a team of empowered insurance agents

There are two main leadership approaches for any insurance agency – micromanaging and empowering. As a rule of thumb, it is almost always better to empower your team members instead of micromanaging them. But what does empowerment mean, and how do you implement this for your insurance agency?

Understanding Micromanagement

The first step to understanding how to empower your team, instead of micromanaging them, is to understand what each of these things means. Micromanagement is when you control every little thing your team does. Micromanagers constantly watch their employees and control every step they take. It typically comes from a lack of trust, whether that is from past management experience or the employee’s lack of experience.

Understanding Empowerment

Empowerment takes the opposite approach. Empowering team members means letting each individual control the way they do their work. If your insurance agency empowers employees, you don’t feel the need to closely scrutinize every aspect of how your team works as long as they get the job done.

Why Empower Your Team?

The benefits of empowering your insurance agency’s team are numerous. It helps employees discover their potential and learn responsibility and accountability for their actions. It gives your team confidence in their abilities, providing them with opportunities for growth.

Additionally, when your employees can make small decisions alone, they are more likely to solve their problems on their own. They are also better able to figure out what task to complete next or even spot potential issues. Moreover, empowered employees tend to be happier than micromanaged ones.

Yes, your agency obviously needs some level of control over your team, but you can supervise without resorting to micromanaging. Retain enough control to guide broad goals and make sure your team stays within your insurance agency’s policies as well as relevant regulations. But let them learn and make decisions themselves.

Know When to Step In

While you should empower your employees, you also need to know when to step in and manage them to a greater degree. For example, if an agent gets some insurance policy details wrong, you should obviously correct the issue. Or if an agent’s communication skills are going to cause you to lose a current client, step in.

Smart managers can tell when to step in and when to give their team more freedom. Importantly, they almost never micromanage unless it is absolutely necessary. For example, a new employee may need some micromanaging during training, but even then, you should start to give them some independence.

With the benefits of empowering your team in mind, how do you do it?

Work on Delegating

Any good insurance agency leader should know how to delegate. If you can’t do so effectively, you may accidentally micromanage your team. Instead, be willing to delegate responsibilities in a way that makes sense for your agency. Maybe you can divide up clients between agents. Or maybe each agent handles a certain aspect of the process, from client onboarding to referrals.

Promote Accountability

Accountability is among the most important requirements for successful empowerment. Your team needs to be clear on the task and goals, as well as any guidelines for completing it. But they are in charge of meeting those goals and requirements and get the freedom to go about it in whatever way they prefer.

Provide Support

Empowering your team doesn’t mean you sit back and let them do everything while you do nothing. You need to provide them with the leadership and support they need to thrive. For insurance agencies, this typically starts with training. It can also mean providing the right tools and infrastructure to help them work as efficiently as possible.

Most importantly, let your team know that you won’t interfere, but you are there to help if they have questions along the way or need guidance. Communication is crucial for empowered employees – and that communication should go in both directions.

Get Feedback

As communication is crucial for empowered employees, it should come as no surprise that you also want to get feedback from your team. Doing this early on will lead to even better results. For example, ask your team how they prefer to be managed. Do they prefer more or less guidance? Accept that everyone is different and be willing to adapt your management style based on employee needs.

Encourage Teamwork

While you provide support for your agency’s employees, you should also encourage teamwork. Encourage every person at your agency to help others when appropriate. For example, more experienced agents can help newer agents develop sales strategies or by modeling during roleplaying sessions.


Empowered employees work more efficiently and are typically more productive than micromanaged ones. They become better problem solvers and improve their communications and sales skills over time. With a few simple steps, you will be on your way to empowering employees and helping them and your agency grow.