The transformation of organizational culture is a formidable task, especially within the health insurance industry. With legacy models and outdated processes, long-tenured employees have had little incentive to evolve beyond the status quo. As carriers introduce new job roles, employ new segment strategies and wrestle with digitalization, it is clear change has already begun. With careful planning and tactful execution, leaders can effectively help to implement progressive change.
Part II of our series examines the impact of leadership on fostering a high-growth culture and considers several action items for those grappling with this issue:
- Establish and communicate a focused strategic vision and key priorities. Reiterate this vision often to keep your teams engaged. Provide regular updates on key priorities. Make your team feel like they are a key part of driving this strategy forward.
- Switch up leaders who perpetuate the status quo. Teams are often a reflection of their leadership. Start making changes at the top. Bring in leaders who can share the vision, drive change and deliver results. Consider trying something different; bring on a leader from the broker side or look outside the health insurance industry altogether.
- Pilot new programs and fail fast. Minimal investments can be made to investigate a potential opportunity. Pilot a junior rep role. Try a new SPIFF program. Create a broker relations liaison role. Set objectives, timeline and launch; then measure and iterate. If the initiative does not yield the desired results, disband it and move that individual into a different role.
- Identify high-potential individuals looking for a challenge and give them one. Invest in your people by giving them a strategic project or a new job assignment (rotations). Let them learn another part of the business. Leverage your people to help grow your business.
- Develop junior talent. Carriers have tenured workforces. Hiring and developing junior younger talent allows you to both manage attrition and infuse your sales force with a dose of new thinking. Be mindful that millennials may be motivated by different types of incentives, such as perks, off-sites and a team atmosphere.
- Take a hands-on approach. Make it a priority to go out in the field on a regular basis. Understand the realities of the day-to-day with which your team has to contend. See what time sinks, training and knowledge gaps exist that could make your team better at communicating the value or performing in a finalist meeting. Understand what brokers and clients are saying. Take that feedback as a direct input into your business strategy and key priority list.
Shifting towards a growth-oriented culture is necessary to remain competitive in today’s marketplace. Leadership must set the precedent for this evolution by driving change through a number of strategic objectives. In doing so, you’ll have a team of forward-thinkers who understand the strategy, feel empowered and can deliver the results.
Stay tuned for the next article in the series, which will address the impact of coverage on fostering a high-growth culture.
Struggling to motivate your sellers? Check out Part I in the series, and learn how sales compensation alignment can help jump-start a high-growth culture.
Read Part 1
Health Insurance Sales Pulse Survey
Health Insurance Sales Compensation Trends