- Rob Houghton
WDC Insurance: Light at the End of the Tunnel
Updated: Dec 13, 2021
Here we go. We are finally getting back to work. Most of my WDC regionally-based insurance brokerage clients are heading back to work between Monday, June 1st and June 15th. It is going to be a phased-in process, but it will be safe and deliberate. Everyone now sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
So what have I learned?
I have learned to be more still and deliberate with myself. I have also invested a lot of time reflecting upon my business and how to get better. I am totally sold now on working remotely. All my recruiters will continue to work remotely. We found everyone to be significantly more productive with the video and collaborative tools now available. I LOVE Zoom! There is simply no need to be in the office anymore except for an important meeting. I have also learned to embrace technology. I invested in bigger and more powerful computers, bigger twin monitors, Windows 10 upgrade, and the latest and greatest cloud-based work flow software including Slack, Okta, Workday, and Zoom Video. The Starship Enterprise is rockin’ now.
And what have we learned as a business community?
A lot. It’s amazing the impact adversity can have on an organization and the people within that organization. Here is who is emerging stronger:
Communication: most of my clients have done a great job in staying in touch with their employees via weekly Zoom or Microsoft Teams video chats. Our candidate interactions have shown that people like to be communicated with on a regular basis. It makes them feel part of the team.
Slack(ers): many of my clients have told me that the remote work environment has shown them who is working and who is taking advantage of the time out of the office. Some are reporting that some employees are more than twice as productive working from home while others were found to be dogging it. Those dogs will now be sent packing.
RWE is here to stay: The Remote Work Environment is here to stay. There have been some hiccups with technology, but most of that has now been worked out. It is a proven fact now that, by far, most people are more productive working from home. I talked with one client/producer friend of mine yesterday and he has closed more than $300k in new business since March and he has never met the three client decision-makers in person. I know. I know…sales is best done face to face. This still holds true, but with Zoom and Teams now, it’s amazing what you can do in a one-hour video call.
Candidate Pool: The candidate pool for my clients, particularly those, who are located in congested metro areas such as Tysons, WDC, and Bethesda, are now willing and able to hire candidates who live outside of commuting distance. This expanded candidate pool is having all sorts of second and third effects for both employers and employees.
Candidates make more $$$: A single mom candidate struggling to make ends meet in Front Royal, VA just signed an offer letter to work for a Big Five WDC broker as a senior employee benefits account manager. Her salary: $87,500. Her salary working for her former employer in Front Royal? $53,100. There are similar stories that are sure to be written in the next few months and years.
Closer bonds between employers/employees: By and large, I am finding that employees are very grateful for the understanding and flexibility that their employers have shown them. It really has been extraordinary. One client just told me yesterday that they have changed their entire floor plan in their office with significant input from the employees.
We are long way to the end of this novel virus, but we are getting there. Continue to stay safe and stay in touch. I would love to hear your story.