 Issue 6 of Smart Choice Magazine for all of the milestones and achievements of 2021 and what we have to look forward to in 2022 (hint: there's a lot!).

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