Episode 127: Keeping your superstar employees with Kevin Monaghan

Agencies are in an all-out talent war these days. New business is coming faster and easier. Your clients had a good year and so did you. But if you’re like many agency owners, you’re actually considering shutting down the biz dev spigot because you can’t find and keep the staff to service the new growth. When you see it in writing, it’s ridiculous, right? But if you’re struggling with staffing, you’re not alone. Agencies like yours are the training ground for other agencies, clients building an in-house department and corporations who are going to pay a premium for your best talent.

We have to find ways to attract and keep key hires or we’re going to be on a treadmill forever. We can talk culture, we can talk creative benefits like sabbaticals, and we can even talk about assessments that identify people who are born to work in an agency. As compelling as all of that is, it’s tough to compete with money.

That’s what intrigued me about Kevin Monaghan and his strategies to help protect, incentivize, and compensate minority owners and key employees. Kevin and his team at Intuitive Compensation Group work with businesses to create compensation packages that keep your people in place, feeling rewarded and valued.

Today, Kevin speaks all over the country and helps business owners, partnerships, business brokers (buyers & sellers), and key employees align their goals with workable compensation models that incentivize over time without running into some of the roadblocks of giving away equity or being stuck with a minority stake in a company where you can’t control dividend distribution.

Interestingly, while taking a break from the business sector early in his career, Kevin briefly worked as a writer’s assistant for two of NBC’s top comedies, “The Office” and “Parks & Recreation.”



What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why giving equity to employees can be a dangerous situation
  • Cash value life insurance is a way to fund a golden handcuff plan that ensures you get money back if the employee leaves (the employee can’t touch this money for a certain amount of time passes)
  • Putting money behind compensation promises so that both the business owner and the employee knows what they’re walking away from if they decide to part ways
  • Different ways to structure cash value life insurance policies so that the burden of tax falls to the agency, the employee, or a combination of the two (and examples of times where each of these would be appropriate)
  • How to use these cash value life insurance policies to set up your agency to be sold when you’re ready to retire
  • Figuring out what matters to the seller and the buyer when heading into an agency sale
  • What happens when an agency owner sticks around after selling the agency
  • The right and wrong ways to compensate young employees that you want to keep but you know aren’t even close to being ready for any agency ownership
  • What benefits young employees really want
  • Why it doesn’t hurt to start planning for your retirement / selling of your agency early

The Golden Nugget:

“It's easy to walk away from an agency job if you’re young and haven’t learned the grass isn’t greener lesson. Put a quarter of a million dollars in between that decision, and they’re going to think twice before taking off.” - Kevin Monaghan Click To Tweet


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