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Why Millennial Workers Matter to Your Insurance Agency

Posted on March 08, 2016 by Guy Weismantel

Digital Insurer Blog

What if I told you that within two years, you'd lose a quarter of your employees? Would that be cause for concern?

Statistically speaking, that's the reality facing many companies in the insurance industry. According to a 2015 McKinsey & Company report, the average age of a US insurance agent is 59, which means that a quarter of the industry's workforce could retire by 2018. 

Yet top graduates and talented millennials aren't necessarily flocking to the insurance industry. So, how can forward-thinking insurers stay ahead of this demographic disruption—and duck the employment crisis that is sneaking up on the rest of the industry?

Millennials and your Insurance Agency

Hire Young, Hire Now

Millennials now represent the largest segment of the workforce in the United States, yet they tend to see the insurance industry as staid and conservative, with an old-school "insurance salesman" image. When thinking about careers they gravitate to sectors seen as more innovative, like IT and finance.

To attract the best and brightest—and encourage them to stay—insurers are going to have to learn to appeal to a broader employee demographic. They need to emphasize aspects of the job that are more compelling to younger workers—and create a perception of the industry as a destination.

Some of the best practices for doing so?

-        Emphasize career development
-        Focus on problem solving and helping people
-        Invest in contemporary technology
-        De-emphasize the stuffy and obsolete insurance salesman image

Millennial Employees Understand Millennial Customers

Millennials might not be beating down your hiring doors just yet, but they are the insurance industry's fastest-growing customer base. And because millennials respond well to peer-to-peer communication, younger employees can help you understand your clients and speak their language. Simply put, millennials know best how to market to other millennials.

Investing in Your New Workers

What is most important to millennials?

-        Organizational culture. According to a 2016 Deloitte study, the majority of millennials believe that a company's long-term success is dependent on the following values: 26 percent employee satisfaction, loyalty, and fair treatment, and 25 percent ethics, trust, integrity, and honesty.
-        Ownership. Millennials want to make a difference in their world. As employees, they tend to ask for more responsibility early on.
-        Collaboration. From a young age, millennials have been conditioned to multitask and collaborate. Teamwork comes naturally to them.
-        Work-life balance. Today's workers don't sleep at their desks or check their email at 2 a.m. They expect a firewall between work and life.
-        Modern tools. This mobile workforce will make full use of state-of-the-art technology that supports working from anywhere and collaborating in the cloud.
-        Personal development. Millennials are in search of a career path that includes professional development and leadership opportunities.

Mind the Gap

Recruit and invest in millennial employees. With the right training, and a workplace culture sensitive to their needs, they can successfully serve your growing millennial customer base—and remain satisfied in their careers while they're at it.

Guy Weismantel

Mr. Weismantel is the Vice President of Marketing at Vertafore. With 20 years of marketing and financial leadership in companies such as Microsoft, Business Objects, Baxter HealthCare, Caremark International, and Expedia, Guy’s career has focused on bringing differentiated products to market and providing the “compelling reason to purchase” for customers and prospects alike.

Guy has a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame, and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.




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