I once listened to an American Staffing Association webinar hosted by Tom Gimbel, Founder & CEO of LaSalle Network. The webinar focused on “B players” and how to develop a strategic plan to increase their engagement. Prior to listening, I had thought engagement was achieved by treating all claims adjusters the same, but the webinar has taught me this is anything but the case. Here are key points from the webinar:
1. Define what a B player is.
According to Gimbel, B Players are: “Those employees that in a rough ranking are neither fast-track A players who make up the top 10% nor the struggling C players who make up the bottom 10%.”
So, the B players will consist of 80% of your team of claims adjusters! Gimbel gives a structured overview of the B player:
- Often possesses little to no confidence, but
- Is open to trying new things
- Responds well to & implements the feedback you give
- Excels with guidance – B players on your team want comment.
- Incentives motivate them
- Curious and interested – they will attend networking events, read books, and listen to podcasts
2. Stack rank claims adjusters.
Your next step should be to stack rank your employees. This will help you gain a sound understanding of where everyone on your team is positioned. Remember: 10% of your claims adjusters will be the A players, 80% will be B players and the remaining 10% will be C players. Gimble suggests asking these questions to appropriately stack rank your employees:
- Do they have potential?
- Are they indispensable to your team of claims adjusters?
- Do they implement feedback immediately?
- When you’re speaking to them, do they have negative body language or become defensive?
- Do they make the same mistakes more than once?
- Are they engaged?
- If they have an “I don’t care” attitude it can become contagious among the office. Why would you keep an employee who doesn’t care about your company or their position?
After asking yourself the above questions, stack rank your employees into different sections. Mix it up and stack rank by department: Claims Adjusters, HR, Sales, Marketing. You could rank them by seniority, such as: Managers, Team Leads, Senior Claims Adjusters, and Adjusters.
By stack ranking your employees, you will begin to develop an engagement plan for the adjusters who need it.
3. Have the tough talks.
The B players in your team thrive on guidance and constructive feedback. B claims adjusters need to know their strengths, weaknesses, goals, improvement areas, and their career path. As their claims manager, it is up to you to support them so they can excel. Sit down individually with B players to discuss career paths. Remember, B players find great value in managers devoting time to them and their careers. Many managers find that B players thrive on small boosts of confidence – such as public encouragement or a monetary boost.
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4. Plan for your B players.
After you’ve determined who your players are, staff ranked your employees, and had the tough talks with your claims adjusters, you’ll need to begin your plan to drive engagement. Gimble suggests the following:
- Set deadlines and expectations right away with your B players to hold them accountable.
- Pair them with an A player. The A player will see the B player has a valuable role in the company and in turn the B player will be spending quality time with someone more successful than them who can offer guidance on how to improve.
- Continue to offer your time for guidance, feedback, and Q&A sessions with your B players.
- Continuously offer praise and encouragement for a job well done.
While this isn’t the only secret to ensuring a team of successful claims adjusters, it’s a helpful guide for any manager. If you have managed a team of B players, what methods have you found to be successful?