Are your staff members dragging their feet into the office every day? Maybe they all hate their jobs. Or maybe, they’re just not having enough fun at the office.
Sure, your employees come to work to work. But in the crucial human resources area of employee satisfaction and retention, lightening up the office environment can go a long way.
Kelly Rice, who co-owns Albion Insurance Agency in Albion, Michigan with her husband, Greg, believes “the little things mean a lot” when it comes to keeping her two millennial CSRs happy and motivated at the office.
For example, Rice put together what she calls “office survival kits” for her employees, complete with Tylenol, breath mints, energy drinks, Band-Aids and more. “It doesn’t have to be for any particular reason,” says Rice, vice president and account executive. “Those little things add up.”
Cecilia Fournil also co-owns her agency with her husband and employs exclusively millennials. To keep everyone engaged, the agency, Vista Insurance Group in Columbia, South Carolina, hosts a breakfast every Wednesday morning and requires all staff to attend at least one per month, “just to talk,” says Fournil, principal.
Vista also hosts a yearly “state of the union” retreat, shutting the office down for a few days to take employees to an offsite location and discuss priorities, successes and goals, followed by a company-wide dinner.
Bonus: In addition to sticking around longer, happy employees usually perform better, too. Last year, Albion started keeping track of all new policies it wrote from month to month and looped in staff on the results.
“If the number in March was bigger than the number in February, then I’d buy lunch,” Rice says. “Sometimes that just prompts asking an extra question—‘What if we wrote your home with your auto?’”
From stand-up desks to wine-friendly office decorating parties, “we do a lot to try to make it a fun environment,” Fournil says. “We want to make sure everybody remembers that while this is a job and I do expect you to do well, I recognize you need to have some fun too.”
Jacquelyn Connelly is IA senior editor.
Spread the Love
Both Rice and Fournil also emphasize community involvement among their staff.
“We push everybody to make sure they’re involved in the community, and we want to hear about it,” Fournil says.
“If there’s a charity event in the community, Greg and I invite them to come with us,” Rice agrees. “We see so many of our customers at these events—it’s nice to put faces to names. We have a lot of fun together. That makes it count.” —J.C.