5 Ways to Free Up Staff from Wasteful Activity

Our fearless leader, Dan Epstein, is a contributor to Leader’s Edge Magazine. In the April 2014 issue, Dan penned this article: Individual vs. Systemic Efficiency.

In this article Dan discusses how agency standards and best practices might actually be bogging down staff and resources:

“The conflict between individual and systemic efficiency is endemic across insurance operations. We see it in producers submitting incomplete applications to get new business in motion, thereby creating numerous follow-ups. We see it in the binding of accounts ‘subject to’ by service staff. We see it in the lack of standardization in how people perform the same task or code the same type of account. While efficient for each individual, such practices create institutional confusion and undermine data quality, racking up wasteful time and cost.”

Not to worry though – Dan also offers five tips to dramatically increase productivity and profitability:

  1. Focus on strategic priorities. Every employee must understand departmental goals, tradeoffs, appetites and targets and the role each individual plays in reaching them.
  2. Streamline inefficient workflows. Bring team members together to document workflows, making processes visible to standardize ad hoc tasks, triage accounts, identify bottlenecks and reduce waste.
  3. Enhance account segmentation. Create detailed service levels by revenue, profit or complexity to assure people are spending time on the accounts that drive rather than erode profits.
  4. Align people with activities that clients value. Clarify which activities create value for clients and segment activities internally by employees’ knowledge, experience, cost and contribution.
  5. Track critical success factors. Track operational metrics and process discipline, while educating employees on productivity drivers.

Click here to read the full article.