Every insurance agency should have an employee handbook, which will clarify matters for both you and your employees. Take a closer look at some of the most important reasons to create a handbook for your insurance agency.
It Outlines Responsibilities and Expectations
Perhaps the most important reason to have an insurance agency handbook is to clearly outline the standards of behavior, responsibilities, and expectations for all employees. Your employees are unlikely to meet all of your expectations unless you specifically tell them about it.
You can be as detailed as necessary in the handbook. Include crucial information about safety, data privacy, timekeeping, reporting, dress codes, and other crucial work matters that employees need to know.
You can also use the handbook to clarify the responsibilities associated with each role in the agency. This prevents employees from wondering whether a particular task is part of their job description. It also gives you footing if an employee isn’t fulfilling their responsibilities. And it prevents employees from foisting their responsibilities onto others.
It Tells Employees About Management Practices
In addition to clarifying the responsibilities of individual employees, having a handbook also lets new hires know what to expect from their interactions with leadership and management. Specific organizational practices such as frequency of meetings and communication protocols will be clearly described in the handbook, reducing instances of confusion and miscommunication.
It Let’s Them Know Who They Should Contact With Issues
Importantly, the handbook also informs your insurance agency employees on who to approach with specific issues. For example, they would know who to talk to about time off requests and who to approach about IT issues.
It Introduces Your Agency to New Hires
Your employee handbook will obviously have a crucial role in employee onboarding. You may not realize that in addition to teaching new employees about responsibilities and guidelines, it will also be their introduction to your agency.
Your handbook is your chance to show new employees about your company culture, values, and mission. You can use the handbook to enlighten new hires about what makes your insurance agency special and what you are passionate about. You can share a bit of your history and even guide new hires on integrating into the company culture.
It Can Highlight Benefits
In addition to being a general introduction to your insurance agency, the handbook also gives your employees clear information about your benefits. From health insurance to 401(k)s to other benefits, the handbook will clearly outline all the crucial details pertaining to these, minimizing any confusion your employees may have.
When information is laid out clearly, employee morale will improve because there is transparency and guidance. It will also save everyone time, as your new employees will have the handbook to answer many of their questions.
It Provides a Legal Defense
As mentioned, your insurance agency handbook will clearly outline what’s expected of employees. In most cases, you will also have employees sign a document acknowledging that they have read the handbook and agree to follow it.
This is crucial in case of a lawsuit. For example, if an employee decides to challenge you because they think they were unfairly terminated, you can refer to agreements made in the handbook. If the grounds and process for firing an employee are clearly outlined in the handbook, they would have no leg to stand on.
It Resolves Disagreements
Even if the disagreement with your employees doesn’t reach a lawsuit, having the handbook can help resolve many disagreements.
For example, you can rightfully sanction an employee for misusing client information. Employees who signed off on your handbook cannot claim they weren’t aware of the rules.
Another scenario is if two employees are arguing over who is responsible for a given task. The handbook will clearly outline each person’s role and responsibilities, clarifying misunderstandings.
It Shows Legal Compliance
Going back to lawsuits, your agency handbook is an excellent way to demonstrate that you comply with various laws. For example, it will typically include the non-discrimination policy that protects you against claims of discrimination. That policy also protects your clients against unfair treatment.
Another example of compliance in the handbook is how you handle harassment claims. By having a clearly laid-out protocol for dealing with these claims, you are on the right track to addressing every situation equally.
It Ensures Consistency
Having an insurance agency handbook also ensures consistency across your agency. You can rest easy knowing that every insurance agent will offer the same options to their clients and that all clients are treated the same way.
The handbook can even outline consistency for various processes. For example, you can use it to ensure information is always entered in the insurance management system like Jenesis the same way.
It Ensures a Positive Customer Experience
We mentioned that the employee handbook ensures that all clients are treated equally. Because of this, you can ensure a positive client experience. After all, your team knows your best practices for delivering that experience. In turn, that best practice should boost client renewals and even cross-selling.
It Can Refresh Training
Depending on how detailed you decide to make your employee handbook, you can even use it as a supplement to initial training. For example, you can thoroughly include details on the most common processes.
This gives your team easy access to information if they need to refresh their memory on how to do something. If they can refer to the handbook, they can quickly get the answer without having to interrupt anyone else on the team. In turn, this boosts productivity.
Every insurance agency should have a handbook. This will help you introduce your agency to new hires and clearly outline expectations and responsibilities for everyone. It will also keep you legally compliant and protect your agency. An employee handbook also gives your team an accessible resource that can answer their questions, saving everyone time. Overall, a handbook improves your employees’ experience working for your agency. It can even improve client satisfaction, thanks to its ability to establish processes.