Employee Engagement

By | February 20, 2023
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This issue reveals data and compensation insights gathered from Insurance Journal’s annual Agency Salary Survey. For the first time in the survey’s 14-year history, salary averages reported were higher than any other years’ data. You can download the full agency salary survey report here.

While that trend may be good for agency employees, agency owners may be struggling to keep pace with growing compensation demands and the industry’s ongoing talent crisis.

Competition is fierce for qualified talent in insurance agencies nationwide and salaries are rising as a result. Nearly 400,000 insurance industry employees are expected to retire from the insurance industry workforce within the next few years.

The talent crisis is impacting agency owners, says Al Diamond, president of the Agency Consulting Group Inc. based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

“Agency owners are folding to the demands of employees and the owners themselves are taking less benefit in a number of ways,” he told Insurance Journal. Owners may be taking less salary, taking less profit from the bottom line, or taking fewer perks that often come with ownership such as auto expense, travel and entertainment, or even cutting charitable contributions to raise compensation for employees, he said.

Maintaining competitive compensation packages is a critical step in attracting and retaining the best talent, so owners do what they need to do to make that happen. But also critical for any employer is maintaining a culture that engages its employees.

Engaged employees are involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. However, actively disengaged employees are disgruntled and disloyal because most of their workplace needs are unmet.

Employee engagement is at risk in today’s workplace, according to Gallup, which found in a recent report that employee engagement in the U.S. saw its first annual decline in a decade — dropping from 36% engaged employees in 2020 to 34% in 2021.

Gallup says this pattern continued into 2022, as 32% of full- and part-time employees working for organizations are now engaged, while 18% are actively disengaged. Active disengagement increased by two percentage points from 2021 and four points from 2020.

The Gallup report found that the engagement elements that declined the most from the pre-pandemic record-high engagement ratio in 2019 to 2022 were:

  • Clarity of expectations;
  • Connection to the mission or purpose of the company;
  • Opportunities to learn and grow;
  • Opportunities to do what employees do best; and
  • Feeling cared about at work.

What are you doing to keep your employees happy and engaged in today’s agency workplace? Can you do more?

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