It’s no secret that the pandemic has changed the way we work - in the insurance industry and the corporate world at large.

From adapting to remote working and the frequent lockdowns of the recent past, complying with evolving State and Federal Government health regulations, and managing complex mental health issues, we’ve had to redefine what it means to ‘come to work.’ 

Despite the challenges this market poses for insurers, it also presents a tremendous opportunity to modernise the way businesses recruit and keep talent.

What are the key factors holding insurers back from recruiting and retaining the right people?

The elusive quest for work/life balance is a growing driver for many employees, who now seek a workplace that can fit around their life – rather than the other way around. Australia may be a little behind this growing trend but we’re certainly not immune to the desire for work/life balance and the growing interest in remote working. 

As time passes, many insurers are looking to bring their teams back to the office while the workforce would prefer to stay remote or maintain partial remote working conditions. This tension increases the risk of companies losing good people. Competition is fierce and sought-after talent won’t think twice about jumping ship to join a competitor willing to offer flexible working arrangements. In some respects, “time” has become more valuable than “money” in job loyalty.   

Additionally, our ageing population in Australia, means insurers are seeing long-term industry experts retire and taking with them valuable knowledge and skills. Finding relevant ways to incentivise our maturing workforce to stay with us and impart their skills onto the next generation will help to ensure the sustainability of your business.

While the insurance industry remains one of the most resilient in the current climate, there is a critical skills gap. From drone technology to chatbots and artificial intelligence, the new risks that come with emerging technologies are also shaping the insurance industry, making it more interesting, and thus likely, for new talent to join our industry while existing talent adapts.

Finally, it remains important to be committed to recognising employees for a job well done.  Many businesses consider extrinsic rewards for employees (bonuses, promotions and benefits) an obvious fast-track to securing satisfaction, engagement and support. But it’s important to ensure your approach is rewarding and encouraging the right behaviour and delivering long-term results by offering something that is truly meaningful to the employee. This ability to recognise and celebrate the varied and meaningful career paths we can offer claims professionals is a critical factor in our ongoing commitment to the war for talent.

Staying ahead of the curve when it comes to managing these innovations is crucial to insurers’ survival and retaining and upskilling the team to keep pace remains a challenge. Insurance teams, especially in the sales field, may also rely less on their interpersonal abilities, instead needing to be skilled at using management tools like CRM programs and interacting with claimants in a digital manner that removes most contextual markers.  

How can our industry overcome these factors and build stronger talent retention processes?

The good news is there are a number of strategies our industry can employ to ensure they are attracting, motivating, and retaining the right people for the job.

Clearly, flexible working arrangements and processes that set people up for remote success are critical factors in becoming an employer of choice. Investing in the right cultural and administrative systems to enable convenient working from any location, coupled with online training, accessible support resources and virtual collaboration, will go a long way in improving your business reputation.

In line with current and changing attitudes towards work, the more progressive businesses are already doing this and proving they’re in touch with their employees.  This includes flexible hours, options for contract, freelance, or remote work, and job sharing to accommodate the changing lifestyle needs of parents with young children, employees who are caregivers, or maturing employees transitioning to retirement.

To address the digital skills disparity in the insurance industry, investing in automation and associated training will help your business deliver service to claimants faster, with less pressure on your team. Developing talent and establishing systems that support these emerging technologies and creating a culture of innovation among the team will ensure your workplace is one where people want to be.

So, how can GB facilitate and support greater talent retention with its insurer partners?

We see these talent issues as a great opportunity to help our partners expand their resources and transform the way they recruit and retain the talent they need to grow and prosper. Outsourcing these complex talent management tasks not only opens new opportunities for claims professionals to grow their careers or explore new paths within GB, it also means insurers can focus on profitably growing their core business.

We partner with insurers worldwide and right here in Australia, to deliver best-practice solutions for all lines of insurance. From directing new projects to supporting or managing portfolios weighed down by complex events, such as Australia’s natural disasters and storm seasons, providing the right local team who understands your clients, your values, and your products is the core of what we do.

Want to know more?

As a first step, you can connect with me for a confidential discussion about your business objectives and how we can help.

Blog Author

John White

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