When I used to travel around reviewing agent offices, I often encountered burned-out employees. 

Interestingly, they were often low-performing team members in underperforming agencies. I’d go to another office and find highly engaged and productive team members in high-performing offices. 

The key difference? The agency leader. 

I’ve found that high-performing leaders wear four hats simultaneously that bring out the best in their teams:

Leaders inspire a bigger vision for the agency and each team member’s role. They make sure staff focuses on the right things. When workloads get heavy, leaders help their teams understand context and timelines. They bring out the best in their people and don’t forget to praise them for work well done.

Managers define clear outcomes and hold people accountable. They make sure people have proper training, are in the right position and receive the tools and information the job demands. An effective manager helps someone craft their job so it’s a good fit.

Mentors support and challenge their teams. They share experiences, teach and serve as a sounding board to others navigating unfamiliar territory. They’re open about their own past experiences with burnout and suggest ways to improve workflow. When mentoring, agents are often telling, teaching and guiding.

Coaches partner with others to help them discover best solutions to mitigate burnout. When coaching, agents ask open-ended questions and help team members dig deep into the thoughts and feelings behind burnout. Often, a coach helps others understand and reframe their thoughts. Once this leader helps team members understand their own burnout, they can help them identify and implement strategies focused on greater success in their role.Screenshot of preventive measures

It’s natural to gravitate toward one of these roles. Some people love painting inspiring pictures, but hate holding people accountable. Others hold people accountable but don’t invest time coaching. The key is to weave all four elements together while building your inspired agency.

Keith Baldwin is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach and the author of “Light Your Fire: How leveraging strengths will inspire you and your team members towards skyrocketing success!”

Reprinted with permission



This article was published in the March 2020 edition of Colorado Insurance News (COIN). To view more articles and read the whole COIN, click here.

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