The insurance market is in desperate need of ways of working, which are starting to be delivered by insurtech innovations. However, insurers moving to digital, connected enterprises need more than a systems overhaul if they are to leverage the technological revolution.
In addition to a cultural shift, leaving behind the old mind-set, insurance needs new blood to fulfill the new roles that will be generate by this transformation.
Hiring and retaining employees is difficult and expensive at the best of times and many potential candidates - particularly younger candidates - struggle to see themselves in such a stuffy old industry.
Attracting digital talent into insurance is even more challenging because insurance isn't perceived as 'cool' and, with shortages of experience in most areas, they are in demand in dynamic new tech start-ups or established disruptors like Google, Apple, etc.
However, insurtech partnerships can provide rich opportunities for carriers to attract and retain emerging talent that is missing from insurance. Traditional insurance is often seen as a sleepy backwater of the financial industry, but the new, connected organization that insurance companies are so desperately trying to become is new, dynamic and can transform the way people interact with these businesses in the future.
So much of the project to become a digital first business is about focusing on the client experience, to offer the customer more than what they felt they got from the old model. They must also record how customers interact with that old model in order to provide the products they want, when they want them.
This requires segmentation of customers according to their behavior - how they interact with the insurer or influence the risk within their policy - rather than traditional categories of age, sex, location, ethnicity, etc.
Insurers are also trying to educate and enhance the working experience of the employee in order to retain those with the skills for this new market. Some see this as important as the customer, because they believe that the customer is satisfied when employees are happy. It might be viewed as an element of business continuity, but driven by people rather than process. A happy employee that understands their role and feels in control will likely service customers better and is less likely to leave the company.
As serving the customer through insurtech becomes embedded in more businesses, the ways employees work will likely evolve as a result of them adopting online learning and development of new processes and systems. This allows staff to enrich their work experience for the benefit of all at time and place of their choosing.
Employees who enrich their experience in the workplace feel more fulfilled and in old-fashioned terms they are happier1. Happy staff treat give customers a better experience, so there is a good business case for insurers not only to attract the right employees, but seek to become an employer of choice as it may impact the bottom line.
Insurance needs new high-caliber staff and once it has managed to attract them, it needs to retain them.
There is a business benefit to keeping employees, happy, because it is unlikely customers will be happy if the employees aren't.
Keeping customers happy with happy employees is just another form of business continuity. Reversing the process offers insurers insights that they can use to satisfy their internal customer -their employees.