Galen M. Hair on Employer-Employee Relationships and Being a Strong Leader

How do you build Employer-Employee Relationships?

Galen Hair has great relationships with his staff and fellow attorneys at his New Orleans-based Insurance Claim HQ, a property-casualty insurance law firm.

To him, those relationships are based on his ability to lead with strength. After opening its doors in 2020, the purpose-led Insurance Claim HQ has already reached over $65 million in billable hours per year for 2021. And they had zero employee turnover during the pandemic. 

Those facts point to content and productive employees. To Hair, reaching a large number of hours wasn’t what pleased him most; it was that it was a by-product of his leadership with strength and strategic decision-making. 

“A lot of business leaders talk about getting the most out of your people by taking care of them, but it’s in my nature to care for the people that work for me. So if we have an uptick in success, better relationships, and higher productivity, it’s a win-win-win situation,” he said. 

Strong Force for Good

Property-casualty insurance law sounds niche, but unfortunately, it isn’t. In less than two years, Hair and his team have assisted more than 1200 families, and six churches get their deserved settlements from insurance companies that denied claims after properties were damaged or destroyed. 

They operate in Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, and throughout the country. Hair has also been rated a Super Lawyers Rising Star and voted into the National Trial Lawyers Top 100. 

The founder does not just assist people that have suffered through natural disasters and unfair insurance companies; he has been there himself. He was originally drawn to the city to help with disaster relief after Hurricane Katrina, and in 2020, Hurricane Zeta hit his family’s home.

The first time he ventured into New Orleans, he fell in love with the city and its people – even in the state, it was post-hurricane. He felt so moved by what he experienced there that he changed his plans of attending music school with an opera scholarship and moved to the Southern city to enroll at Tulane University Law School.

“Hurricane Katrina changed everything for me. I knew I wanted to be a positive force for change for fellow Americans and help them during their difficult times,” said Hair. “This turned out to be an experience of a lifetime, and in the process, I changed too. I also gained a real-world understanding of the insurance industry as it functions. It opened my eyes towards the treatment of policyholders by deep-pocketed insurance companies, who were focused on profits over people.”

Leading with Strength

Today, Hair is an established and experienced leader. His strategy is “to lead from the front and work closely with everyone involved. This also helps the team to stay motivated and do their best to overcome unforeseen circumstances.

His firm regularly deals with natural disaster sites and people going through the trauma of a lost or damaged home. So, of course, regular morale boosting and motivation are needed.

“The best way a leader can inspire their team is to encourage collaborative work. As a leader, when the team sees you taking initiative, they pick up on those traits and do their best. Also, don’t be afraid to be silly. Sometimes humor is exactly what the doctor ordered.

And Hair also regularly has to break news to his team, whether it’s about a less-than-ideal outcome from a case or a new natural disaster in works across the Gulf States.

“I feel the best way to communicate important news is, to be honest with the team and the customers. At the same time, it is important to also work with them to find the best possible solution and find the light at the end of the tunnel,” shared Hair. “Here is the real catch: Don’t ever be afraid to say that you have no update.”

And, whatever you deliver, make sure to do it with unconditional love, says Hair. He knows it goes against some workplace philosophies, but he swears by it. “I tell my team I care. I tell my clients that we care. I tell our vendors that we care. When things get tough, it is amazing how people that have been treated well will simply accommodate you. They will do this because you are genuine in your unconditional love for others,” said Hair.

With such helpful and positive advice from one of the country’s most prominent attorneys, you can be sure to lead with more strength and love in no time. 

About Galen M Hair

Galen M Hair, Owner of Insurance Claim HQ, is a property insurance attorney who has helped over 1,200 families rebuild their homes and businesses. He has been rated a Super Lawyers Rising Star and voted one of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100. Click here to learn more about protecting your property from disaster:

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