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Insurance Management Tip: How to Have A Cool Culture & Serve Your Customer

Is your agency hip and cool?

There is so much pressure to provide a cool culture but it seems like no one is talking about how to also love and serve our customer while having unlimited vacation time. So what’s the best way to attract the top talent, have a cool culture and get the results you are looking for? We aim to help answer this question in our insurance management tip for the month.

Today’s workforce is changing. You don’t have to love it but you should start to wrap your head around it. The combination of technology and millennials is rapidly changing the insurance agency environment. Now you may have heard the follow mentions of culture:

  • Unlimited vacation time: Well that would be nice but I can barely get staff here with a vacation policy.
  • Watching Netflix at work: Our internet is slow sometimes now.  If people are streaming video we will never be able to process a policy!
  • Casual every day: Leggings aren’t pants people!
  • Work from home: Work from home? When they are here, all they are doing is checking their cell phones!

So with all this muck how do we build a strong culture that is fun but still serves our customers the way they desire?

The first thing is stop chasing what everyone else is doing. If you have 3 team members you can be far more casual than 20. If you have an office that loves dogs, great.  But the first person that is allergic is going to sue you. You need to stop listening to what everyone else is creating and think about your location, people, clients and agency. Building a cool culture has just as much to do with you and your team as anything.

Identifying who you are and what you want can be super difficult. At Agency Performance Partners we have an entire product called an Agency Assessment that reviews your entire agency top to bottom to find out about your culture and how to improve it (we also study several other things like metrics, staffing, marketing and processes). On the Agency Appeal side we take your cool culture and display it in a way that is so visually amazing that the best people and clients want to do business with you. But even that is a several step process.

To design the highest functioning cool cultures there needs to be some give and take. Jeans days can be in exchange for goals or to help support a cause. Our good friend and client Chris Paradiso allows the team to wear jeans on Friday but only if they wear red for Remember Everyone Deployed.  This fits right into their corporate culture. Harbor Brenn Insurance  allows the team to bring dogs into work to help lighten up the place.

So if you want to get started on this Insurance Management Tip here is what you need to do:

  1. Take a good look at what you are not willing to do. If you hate jeans take it off the table. It’s your business and that’s ok.
  2. Right a list of things that you would be willing to consider.  Here are some ideas if you need some help:
    1. Jeans
    2. Flex Time
    3. Options to Work From Home
    4. Charity and Volunteer Days
    5. Team Theme Party Days (Pick a theme and have a party around it – also great for social media postings)
    6. Special causes you want to promote
    7. Food, everyone loves food
    8. Personal development – Are there ways to help your team grow and develop?
    9. Special projects
    10. Puppies and Kids.  Are there options for flexibility and/or bringing them in?
  3. Connect with your team on what they would value as well. It has to matter to them too.
  4. Identify how to structure it.  It can’t be a free for all, right? There should be clear and fair parameters around it. Consider giving some of these additional benefits if the agency is on track to hit their goals.
  5. Launch it and monitor it for 90 days. You will learn a lot and cycle that back into improving your culture.

When you hit a cool culture wrinkle or someone abusing the system try not to revert back and shut it all down. Find out the cause and if it’s isolated then solve it. The baby doesn’t have to go out with the bathwater.

By doing this you will be more enticing to the best talent, and keep good long standing employees!

We hope you enjoyed our insurance management tip!

Kelly Donahue Piro

Kelly Donahue-Piro is a game changer in the insurance industry. As the Founder and President of Agency Performance Partners and Co-Founder of the sister marketing company, Agency Appeal, she’s an in-demand speaker at regional and national insurance conferences and a social media and digital marketing trailblazer. READ MORE

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Our agencies tell the story

“Kelly had some awesome tips and is very knowledgeable on the subject. Love how she is also very down to earth and easy to talk with!”

Lindsey Hamm

Welsh's Insurance Agency

“I think this process was very beneficial and I think we are in a position for a very strong year and the future is very bright. I was able to take account of myself through our interviews and discussions and have found many areas in which I personally need to improve. You have also given me a sense of direction going forward to be a better boss, person and mentor to our staff.”


Preferred Insurance Center

“Great to work with ! Very understanding of the initial frustration and trained/encouraged us on how to handle the change in work processes.”

Kelly Nielsen

Customer Service Agent
Sheets, Forrest, Draper

“I feel your visit to our agency was very beneficial. For me, it was like a therapy session and the Amnesty Day was a great idea. I feel refreshed and I have a much better attitude. The attitude of the entire agency has improved immensely. I think we are striving to work more as a team. We are trying to be more encouraging to each other and to applaud each other’s accomplishments. Thanks for being a nice, caring person!”

Phyllis Buening

Preferred Insurance Center

“We are so grateful for you and all you have done to help our agency and our team. We are all now part of the big picture and it has changed the whole dynamic for the better. APP Rocks!!!!!”

Maegan Burbank

Insurance Specialist

“I want to thank you for stopping by the office, evaluating, listening and hearing us. I feel like the mood of the office has improved 100%. I also feel appreciated. We will have some hurdles to overcome, but I think we should get through them. The Tigger has been passed around a bit.”


Account Manager
Preferred Insurance Center

“I’m glad you came out to talk to all of us. It seems to have helped the attitude in the office. Still have our moments, but much better. Dan has improved, also. He seems to be listening to us more and getting our input. Thanks for your help.”


Account Manager
Preferred Insurance Center