Date Published

12/02/2021

Empowering the insurance workforce of the future though by adopting an innovation posture

Date Published

12/02/2021

Reading time

6 mins read

Author

Gabriel Swift

The disruptive forces shaping the future of the insurance industry as a result of the post-pandemic environment is escalating a significant pace of change, and increasing competition, whilst evolving customer expectations and greater regulatory demands.

At the same time, improving the employee experience and supporting the hiring, onboarding, flexible working and focussing on employee wellbeing is radically changing the employee experience too.

Insurance organisations are working hard to balance the maintenance of services to customers while also embracing the changes which required to survive and thrive in the long term.

Although the implementation of new technology will drive much of the change, insurance leaders will succeed or fail to the degree to which they empower and motivate their people. There is a need to re-skill many staff and attract a new breed of talent to create the capacity for innovation initiatives. Yet how should companies approach this challenge? The first step is to engage critically with this reality and implement forward-thinking strategies to position themselves at the forefront of the coming workforce revolution as an employer of choice, while supporting a sustainable operating model and winning the customer battle.

The insurance sector is typically data-driven and process-heavy and is in the process of an earth-shaking customer and workforce transformation, as wide-ranging automation technologies assume manual tasks across the insurance value chain. Many functions and related jobs are being reimagined. Multiple automation technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation are combining in an Intelligent Automation (IA) strategy to solve complex business issues. The future workforce will be a hybrid between human and IA elements.

As insurers investigate potential applications of AI – and as Insuretechs and ‘hyperscalers’ make greater inroads into the industry – many insurers are now competing with the likes of Google and Amazon to attract the best and brightest. As a result, access to the talent necessary to drive a robust innovation strategy becomes a strategic imperative.

Employee mindset is also a critical success factor. While specific skill sets and competencies can be supported through training, insurers should place a priority on attracting, hiring and retaining individuals who are agile, adaptable and eager to learn, regardless of their role.

Insurance leaders should take eight steps as they reimagine the future customer and workforce experience, with implications for change management affecting the contact centre, customer and employee experience, and human resource systems:

Positioning the customer at the centre of your innovation efforts

Rising customer expectations have driven Capita’s Insurance and Life and Pensions customers to adopt new technologies to support the innovation needs aligned to improving the customer experience. 

Capita’s approach is to provide customers with an ‘assisted transformation’ model working closely with Insurers to eliminate customer friction and improve the customer NPS, at the same time as modernising and allowing for a more flexible employee experience. The model focuses on transforming the contact centre and customer experience in incremental steps. Capita’s approach focuses on ‘Simplify, Strengthen and Succeed’ methodology in delivering superior customer outcomes.

Understand your people

Our research shows that employees are divided into two, roughly equal camps – those who are sceptical or worried about the impact of digitisation on their jobs, and those who embrace the change and are excited about the opportunity to learn and grow. Attitudes and ability to re-skill differ according to seniority, function, and age. Insurers should create personalised plans to engage and develop these different types of employees.

Leadership and engagement

With strong leadership and an honest, compelling vision, people will be more likely to embrace change. By engaging their people in dialogue, insurers can address concerns and build credibility in the benefits of automation, shifting the conversation away from one filled with myth, fear and anxiety and instead towards an optimistic view of the future. Insurers should set out a clear vision for automation and the coming new roles through proactive, transparent communication demonstrating a longer-term view of how people can expect to engage with technology into the future.

Employee experience

Insurers should place as much emphasis on employee experience as they do on customer experience, paying special attention to digital recruiting, onboarding, learning and management experiences. Retaining, motivating, and nurturing an innovation culture from your existing talent pool is essential. To make innovation happen it’s crucial to train and reskill your existing employees and provide an outstanding experience whilst doing so. Creating a digital framework that enables the individual to take ownership for their career, will become increasingly important as a part of this process.

Skills development

Skills are the employment currency of the future, with ‘human skills’ such as empathy and critical thinking becoming the most valuable. This mindset shift requires innovative ways of mapping and bridging skills, along with new approaches to learning and accreditation. Insurers should champion the development of transferable skillsets for the future, accelerating support for reskilling and building a shared level of digital understanding across the workforce.

Agile resourcing model

The natural shift in the employment market, from permanent, full-time employees to a balance with more skilled contract labour, robotics and automation, adds layers of complexity to any talent strategy. Organisations’ ability to skilfully integrate these different worker groups and hybrid elements will increasingly be key to success. Organisations often struggle with predicting the skills they need, understanding the skills they already have, and preparing to meet future skills requirements, Capita are a leading supplier of talent services that can support an increasingly agile approach to talent attraction and deployment  - that of ‘buy’, ‘borrow’ and ‘build’.

Businesses are becoming more interested in understanding and utilising individuals’ specific skills, mindsets, and behaviours rather than traditional qualifications. There’s a shift to an increasingly agile approach to talent attraction and deployment - one that places emphasis on the ability to access skills at the point of need. As artificial intelligence, process automation, and machine learning become part of everyday life, freeing people to focus on higher value activities which require creativity, curiosity and empathy, businesses who attract those with unique kills and attributes will increasingly have the competitive advantage. A blend of buy, borrow and build solutions for talent management can help ensure you have the right people and relevant skills for today with the agility to respond quickly to the evolving needs of tomorrow.

Flexible work 

As working life in the post-pandemic context begins to take shape, many businesses have made already made dramatic changes to their operating models. Benefits include reduced office costs and environmental footprint, and savings in commuting time. Flexible hours and remote work may also support diversity, empowering working parents and especially women. However, remote working is only a practical proposition if insurers can operate from the cloud. Robust cyber security technology, training and policies are necessary to protect the company and its employees without impacting productivity or customer experience.

Partnering with InsureTech

Capita Scaling Partner, (CSP) is a part of Capita plc, the largest business process outsourcing and professional services company in the UK. CSP partners with Insurtech start-ups to help them scale, providing them with strategic access to Capita’s network of clients, suppliers, investors and subject matter experts to secure long term sustainable growth. Our clients benefit too, as we can give them access to the best in targeted InsureTech innovation. They can engage with our partner start-ups safe in the knowledge they have been through a competitive selection process and have the support of Capita every step of the journey. Learn more about Capita Scaling Partner.

Written by

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Gabriel Swift

Account Based Marketing, Capita

Gabriel specialises in Account Based Marketing, With over 25 years’ experience working in IT organisations, Gabriel is passionate about innovation, creative thinking and enabling and supporting Senior Sales stakeholders in achieving their goals.

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