Producers and Staff Do Not Adequately Know the Agency’s Procedures.More often than many might expect, staff and particularly producers do not adequately know the agency’s procedures. This can be especially exasperating to agency owners who spent the money developing procedures. Having procedures but not knowing them and therefore, not following them greatly increases the probability of losing an E&O suit. A good argument can be made that having procedures but not following them is worse than not having procedures at all.
Many reasons exist why staff and producers do not know the agency’s procedures. Sometimes procedures are developed in a silo, without adequate staff/producer participation and then when issued, everyone is told to read them. That is a mistake. Another reason is staff/producer turnover without adequate training for new people. Another reason is integrating procedures (workflow) to tightly with a specific version of an agency management system so that when the agency converts to a new version and does not update their automation procedures, all the procedures become antiquated and then forgotten. Another reason is just pure poor management and leadership.
The solution is twofold. First, train everyone on each procedure one at a time. Choose different people to do the training. Train on actual keyboards if necessary so the training is hands-on. Second, audit staff and producers to verify they are following procedures. If people are not held accountable for following procedures, sooner or later the cycle will repeat itself because the agency’s procedures once again will be forgotten.