Thought Leadership

Talent Breaks All Ties: Giving Teammates the Tools They Need to Grow

August 9, 2022 | Brown & Brown Insurance | Thought Leadership

Talent Breaks All Ties: Giving Teammates the Tools They Need to Grow
by Julie Turpin, Chief People Officer at Brown & Brown Insurance

Nearly half of businesses will increase their employee training spend in 2022 thanks to high turnover rates, the shift to remote work and the need to upskill workers in this age of digital transformation.

Employee training is for the masses. Implemented for workers at onboarding and annually after that, training is critical to connecting with organizational culture and learning brand, workflow process and job function. But there are other, more impactful ways to make a targeted investment in talent.

In June, Brown & Brown hosted a pilot event—the Women in Sales Summit. Seventy of our most successful female producers gathered for three days off-site to network, learn, share, and grow together.

From a fireside chat with our executive leadership team and a panel on managing work/life balance to a keynote on women and careers, the Summit brought key challenges and solutions to the forefront. We dug deep and specifically unpacked how women, a group accounting for 41% of Brown & Brown producers, experience these challenges within the industry and our organization. Yes, you read that right — 41% of our producers are female.

It has never been more crucial to provide these types of opportunities and tools to teammates than in today’s talent marketplace, where two job openings exist for every unemployed person.

6 ways to help employees collect a backpack of wisdom

I carry a backpack with me wherever I go—not a physical backpack, but what I think of as my wisdom pack.

If it were real, it would be glittery and flashy, but most important is what’s inside. Whenever I read something I like or learn something I find helpful to my career or life, I tuck it away inside the glitter. Then, when I need it (or want to share it), I pull it back out.

I believe the most impactful way to help develop employees is to give them tools they can put away and re-access as needed. Below I’m sharing 6 key ways to help your teammates amass a backpack of tools for their careers—and lives.

  1. Build a culture where learning and development are the way. Create a framework for coaching, learning and development, and it will be well received by leaders committed to championing such opportunities and also embraced by teammates voluntarily.
  2. Identify a roadmap for individual teammates. Give teammates the ability to ask themselves: If I want to be in x position in y years, what do I need to do today? Which proficiencies are necessary? The first step to getting there is to visualize what it takes and what experiences are required to be considered for that next growth/development opportunity.
  3. Gain new exposure within the organization. Are there business projects or task forces teammates can volunteer for to gain visibility? For example, a Return to the Workplace task force with a cross-functional group of individuals from across the business. Or, a Teammate Resource Group, like we have at Brown & Brown, where teammates from different groups work on furthering our work and commitment to Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging.
    At the Women in Sales Summit, we recommended teammates find a sponsor. Not a coach or mentor, but a sponsor in management to advocate for them when a new project or opportunity comes up that they may have otherwise been unaware of or hadn’t considered for themselves. These opportunities provide unique and often career-changing exposure for employees.
  4. Let teammates take their development into their own hands. We have a partnership with LinkedIn so teammates can access more than 16k courses they can take on their own time. We also built a cohort called The Leadership Challenge, an intimate training for 20 future business leaders, giving new and rising leaders the training and tools necessary to help them be engaged and successful in their new leadership roles. Giving teammates access to resources at all stages of their careers is essential to successful development.
  5. Track teammate visibility and opportunities. With more than 14,500 teammates, technology makes us actionable and trackable. Track teammate exposures in a database. Did they take a LinkedIn course or proactively complete the development curriculum offered by your learning and development team? Can you find a way to do this without tech? Yes, but tech creates a pathway to strategically think about roles requiring specific skill sets.
  6. Document it all. Putting a leadership roadmap on paper and breaking it down into tactical functions is the first step in transforming teammates into leaders and leaders into champions for their people. What investments do you want to make in yourself? Your team? These conversations are challenging, and we encourage our leaders to engage in them—potential is unleashed when facing complex discussions head-on.

The Take-Away: When prioritizing personal and professional development as an organization, think about how you want it to resonate at the individual level first. Ask:

  • How can our organization truly assess employee potential?
  • How can we invest in and show we value our employees?
  • What are the unique challenges within our organization and then, at the local or office level, to such implementation?

When your HR team can answer these questions, you’re already on your way to giving your teammates the tools they need to grow in 2022!


PurposeFULL Leadership
How Personal & Professional Growth Can Help You Lead A Fullfilled Life
by Julie Turpin, Chief People Officer at Brown & Brown Insurance

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