By Brian Hetherington, Newfront Insurance, For Independent Agent Magazine
With the "Great Resignation" upon us, employers are looking for ways to stand out from the crowd.
The insurance industry is in a unique position to do so by naturally providing something that employees want these days—a sense of purpose and community. That’s because giving back is at the heart of the insurance industry. It is in everything we do.
"Employees’ connection to your organization’s purpose is as unique as the employee themselves," according to a Harvard Business Review report. "Acknowledging when someone personally embodies your organizational purpose provides wonderful reinforcement and reminds others to be intentional about doing the same."
Regardless of resources, there are steps independent agents can take to become more philanthropically involved in their communities and build a culture grounded by employees who love what they do and want to give back.
Here are four steps:
1) Build a culture around philanthropic events. Working together on meaningful volunteer projects that are important to the community builds camaraderie among employees, gives them a feeling of pride and fosters a sense of team spirit.
2) Support nonprofits. It’s important to support nonprofits through corporate contributions, but we also must provide ways for our team members to feel they are contributing to what matters to them. Encourage employees to get involved with nonprofits.
The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) is a great resource for insurance industry professionals to find nonprofit activities and events and connect with others who make giving back a priority. While industry professionals could previously only work with IICF through a corporate relationship, IICF recently opened membership to individuals via its new Global Membership program.
3) Build relationships and create events for a cause. Independent agents with limited resources who want to make a difference have options through their carrier partners as many have reserve funds for marketing partnerships. Agents looking to host or participate in charitable events should consider reaching out to their carrier partners to learn whether they are interested in supporting the endeavor.
4) Boost diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. An insurance career is one of the best-kept secrets. We have to attract people from all backgrounds, and we need them to know that we provide an exciting career with solid pay, work-life balance, advancement opportunities and community involvement—all in an environment that is supportive and inclusive.
In building an inclusive, inviting and inspiring workplace, providing opportunities to get out of the office and give back to the community, employees will see our companies as more than just a workplace. Our industry should strive to provide employees a home at the intersection of work, love and play.
As the insurance industry continues to look for ways to attract the best and brightest, it will be important to convey that this is a career that is about so much more than selling policies and handling claims.
The work we do gives people the chance to contribute to the fabric of what keeps the country moving, the opportunity to help others in the community and to be a part of experiences that create a constant sense of enjoyment.
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