By Nathan Dagley
In sports the goal of a huddle is to ensure that all team members are on the same page concerning their role in the next play. What would happen to a team if it never huddled? Easy answer, right? They wouldn’t win many games. The huddle gives the team the ability to address any issues and realign to the coach’s strategy, setting them up for a win.
Meeting with those in your business serves the same purpose and yet it’s always surprising to learn that many insurance agencies do not meet with their insurance agents and support staff on a regular basis. If you are not meeting consistently with your staff, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. This has been crucial to the success of Dagley Insurance and Financial Services and is something that I have learned from others who have made it a successful practice within their businesses.
We do not meet just to meet at Dagley Insurance. We meet to problem solve, plan and improve. In order to accomplish these goals, there are a few meeting principles that we have implemented within our insurance agency that have contributed to our success.
Schedule your meetings for the year
November and December at Dagley Insurance and Financial Services are heavily spent planning for the upcoming year. I’ll explain more about what this entails in a future post, but one thing that is firmly set before the year begins is our meeting schedule. The proposed schedule is sent to the key players in our organization and enables us to adjust for any roadblocks that would prevent us from meeting consistently.
Have a set agenda
This seems like a no brainer, but I’ve attended many a meeting that was set up more as on open forum. Our Operations Manager sets the agenda for both our Producer’s and Manager’s Meetings. Each Manager is allocated a specific amount of time to discuss his or her updates. The Operations Manager begins working with the speakers on the agenda several weeks prior to the actual meeting. It’s no small task, but it’s worth the extra effort.
Designate a point person for meetings
I’m sure we have all experienced being a part of a meeting where it wasn’t clear who was in charge of the meeting. These meetings often run long and lack clear direction. Having a point person will save you from this pain. Make sure you have a team member that is responsible for the organization and implementation of staff meetings. Our Operations Manager does a fantastic job of making sure that everyone has the necessary info such as the meeting agenda, dial-in number, etc. as well as orchestrating the actual meeting itself. If everyone’s in charge, then no one is in charge.
As the CEO of Dagley of Insurance and Financial Services, the executive team and myself set the expectations and tone of the meetings. When you pull up a chair at our Manager’s Meeting you must be ready to discuss the important updates within your area of responsibility as well as take notes. Everyone’s time is important especially with the level of performance and professionalism that we expect from our team.
Provide an added benefit
If our meetings are around lunchtime we provide lunch. This may seem insignificant to point out, but this is something our employees really look forward to and shows that we value their time and insight. This is also a great time to learn more about your team members – what’s important to them and what motivates them.
In my next post, I’ll share more about how we establish who is to meet and when at Dagley Insurance and Financial Services. We’ve got it down to a science now, but there was a time when finding the right meeting groups and rhythm was a work in progress. Now whether it’s our Katy TX insurance office or our Colorado offices, we are aligned and working toward the same goals. We’re set up for a win.