40 ISSN 2515-3803
Connecting Insurers, Brokers, Lawyers & Claims Professionals
Employee engagement and motivation: Unlocking your talent
Opening up about mental health
Tali Shlomo, CII
Lisa Meigh, CovĂŠa
How to enhance performance for better business results
Investing in your employees Steve Turner, EDAM Group
Driving Change Louisa Lombardo, Chubb
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mployee engagement is a term we are hearing a lot more of nowadays, and not just in the insurance industry. But what is it, and how can we help it to flourish in our place of work?
The approach to employee engagement all comes down to facilitating the right conditions for an organisation’s members to give their best each day. It is built on trust and a good line of communication and commitment. It is an approach which not only contributes to business success but organisational and individual performance, wellbeing and motivation. In this edition, expect articles and interviews from Tali Shlomo, Global People Engagement Director at the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), who discusses the link between diversity and inclusion (D&I) and employee engagement, plus the challenges we are facing in terms of attraction and retaining talent within the industry. Louisa Lombardo, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Europe, Eurasia and Africa, at Chubb, tells us what a role such as Head of Diversity and Inclusion entails, while New York Times bestselling author, strengths revolutionist, global researcher, and the Head of the ADP Research Institute People + Performance, Marcus Buckingham, details the make-up of a team.
(Left) Poppy Green, Editor, (Right) Rachael Pearson, Project Manager
Mike Adams OBE, CEO of Purple, spoke to Modern Insurance about Purple Tuesday 2019, an international call to action focused on changing the customer experience for disabled people, while Lisa Meigh, Director of HR & Learning at Covéa Insurance, opened up about mental health in the workplace. We have many individuals and businesses offering their views, advice and support in this issue, and it is great to see an industry coming together in support of D&I and doing more for their employees. Accompanying this edition is a very special Modern Insurance Supplement – Motor Insurance: Driving Synergies. It is the result of a fantastic collaboration with a range of key voices from the industry, discussing nearly every key aspect and issue within the motor insurance world right now, from whiplash to FNOL, from fraud and credit hire, and from customer expectations to technology; there is something for everyone! We also have the pleasure of being media partners with Dive In Festival 2019 this year. The festival promotes diversity and inclusion in the global insurance sectors, and this year marks a milestone as it reaches its fifth year, with a record number of countries expected to host events. Events will be spread across three days from 24th-26th September in 33 countries, with events hosted in Nigeria, Bahrain, Turkey, Oman and Indonesia for the first time. Make sure you check out what is happening near you in your area: https://diveinfestival.com/2019-events/ Nominations are now OPEN for the UK Customer Service Excellence Awards, which is returning for its third year to Café de Paris, London, to celebrate customer service success in the insurance and broker markets. Deadline for entries is Friday 28th February 2020. You can find out more via the weblink: www.customerserviceexcellenceawards.co.uk. I hope you enjoy this issue, and if you have any comments or feedback, then please do get in touch via the details below.
Poppy Green, Editor, Modern Insurance Magazine. 01765 600909 | @Modern_Poppy | firstname.lastname@example.org Co-Editor Poppy Green Project Manager & Events Sales Rachael Pearson
Issue 40 ISSN 2515-3803
Modern Insurance Magazine is published by Charlton Grant Ltd ©2019 All material is copyrighted both written and illustrated. Reproduction in part or whole is strictly forbidden without the written permission of the publisher. All images and information is collated from extensive research and along with advertisements is published in good faith. Although the author and publisher have made every effort to ensure that the information in this publication was correct at press time, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause.
M A G A Z I N E
NEWS 09 The employee experience
12 Unlocking your talent
Josh Bersin, Global Industry Analyst and Founder and Dean of the Josh Bersin Academy, gives his thoughts on the employee experience and its ability to add value to the overall business.
EDITORIAL BOARD 23 Find out what our editorial board panel of experts have to say in this edition of Modern Insurance Magazine.
Supporting someone with a mental health problem is as important as supporting someone who has a broken leg. See
Tali Shlomo, Global People Engagement Director at the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), discusses the link between diversity and inclusion (D&I) and employee engagement, plus the challenges we are facing in terms of attracting and retaining talent within the industry.
37 Sector Soapbox
16 Driving change
Speaking to Louisa Lombardo, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Europe, Eurasia and Africa, at Chubb, Modern Insurance found out what a role such as the Head of Diversity and Inclusion means and involves in the insurance industry today.
20 People + Performance
A global researcher and thought leader focused on unlocking strengths, increasing performance and pioneering the future of how people work, Marcus Buckingham explains how we should engage employees, whilst discussing the make-up of a team.
Modern Insurance’s panel of resident associations outline the burning issues facing the claims sector.
41 Industry Innovators Interview: WhenFresh
F E AT U R E S
WhenFresh combines over 200 private and public UK data feeds with advanced analytics and API delivery to provide a unique range of data-driven services to the financial, insurance, utilities, retail and property-related sectors. Mark Cunningham, Director and Co-Founder of WhenFresh, discusses the “one-stop-datasupermarket”, and how their big data solutions are making an impact on the UK home insurance industry.
44 A look ahead
Following the ILC’s 10th Motor Claims Conference in June 2019, Modern Insurance caught up with Chris Ashworth, Managing Director of ARMS® Business Solutions, part of Enterprise Holdings, and Founder of ILC, to discuss the ‘future look’ and what we can expect of this fastchanging, ever-evolving motor claims landscape.
M A G A Z I N E
F E AT U R E S 47 Happy, healthy and more productive
Kirsten Early, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, of Broadspire by Crawford & Company, explains how they maintain a positive company culture within their business, whilst continuing to grow and prosper.
48 Opening up about mental health
Modern Insurance spoke to Lisa Meigh, Director of HR & Learning at Covéa Insurance, about how they are tackling mental health in their D&I strategy.
52 Purple Tuesday – Changing the customer experience
Purple Tuesday 2019 is an international call to action, focused on changing the customer experience for disabled people. Modern Insurance spoke to Mike Adams OBE, Chief Executive Officer of Purple, who is helping to define the conversation on disability and explains how the insurance industry can get involved.
53 Purple Advice
Kathryn Knowles, Managing Director of Cura Financial Services, is a supporter of Purple Tuesday, and wants to encourage awareness and access within the insurance industry. Here you can find her advice for improving insurance services for clients with disabilities.
54 Work, in progress: D&I in the workplace
Sam White, CEO and Founder of Freedom Services Group, Freedom Brokers, Action 365, and Pukka Insure, chats to Modern Insurance about creating a more open platform for discussion within the industry, while championing individuality.
56 Why caring really does count
Sarah Blanchfield, Colleague Resources Director at Sedgwick, discusses company culture and its effect on colleagues and their ability to grow and develop within the work place.
57 Investing in your employees
Steve Turner, CEO at EDAM Group, reflects on what EDAM Group are doing to create a happy and engaged workforce, and why it is important that you invest in your team.
59 One Year On
Twelve months since he moved into the role, Harvey Stead, FMG’s Managing Director, reflects on the achievements of the past year, while looking to the future of the business.
60 How can we change our approach to digital?
Michael Lewis, CEO of Claim Technology, challenges us to rethink our approach to digital and do insurance differently.
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E D I T O R I A L
B O A R D
23 The Rooney Rule
David Williams, Managing Director, Underwriting and Technical Services, AXA Insurance (UK)
23 The future of work
Trevor Lloyd-Jones, Senior Marketing Manager, Insurance, LexisNexis Risk Solutions
25 Coplus Coaching
James MacBeth, Managing Director, Auto Windscreens
27 Talent of the future
Carla Cianfriglia, Chief Human Resources and Organisation Officer, Octo Telematics
Stephen Marshall ACII, Managing Director, Insure Apps
29 Water â€“ the Great Escape
Nick Lock, Head of Property Claims, Allianz
29 Cost control programmes
Jason Tripp, Managing Director, Coplus
25 Clear frameworks are the key
27 The benefits of smart working
Miles Keeble, Senior Claims Consultant, Nationwide Vehicle Assistance
31 Are you happy with the progress being made on the new RTA Portal?
Donna Scully, Director, Carpenters Group
31 Smart working is becoming the norm, not expectation
Steve Collinson, Head of HR, Zurich
E D I T O R I A L
B O A R D
33 How can stress be best managed in the workplace?
Neil Marcus, Marketing Director, Selsia
33 The development of the Portfolio Manager
Steve Walker, CEO, Peritus Learning. Written on behalf of InduSTry Insights.
SECTOR SOAPBOX 37 Injury Prevention Day 2019
Gordon Dalyell, President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)
Steve White, CEO, BIBA
38 Decisions still to be made
David Ovenden, Global Director, Pricing Product Claims and Underwriting, Willis Towers Watson
35 Training is not onesize fits all – it’s one size fits ‘nobody’
37 Committing to culture
Paul Nicholls, Chair, Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS) and Senior Partner at Nicholls Brimble Bhol Solicitors
38 Developing the need of the next generation of lawyers
James Heath, President of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers, and Partner at Keoghs
39 Building a better future
Dr Matthew Connell, Director, Policy and Public Affairs, Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)
right people. right skills. right technology.
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The employee experience Josh Bersin, Global Industry Analyst and Founder and Dean of the Josh Bersin Academy, gives his thoughts on the employee experience and its ability to add value to the overall business.
he understanding and optimisation of the employee experience has emerged as a key priority for HR and business leaders, but what do we mean when we talk about the employee experience?
The employee experience encapsulates the journey of an employee while at an organisation. It is an expansive view of the relationship between the individual and the company, taking each step within the employee’s lifecycle into account – recruitment, training and developing, and eventually exit. An employee-centric way of thinking about the organisation, it takes into account how an employee may hear, see, believe and feel about all aspects of their employment. All of these aspects become an important lever in impacting both the culture and performance of an organisation.
There’s no way to improve the employee experience without employees being involved. We have to work with them to fix old and broken processes, design new systems, and make work easier
Here are a few things I have discovered to help you get started when wanting to improve your employees’ experience, productivity, wellbeing and output: Start with the basics: look at the common “moments that matter” at work first, and flatten these issues completely. Onboarding, job changes, relocation, and all the little things can really bog people down if they’re difficult. Every company can look at these topics and map out better solutions. Design thinking: this really matters. It’s time for you to “empathise” with your employees, follow them around, survey and interview them, and sit down with them in workshops. They will tell you what bugs them at work, and you’ll hear all sorts of things that make work difficult. Partner with IT and Finance: none of these problems are HR’s alone. Bring finance and IT into the team, immediately, they are going to be part of the solution.
Look at new tools: the ERP and HCM platforms may not help as much as you think. Every client I met with in Europe told me that their HR systems project did not necessarily improve the employee experience. In some cases they did, but only if they looked at the platform project as an “employee experience project”. Practice process simplification: every “process harmonisation” project I uncover comes down to one thing. We have a tendency in business to make things too complicated. As your company grows, acquires, and changes, people keep tacking on new steps, approvals, and branches to everything. Segment the workforce: we can’t possibly fix every employee’s experience in every way at once, so we need to segment the workforce. After we take care of the basics, we can move into specific strategies for the workforces or personas that matter most.
Examples of what to do Let me share a few things I have seen to help you get started: Avoid system projects without a focus. Several of the companies I have met with told me that they are implementing a new system because they have too many systems which are not integrated. And guess what. That new system is not going as well as they hoped. Why? They didn’t design the system around the employee
It’s time for you to “empathise” with your employees |
Create employee personas. One of the companies I met with created a set of personas that they now use to design solutions. They built these personas with help from the business unit and then mapped all the various HR transactions against the personas. Each persona had its own design session and they created a role called “innovation consultant” in the HR department to rethink the way things get done.
The employee experience encapsulates the journey of an employee while at an organisation
Practice Co-creation: every solution you develop should be “co-created” with business people and leaders. There’s no way to improve the employee experience without employees being involved. We have to work with them to fix old and broken processes, design new systems, and make work easier. Job shadowing is a good practice to use.
experience, they designed it around the back-end. Employees want simplicity, ease of use, and a single place to go. You may not need a new system to accomplish this – an employee experience platform sitting in front of existing systems may be far easier.
Look at everything. Re-engineer your processes and save time, effort and money on simple things. Work on onboarding. Work on a strategic onboarding process that is no longer complex or incomplete.
Engage the people analytics team. These problems are all about measurement. Where are people wasting time? How much effort is going into doing something? Where are people clicking and who are they emailing? If you have a good ONA tool, a good survey system, and a good set of instrumentation on your workforce, you’ll need the data. It is instrumental in gaining employee feedback. Data and analytics should always be a part of your plan. The employee experience is becoming an essential topic in business today, and the practices and tools are now becoming much clearer. It is important that organisations become more aware of the impact of employee experience and the effects it can have on a business. Just remember, “the customer experience is dependent on the employee experience.” Every time we make our employees’ lives better, we better serve our customers as well.
is a Global Industry Analyst and Founder and Dean of the Josh Bersin Academy.
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Tali Shlomo, Global People Engagement Director at the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), discusses the link between diversity and inclusion (D&I) and employee engagement, plus the challenges we are facing in terms of attracting and retaining talent within the industry.
Q When you are looking to attract talent, the organisational brand is critical to the employee value proposition, when you are looking to retain your talent, D&I is just as critical
Have you always been passionate about people?
When I finished University, HR was something that I stumbled into, but now, 25 years later, it has become my life. HR and D&I are one in the same because it is all about treating someone as an individual rather than as a collective, to support individuals to bring their whole self to work and to unlock their discretionary effort and potential. It is something that I describe as unlocking their talent. I have always been passionate about people, and my job as Global People Engagement Director is about engaging and connecting with our people, whether that be our colleagues within the business, our stakeholders or partners, in order to drive their personal development and our business.
How does D&I drive employee engagement?
It is one of the most fascinating things because by having greater awareness and insight, it can only enable you to have greater engagement and therefore a more fruitful workforce.
Looking at the McKinsey & Company report, we know that there is a strong correlation between companies who are in the top quarter for racial and ethnic diversity as they are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respected national mediums, which is partly down to employee engagement. The report from Deloitte recognises that by having a diverse group of colleagues there is increased collaboration, innovation and partnering. We all know from our own personal experiences that when we are treated as an individual, have support within a safe environment, and are empowered to provide our own insights and contributions, while being our authentic self, we are more engaged, and that is where we start to unlock the discretionary effort from an individual, and become more fruitful in our organisation. That is why I am passionate about people and D&I because everyone is involved in an organisationâ€™s strategy when it comes down to how we might approach and support each other. I am always looking at new ways of evolving employee engagement because the minute you are engaged you start to make a really powerful step change.
What challenges are we facing within the insurance industry in terms of talent?
Are we facing talent shortages? Yes. Is this an opportunity to widen our talent pool? Yes. How do we engage with students and school leavers? Career fairs. We recently had a stand at the Student Pride Career Fair at the University of Westminster. This was a great opportunity because we were able to engage with students of a variety of ages who were looking to kick start their career journey, plus it was great fun for us too. We, as the CII and the Personal Finance Society, also run a volunteer scheme where we go into a school and work with them to deliver a game called Discover Risk and Discover Fortunes. We have over 900 volunteers from our profession supporting the programme, which is all about engaging with school leavers and giving them a greater insight into our profession. Mentoring and coaching are other powerful tools. I have a mentor but I also have a mentee, which I think is a great way to give something back to our profession in order to enable succession planning. Particularly with artificial intelligence, roles are changing, therefore from a D&I perspective, letâ€™s look at the wider talent pool and equip our colleagues for future roles. D&I is intrinsic in our talent and succession programs because if we have a diverse community of colleagues reflecting society and our consumers then we are much more collaborative, inclusive and innovative in our products and solutions.
How does talent link to D&I?
We know that the employee value proposition for millennials in the PwC report was that 86% of millennial women and 74% of millennial men say that they consider D&I policies when deciding which company to work for. How powerful is that?! That shows that there is a clear correlation. We also know from Stonewall that concealing your sexual orientation reduces productivity by up to 30%. Why is that important you may ask? The reason that I mentioned both facts is that when you are looking to attract talent, the organisational brand is critical to the employee value proposition, when you are looking to retain your talent, D&I is just as critical. It is important to have strategies that recognise how talent enables D&I and how D&I enables talent because the two should complement each other.
The CII are hosting an event, The Power of Inclusion, as part of Dive In this year – what are you most looking forward to about this session and what will be the key elements discussed?
I am super excited! We ran these sessions last year and we had nearly 100 people attend which is a real achievement. This year in Cardiff, we have a Paralympian lady who will be sharing her journey of sport and her disability – this session is to encourage organisations to create strategies that will give individuals a platform to grow, evolve and develop. In Edinburgh, we will be talking about social mobility and how to create an inclusive work
place culture. In Ipswich, we have Kelly Smith MBE, a footballer, who will be talking about how we can break down gender stereotypes. It will be an incredibly powerful session using sport as a safe platform to discuss the issues surrounding gender. We also have an event happening in Hong Kong – we have an amazing panel of speakers from our profession where we will be discussing age bias and age diversity, and we also have a CPD coaching conversation session in English and Cantonese. In addition, we are hosting the first Dive In in Bangladesh and Dubai. It is all about impact. I always say that conversations are really important because the more you talk, the more you start to break down the stigma. Since the first Dive In Festival in 2015, it has really accelerated the progress of D&I in the industry and the fact that we have got so many new countries on board this year speaks volumes.
What positive work has the CII rolled out to support D&I, and what else is on the agenda for this year?
It is all about engaging with our employees, using a variety of channels and approaches and providing opportunities and safe spaces for them to have open conversations.
How can the profession continue to collaborate and unite in order to move inclusion conversations into actions that make a positive impact?
We should be proud of the amount of activities and conversations currently happening in our industry and making an impact. We should be celebrating the amount of cross-networks we have available – LINK, GIN, iCAN, IFN – because they are enabling the organisation to come together and recognise the power of collaboration. There is definitely is an appetite for D&I and the leadership teams and executive boards are now much more passionate in driving this inclusive culture forward – in the next 12 months we will continue to see some significant step change and I can’t wait!
In terms of the CII, we have amazing initiatives regarding D&I. We have an LGBT+ advocate group who are delivering some education and learning workshops. We also have mental health champion advocates who are doing some exciting activities to support our employees’ wellbeing journey. We host film nights where we show a movie which has a D&I element present and then after the movie we have a conversation around the film discussing reflective questions enabling us to start a dialogue in a safe space. We also deliver unconscious bias training, inclusive leadership training, and we also
I am always looking at new ways of evolving employee engagement because the minute you are engaged you start to make a really powerful step change 14
give out doodle books, allowing people to wind down and refresh for five minutes.
Tali Shlomo is the Global People Engagement Director at the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).
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D i v e r s ity
Driving change Speaking to Louisa Lombardo, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Europe, Eurasia and Africa, at Chubb, Modern Insurance found out what a role such as the Head of Diversity and Inclusion means and involves in the insurance industry today.
Culture is a huge part of D&I because by creating the right culture where people can be themselves, they will automatically perform to their best ability and feel comfortable moving forward
What does the role of Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Chubb entail?
The Head of Diversity and Inclusion was an entirely new role created in September 2017, and it is purely dedicated to diversity and inclusion (D&I) and spreading a positive message across the company. In my nearly two-year tenancy, I find it to be a varied position, but ultimately I focus on all aspects of inclusion across our region. My role is to put in place a number of initiatives and protocols across our offices to ensure that our employees feel empowered to engage in a way that is relevant and localised to their office.
Have you always been passionate about D&I?
When I first entered the insurance industry, I didn’t know that this kind of role even existed. I have been with Chubb for five years but I started in the recruitment team. It was only through events like the Dive In Festival that I was able to meet and network with individuals who were involved with D&I within their place of work, such as Pauline Miller at Lloyd’s and Katherine Conway at Aon. I also remember reading Lloyd’s publication Holding up the Mirror, and from there I became much more interested in the agenda. I joined the Gender Inclusion Network (GIN) for insurance, and I started to work internally with my colleagues to re-examine our approach to D&I at Chubb by identifying areas that we wanted to focus on and creating a strategy that was relevant, as well as refocusing our brand externally.
What are you working on both internally and externally to encourage action within the D&I space?
When I initially moved into the role of Head of Diversity and Inclusion, we created a council of leaders and managers that came together to create a strategy and form a vision for Chubb. We outlined our objectives, and rather than focusing on topics such as gender, LGBT or ethnicity, we decided to focus on broader aspects such as ‘how do we raise awareness of the business benefits of D&I?’, or ‘how do we empower others to take the lead and help shape the culture within their organisation?’ Culture is a huge part of D&I because by creating the right culture where people can be themselves, they will automatically perform to their best ability and feel comfortable moving forward if they have the ambition to do so.
have 80 Connectors), and we put them through a 12-month program to assist them in this part of their role. This involves training them on things like ‘how to influence’, or ‘how do you formulate a strategy?’ By having Connectors, we are able to have a much bigger impact on D&I at a local level in each office and country, and I believe it is a good way to get engagement and focus the work across the region. Externally I have been involved with GIN for a number of years. Insurance is an industry where we are great at collaborating and combining efforts to reach a bigger goal, and I think that is what GIN has done really well. There are now 12 different companies involved, from big brokers to smaller syndicates, and it is really just a group of people that want to improve gender balance throughout the industry while offering support and trying to drive change within companies.
In 2016, you founded Chubb’s first UKI D&I Council, promoting D&I activities to Chubb’s executive team; how important is it that Boards lead inclusively from the top?
It is vital. You can’t have an impact if you don’t have support from your executive team. The leadership team at Chubb are incredibly supportive and they understand the business benefits of D&I so this helped push things forward. We have 12 executive sponsors for each of the different networks – we have great leadership support both from our region and the US, and I think we are one of the only companies in our industry that has a Chief Culture Officer, Ivy Kusinga. There is a real focus on D&I within Chubb. Bringing leaders together from the industry, sharing best practices and having that impact at a very senior level is really important.
Before I joined insurance you have this perception of what the industry is going to be like and it was completely the opposite to what I expected it to be
One of the big projects I have been working on over the last couple of years is creating an initiative called D.I.C.E. We call the individuals involved in the project Diversity and Inclusion ‘Connectors’ and we appoint them across the region (we nearly
When we come together as an industry, we have access to so much more
Can you tell us more about GIN (Gender Inclusion Network) and how it is aiming to drive cultural change both within respective organisations and across the insurance industry?
The Gender Inclusion Network for insurance was formed in 2015 by a group of individuals from across the insurance industry, who felt there was a gap, to focus on driving change. The committee is made up by representatives from the internal Gender Networks from a number of insurance firms and has three key objectives: Collaboration â€“ you can only do so much individually within a company but when you come together you can create a much bigger momentum, and GIN sees the value in that. Driving change to further advance gender balance - one of the actions that we have taken is to create a program called Balance and that program is all about engaging middle managers, predominately men, who feel that they havenâ€™t been engaged in the topic up until now. We put together a roundtable discussion about the challenges, successes and ideas that they have had that has helped to improve gender balance and the culture within their company. Support - acting as a go to place for anyone that wants to network across the industry that is focused on gender balance.
We are Gold Sponsors globally and we are also very actively involved in the planning of the events. I sit on the Dive In global committee and we are involved in planning events in and around seven different cities this year, including a couple of new locations. For example, we have driven the inclusion of Istanbul, Turkey. They have never had a Dive In event before, so it has been our goal with our colleagues in Istanbul to lead and organise an event in collaboration with Aon, similarly in Cologne and Saudi Arabia. We are very excited for Dive In 2019!
How can we continue to make meaningful progress on diversity and inclusion in the insurance industry?
Collaboration is so important, especially if we want to continue to work together on these bigger issues around attracting talent into the industry. I donâ€™t think many people leave school or university wanting to work in insurance, but we are changing that because it is a great industry and can offer huge opportunities for people looking to develop. Events like Dive In brings us together to share and talk about successes, but also the exposure of people from different backgrounds has a huge impact and is not something we can always do within individual companies. When we come together as an industry, we have access to so much more and therefore we can start to change the mindset and make people more mindful of how they lead, manage and interact with colleagues, and therefore improve that culture within companies across the market. Before I joined insurance you have this perception of what the industry is going to be like and it was completely the opposite to what I expected it to be. It is a fantastic industry to be a part of and there are huge opportunities for people from all different backgrounds to develop a career and be successful in insurance.
How are you, and Chubb, supporting the Dive In Festival this year?
Louisa Lombardo is the Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Europe, Eurasia and Africa at Chubb.
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Performance A bestselling author, global researcher and thought leader focused on unlocking strengths, increasing performance and pioneering the future of how people work, Marcus Buckingham explains how we should engage employees, whilst discussing the make-up of a team.
Try and build teams where people complement each other
How did you get into this line of work? What encouraged you to follow this type of research?
My dad and grandfather. My father was personnel director of Allied Breweries. They had 7,000 pubs and he was trying to figure out how to find better pub managers, and as part of that process he found Dr Donald O. Clifton, who was the grandfather of positive psychology, and at the time, the chairman of Gallup Inc. Gallup Inc and Dr Clifton were trying to measure things that you can’t count, for example, how do you measure talent? How do you measure employee attributes? How do you measure employee engagement? How do you measure knowledge and performance? I went over to meet Dr Clifton in Lincoln, Nebraska, and I was immediately hooked. The fact that you could ask someone a question and based on their response you could note some predictable behaviours and/or attributes about them – that was crazy! But I wanted to know more.
Your talk at the World of Business Forum, London, 2019, discussed the nine lies we tell ourselves about work. Could you tell us more?
I currently run the ADP Research Institute, which is an institute focusing on studying people and performance at work. We have just done a 19 country study with a reliable measure of engagement, and although it varies country by country, we can see that 15% of people in the world are fully engaged in work while everyone else is transacting. Growth in per person productivity since 1982/83 has barely moved beyond under 1%, and in the UK it isn’t even that. We have spent so much energy over the last few years making sure that people are bringing their best selves to work, spending time and money on technological tools in order to get more per person productivity, but we are failing. Whatever we are doing at work to help people work better isn’t working, according to employees and their output. In terms of technology, the tools we have created take our core assumptions and build them into math, because artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning
are driven by algorithms, which are just assumptions turned into math. You optimise an algorithm for a certain outcome but your outcome is determined by your assumptions of people. These core assumptions of people that we are feeding into the technology are wrong. A lot of the stuff we do for/to our employees is designed to create conformity, cohesion to cascaded
15% of people in the world are fully engaged in work while everyone else is transacting goals, cohesion to the company culture – it is all designed to remove individuality, no wonder that we disengage people because we can’t actually see the person because they are hidden by the data. We are data disfluent – we don’t know what is and what isn’t reliably measurable about a person.
How would you suggest that we engage staff?
People are one of the most expensive resources that you have, so let’s start with what we know about people at work. To begin with, people always work best in teams. But, what is a team, and how does the work actually happen when in a team? One of the number one reasons why we don’t engage with employees well is because we don’t see their work. We know that people are 2-3x more likely to feel engaged when they work on a team. We also know that people have a better team experience when they deeply trust their team leader. You are 12x more likely to be fully engaged when you are on a team and you trust your team leader. We can’t make people trust others but we can create an environment where trust can occur. Figure out how teams come together and what happens when they do really well. Try and build teams where people complement each other. ’What is a team?’ is a brilliant way to start thinking about healthy, productive work and if you don’t start there then you are starting in an
We are data disfluent – we don’t know what is and what isn’t reliably measurable about a person
abstract land that doesn’t take into account the real world of work which is essentially team work. Another point to address is the work/life balance. Work can be stressful and what people try to do is balance it out with life; placing work as bad and life as good. You have got this categorically wrong – work is a part of life and we need to recognise that.
What would you say is the greatest challenge of being a leader?
The most important ritual you should have as a team leader is a frequent check in with your team. If you have six people on your team, talk to them every week for ten minutes, individually, one-on-one, about near term future work, as in, what are your priorities this coming week and how can I help? Leading is about confidence. Have vividness about yourself, who you are serving and what your strengths are. Do that well and your team’s confidence in you will improve. Employees want certainty about the future so you need to have the confidence to provide that.
Marcus Buckingham is a New York Times bestselling author, strengths revolutionist, global researcher, and the Head of the ADP Research Institute People + Performance.
Marcus Buckingham is a global researcher and thought leader focused on unlocking strengths, increasing performance and pioneering the future of how people work. Building on nearly two decades of experience as a Senior Researcher at Gallup Organization, he currently guides the vision of ADP Research Institute as Head of People + Performance research. He founded The Marcus Buckingham Company in 2006 with a clear mission: to instigate a “strengths revolution.” It started, as all revolutions do, with the simplest of ideas: that when people spend the majority of each day on the job using their greatest talents and engaged in their favourite tasks, basically doing exactly what they want to do, both they and their organisations will win. In other words, companies that focus on cultivating employees’ strengths rather than simply improving on people’s weaknesses stand to dramatically increase efficiency and productivity while allowing for maximum personal growth.
The Rooney Rule How should we be looking to encourage aspiring, emerging and existing female leaders in the insurance industry? I am really pleased to be able to cover this point as it’s one I have been having lively discussions about in our offices, and it’s fair to say that not all ‘aspiring female leaders’ agree with me on this point! The key learning point from those conflicting opinions is for me to not assume my well-intentioned interventions will necessarily be the best way forward. I think we have some great female colleagues, but I also think we are failing miserably in getting the percentage mix right at a senior level. Yes, we have some outstanding female leaders across our industry, Amanda Blanc, Sam White, Inga Beale to name a few, but everyone will know those names (or certainly should!) as they are within a minority and therefore stand out even more than their capabilities would suggest. I’m bored of saying we just need to try and increase numbers, I’m fed up of people suggesting it’s all to do with work life balance and difficulty with ‘return to work’; I want to do something and think the time is right for a bit of positive discrimination! I’m not talking Quotas (though let’s be honest the targets many financial service companies have signed up to may effectively lead to such), what I want to do is help women get to that next level up, and I am calling for the ‘Rooney Rule’ to be adopted. I’ve
been saying this for several years now, it started with US Football Coaches, if a black candidate applies, he must be interviewed. It was then adopted by the New York Fire Service for women as they had a similar issue to us with very few female senior officers. Now as mentioned above, not all my female colleague like this idea, they say, “I wouldn’t want a job if I felt I hadn’t earned it’, even talking about an ‘Imposter Syndrome’ and sending me web articles to read on it. My response is relatively simple – we AREN’T saying give anyone a job they don’t deserve, all we are saying is they must be interviewed – it’s then down to them to either shine and be promoted, or be beaten to the role, but at least have been considered and got a bit of interview practice! It’s not as if we are close to a fair ratio either, we are miserably failing in getting sufficient females in senior positions, and that to me demands more drastic measures. I couldn’t convince one colleague, but my final comment was “So what else would you do?” to which there was nothing substantive in response. So, unless someone out there has a better idea, let’s adopt the Rooney Rule in our companies now, if not, I wouldn’t be surprised to be having the same discussions in five years’ time, and frankly, that’s not acceptable.
Managing Director, Underwriting & Technical Services, AXA Insurance (UK).
The future of work In the face of technology advancements, how can the talent of the future be developed and trained to suit the skills this will demand? Demonstrating the increasing demand for data modelling skills to support insurance risk decisions, at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, we’ve been busy creating relationships with major universities and have recently launched our Statistical Modeller Rotational Programme for graduates.
CEOs. Among the many reasons for the positive outlook is that the anticipated disruption from incoming competitors, the insurtechs and startups, hasn’t materialised anywhere in the insurance continuum to the extent that was feared. But the survey also found that more insurance CEOs are concerned about the pace of technological change (85%) compared to leaders in almost any other industry. And it isn’t just digital skills that are in demand, but also creativity and emotional intelligence.
There are many great new initiatives going on, but in many ways insurance companies still don’t do enough to reach out and talk to students, and show their human face.
I believe there are still unanswered questions about whether the behaviour change, related to skills and attracting young talent in traditional insurance, has really gone far enough.
We know that insurance leaders consider the industry to be one of those most seriously challenged by the Internet of Things and the connected world. It’s true, if we think about the advanced application of analytics and AI in processes, risk sensing technology for motor insurance telematics, the smart home, or risk management services in complex commercial policies. Many traditional assumptions are changing, bringing about new skills challenges.
In many ways these recruiting and skills challenges for insurance come down to how we, as a society, think about insurance as a whole. We need to make the concept of insurance and risk more exciting.
With new talent that is going to drive insurance in the future, there’s an over-arching question: is it the young generation that is going to bring about the change? Or does the industry need to change in the first place to attract the young talent? There’s increasing optimism in the area of recruitment and digital transformation according to a recent PWC survey of insurance
Talking about technology and the concept of ‘risk’ – the science of keeping people and businesses safe - rather than insurance, is a much more successful way of engaging with young people for graduate recruitment. The average student may not have a clear picture about what constitutes ‘insurance’ and ‘risk’. We can do a lot more. Insurance needs to drive intentional change that fundamentally shifts day-to-day activity.
Senior Marketing Manager, Insurance, LexisNexis Risk Solutions.
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Coplus Coaching How can the implementation of coaching and/or mentoring activities help staff connect and pass on valuable skills, confidence and knowledge? At Coplus, coaching is one of the most important staff development activities that we undertake. Coaching and mentoring have been effective in our contact centre for a long time, however, in looking for improvements in our approach for new recruits, we’ve seen greater benefits by putting coaching at the heart of the process. One explanation I like, that differentiates between training and coaching, says that training is about transferring knowledge whilst coaching is about enhancing knowledge. We use an agile approach to staff development now, especially the initial period of induction. This consists of a short period of classroom training to provide the necessary what and how, fortunately, coupled with some great technology improvements, the how and what of navigating a claim is not onerous, giving space to focus on soft skills as well. After the classroom time, new claims handlers go into the live contact centre environment. The people who supported their learning in the classroom are coaches, they also have their own positions as claims handlers, and their role as a coach sits alongside that.
The new recruits spend a short period working in the live environment, supported by coaches all of the time. Then they return to the classroom setting for further knowledge transfer, again supported by coaches with their hands on expertise to enhance the learning. The process of classroom learning followed by live work with a coach is repeated. The benefits of this approach have been three fold: New recruits are keen to get started. They now get to work with customers in half the time. It’s engaging and provides an active environment to stimulate and motivate people to grow and seek out solutions to new situations they may encounter as part of their role. The quality of service our new starters provide is slightly higher. By encouraging a peer-to-peer relationship, communication barriers are broken down which enables a safe environment for staff to ask for help and support. The quality scores for new starters, after three months, in the coach led process average at 95.5% a 3% increase. The coaches themselves benefit greatly. It has given a new opportunity for development and enabled them to develop new skills. It is an alternative path for team members looking to expand their career with us.
Managing Director, Coplus.
Clear frameworks are the key Training is one of the most critical aspects of the employee experience with ongoing development to learn new skills and improve on existing ones. But, what’s the best way to facilitate a training process? A company must understand its workforce, continually assess staff requirements and know how best to deliver programmes. Clear frameworks are required and this is where a dedicated internal training team adds huge benefits. They can identify and introduce learning in line with their business’ requirements and devise programmes that are suitable, consistent and personalised. This is especially applicable to those organisations operating nationally, with numerous locations and/or remote workers. Auto Windscreens has a Glass Qualifications Authority (GQA) approved Training & Innovation Academy at its Chesterfield headquarters, which is run by a technical training team focused on developing the skills and knowledge of network staff. They have spent years working within the automotive glass repair industry, meaning they are equipped to identify skills gaps and design learning that suits individuals while ensuring an excellent standardised level of training. What the team aims to do is create programmes that embrace a variety of tools and techniques, involve participants and encourage active learning.
They have a clear development plan in place for each technician, including studying for an NVQ qualification in automotive glazing in their first year, starting from the moment they join the business. The team also has a structure in place to identify further training needs and roll out new courses. For example, when new equipment is released, each windscreen technician receives one-to-one tuition; it’s proved the most successful approach and is offered with supporting training literature and additional learning as required. Novice technicians who are struggling with certain elements often ‘buddy up’ with Elite technicians, giving them the assistance they need to improve, learn and perform to an exceptional standard. Every technician has a number of touch points to ensure their development needs are met as they progress within the company. Each receives a quarterly review in addition to an annual meeting to set learning objectives, which are then reviewed six months later. This is further supported by online resources and regular engagement with Field Support Trainers and Technical Development Specialists. Learning is vital to business success and having accessible training provided with clear objectives and outcomes is the key to developing an engaged workforce.
Managing Director, Auto Windscreens.
Talent of the future In the face of technology advancements, how can the talent of the future be developed and trained to suit the skills this will demand? Within the face of technological advancements, every area of business is rapidly changing and evolving at a much faster pace than previously experienced. Consequently, every part of the Employee Lifecycle also needs to be adapted to ensure the success of each company and its people. More specifically, the talents of the future need to be equipped in terms of skills, behaviours and competences, to succeed within the current and future technological and cultural trends. Companies need to ensure talents are exposed to these requirements at a very early stage, before their recruitment and training processes, starting from the University period. Companies can ensure this preparation is in place through partnerships and collaborations with Universities to guarantee that academic curriculums are designed to coach the students for the current (and future) dynamic working environments. Subsequently, companies should continuously develop and change their talent development programs to reflect the current technological advancements and consequent impacts on ways of working. In fact, the rising importance of new skillsets in the work environment is leading companies towards experiential learning techniques. This includes not only learning paths on technological skills, but it is also about cultivating a fuller, vaster, range of skills,
from the creative to the complex cognitive capabilities that the future workforce will need. As vertical roles and repetitive tasks are decreasing in the workforce, being part of interactive and collaborative tasks more frequently will expose them to a greater learning curve and increase their adaptability and critical thinking. Therefore, when the talents completes their studies and start working in organisations, companies need to continue supporting their growth and development through cross-functional and cross company projects and initiatives that will allow them to maintain the appropriate level of ‘horizontal’ awareness of market, cultural, and other industry trends. This should include projects that follow Agile methodologies, with rapid sprint cycle to reflect the rapidly changing environment, combined with co-innovative initiatives with clients and suppliers in order to ensure that employees are continuously up to date and up to speed with the most recent market and skills evolutions. The main challenge that companies are facing is the need to accelerate talent’s adoption and adaptation to the continuously changing environments. This can be tackled in various ways but we believe that focusing firstly on the individual and his/her development, rather than the company’s institution, will ensure that the talent of the future has greater engagement and motivation to grow, learn, adapt, and eventually succeed.
Chief Human Resources and Organisation Officer, Octo Telematics.
The benefits of smart working How is smart working enabling better mobility and versatility for employees wanting a more flexible working life? With the proliferation of WIFI, laptops, smartphones and technology in people’s homes, “smart working” is easier than ever before. The traditional business model of employees being at their place of work between the hours of 9am to 5pm is being seen more and more as restrictive and often as unnecessary. Generally, if you treat employees with a high degree of respect and responsibility they will respond in kind. So, by saying to an employee “I trust you to manage your time to work effectively”, you’re effectively telling them you trust in their abilities and selfmanagement and in return develop a better working relationship. It also creates mobility and flexibility that the standard office working model doesn’t allow for. Talented employees who need to move to a new city for family or other reasons previously would move to company if there wasn’t the option of a transfer. Smart working can help retain their skills and experience. Employers can cast a wider net when looking for new talent, key staff can be hundreds of miles apart. Smart working can also offer the versatility needed to balance work and home life issues such as childcare, managing the school run and other family commitments can be accommodated.
There is of course a concern that with staff spread over the UK, not in a central office, that the feeling of camaraderie and teamwork might not be there. The meeting of minds is only a Skype meeting away, where people can discuss ideas, update each other and importantly laugh, having a virtual “water cooler moment”. An important point to note is that flexibility doesn’t mean no accountability. In the technology world that we live in lots of things can be measured, from your CRM software to your production systems – if output increases through flexible working then everyone is happy. Another flag worth waving is that with flexible working comes the danger of people not switching off, where work and home life blend. Are we developing habits that will come back to haunt us? Creating the right culture and working practises are important, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. A final example of the benefits of smart working? I wrote this piece at the garage whilst getting new tyres!
Stephen Marshall ACII,
Managing Director, Insure Apps. MODERN
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Water – the Great Escape Much has previously been written about domestic water claims but escape of water (EoW) can pose just as much a problem for commercial premises, with the potential of causing significant damage and bringing about a business interruption event. Further, there seems to be no sign of EoW claims abating. According to recent data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), whereas other commercial property claims trends have trended downwards, the number of escape of water claims has steadily risen over the last 15 years. Further, the average cost of a commercial EoW claim increased by 22% between 2016 and 2018, from £4,167 to £5,349.1 Causes are wide-ranging, from corroding pipes in older premises to faulty air conditioning systems. Long-term unoccupancy can also exacerbate an existing issue, since any undetected leaks may become more substantial and increase claims costs. The repercussion for businesses can include damaged stock, an impact to supply chains and costly building repairs. Gadgets, such as water leak sensors or ‘leakbots’ can assist in identifying and mitigating escape of water. However, funding for such technology is not always available and such systems need regular maintenance to ensure they remain operationally efficient. For any property owner who discovers a leak, it’s vital that they engage their insurer at the earliest opportunity - preferably on the same day. This allows for the best chance in swiftly determining
causation, examining the recovery potential and assessing the damage. Claims involving multiple parties, such as with blocks of flats, can be more complicated to manage and therefore it’s important for insurers to work closely with brokers and customers to resolve these cases as quickly as possible. Allianz has been working in close partnership with loss adjusters to streamline the EoW claims lifecycle and improve customer satisfaction. This involves assigning a ‘personal claims manager’ to EoW cases, thereby guaranteeing a single, dedicated point of contact through the claim’s journey. There are some key measures that property owners can put in place to reduce the chance of escape of water occurring. These include arranging regular building inspections, carried out by people with the right knowledge and experience; and checking the age, type and adequacy of plumbing and associated insulation. It’s also a good idea to review business continuity plans at regular intervals, ensuring that these take potential water damage incidents into account, plus any actions for remediation. For more risk management advice, visit www.allianz.co.uk/riskmanagement
Head of Property Claims, Allianz. 1. ABI property claims working group data, 30 April 2019, https://www.abi.org.uk/dataand-resources/industry-data/
Cost control programmes The vehicle recovery aspect of the supply chain receives little attention despite being the face of the insurer at a time when the customer needs it most. Why is now the time right for insurers to look at their current provision to ensure they are delivering a world class level of service, whilst still managing to control costs? Perhaps it’s the stigma of the recovery agent that puts insurers off focusing their procurement teams or claims handlers on this really important part of the claims journey. The recovery driver, despite popular belief, is not a replica of the Incredible Hulk that will take the customers car to a pound and guard the vehicle with a similarly sized Alsatian. They are, in most cases, the face of the insurer when the customer’s distress is at its highest. Things have moved on. Similar to insurers, recovery agents are embracing new technology to deliver a service that meets GDPR requirements, ensuring that drivers have the correct licence for the vehicle they are driving and making sure the driver and their passengers reach their desired location. It seems like perfect timing then for insurers and work providers to take advantage of the transparency that technology provides, ensuring that service levels are met, and costs are controlled and supported through detailed sophisticated MI. Despite the new level of transparency, there still needs to be a focus on cost control. It’s fair to say that there are some agents that feel
a job is worth more than they are being paid for it, because the statutory fee is not enough, maybe, but the practice of charging for equipment or people that weren’t actually required needs to stop. Nationwide Vehicle Assistance has launched its newest specialist charges cost control programme that they apply to their managed network, to insurers who they don’t currently have a relationship with. Their technical expertise is applied to each recovery and for those deemed too expensive a report is provided on what equipment should have been used. This includes commercial vehicles’ invoices that range from £1500-£30K. Where additional equipment is used, the agent must provide photos in order to support its use, albeit early days, the programme has already saved the industry over £1m in unnecessary cost. The programme also highlights the need for proactive management of storage charges, far too many cases are simply left at the storage yard to gather dust and incur costs of up to £30 a day. The Nationwide model is simple, recover the vehicle and proactively work with the insurer to keep storage charges to a minimum The time is definitely right to focus on this aspect of the supply chain to supplement existing cost control programmes.
Senior Claims Consultant, Nationwide Vehicle Assistance. MODERN
Are you happy with the progress being made on the new RTA Portal? In recent weeks the MIB have released several detailed updates on progress made on the new LIP Portal and demonstrated the platform to insurers and solicitors. The build itself is seemingly progressing well, but continued progress is heavily reliant upon design and policy decisions to be signed off by the new Justice Ministers and the necessary rules emerging. MoJ officials remain confident that implementation will still be in April 2020 but acknowledge that this is not yet guaranteed without further decisions being taken in good time. It is apparent that the new Portal will – probably – work extremely well when a claim is “straightforward” where liability is admitted with one medical report for a whiplash injury lasting six months. What is far less clear is how well the new system will work if a claim is complicated by disputed liability, a loss is not included, there are problems with a medical report and a host of other circumstances. There are some major cross-industry concerns about the proposed operation of the Portal. The current proposal is that the existing and LIP Portals will each continue to operate, with claims above the small claims limit being conducted on the existing Portal. There will be no
process to migrate claims between the two Portals. It also appears that the intention is for different processes to apply within the LIP Portal, depending on whether the claimant is represented. If MoJ is right that 70% of claimants will still be represented, it would make sense that the majority of claimants should continue to use the current Portal process. It is a tried and tested platform. The costs of on-boarding and training would be greatly reduced. With no proposed transfer of claims between the two Portals, retaining the use of the existing Portal would greatly reduce this problem when claims are assessed to be over £5,000. It would eliminate the disparity between represented and self-represented claimants, with some new services such as ADR not being available to represented claimants. Progress is undoubtedly being made, but there are still serious omissions and issues to address before the new Portal can be considered fit for purpose for claimants and the sector.
Director, Carpenters Group.
Smart working is becoming the norm, not expectation How is smart working enabling better mobility and versatility for employees wanting a more flexible working life?
Many companies are resisting the change but the concept of smart working will soon become the norm not the exception. There are sceptics out there that believe if you give people the freedom to carry out their work when and where they want to, productivity will suffer and it will cost the business money. In reality, quite the opposite is true. Research shows that people who enjoy flexible working are in fact more productive, happier and take less time off. Every business struggles to source top talent, especially with the additional challenge of Brexit on the horizon. Offering smart working is a great new way to open up opportunities to a new and untapped pool of talent. Many people who work for a business under flexible working terms would not be able to commit to the job otherwise. With so much talent drifting into the freelance world to simply achieve these working conditions, the growth of flexible employers could help to abate this trend. Not every employee wants flexible working. For example, those that are starting out in their career are often happy to work in a more
traditional way. However, that doesn’t mean that every new graduate would be attracted to a company that is rigid in its way of working. Smart working says so much more about a company. It shows that a company cares about its staff, their wellbeing; they trust their team and want to get the best out of them on mutually agreeable terms. Smart working is becoming just as important to us as traditional company benefits. We hear it loud and clear from our employees, people do not want to be tied to a 9-5 job in one location. It’s not just those with young children, it could be elderly parents or a side hustle that takes time and commitment. One in ten of our employees choose not to work full time - half of these opt to work four days a week. That’s also fine. People can job share, or work part time. We’re completely committed to finding the right person for the job and then discussing the best way to make it all happen afterwards.
Head of HR, Zurich.
How can stress be best managed in the workplace? In my working career, I’ve never seen so much attention given to mental health awareness and support for people who need it in the workplace. According to Mind, one in six workers experience common mental health problems, including anxiety and depression, both of which can lead to stress in the working environment. Typical causes of stress can include fear of losing one’s job, being asked to work longer hours, having to cover for other employees without reward, poor management support, lack of guidance and training for probationers and employees, pressure to perform to meet rising expectations and being given responsibility to complete tasks without the accountability. This situation is exacerbated where team members need the support of others but have no authority over them. It’s easy to say that we should keep our personal and business lives separate but that’s not always easy to do. Having family members unwell, children having problems at school, marriage issues and financial struggles are just a few issues which can affect performance in the workplace. Your mind couldn’t possibly be one hundred percent on your job and your colleagues will notice this. I believe that stress can be managed in the workplace with the support of line management, HR personnel and external employee assistance programmes, which can be provided by the company.
Line managers should be able to identify the early signs of stress and if they can’t, they should ask for training in this area. It’s amazing how effective a chat in a private room can be with a stressed employee and if the stress is caused by work, listen to their concerns and try to resolve them if it’s within your remit. This could be getting involved in team disputes, explaining tasks more clearly, giving employees more time to complete tasks and providing good coaching and support. If an employee feels they would prefer to talk to someone independent from their immediate team, arrange for them to have a meeting with someone from the HR team. There could be very serious issues such as bullying, discrimination and harassment which need flushing out and resolving. If employees have personal and family issues which are causing them stress, and professional help is required, there are some very good employee assistance programmes which the company can provide for its employees. These include 24-hour confidential helplines for employees and their immediate families. Professional support can be offered with family issues, medical and wellness support, financial information, relationship advice, stress and anxiety support legal information and bereavement.
Marketing Director, Selsia.
The development of the Portfolio Manager In the face of technology advancements, how can the talent of the future be developed and trained to suit the skills this will demand? Technology is offering transformational opportunities around distribution, integration and back office efficiency and effectiveness. One specific area of advance is within the analytics space where the availability of data, advances in machine learning and data visualisation are creating significant additional value for those with deployment capabilities. Predictive models are no longer just the domain of the pricing team, they are being deployed across the business to support decisions and intelligently automate processes. As a result, insurers are facing an environment where the expectations within roles is changing significantly and in a number of cases there is a mismatch of skills and experience. The impact is beginning to be felt across the industry, however, nowhere is it being more acutely felt than in Portfolio Management. In the past, Portfolio Managers, particularly in commercial insurance, were senior underwriters that had been promoted to run a product line, they had responsibility for steering profitability and underwriting strategy, but in reality, often undertook a lot of referrals.
Technology has given Portfolio Managers more levers to pull for both efficiency and effectiveness, necessitating change. Not only is that role different today, but it will continue to develop over the coming years. In the short-term, underwriters with an analytical/ mathematical mindset have become a premium and resources scarce. An interim solution is to imbed analytical skills into the underwriting teams, but then the challenge is finding analytically focused people who understand the language and approach of the underwriters. Ultimately, the role of Portfolio Manager will need hybrid individuals and teams. This in turn is going to require the training of a large cadre of mathematically and analytical capable underwriters. In the past, insurers have tackled this through in-house courses and as a component of wider technical academies. This approach definitely has its place, however a catalyst is going to be required to spark insurers into training junior staff in totally new approaches which I suspect is going to require partnership with specialist across universities, training organisations and specialist analytical consultancies. Insures need to move quickly to plug a significant resourcing gap and develop the next generation of analytical underwriters.
Global Director, Pricing Product Claims and Underwriting, Willis Towers Watson. MODERN
Training is not one-size fits all – it’s one size fits ‘nobody’ The learning and development (L&D) market is changing, largely as a result of the demand in people requirements, technology and changing economic trends all means one size fits ‘nobody’ when looking to increase learning efficiency and competency development of people. Having a learning strategy is critical. Without one, L&D is rudderless, with no vision. However, having a learning strategy aligned with the strategic goals of the business is even more critical. ‘Only 5% of organisations believe their L&D strategy is effective in helping them achieve business goals’ Top 3 business priorities: • Enhancing customer experience • Improving revenue • Improving innovation capability
Top 3 Learning priorities: • Compliance • Job specific technical skills • Leadership development.
This common scenario poses a question; ‘why’ is there a ‘real’ disconnect with the overall business strategy? People will ultimately drive achievement of business goals, you can’t do it without them! Therefore, having the right training, delivered through the right medium to meet individual learning styles is critical in enhancing competency. The learning strategy needs to be developed at Board level and distinctly aligned with delivering each goal in strategy. Aligning it – Personalisation All current research points to L&D as business critical over the next two years, as growth focussed organisations ‘need’ to attract and retain the best talent. Providing a modern ‘on demand’ approach should be a crucial part of the learning strategy that
allows individual’ to benefit from a personalised learning plan and be responsible for their own development. Generations now and in the future will have a ‘real’ thirst for learning at their fingertips! Therefore, harnessing cost-effective learning technology to modernise, create efficiencies and provide learning for ‘everyone’ across the organisation (rather than just the chosen few), will drive engagement and provide more ‘bang for your buck’ no matter how big or small your organisation. Providing a blended learning strategy will bring everything together. Theoretical models such 70:20:10 and more recently Pontefract’ ‘Flat Army’ focus on providing a one size fits nobody framework for organisations. The Flat Army Philosophy holds that learning has moved from a discreet activity that happens only in classrooms and at conferences to a ‘pervasive’ activity that occurs formally, informally, and socially. Therefore, shifting the mindset of people to understand ‘learning is collaborative, continuous, connected and community-based’ will significantly empower them to take control of their own development and use the technology to provide a high quality ‘on demand’ experience. Return on Investment: A robust learning strategy includes the metrics required to demonstrate success, which can be tracked by technology. Measuring learning effectiveness by looking at business-related outcomes is critical if HR/ Learning people seek to further increase credibility at Board level. The stronger the learning strategy, the stronger outcomes will be linked, the stronger the return on investment!
CEO, Peritus Learning.
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Gordon Dalyell, President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
Injury Prevention Day 2019 Prevention of needless injuries is at the very root of APIL’s philosophy. Our aim is to ensure the needs of injured people are always met and the best way to do that is to try to ensure they are not injured in the first place. Our annual Injury Prevention Day, on the third Wednesday of August (21 August this year) was created to raise awareness of the fact that all personal injury claims can be avoided. We invite everyone, from lawyers, insurers and safety campaigners to highlight causes of avoidable harm and subsequent claims. In previous years, APIL’s campaign has tackled themes including tailgating, by calling for drivers to ‘back off’ and give other motorists a bit more room. Last year we encouraged drivers and passengers to do the ‘headrest test’ to ensure their car head restraints are positioned correctly to help protect against whiplash injuries. Personal injury compensation claims have been under attack constantly because insurers are unhappy with what they must pay. But reforms to whiplash, small claims and the discount rate for high-value claims do not address the real problem. The focus is only on reducing the cost of these claims, rather than the cause of the claims themselves. For Injury Prevention Day 2019, we called for everyone to share safe driving tips and mottos that they have picked up over the years. The purpose of the campaign was to continue the conversation about road safety. We must not become complacent in our driving and even if a ‘new’ driving tip resonates with just one person, it may be enough to prevent a collision. The messages shared were as simple as a word of advice from a parent to ‘never
Committing to culture It is essential, now more than ever, that our sector commits to the fundamentals that matter to our people and to our customers. And what are these fundamentals? In my mind, and I know I’m not alone, they include, in the workplace; diversity, inclusion, careers and wellbeing; and in the broader world, an inclusive culture, excellent service and corporate responsibility. Diversity and inclusion in insurance has come a long way and there is absolutely no excuse for not operating in an inclusive manner. Not only is it the right thing to do but many studies have shown that it results in increased productivity and innovation. BIBA is fully committed to supporting: • the Women In Finance Charter - to ensure equal representation for women; • the Lloyd’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter; and • the Inclusive Behaviours Pledge - to promote behaviours that encourage inclusivity and eliminate discrimination. Employee wellbeing, and particularly mental wellbeing, is becoming a widelyacknowledged key issue for businesses. It is generally accepted that at least 1 in 4 adults in the UK suffer from periods of mental ill-health, with stress being a particularly significant cause and nearly a third of UK business leaders have said they have struggled with depression, this issue is indiscriminate.
accelerate into the unknown’, or the now almost legendary mantra that ‘only a fool breaks the two second rule’. While Injury Prevention Day promotes safer driving practices, we really need the Government and insurance industry to get behind initiatives to tackle negligence. Instead of a focus on reducing the cost of injuries which have already happened, we need to tackle the knock-on effect of poor road safety that leads to needless crashes and painful injuries.
STEVE WHITE CEO, BIBA.
It is essential to raise awareness and actively encourage firms to develop a culture of openness around mental wellbeing. And these sorts of cultures are now inexorably linked to attracting the sort of talent to meet the needs of tomorrow and further into the future. Younger candidates look as much at the culture of an organisation as they do at pay and benefits. Apprenticeships are one way of tapping younger talent from a different pool and the Insurance Apprenticeships is an excellent route to achieve this. Our member, Aon, takes it even further with their Step-Up’, Traineeship programme which targets those ‘not in employment, education or training’ and increases social mobility, opportunities and diversity by providing career opportunities to younger people from all sorts of backgrounds. BIBA takes a steer on these matters from our Young Broker Ambassadors who are working on ways, including a version of ‘Step-Up’, to attract new and younger talent to insurance broking – which will see us energised and ready to lead the way in the future of broking.
Decisions still to be made
Paul Nicholls Chair, Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS) and Senior Partner at Nicholls Brimble Bhol Solicitors.
At the recent MIB demonstration of the new Portal, MoJ officials rather pointedly highlighted that timely ministerial decisions, coupled with the new rules from the CPRC, are necessary over the coming months to enable the remaining stages of the IT build. Inevitably, it is the difficult decisions that are left to last to sort out. A new ministerial team and the continued dominance of Brexit will likely not ease the decision-making process. The Portal demonstration also confirmed what we had long suspected. It will probably deal well with a straightforward claim with no special issues or disputed liability, but if one or more of a myriad of problematic issues arise, the system as currently designed will falter. Importantly, officials conceded there is nothing to stop insurers gaming the new portal system for LiPs by simply denying liability on claims and forcing unrepresented claimants to pay costs up-front. There are many reasons why we are so concerned about the concept of a “minimum viable product” that does not safeguard accident victims and fully support LiPs. The new Portal must be fully fit-for-purpose and properly tested ahead of launch. We currently cannot see that this will be possible with so many important decisions still to be taken. It is a very poor decision to have dual-operating Portals, long considered the worst option, rather than full integration. Then there is the
JAMES HEATH is the President of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers, and Partner at Keoghs.
discrimination against legally represented claimants who will not benefit from several facilities available in the new LIP Portal. It is a serious mistake that rehabilitation, credit hire and repair costs will not be integrated, creating significant loopholes. MedCo have already expressed doubts whether its extended role can be fully integrated in time. It is very welcome though that there has been movement on the issue of minors and protected parties and that they will not be included in the new portal “for now”. The path to implementation in April 2020 remains uncertain and lots of pieces need to fall into place for the target to be reached. We should not be surprised if there was a delay. Indeed, it should be delayed if motor accident victims are not going to be protected from the outset.
Developing the need of the next generation of lawyers High performing businesses understand that empowering employees is not a nice to have but a must have to be consistently successful. After all, it’s the decisions your employees make that deliver your service, drive your income and maintain a cost effective cost base. Empowering employees is not just about getting employees to behave differently, it is also about requiring managers and the wider business to support employees to be empowered. Employees need to have control and responsibility for their performance and developing their skills to deliver and grow that performance. This means having clear boundaries of what is expected of them and the freedom to deliver those expectations. They also need to understand how achieving this creates opportunities to learn and grow, which will help them reach their career goals. In turn, managers need to have trust and belief in their employees delivering what is expected as well as developing their own skillset, which supports empowering their team members. They need to involve team members in taking responsibility for how work gets done and enable team members to take more and bigger decisions without having to refer to someone more senior. Effectively managing an empowered team requires skills in asking searching questions rather than giving instructions, listening to and coaching employees as well as creating a learning culture where making mistakes is accepted as long as the employee learns from them.
Individual businesses need to align their policies, procedures and ways of working to enable empowerment of their employees. This includes developing performance management, reward and career progression pathways which support and recognise high performing empowered individuals and teams. FOIL recognises our Members need to invest in their staff in such a way - not only to deliver optimum performance and people development within their own organisations, but to ensure that there remains a constant stream of talented insurance litigators coming through the ranks. That is the focus of Tomorrow’s FOIL – catering for lawyers at member firms with less than five years’ post qualification experience, it is a core part of FOIL, running learning and social events that enable the next generation of insurance litigators to engage collaboratively across the competitive boundaries of their respective organisations, helping to build their knowledge and skills together with career long relationships with fellow practitioners and counterpart insurance professionals. With its own Executive working alongside the overall FOIL Executive, Tomorrow’s FOIL pursues an agenda that is tailored to the development needs of that “next generation” - ensuring a vibrant future for empowered insurance litigators.
Dr Matthew Connell Director, Policy and Public Affairs, Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).
Building a better future
People like me, who work in public policy, occasionally have to be reminded of the realities of life. When it comes to employee engagement, two episodes have left a particularly big impression on me. The first is when a small business owner talked about the level of engagement that came from running a high quality pension scheme with generous matching benefits, compared to sending employees on a two-day residential course, which cost a fraction of the pension scheme. The appreciation from staff for the residential course far outweighed their hazy awareness of the pension benefits.
The challenge for firms that want to increase employee engagement is twofold. First, to demonstrate to every employee that what they do builds a relationship of trust with clients, however indirect that relationship may be. Nothing is more demoralising for people than knowing their work achieves short-term commercial objectives that will ultimately undermine the sustainability of the organisation by eroding trust.
Another was a presentation on the use of big data, where the public policy professionals among us were surprised to learn that employees whose roles included routine tasks that could be automated were enthusiastic about the prospect of automation. This was because they, more than anyone else, had a sense of what they could achieve if they were no longer weighed down by routine tasks.
The second challenge is to give people the opportunity to learn, and make this learning relevant to the changes that they can see happening in their organisation. If people know that they are getting ready to take advantage of change by building the right skills to thrive in the future, fear of change turns into impatience to build a better future.
People spend as many waking hours working as anything else. They want to use that time to learn, to be creative, solve problems and interact with others. Research shows repeatedly that learning and creating better outcomes for clients motivate employees more than anything else.
Engagement flourishes when people have something to look forward to. There are few things that engender this more than improving skills and service for clients.
Working Together Nationwide Assistance Group works with insurance companies to mitigate the cost of a claim by providing a complete collision recovery management service.Our high level of standards means that we know the importance of capturing the right details when completing FNOL’s through to deploying the correct recovery vehicle.We do not stop there, being your eyes on scene means we can advise if the vehicle should be taken to salvage rather than repair, reducing movement costs. Where a vehicle is in storage we ensure that we deliver that vehicle to a repairers or salvage company as quickly as possible to mitigate the storage costs and save you money. • • • • •
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F E AT U R E S
Industry Innovators Interview:
WhenFresh combines over 200 private and public UK data feeds with advanced analytics and API delivery to provide a unique range of data-driven services to the financial, insurance, utilities, retail and property-related sectors. Mark Cunningham, Director and Co-Founder of WhenFresh, discusses the “one-stop-datasupermarket”, and how their big data solutions are making an impact on the UK home insurance industry.
would you describe WhenFresh in three words? Q How
Accessible Data Supermarket.
Our data science team brings together over 200 private and public data sources in standardised, readily-consumed format to create the “one-stop-data-supermarket” for the UK home insurance industry. We’ve also built a truly powerful easily-integrated API, so insurers can instantaneously access all the property attribute, risk, peril, environmental, geospatial, and valuations data they need. We’ve even made it easy for insurers to test it for themselves for free, with a selfservice demo at my.api.whenfresh.com/ try-it-out Alongside proprietary WhenFresh datasets, our partnership with Zoopla Property Group and a wide range of public sources, we make available data from BlueSky, JBA, Cranfield, Airbus, Future Climate Info and many more through CLS (our investors and partners), with new data being added each week. We’ve removed all the technical and financial ‘barriers to entry’ for insurers large and small. There is a single, straightforward API integration (which we recently completed in under an hour with a major player). Then there’s no need to negotiate deals with multiple suppliers or to pay upfront for annual licenses or minimum orders – the insurer simply selects the data they need and it all works seamlessly on a pay-as-you-go basis, with sliding scale volume discounts. Using the WhenFresh API, home insurers can reduce their forms to just one question: “What is the address?”
Insurers have always been voracious users of data, with each business relying on its analysts, pricing, and risk teams […] to help them walk the tightrope between profit and risk, to remain competitive
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The truth is that a good number of insurers, banks and other big data users have been using WhenFresh data for years, but we’ve often been the ‘secret ingredient’ in a wider solution
What makes WhenFresh different from other start-up companies?
The most obvious difference is that we’re not a start-up!
Our first major partnership was with the Zoopla Property Group and we remain one of very few companies licensed to use and sell Zoopla data. We have for many years helped lenders, insurers, utilities, estate agents and retailers to acquire and/or retain customers through right-time marketing before/during/after home moves. Whilst we dealt directly with end user customers in some instances, WhenFresh data/products most commonly formed part of a wider solution from our resellers such as Experian, Equifax, TransUnion (formerly Call Credit), Royal Mail, GB Group, Acxiom and CACI. Then, in 2017, we completed a Series A funding round and took £3m in investment from CLS, who specialise is property insurance risks. It has proven to be a terrific fit and, having invested primarily in top people to accelerate our product development, we recently ‘relaunched’ WhenFresh into the insurance space as a direct supplier – which is why we are often tagged as a start-up. The truth is that a good number of insurers, banks and other big data users have been using WhenFresh data for years, but we’ve often been the ‘secret ingredient’ in a wider solution.
What would you identify as Q the gap in the market that WhenFresh aims to fill?
Insurers have always been voracious users of data, with each business relying on its analysts, pricing, and risk teams – and the data they have at their disposal – to help them walk the tightrope between profit and risk, to remain competitive. However, changes to data protection laws over time and the recent advent of GDPR have rendered certain internal datasets unusable. This, plus the general direction of travel in data protection and ever-increasing regulatory demands, means it has become more important for insurers, banks and other big data users to ensure they have fully provenanced, accurate, reliable, cloud-based data on which to run their businesses.
At WhenFresh, all the data we provide relates to the individual properties and not the people living there or moving in/out, so there are no issues with PII (Personally Identifiable Information). So, whether an insurer is accessing data via the WhenFresh API for form prefill, or asking us to match and append attribute, risk and perils data to an existing portfolio for risk analysis or reinsurance negotiation, they can do so safe in the knowledge that the data is fully compliant, accurate, clearly provenanced, and date-stamped. By being totally open, transparent and data agnostic, we’ve already won the trust of the Bank of England and many major insurers, banks, regulatory organisations and other end users – and we’re confident that we can continue to build on this.
What were the main challenges in standing out Q and establishing yourself in a competitive market?
Since the CLS investment and the ‘relaunch’ direct into the insurance market, it was more a question of stepping out from behind the scenes and making people aware of who we are and what we have been doing very successfully already in closely related sectors, rather than just starting from scratch. I guess one of the biggest challenges has been the fact that our existing insurance clients like to keep us secret in the hope that their competitors won’t get wind of us and catch them up… so the majority of deals are tied up with NDAs. That’s not the case with our friends at insurance disruptor Uinsure, who are making hay with their new “zero questions” instant quote platform for brokers – and their solution is of course powered by WhenFresh. With Uinsure as the first of several public case studies, the exposure we’re getting in the Insurance and Insurtech press, sponsorship of the excellent Insurtech London network and an increasing number of speaking opportunities at the key industry events, we like to think we’re making some noise – and the interest we’re generating suggests we’re making noises that much of the insurance industry wants to hear!
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How is the wider industry responding to challenges in your area of the market, and how are you tackling these? One very interesting and topical area in the Insurance and wider Financial Service sector is climate change. Traditionally, insurance risk and perils have been entirely calculated based on past information relating to, for example, flood or subsidence.
However, as leading soil and subsidence thought leader Dr Tim Farewell of Cranfield University stated at a recent event hosted by our partners Airbus, climate change means the emphasis needs to shift to predictive modelling about the changes we’re already seeing in the environment and how this will continue to impact flood and subsidence risks in particular. This is very important in insurance of course, but insurance is generally renewed annually, so it is even more important to Lenders who are weighing risks on a 25-year mortgage. By partnering with a growing number of the leading flood, subsidence, soil and other environmental and geospacial data specialists and making these different (and in some cases competing) datasets available side-by-side through the WhenFresh API, we give data users the most comprehensive picture “ingredient set” to build their own models.
How are new consumer buying habits forcing change in the insurance industry? Let’s face it, no-one wakes up and bounces excitedly out of bed to seek out a home insurance renewal quote! But virtually everyone is now using smart phones, and consumers in general (especially millennials) expect everything to be instant, easy and fast. If something can’t be done in a just a few swipes, it’s broken… When we apply for car insurance, we enter the registration number and ‘the system’ immediately knows what it needs to know about the vehicle, which makes the whole process quicker and easier for the applicant, who doesn’t need to remember when the car was first registered, the make, model, engine size, and so on. Using the WhenFresh API, the address of the property works like the car registration number and all the information an insurer needs can be instantaneously pulled into the application behind the scenes. This includes all the simple responses such as number of bedrooms, wall materials, and roof type; the more challenging answers such as year built, or proximity to water; and the downright unreasonable ones, such as proximity to, and heights of, the nearest trees, proximity to fracking sites, soil type, subsidence and flood risk scores. The more visionary and agile home insurers are already hugely benefitting from making applying for and buying insurance a quick and easy process.
How is technology Q influencing WhenFresh’s service offering, and how will
this be developed in the future?
We’re especially strong on data processing, data science and API technology, and the hydra-head API we’ve developed is designed to make the data we offer incredibly easy for insurers to consume in the format they need.
unique about the culture at WhenFresh? Q What’s
We’ve brought together an incredibly talented team including some of the brightest data science and tech minds in our field, supported by an exceptional operational, commercial and administrative people. We’re all grown-ups and we’re all fully committed to delivering excellence.
do you see WhenFresh QWhere this time next year?
Considerably bigger! The interest in what we’re doing in the insurance space continues to snowball, with small tests becoming big tests – and big tests becoming rollouts. We’re adding new partners and datasets all the time and have some big announcements coming soon in the insurance and wider Financial Service sectors.
What advice would you give to anyone else looking to Q disrupt an industry?
Don’t start with the insurance industry!
There is talk of disruption in many industries and especially in insurance but, with very few exceptions, it’s hard to say that anyone has been pulling up trees and creating anything hugely groundbreaking… yet. I think the reason is that, whilst some insurers are more agile than others, the industry tends to move glacially slowly. We’re lucky in that we were already established and respected in the wider Financial Service space when we launched into the insurance sector – and having partners like CLS, Zoopla, Airbus, and others, clearly helps to open doors. But there are certainly faster moving sectors available, for the less patient disruptor.
Our data science team brings together over 200 private and public data sources in standardised, readily-consumed format to create the “one-stopdata-supermarket” for the UK home insurance industry
Mark Cunningham is Director and Co-Founder of WhenFresh.
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Following the ILC’s 10th Motor Claims Conference in June 2019, Modern Insurance caught up with Chris Ashworth, Managing Director of ARMS® Business Solutions, part of Enterprise Holdings, and Founder of ILC, to discuss the ‘future look’ and what we can expect of this fast-changing, ever-evolving motor claims landscape. The claims landscape is definitely underserved when it comes to technology and innovation. Whether it be barriers to entry, lack of investment or the challenge of legacy systems […] we just aren’t seeing technology at the forefront of the claims process yet
This year’s Motor Claims Q Conference was all about the ‘Future Look’. How do you expect motor insurance is going to change over the coming years?
I think we will see motor insurance turn into more of a lifestyle product as the mobility landscape continues to evolve. The core of the motor insurance product hasn’t changed for decades and consumers are starting to question it; ‘why do I have to shop for a new policy every 12 months?’ ‘Why do I have to pay for cover when I’m not using the vehicle?’ We need to be seeing more policies that are able to recognise the customer as an individual; not everyone wants to own a vehicle, there will be other mobility solutions such as car shares, vehicle hire, on-demand, plus many more and motor insurance has to evolve to accommodate those shifts.
What would you say is the Q biggest challenge facing your sector of the industry currently,
and how can the industry prepare for what lies ahead?
The personal injury reforms will undoubtedly throw out some unintended consequences for the claims
industry. Even for those businesses that aren’t directly involved in the handling of personal injury claims, there will be knock on effects. The other big challenge is solving the conundrum of how we can create a digital customer experience that works with legacy claims systems, a vast and ever-changing supply chain and accommodates future innovation easily. With the usual lack of financial investment in the claims process I think people are really underestimating this challenge.
is technology influencing QHow the claims landscape?
The claims landscape is definitely underserved when it comes to technology and innovation. Whether it be barriers to entry, lack of investment or the challenge of legacy systems that I touched on earlier, we just aren’t seeing technology at the forefront of the claims process just yet. We are seeing some interesting products being tested and coming to market at an increasing pace and I’m sure some of them will make it through proof of concept and start to get some real traction.
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ahead The other big challenge is solving the conundrum of how we can create a digital customer experience that works with legacy claims systems, a vast and ever-changing supply chain and accommodates future innovation easily
However, the biggest impact is without doubt and will continue to be, the fast pace of change in vehicle technology, which is causing continuous repair cost inflation without the corresponding decreases in frequency. We will see vehicle manufacturers play an increasing role in the insurance process as connected car technology makes its way through the vehicle park.
Would you say the industry is Q being innovative enough to keep up with consumer demand?
I think that consumer demand is sometimes overplayed when it comes to digital solutions. People have an accident every ten years or so and the natural instinct is to call someone when they are involved in an incident. As a consumer I want an omni-channel experience where I can report my claim by phone, get information and updates digitally and then speak to someone, especially if there is a problem. I also want choices underpinned by great advice - it’s great to see that some insurers are recognising this in the customer journey and shifting from a faster, cheaper mentality.
Is there room for improved Q collaboration within the industry?
Absolutely! Collaboration is one of the founding principles at ILC and I think we have done a good job of getting people and businesses talking more over the last ten years. However, the lack of collaboration in the market continues to disappoint me and remains as a barrier to innovation – there a huge opportunity for us all.
After a career that began in broking in 1992 and 18 years working in motor claims, Chris established Crashworth in 2010 as a way of providing innovative solutions in the insurance claims industry.
What do you hope people Q took away from the Motor Claims Conference this year?
The business expanded rapidly following its creation as he concentrated on working with market leaders in various parts of the motor claims industry.
ILC was founded the following year, with the aim of developing an industry forum that would connect those working in motor claims.
We always hope people leave our events with some new contacts, an idea or two for their business and to be more knowledgeable in their jobs through the insight they have gained. It’s what we are all about, we call it Better Tomorrow through what you learn Today.
is the Managing Director of ARMS® Business Solutions, part of Enterprise Holdings, and the Founder of ILC.
He is currently the Managing Director of ARMS® Business Solutions, a division of Enterprise Holdings where he is responsible for accident management solutions for insurance customers and the Enterprise fleet and an expanding portfolio of technology solutions that are making the motor claims process more efficient.
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Happy, healthy and more productive Kirsten Early, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, of Broadspire by Crawford & Company, explains how they maintain a positive company culture within their business, whilst continuing to grow and prosper.
nvesting time and effort into making the workplace a more enjoyable place to be can have tangible positive benefits for employees, teams, and your wider organisation.
Since moving from the U.S. to lead Broadspire UK, it’s safe to say it has been an extremely busy and transformational 12 months. The most obvious change is a new state-of-the-art office in Milton Keynes, the doors of which have not stopped revolving with clients, prospects and job applicants. This success can be attributed to the motivation and dedication of our people as we work together to make Broadspire a great place to work. We firmly believe that if our employee experience is great, that in turn will help make the customer experience great and we see that as a fantastic platform for growth for any company. In our view, happy employees are healthier and more productive. Walk into any office and you very quickly get a sense of whether it is a positive working environment or not. In our new office, we’ve looked to create a vibrant and dynamic workplace, featuring a strong colour palette inspired by our RESTORE values. Everything is open plan, inclusive and our people feel empowered. That positive culture is driven right from the top by Danielle Lisenbey, Global President, Crawford TPA Solutions. By creating an environment in which people feel valued, rewarded and empowered to deliver exceptional levels of service, we are able to harness the benefits of our global scale, producing excellent returns and achieving an exceptional client retention rate of 95 percent. For Broadspire, we take every possible step to ensure our workplace is as motivating and inspiring as we can make it. Such an environment generates numerous benefits:
A fun working environment is incredibly important as it influences employee motivation levels, promotes advocacy and ultimately contributes to a happier and more productive workplace
Happy and healthy employees means lower absence rates and absenteeism – 131.2 million working days were lost due to sickness in the UK in 2017, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show. Having fun improves communication and collaboration – enjoying time with colleagues in a relaxed and fun environment encourages honest and open discussion and trust in one another. If employees are friends with the people they work with, as opposed to simply being colleagues, then they’ll work better together and communicate more effectively. Fun breeds creativity – creative environments foster a positive atmosphere and activity level that is easily distinguishable from less dynamic office environments. There’s a buzz in the air, colleagues are enthusiastic and energetic, and up for whatever the day brings. Promoting fun attracts new talent, retains employees/clients and attracts new business – if an individual feels that they ‘know’ your company and can see your ‘human’, fun side, then they’ll be more likely to engage with you. Having fun makes employees more productive – when an employee feels low or sad for any reason, their motivation levels drop, they may become withdrawn and communicate less, and may generally be less productive. There will always be unavoidable events in our lives that make us unhappy, but we cope better and recover faster when we’re surrounded by happiness, support and friendship. Having fun encourages advocacy – employees that have fun, enjoy what they do, and are engaged will naturally share stories and act as advocates for your brand – on and offline. If every one of your employees shares news and updates about your brand to their own social groups, then your audience will increase exponentially – and the potential for growth is immense. A fun working environment is incredibly important as it influences employee motivation levels, promotes advocacy and ultimately contributes to a happier and more productive workplace.
is the Managing Director, UK & Ireland, of Broadspire by Crawford & Company.
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Opening up about mental health Modern Insurance spoke to Lisa Meigh, Director of HR & Learning at CovĂŠa Insurance, about how they are tackling mental health in their D&I strategy.
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We all have mental health in the same way we have physical health, so supporting someone with a mental health problem is as important as supporting someone who has a broken leg In this special Dive in What barriers exist to Q Festival edition, can you Q companies tackling mental explain how mental health fits in health in the workplace, and how with your diversity strategy?
are you addressing these?
Our overall aim is to create a great place to work, and that means creating a supportive inclusive environment for everyone. We all have mental health in the same way we have physical health, so supporting someone with a mental health problem is as important as supporting someone who has a broken leg. Developing a culture that promotes good physical and mental health is core to us being a truly inclusive employer.
Without question, the greatest barrier to supporting employees with mental health issues is convincing people it’s ok to talk about how they’re feeling. I know from personal experience how difficult it can be to ‘open up’. It feels much easier (and safer) to wear the mask of being happy, coping and confident, than admitting the turmoil and anguish going on inside your head. Admitting you need help can be even harder if you manage a team of people who look to you for support and leadership, because that may be perceived as a weakness.
Mental health is the number one cause of disability worldwide and the issue is real and growing. *72 million work days are lost each year due to mental health, **15 people die of suicide and over 300 attempt to take their own life every day in the UK. ***1 in 4 adults will suffer from depression at some point in their life, yet there still remains a stigma to admitting you’re suffering from it. Mental health can affect anyone, whatever their sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, physical ability, education, social background or role in the workplace; mental health doesn’t discriminate.
What are the benefits for Q businesses to addressing mental health in the workplace?
Without question, the greatest barrier to supporting employees with mental health issues is convincing people it’s ok to talk about how they’re feeling
The fundamental belief that underpins our diversity strategy in broad terms is that it’s simply the right thing to do! Beyond that, we believe diversity delivers better customer outcomes by promoting innovation and more diverse thinking. Essentially, all employees want to succeed in delivering the best customer experience, so our aim is to create a culture and environment that enables them to achieve this. This view is validated by independent research, which has proven companies with greater diversity have better reputations, are more successful financially, are more creative, make better decisions, have higher employee engagement and lower employee turnover. So, the bottom line is diversity is good for business!
To tackle this, we’ve launched ‘Covéa Minds’ which is raising awareness across the business and providing information, advice and support for employees, (and managers supporting employees) dealing with mental health issues. Some brave employees have shared their personal stories about their mental health publicly (me included) to say it can happen to anyone and it doesn’t mean you’ve failed at your job, or that you’re weak, just that you need a bit of time, understanding and support while you put yourself back together and bounce back. On a practical level, we’ve trained a team of mental health first-aiders and managers across all our sites. They’re not counsellors, but they can offer advice and options, signpost employees to external organisations, or just provide a sympathetic, non-judgmental listening ear. It’s also important to promote flexible working and encourage employees to have a good work-life balance which helps increase resilience to stressful situations. Running well-being events like massages, yoga and meditation sessions provides light-hearted stress relief in the office, creating a talking point and reinforcing the importance of taking time out to ‘de-stress’. Later this year, we’re really excited to be running a resilience roadshow inviting all of our people to participate and develop strategies to enable them to be more
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The most important thing to have is commitment from the top and to empower the people in your organisation who feel passionately about supporting and creating a great culture around mental health resilient to stress and protect their own mental health, or support those around them, be it work colleagues, family, or friends. These are being led by Luke Ambler, a former international rugby player who witnessed first-hand the devastating effects mental illness can cause, following the death of his brother-in-law, Andy. Following Andy’s death, Luke has become an ambassador for suicide prevention, setting up Andy’s Man Club to provide support for men struggling with mental health issues to give them a forum to talk about their experiences and share coping mechanisms. I know many of our employees will find this immensely helpful and engaging.
What are the benefits to this approach that you’ve seen so far at Covéa Insurance? It may sound cheesy, but we know people enjoy working here because of the positive culture and strong sense of community that exists, something we track through our annual employee engagement survey. Anecdotally, we’re also seeing a real buzz and an increasing openness to share personal stories, which is creating momentum for our internal #Itsoktotalk campaign. We recognise this flows into the way we treat customers, so it forms an important part of our overall customer proposition. 465 of our people have become dementia
friends so far, annd we’re running a series of vulnerable customer workshops to enable us to provide the best possible service to our customers who may also be suffering from dementia or other mental health problems. I think it’s fair to say there’s an authenticity to our approach that we’re promoting through our ‘Real People, Real Purpose’ and ‘Real People Real Stories’ campaigns.
What advice would you give other companies wanting Q to improve mental health in the workplace?
The most important thing to have is commitment from the top and to empower the people in your organisation who feel passionately about supporting and creating a great culture around mental health. We couldn’t have achieved what we have so far if we didn’t have the leadership from our Executive Directors and CEO, with one Director paving the way by sharing his own personal experience. Coupled with this, the energy, ideas, commitment and drive that the people on our Covéa Minds groups have put into making it ok to talk has been inspiring. It’s incredibly reassuring to know that your colleagues and managers are much kinder than you imagine, and that acknowledging your vulnerability can be a hugely positive and empowering experience. And I speak from experience!
Top Tips for protecting your mental health Exercise
Our physical health and mental health are closely linked, so exercise can be beneficial for both! The endorphins released when we exercise trigger positive feelings in our bodies.
Even going for a walk at lunchtime and having a change of scenery can help us put things into perspective. It might even be worth putting your phone on silent in order to enjoy your surroundings.
Sit quietly for a few minutes and take a few deep breaths. You’ll be surprised at how much this simple exercise will calm you down!
Getting the right amount of sleep is just as important for your mental health as it is for your physical health. Our body repairs itself and our brain recovers and regenerates, so try and make sure you’re getting a good nights sleep.
Spend time with loved ones
Being around those closest to us will always make us feel better, as we enjoy their company. This could include a family, friend or even a pet!
Lisa Meigh is the Director of HR & Learning at Covéa Insurance. *Chief medical officer report 2014 **ONS 2018 ***WHO – workd Health Surveys 2013
Last but by NO means least, speak to someone. Talking can be beneficial as you won’t be bottling things up. Family and friends will always be there for you. You don’t have to be an expert to talk and to listen, and often it’s the little things that make a big difference.
Covea Insurance plc Registered Office: Norman Place, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 8DA Registered in England and Wales No. 613259 Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority No. 202277
COVEA INSURANCE Nยบ dossier : 20110324E
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Purple Tuesday –
Changing the customer experience Purple Tuesday 2019 is an international call to action, focused on changing the customer experience for disabled people. Modern Insurance spoke to Mike Adams OBE, Chief Executive Officer of Purple, who is helping to define the conversation on disability and explains how the insurance industry can get involved. us about Purple Tuesday and this year’s call Q Tell to action?
Purple Tuesday will be held on 12th November 2019 and it is an international call to action which will involve organisations of all sizes and from all sectors taking decisive and practical actions in order to meet the needs of disabled customers. Across the UK, the Purple Pound – the consumer spending power of disabled people and their families – is worth £249 billion, and is continuing to rise. Purple Tuesday is about creating a change and increasing the awareness of the value and needs of disabled customers. We know that less than 10% of businesses have a strategy to target this market. We know that 3 out of 4 disabled people have either walked out of an office or shop or have exited a website due to poor accessibility or customer service. We know that there are 13 million disabled people in this country, equating to 19% of the adult population. We know that 80% of disabled people have a hidden impairment or disability. We are trying to get organisations to recognise these numbers and reorientate their view of disability and disabled people.
Purple Tuesday is an opportunity to open up your organisation to new markets and new lines of business
We believe in order to change society’s view of disabled people, we need businesses to lead the way. By encouraging businesses to see this as an opportunity this will not only increase their numbers of disabled consumers, but it will also be reflected in their employment of disabled people.
How would Purple suggest that the insurance Q industry better its route to market in order to meet the needs of some disabled groups?
There are two elements for me. Firstly there is the front-facing element about welcoming disabled people and meeting their needs in order for them to buy insurance products. Are they asking the following questions: how do customers access the insurance market? Are staff in call centres trained around disability? Are they asking the right prompt questions, or is information available in alternative formats? Are websites accessible? And then there is the second element, about whether the insurance industry is considering and factoring in disability in the right way when it comes to applying for policies.
What other, sustainable changes need to be made Q in the industry in order to improve the awareness of the value and needs of disabled customers?
Insurance companies need to make sure that their website is accessible. What we say to companies in order to test accessibility is for them to put down their mouse for ten minutes and navigate their website with just the control keys and see how far they can get. Most changes that we suggest to companies are done at no or little cost. For example, a lot of websites put their text in capital letters rather than lower case, if you’re blind and you use a screen reader, the screen reader will read capital letters as acronyms – this is something that can be changed instantly. If you use images or colours, make sure there are written tags in order to help navigation. I always say to web developers, by making your
website accessible this does not mean it has to be boring, but you need to think about your end user and alternative ways of providing information in order to open up this market to one fifth of the population.
How can we better open up the conversation Q around disability, both in terms of customer experience and in the work place?
The straight forward answer is, if 1 in 5 of the population has a disability and you translate that into employment and you work in an organisation that employs 100 people, 20 of those will be disabled but out of that 20, 16 will have a hidden impairment. The only way to get people to disclose their disability is by showing, as a company, that you have a commitment to disabled people both within the business and with your customers.
How can the industry get involved with Purple Q Tuesday this year and continue activities beyond the 12th November?
Last year, Purple Tuesday was piloted in the retail sector, but this year, Purple Tuesday is international and across all sectors. We are asking people to sign up to Purple Tuesday via our website www.purpletuesday.org.uk and to make one commitment, to deliver within a 12 month period, to improve the customer experience for disabled people.
Mike Adams OBE is the CEO of Purple.
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Purple Advice Kathryn Knowles, Managing Director of Cura Financial Services, is a supporter of Purple Tuesday, and wants to encourage awareness and access within the insurance industry. Here you can find her advice for improving insurance services for clients with disabilities. ’m a specialist protection insurance adviser, the majority of my clients are purple. They have medical conditions, and they often think that as an industry we do not listen to them, in most cases they have been told that they are uninsurable.
We need to change the conversations that we have. Just like customers have a perception that insurance costs a silly price, if you have a disability, within the industry there is a perception that having a health condition makes getting protection insurance too tricky. Last year my company supported Purple Tuesday. It mainly involved me getting a load of blueberry ice-cream dumped on my head! The important thing is that even though we are an organisation that is highly aware of disabilities and how they can affect insurance applications, there are always ways to learn and improve. People often think of increased disability access as improvements to allow wheelchair users to access products and services. But this isn’t enough. There are many disabilities that are not physical and many physical disabilities that do not require a wheelchair. Instead of acting on our assumptions, we need to go outside and actively listen to what people with disabilities need and want.
As an industry we need to improve access to insurance and much work is being done in this space. There are some key points that I can give you from my experiences:
Many people just want to be listened to. They simply want someone to look at them and their circumstances, away from the tick box systems of insurance applications. Empathy goes a long way; people like people, and humanising the insurance journey is key.
2. Be realistic.
Do not promise the earth if you cannot deliver it. There is no point guessing what terms might be available if someone has multiple sclerosis, or saying straight away that they are uninsurable. It takes time and research, there are options for most people.
3. These things take time.
For people with medical conditions that need a GP report to support the application, expect that the whole process will take at least a couple of months. GP surgeries are not typically the quickest of things!
4. Know what you need to ask.
If someone wants to apply for insurance and they have fibromyalgia, it gives a good impression if you know your stuff. For this example, at first you want to know when they were diagnosed, do they have memory difficulties? What medications and treatment do they take? Do they have depression? Are they able to work?
5. Use a specialist.
If protection insurance isn’t your thing, or you don’t have time to chase a GP for a couple of months, use a specialist like me that can help. Just like I direct people to specialists in mortgages and pensions because they are not my area. Awareness of your customers’ emotional needs, not just their financial needs, is a skill that needs to be learned. You may not get it right at first, your approach may not suit everyone, but it is so important to try. Not just because the Purple Pound is £249bn, but because it is simply the right thing to do.
Instead of acting on our assumptions, we need to go outside and actively listen to what people with disabilities need and want
Kathryn Knowles is the Managing Director of Cura Financial Services. You can find out more about Kathryn here: https://www. specialrisksbureau.co.uk/whowe-are/kathryn-knowles
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Work, in progress:
D&I in the workplace
Known for her promotion and advocacy of women and diversity and inclusion in the financial services sector, Sam White, CEO and Founder of Freedom Services Group, Freedom Brokers, Action 365, and Pukka Insure, chats to Modern Insurance about creating a more open platform for discussion within the industry, while championing individuality.
You have become quite well-known for your Q promotion of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the financial services sector. Why is this something that you have become so passionate about?
I have always felt a little bit different. I had quite an eclectic childhood, and I say that affectionately, but I definitely didn’t feel like I fitted in. But, as I’ve become older, I’ve realised that most people experience this feeling of trepidation. I have recently read a book called The Chimp Paradox: The Acclaimed Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness by Professor Steve Peters, which presents an incredibly powerful mind management model that aims to help you become a happy, confident, healthier and more successful person. The text explains that human beings have the tendency to try and fit in by adopting the characteristics of a group. It is an interesting idea and a concept that is prevalent within business, but for me, we need to be helping people recognise that you can still be connected and included in a group without being exactly the same as the other people involved. I use the analogy of coming to my house for dinner. If someone comes to my house for dinner, I want them to feel comfortable and I want to cater to their specific dietary requirements. The work place needs to reflect that way of thinking and try and create an environment where everyone can be themselves while feeling connected to the overall group. Having my own business has given me a lot of freedom and it has given me the ability to make my own rules. I would say that I see things through a slightly different lens, so when I go into corporate
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What we need is diverse people with different mind-sets from different industries and backgrounds in order to be able to achieve an environment that is inclusive of all while creating a business that has value and is successful environments I forget just how different those environments are to the ‘home’ I have created in my businesses. I don’t think it is conscious, but if I go back to this idea of humans having a tribal instinct to copy those within the group, if any of those behaviours are negative they are immediately recreated because people will ape each other’s behaviours. What we need is diverse people with different mind-sets from different industries and backgrounds in order to be able to achieve an environment that is inclusive of all while creating a business that has value and is successful.
One of my big passions that I am trying to drive forward is no dress code. I know that certain elements of the insurance industry is quite uncomfortable with that idea but by allowing people to express themselves in the way that they dress, you instantly take down a lot of barriers regarding people being individuals. When you force everyone to dress the same, you are almost telling them that they need not bring themselves to work. Allowing your people to dress how they are comfortable allows them to show their coworkers much more of themselves without having to initially open up on a verbal basis.
have you found being a How do you accelerate Q How female entrepreneur? Q gender diversity in your everyday practice and work?
The only way that we will continue to make progress is by acknowledging and talking about D&I more openly and readily within the industry
I didn’t realise for a long time how unusual it was to be a female entrepreneur. I started my business when I was young, I was only 24, and as I always say, I started my business because I didn’t want anyone telling me what to do. It took me a long time to realise that I wasn’t necessarily coming into contact with many other female entrepreneurs, I just accepted it as it was. I have a lot of male friends within the industry that have been extremely supportive, I don’t think that they judge me for being female, if anything you could say that being slightly different hasn’t necessarily gone against me because people agree to have conversations with me that they wouldn’t automatically have had with their male counterparts because they are interested in seeing something different. I have in certain areas found it more challenging, for example, the struggle to get funding in the business and the unconscious bias that I think is in the banking community, which ultimately makes life harder for female entrepreneurs.
For me it is diversity of thought across the board, and gender is very important and a significant part of that, but for me it is being able to allow all people within the business, at different levels, the opportunity to show themselves and their talents. I find that the whole business structure that we are under is working against us when trying to encourage diversity. The hierarchy is the problem, and within this existing structure is a real blockage for women. Women need visibility which is why we need smaller teams and outcome based projects because you can then fast track them into visibility. The only way that we will continue to make progress is by acknowledging and talking about D&I more openly and readily within the industry.
How can we continue to Q make meaningful progress in D&I in the insurance industry?
There are a lot of people in the insurance world who are trying to change the perception of the industry. It is a hard battle because it is an environment which is embedded in tradition, and trying to change something that is already in existence can be extremely difficult. For the start-ups and insurtechs, it is much easier because they are starting with a blank sheet of paper, enabling them to do things differently and from a completely different perspective.
Sam White is the CEO and Founder of Freedom Services Group, Freedom Brokers, Action 365, and Pukka Insure. MODERN
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Why caring really does count Sarah Blanchfield, Colleague Resources Director at Sedgwick, discusses company culture and its effect on colleagues and their ability to grow and develop within the work place. elivering an excellent customer experience is an imperative for all businesses regardless of the services or products they provide. This demand for better service has been driven increasingly by consumers who simply expect more. But without an engaged and motivated workforce who really want to do the best they can every day, this can never be achieved.
Every day over 18,000 people across the world will contact Sedgwick because something unexpected has happened and they need our help. Whether they’re a homeowner, a driver, or a business owner, some of these events can be deeply distressing and it’s vital that we care about these individuals and help them get back to their normal life as quickly as possible. For colleagues to perform at their best and deliver considerate, empathetic customer service, our culture must embrace our colleagues’ uniqueness and foster a true sense of belonging. By embracing and appreciating our differences, we’re more likely to create diversity of thought and produce better outcomes. And with a sense of belonging, colleagues are encouraged to share those ideas allowing them to develop their full potential. In a culture where colleagues are respected and feel valued for who they are, we know that they become more engaged. There are clear business benefits to creating this type of culture, as colleagues who are more engaged will care more for each other, deliver better service, be willing to go the extra mile and develop more innovative, industry-leading solutions for customers. This is about making our values, which reflect this culture, come alive so that they are second nature for colleagues. Making sure everyone knows what our values are is one thing, but getting colleagues to live and breathe them is a different challenge. We are now trialling a new recruitment process which is aimed less at matching the person to a specific role but more focused on having the right attributes that fit our values and culture. We have been delighted with the positive impact our new team of recruits are already making, especially since they would not necessarily have considered being the best fit for our business a few years ago under different, more technical, selection criteria. However, it’s not just about new recruits. It’s vital that people managers understand and live our values too so that they can create the right environment for their colleagues to flourish. Our new ‘Leading Forward’ programme is focused on equipping managers with the tools to help create engaged teams by embracing differences and fostering a sense of belonging. As part of this, we are encouraging people to share their stories about their background and experiences and recognising and appreciating the diversity we all bring into the business. But culture change can only be achieved through a systematic change in the behaviour of colleagues. We are providing colleagues with awareness and skills and then recognising their contribution when it’s done well. This, in turn, reinforces our culture and values. This is the case with our newly created ‘values in action awards’. Over the first two quarters of the year, we have received over 600 nominations for colleagues from across
Culture change can only be achieved through a systematic change in the behaviour of colleagues. We are providing colleagues with awareness and skills and then recognising their contribution when it’s done well. This, in turn, reinforces our culture and values the UK who are regarded as living and breathing examples of our values. The nominations clearly evidence how individuals and teams are committed to looking after our customers, and that in turn shows how our culture is becoming established. Our ‘colleagues in action’ group is becoming the driving force for culture change and bringing other colleagues along with them. This group of highly motivated people help bring our culture to life in their local offices and support positive colleague experiences including supporting charitable work. So every aspect of how we engage, motivate and recognise our colleagues is focused on making Sedgwick a great place to work with a single, clear purpose. That way our colleagues are committed to supporting our clients and their customers when they need our help. For us, caring really does count.
Sarah Blanchfield is a Colleague Resources Director at Sedgwick.
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Investing in your employees Steve Turner, CEO of EDAM Group, reflects on what EDAM Group are doing to create a happy and engaged workforce, and why it is important that you invest in your team.
ny business with strategic plans for growth during a period which sees a new PM in Parliament, Brexit (or not) on the horizon and the impact of both as yet unknown, must focus squarely on developing what it does best and do it even better.
As the UK’s market leading service provider of credit hire and post-accident services, we’re proud to be doing just that. It’s what we’re known for – doing better. For our customers and our team. Investing in our people means we’re continuing to thrive during economic uncertainty. It means we’re keeping our customers happy. It means we’re watching our profits increase. But most importantly, it means we have a happy and engaged workforce striving to reach a common goal, doing their bit to ensure EDAM remains the market-leading service provider of credit hire and post-accident services they have helped to build. The individual and collective wellbeing of our staff sits at the centre of our company culture. Our core business values reflect what we consider to be important; innovation, integrity, respect, passion and fun, while working as one team. Positive employee engagement is a priority and we work hard to create a nurturing environment for each individual. How? We’re open and we’re honest. We listen and we do.
On a practical level, we proudly make a huge investment in our team and their learning and development via our two centres for training excellence; the EDAM Group Claims Academy and Recovery Academy, alongside numerous internal schemes and incentives that encourage staff to do their best by themselves, by the customer and by the company.
As part of our continued commitment to keeping people at the heart of all we do, we’ve introduced an industry-first in the form of our ‘Minding EDAM’ wellbeing initiative. The company-wide programme seeks to to draw awareness to the importance of mental health and through a calendar of thoughtfully considered mood lifting events promote a happier workplace.
We’ve launched a number of coaching and development schemes including GTi (Grow, Thrive, Improve) and most recently our neuroscience-driven Top Right Leadership Programme, which aims to establish and encourage a strong leadership team. The 18-month course is tailored to each individual and built around trustworthiness, inspiration, influence and commercial focus. And it’s reaping rewards.
We’ve seen first-hand the impact that investing in our 400-strong team has. Our Net Promoter Score (NPS) remains over 86 for the third month running. Proof, should it be required, that our people are motivated and doing a great job.
Providing new and exciting opportunities for growth at all levels, ensures all employees are supported to be market leading service providers who flourish in their roles and are passionate about EDAM and what we do. Our ambitious 2020 vision to double in size hinges upon our continued levels of outstanding customer service, which in turn relies upon our employees delivering a seamless end-to-end customer journey. And that’s why we’re confident we’ll reach, if not exceed, our targets for business growth, because our team genuinely care. About our clients and our business. That’s thanks to developing a culture which is more about our people and less about our bottom line.
We’ve won awards in recognition of our investment in our employees too, most notably achieving a coveted two-star Best Companies status and being named in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies To Work For, in recognition of our outstanding levels of employee engagement. Not only that, but company profits have grown by 71% over the last three years, earning EDAM a place in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100. There’s no doubt that valuing your workforce puts a higher value on your company too. The best investments are those which are low risk and offer high returns – spending time and money on the happiness of your team is definitely worth the outlay.
Our core business values reflect what we consider to be important; innovation, integrity, respect, passion and fun, while working as one team
Steve Turner CEO of EDAM Group MODERN
Consistently thinking ahead, we actively drive innovation and improvements across our product range to create bespoke end-to-end solutions
We invest in the expertise and excellence of our people to ensure they deliver every aspect of each customerâ€™s service offering to the highest standards.
When our customerâ€™s requirements change beyond our scope, we innovate. Our track record of successful innovations is central to our continued growth.
Our Network Proud to partner with a UK-wide repair network of over 315 suppliers. Dedicated to working hand-in-hand to deliver the best solutions for our customers.
Our Solutions Each of our claims solutions can be fully tailored to meet your specific needs. Use them individually or combine them for a full end-to-end solution.
Contact us for more information by emailing us at email@example.com or call us on 0344 243 8888
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Twelve months since he moved into the role, Harvey Stead, FMG’s Managing Director, reflects on the achievements of the past year, while looking to the future of the business. With each new leadership role I’ve had, I’ve faced new opportunities and different challenges, each one bringing new people, processes and potential to make an impact. 12 months ago I moved into the role of Managing Director at FMG following 15 years in various Director roles with the business. This period has brought excitement, change and challenge in equal measure, whilst presenting some key milestones and achievements for the business. Moving our entire operation to our new and considerably larger headquarters last summer, just a month after becoming MD, felt somewhat perfect timing. The optimist in me felt the two events collided for a reason, the realist in me saw the challenge, which added enough pressure to keep me on my toes! It was actually the starting point of quite a remarkable year for FMG and our third consecutive year of strong results for both income and profitability. This incredible performance is even more impressive when considered alongside everything else achieved in the past year. We’ve successfully navigated a major step-change for FMG, shaping an exciting future for the business with the launch of our Claims Management service to a completely new market sector. Developing an insurer-based proposition for a vehicle manufacturer scheme, and delivering a similar proposition for an exciting new insurer relationship was fresh ground for us and a chance to demonstrate FMG at our innovative best. It was the biggest insurer implementation our Business Transformation Team has ever undertaken and saw us recruit our largest intake of new employees
to support our new partner proposition. In fact, our recruitment team has worked relentlessly this year to keep pace with such strong growth. We’ve welcomed 189 new recruits during this time, including high profile senior positions, and we were delighted to reach another significant milestone – welcoming our 500th employee. Never in our 33-year history have we employed this number of people. For me, creating jobs and employment in our local area is one of the most tangible measures of success and this growth is testament to the hard work of all of our people. With the dedicated manufacturer department up and running smoothly, we continued to promote our business as a supplier of choice to the insurance industry, creating new solutions and continued new business success. 160,000 claims were handled by FMG under our insurer relationships, both new and old during the last 12 months. Our historic heartland of leasing companies and direct fleets remains at the core of our business operation; the last 12 months have seen us strengthen existing customer relationships and building solutions that bring value to the entire supply chain. The new structure we’ve just introduced within our Client Services Delivery department enables our teams to be more responsive, flexible and empowered to meet the changing needs of tomorrow’s customers.
and established a sustainable green parts repair solution. We believe Artificial Intelligence (AI) is key to delivering speed and convenience for our customers, and our AI trial to support Total Loss is well underway with next-phase plans to include voice interactions, conversational interfaces and analytics. We’ve invested heavily in making FMG a vibrant, inclusive environment where talent thrives and everything we do is underpinned by our values of innovation, integrity, partnership, expertise and excellence. We’re more aware than ever that life isn’t always plain-sailing and this year we’ve launched our new Mental Health First Aider programme in conjunction with MHFA England. It’s not revolutionary, but we’re passionate about playing our part in supporting colleagues to support themselves, and creating an environment free from stigma. As I move briskly into my second year as MD, the business will continue to invest in our core markets, enhance our proposition, focus on innovation and technology, and look at new ways to work with our partners to meet the ever-changing needs of customers. FMG has made significant progress during the last 12 months and this reflects the hard work, commitment and combined efforts of all our people and our supply chain partners.
We’ve continued to develop our IT and digital capabilities, introducing an Image Capture App to support FNOL, launching new in-vehicle camera technology enabling Crash Detection and Notification services,
We’ve invested heavily in making FMG a vibrant, inclusive environment where talent thrives and everything we do is underpinned by our values of innovation, integrity, partnership, expertise and excellence
is the Managing Director of FMG. MODERN
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How can we change our approach to digital?
Michael Lewis, CEO of Claim Technology, challenges us to rethink our approach to digital and do insurance differently. There is an inherent conflict between Operations and IT Change. Whilst operations managers are tasked with keeping business operations stable, IT change is inherently de-stabilising. Operational change is linear, slow and evolutionary in nature. Each incremental change builds on top of the previous set of changes. Over time, this Darwinian approach makes the operational ‘whole’ more complex, which in turn limits the scope and freedom for further change. Operations tend towards a natural state where the focus is adapting to habitat (e.g. volume or regulatory change) rather than achieving meaningful process change. Even re-platforming exercises which ought to create the potential for real change end up with merely trying to replicate the current operational model. The current wave of digital change is perhaps the most de-stabilising of all. Artificial Intelligence (AI), intelligent robotic automation and micro-services architectures have the potential to radically turn upside down how business operations are conducted. Whereas in the past, claims handlers have been the claims workflow, in the future, customers will be able to self-serve their insurance claim underpinned by AI, with many requiring no claims handler input at all. There is an opportunity for insurers looking to reduce their loss ratios to rationalise legacy offices and outsource a new type of self-serve assist service to their customers at a fraction of the current operating costs. Given the conflict between the promise of digital and the ability for operations to deliver on that promise, how can operations escape their Darwinian destiny? In this article I set out five practical steps to making this a reality.
Step 1: Having spent time working internationally, there is a can-do attitude in markets like the US or Israel where business leaders see ‘opportunity’ in embracing change. In the UK, we instinctively find reasons to not do something. Brexit reflects this national malaise. Instead, become the ‘can-do’ person you were born to be and master the art of the possible.
Establish key performance metrics – and in particular, the actual cost in pounds of getting a claim from A to B. A potential client told me that they have a slick onboarding process but when pressed, it turns out the they have a slick process for obtaining a digital signature over the phone but that it will still take several weeks and two hours of touch time to manually collect sufficient data to process the claim. They ignored the all-important financial metric of how much the process costs to get from A to B. Digital can eliminate certain costs entirely, or else significantly reduce the % of time a claim needs to go back to an expensive claims handler.
Step 3: Metrics in hand, identify the problems that contribute to the cost of the process and the low hanging fruit candidates for digitisation. It’s amazing how many big problems can be solved with very little effort.
Step 4: Have you ever heard anyone say how fast their IT department is at implementing world-class software, quickly? No? Neither have I. There are some incredible insurtechs whose insight and capability is matched only by internal IT teams’ desire to protect their turf. Insist on finding the right partner to work with and then leverage that partnership. Get buy-in to engage with insurtechs today on a small scale, without going through disproportionately long sales cycles. I have seen first hand how, at Claim Technology, we can design, build, test and deploy significant changes in less time than it can take to schedule yet another follow-up meeting.
Step 5: Abandon those end of process customer surveys and instead look at how you can achieve continuous insight and improvement by measuring how customers are engaging with your digital service in real-time. Tools like Inspectlet, connected to Claim Technology’s AI insurance chatbot, enable you to see how customers interact with the chatbot, and where there are opportunities to improve conversion rates or the customer experience. In summary, companies are approaching digital transformation in much the same way they worked in an analogue world. They rely on IT teams to build in-house, incrementally, and then fail to effect change rapidly and at low cost. This approach is broken. Instead, whether it is insurance-as-a-service platforms that enable insurers or MGAs to create and distribute new products quickly, or the claims-as-a-service platform by Claim Technology to power omni-channel digital self-serve customer claims, the digital platforms are there to do insurance differently. Do you have the ‘can-do’ attitude to work differently?
Michael Lewis is the CEO of Claim Technology.
Companies are approaching digital transformation in much the same way they worked in an analogue world […] the digital platforms are there to do insurance differently. Do you have the ‘can-do’ attitude to work differently? 60
F E AT U R E S
Fire and theft claims and vehicle manufacturers Paul Sykes, Regional Managing Director of ControlExpert UK, dissects fire and theft claims and the role of the vehicle manufacturer during investigation. t is never a pleasant experience for anyone to suffer an incident that results in a claim, it can be even more traumatic if a theft or fire damage has occurred. This can also put any company receiving those claims under increased pressure to do the right thing and look to settle as quickly as possible for their client. Investigating such claims fully may sometimes be considered too expensive unless there is a good chance of recovery from a third party. Approximately 60% of vehicle fires are the result of a deliberate act, but of course some vehicle fires can be the result of a defect or manufacturing recall. It is always good practice to protect one’s own position by conducting independent inspections and involving the vehicle manufacturer at a point that their position is not prejudiced and complete a joint examination. Vehicle Manufactures are more than willing to investigate fire damaged vehicles, especially when there is tangible evidence presented that their involvement may be required due to a product issue.
We often see fire damaged vehicles being identified at FNOL and routed directly to a salvage agent without any investigation. It’s always worth bearing in mind that vehicle fires are highly uncommon and there is always an underlying cause. What if, as is often the case, that cause could prompt a recovery from a third party?
As we’re all too aware, vehicle theft is on the increase too. More and more vehicles are being stolen without the keys, combine this with the fact that 80% of all vehicles are on some form of PCP makes for another interesting dynamic. Experience tells us that some individuals will go to extreme lengths when they suffer financial hardship or if their vehicle has materially exceeded the mileage or condition stipulations in a finance agreement. Due to this we are assisting insurers with more electronic key analysis than ever before, the amount of data that can be extracted from modern vehicle keys is extensive, from mileage, service history, fault codes and locations even down to the outside ambient air temperature at the time the vehicle was last started/stopped. This data can be absolutely invaluable, a recent case proved just how valuable! A car was stolen from a drive without the keys, it was found 30 miles away burned out. The claimant supplied all keys to the insurer, an analysis of those keys established that the vehicle in question had missed the last 3 regular services and had several fault codes stored, furthermore it was established that the car was started and stopped using one of the keys after the time of the reported theft! Upon forensically inspecting the vehicle it became very clear that the engine had suffered a catastrophic
Those of us in the supply chain need to ensure that we push for increased speed and service whilst ensuring this is not to the detriment of fraud detection
failure which, combined with the key analysis evidence, helped establish the true nature of the incident. In this case, significant and expensive engine damage being masked as a vehicle theft in order to claim on a motor policy. There is a huge push in the insurance industry for increased customer service, cycle time management and a digital first approach to claims, all of which is fantastic for the policyholder, and British insurers have made huge strides over recent years. Those of us in the supply chain need to ensure that we push for increased speed and service whilst ensuring this is not to the detriment of fraud detection. The number of fire claims remains largely static and the number of theft cases is on the rise, however, from our research, the percentage of claims being investigated by insurers is in decline. If a car is subject to a fire claim, then establishing causation is absolutely essential. In the event of a theft, my advice would be simple – if something doesn’t look or feel entirely plausible, it probably isn’t.
Paul Sykes is the Regional Managing Director for ControlExpert UK Ltd. MODERN
10 mins with...
Richard Forrest Smith Q A
Has the industry changed drastically since you started working in it?
In some ways yes, in others no. Technology has created massive changes to the way we work and how insurance is bought and sold. It’s made us faster, more efficient which in turn has increased customer expectation. It’s also now offering potential to mitigate risks – water leak detectors for example.
the past year1. Maintaining health and safety standards is becoming ever more important. Where I think there has been little change is in the relationships with brokers. One to one support of brokers serving the contractor market has been and remains the bedrock of our business. This is an area we have really looked to grow since becoming part of Markel International. Our new partnership with the Cobra Network to deliver bespoke contractor cover, is going from strength to strength.
We know that in the drive to cut costs, specialist contractors may be looking for cheaper insurance deals from non-specialist providers online. However, it is vital that they seek advice from their broker to ensure that they have adequate and appropriate cover.
Have you had/got a mentor? If so, what was the most valuable piece of advice they gave you?
Who inspires you and why?
The England cricket team! (Or maybe they were lucky).
I find lots of different people inspiring. For obvious reasons, Stephen Hawking was truly inspiring. Ethical leaders of any kind, not just in business, are inspirational. Sadly they are a bit thin on the ground but anyone who succeeds while retaining their honesty and integrity is a great inspiration. There is nothing worse than finding out that someone you admire is not who you thought they were. The word ‘insurtech’ didn’t exist when I first started in insurance – now these businesses are making incumbents look long and hard at their business models and we are starting to see some interesting partnerships. As an industry, we are much more heavily regulated than when I first started in the market and there has been significant market consolidation through M&A activity, which shows no signs of abating. We are a good example of this activity, now being part of the Markel family. There has been a rise fraud driven in part by a compensation culture that has emerged in the UK. Also the risks we are dealing with have changed. In our area of the market which is specialist contractor insurance, advances in building materials, building methods and strengthened health and safety regulations have helped to improve safety records – although worryingly these seem to have plateaued in recent years. The Health and Safety Executive released data showing a 27% increase in construction fatalities in
What has been the key positive or negative impact of change in your area of the market?
The health and safety culture that’s now embedded in many contracting businesses has been a hugely positive change but there is still a lot of room for improvement and the HSE’s annual workplace fatality statistics will attest to this. The fact that construction fatalities have increased in the past year should act as a wake-up call to the sector. While price comparison sites have made it easy for us to shop for our personal insurance, selling SME insurance online is not right for every type of risk. It’s understandable in the micro SME sector, that customers want the same, streamlined experience when they buy their commercial cover as they do when buying home and motor insurance but for the types of specialist risks we underwrite, the value of the broker in ensuring the cover is right for the risk, cannot be overstated.
I consider myself very fortunate to have had several mentors, business and otherwise, over the years. The best advice I have had from all of them was ‘stick with it’. So I am tenacious! That can be a strength and a pitfall on occasion. What baffles me is people who give-up when they are 90% there!
If you were not in your current position, what would you be doing?
Possibly a job outdoors or something to do with motorbikes! I have five motorbikes and four pushbikes – I like to be active and outside in my downtime. Though the novelty could wear off quite quickly!
1 http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/fatalinjuries.pdf/ http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/industry/construction/index.htm https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/best-practice/ health-and-safety/deaths-in-construction-rise-27-year-onyear/10032802.article
Richard Forrest Smith
is the CEO of ECIC. ECIC is a trading name of Markel International Insurance Company Limited.
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