Rebranding and Embracing Change to Thrive in the Future of Work

By | September 3, 2018

The wave of innovation has taken the insurance industry by storm, forever changing organizations, processes and people alike. Risk management telematics are calculating accurate policies for underwriters, big data is helping employees analyze customer feedback to improve services, and drones are speeding up the claims process. These changes and more have left a very different industry and workplace in its wake – one that will undoubtedly look vastly different from now on.

As automation, data analytics and other technological transformations streamline everyday, time-consuming tasks, individual employees will have the opportunity to work more closely with core organizational values and perform more decision-oriented functions. These roles will require well-rounded individuals with a blend of technical and soft skills ready to support data-driven initiatives and business mindsets. Recruiting and retaining these renaissance employees will position organizations to succeed in the future of work.

The future workplace will also demand team-based, flexible workflows. Collaboration is becoming more important as technology redefines employees’ tasks, allowing for more creativity and discussion. At the same time, professionals are working beyond the traditional office space and hours as organizations strive to cultivate the highest productivity.

In this age of innovation, improving, and even maintaining, retention rates can be challenging. Many employees associate technological innovations with staff reductions and worry robots and computers will take over their jobs and replace them. They are concerned that their employers are painting the picture of a future work reality without them. To ease these concerns, leaders should be transparent and consistently communicate upcoming changes and initiatives.

It is not simple, though, to ease the suspicion and fear employees are harboring as their workplace changes at an unprecedented pace. Insurance organizations must offer more than “lip service” to improve employee engagement and retention. This starts with fully embracing workplace modernization. Change is exciting, and employers need to put innovation in a positive light to ensure their organizations truly step into the 21st century. We often associate technological improvements with “disrupters.” Although the term may accurately refer to potential risks stemming from the future of work, it does not reveal how modernizing provides promising opportunities for the industry and its workforce.

Artificial intelligence and data analytics may indeed replace some jobs, but at the same time, they will generate newly-created positions, putting more people to work. Leaders should offer opportunities for individual growth by providing transition programs and supporting internal mobility. As technology redefines employees’ responsibilities, insurance organizations must be intentional about helping their workers transition into the future of work.

Recruiting

Recruiting top talent is also a key to mitigating future workforce risks, but long-standing views of the industry as a rigid, old-fashioned environment often deter younger generations from considering insurance a viable career path. The insurance industry will continue to face fierce recruiting challenges stemming from this misconception. Although organizations have started to revolutionize their business models and integrate cutting-edge technology, those efforts are often buried under unchanging public perception.

It is critical that the insurance industry reinvent its employer brands to attract top talent. Companies should proactively advertise their innovative corporate culture and desirable workplace features to younger generations. Many still think insurance organizations require professional attire such as full suits and ties under bureaucratic, structured authority. Dressing down, allowing flexible work arrangements, promoting a collaborative atmosphere and offering creative benefits are essential, but they mean nothing if no one knows about them.

In today’s candidate-driven marketplace, organizations should tell the story of their organization’s journey to the future of work.

Organizations need to reverse their traditional candidate marketing strategies to tackle recruiting challenges. It is time for employers to preemptively advertise their modern workplace features to candidates beyond job interviews and postings and before showcasing available positions. Demonstrating authenticity is crucial. Emerging professionals are likely to be more attentive to employees’ uncensored, personalized messages on up-to-date insurance workplace changes. In today’s candidate-driven marketplace, organizations should tell the story of their organization’s journey to the future of work.

As technology exerts bigger influence on business operations, the insurance industry is at risk of losing its workforce. The potential the future of work offers is exciting. Organizations must positively approach innovation alongside their employees and authentically promote their modern workplace. Only then will the industry have the talent needed to successfully redefine our industry’s future.

About David Coons

Coons is senior vice president of The Jacobson Group, a provider of talent to the insurance industry. Phone: 800-466-1578. Email: dcoons@jacobsononline.com. More from David Coons

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Insurance Journal West September 3, 2018
September 3, 2018
Insurance Journal West Magazine

Emerging Risks; Directory: Professional Liability; Market: Residential Contractors