Employee Engagement, Employee Surveys

Insurance Insights: data from our benchmarking report

Lydia Watson

What are the three biggest strengths and weaknesses of the insurance industry? We looked at our benchmarking data to understand how the sector’s been impacted by the pandemic, and where leaders should be focusing in the next few months.

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The top 3 strengths of the Insurance sector in 2020

1. Empowerment

87% agree or strongly agree with this statement: “When faced with a difficult situation at work, I feel trusted to exercise my judgement and make appropriate decisions”

As another industry forced into remote work, ‘empowerment’ is a positive thing to score high on. For service to continue from the homes of its employees, autonomy and trust are crucial – no matter how good your tech and tools are. Though sales-based employees may have found a remote approach particularly challenging, and some miss the capacity for creative collaboration, this is still an encouraging sign.

2. Transparency

83% agree or strongly agree with this statement: “Within our team, we talk openly and transparently about both the challenges we face and our successes.”

The sector has seen a significant shift in demand, as a result of the knock-on impacts of Covid-19. Event cancellation and general liability claims related to the virus emerged, and the way lockdown changed daily life affecting things like motor insurance. This is coupled with an increased demand from customers for digital communications. Adapting to all this change absolutely necessitated transparency about business needs and challenges.

3. Role Fit

83% agree or strongly agree with this statement: “My skills and talents fit well with my role and I feel able to get the job done.”

In most sectors, ‘role fit’ emerged as a key strength. What does this tell us? We could guess that the instability of the job market – with rampant redundancies, and ongoing furlough – has meant hiring both had to be precisely and carefully managed, resulting in good matches made across the board. Either way, it’s a positive for the sector – but one to keep an eye on, as the sector pushes to attract more millennial talent.

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The 3 biggest opportunities for improvement

1. Tools

Only 43% agree or strongly agree with this statement: “Our tools, systems and processes make my working life easier and set me up for success.

‘Tools’ has appeared frequently in our newest data, and it’s not surprising. Where everything about an office is often carefully managed, working from home can cause issues – from what equipment you have to ways of working.

For insurance, several things are likely at play. The handling of sensitive data and financial information requires secure networks – and at home, that means VPNs. The shifting of resources to meet new demands, and provide that digital customer service, also means new tools and processes – so leaders and managers should focus on this as a priority.

2. Communication

Only 51% agree or strongly agree with this statement: “I get the information I need about changes in priorities and broader goals in order to do my job well.”

Though ‘transparency’ was a strength, interestingly ‘communication’ was not – and was actually a newly emerging weakness for the sector. One report saw 48% of organisations were rightly worried about “effective communication” during remote working, it’s likely this is to blame. But for employees to properly understand and adapt to changing priorities, this need to change.

3. Innovation

Only 55% agree or strongly agree with this statement: “We welcome change and are able to adapt and innovate quickly whenever needed.”

With ‘innovation’ the third biggest weakness, we can see a concerning trend. Being so in demand as a sector is an enviable thing, especially when other sectors have seen this fall, but a changing demand requires an innovative, adaptive approach. That insurance employees don’t recognise this as a trait is a worry, and there’s a risk that the sector could miss out by not adapting to this market shift.

Our takeaway for Insurance:

Remote work and changing customer demands means an innovative approach is key. For a typically traditional industry, adapting to change will help organisations stay competitive – and it means equipping its teams with better tools and processes, clearly communicating priorities, and using that basis to respond to what customers are asking for.

This will be beneficial for its workforce too. With a significant need to attract millennials to the sector, organisations will need to be innovative in their approach to flexible, freelance work too – and keep teams engaged by providing the right tools, and keeping them in the loop.

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