Stuart Sandell, head of UK insurance division, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, looks at the best ways of retaining and developing talent.

At the recent Broker 50 event in London, attendees commented on the industry’s challenges and opportunities when it comes to retaining and developing its best talent. Attendees were shown research by Insurance Times that highlighted some of the options from brokers.

Across the insurance broker community, employees did not feel there was a plan to help them develop or gain industry qualifications. It is widely acknowledged that these employees tend to regularly move from job to job and company to company to progress up the career ladder.

The perception at the Broker 50 is that it doesn’t have to be that way, and at Enterprise we’d agree.

As a supplier to the insurance industry, retaining talent is critical to our company because we only promote from within. Losing experienced employees means we have to recruit more graduates and grow our own. So our company culture and business model is built around employee development and retention.

Over the years we’ve also identified a number of ‘stress points’ that can lead to disengagement. One of these critical factors is transparency. Employees, especially millennials, need to know exactly what is required to reach the next career step without any hidden agendas.

At Enterprise, employees are only eligible for promotion if their customer satisfaction scores are at or above the company average. Those scores, based on research data, are objective and shared across the business.

A further key stress point is speed of progression. Graduates are ambitious and want to develop quickly. So our new recruits are given a lot of responsibility early on and know their career development is in their own hands.

Another criterion for promoting anyone at manager level and above, after checking customer service scores, is how they’ve developed their people – how many in their team have been promoted and developed during their tenure.

Shaping roles that help people to stay is far easier, cheaper and less time-consuming than having to find someone new and waiting for them to rise up the ladder.

Sometimes it’s hard to mainly promote from within. But as well as supporting talent retention, it means our managers have been at the coal face. They know what it’s like to work in a branch and deal with stressed drivers needing a replacement vehicle after an accident. They’ve also consistently shown the greatest focus on service, or else they wouldn’t have been promoted in the first place.

In essence, while salary and benefits are important, we’ve found that employees who stay respond to our values and our business model. They want transparency and progression, tied into what the company wants to achieve and the values it holds dearest.

As the Head of UK and Ireland Replacement Division for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Stuart Sandell is responsible for the development of sales and strategy in the insurance, manufacturer and breakdown assistance sectors.