One of the attributes all CSR’s need to have is being able to adapt. In this current economy and ever changing industry, everyone is moving around from one department to another. We’ve accepted that CSR’s don’t stay in one role for life, and one of the challenges that comes with this is handling new situations that you have yet to experience. In order to better handle change, here are ten tips that I feel play a role in your agency:
1. Maintain a positive attitude-it is a CHOICE. You always have to be optimistic and maintain a good attitude, regardless of what new department of the agency/client you’re working with. Come to terms that your new situation might not be perfect but your previous situation probably wasn’t either. Think about how you can best leverage your skills, abilities, experiences, and network to maximize your new role. If you have a negative attitude, your new manager and co-workers will notice and they won’t want to work with you. A great way that can help get rid of a negative attitude is a little self-pep talk, as well as Jeffrey Gitmore sales caffeine YouTube videos.
2. Recognize that change is constant. People have several careers and jobs in their lifetime and companies/agencies are constantly moving CSR’s from department to department. You WILL experience change whether you like it or not, so you simply need to accept this reality. The good thing about change is that it prevents you from getting bored in your current role within the agency and challenges you to work on projects that you haven’t before. It helps all of us become better, well-rounded workers. Change can be easy to adapt to if we have the right attitude and mindset.
3. Stay connected to previous co-workers/CSR’s. Never forget about the people you’ve already had the chance to work with because they could become extremely beneficial to you down the road. If they are staying with your previous agency or moving around, you could tap them to help you on a certain project. Just because you have movement within your agency doesn’t mean you break relationships. Agencies need everyone working as a TEAM.
4. Communicate with others to learn your new role in the agency. After you get moved into your new role, you should quickly find all of the stakeholders that you rely on and connect with them. Find the individuals who have already been in your role and get them to teach you everything you need to know so you can get up to speed. A key here is to not only ask questions, but also be a great listener. The more you know, the better equipped you will be in this role and the easier your life will be. Be open and willing to step out of your comfort zone.
5. Be optimistic even though you might not be currently happy. Regardless if you like your new role or not, you need to make the best of it. Who knows what a year or more in this role can really do for you. You might also move again soon after starting. Think about the tasks you like in your current role and how to best use your strengths and increase your performance. The key is keeping an optimistic ATTITUDE.
6. Self-reflection. Take some time to relax and think about what you’ve already accomplished and what your goals are for your new role. Think about what skills you need to acquire, who you need to meet, and assess your entire situation. Talk with your new manager so that they realize what you’re looking to get out of the role and set expectations for the deliverables you’re going to be working on. Setting goals and expectations are vital to your self-reflection.
7. Don’t be afraid-Learn new skills. You are naturally forced to learn new skills based on the type of work you have to do for your job. Make a list of skills that are required for your new role in the agency and invest time each week in developing those skills. Remember to ask questions and listen to your co-workers. For each skill, give yourself a deadline to master it so that you can quickly become an expert and increase your value to the agency.
8. Over communicate-is there such a thing? Whether you’re working from an office environment or on the road, you should constantly be in touch with your teammates. They need to know that you’re responsible, that you’re getting the work done, and that you exist. When you’re emailing them, or in a meeting, make sure to clarify what you or they say so that everyone is on the same page. The real issues come from the lack of communication.
9. Ask as many questions as possible, but remember to STOP and Listen. There are no bad questions unless you ask something that has already been asked or explained. So remember the key is after you ask the question- LISTEN to the answer. Come up with a list of questions and as you receive the answers, write them down. This way, you can show people that you’re paying attention to what they have to say. Asking questions will help you further develop yourself in the new role within the agency.
10. Look for ways to help others cope with change. One of the best ways to deal with your new position is to help others get situated while you are trying to yourself. By doing this, you feel more comfortable because you realize that others are going through what you are. In addition, by helping others in this way, they will be more inclined to want to help you in return. Be a great teammate and help others find their comfort zone- they will more than likely return the favor.
As more and more competition and technology arises within the industry, CSR’s have to adapt and change more than ever. As an agency owner, I personally feel it is our job to help our staff adapt to the changes with education and with hiring the right sales coach and procedures trainer. Making this investment is much better for the agency as whole and its bottom line as opposed to consistent turnover. With Farmers set to open up shops in Connecticut and New York, along with Overstock and WALMART playing in the insurance arena, independent agents need to be on the top of our game, so that means investing in your staff. Trust me- your bottom line will grow!