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Decoding Four HR Trends That Could Dominate Insurance Industry In 2024

2024 could be the year where insurers prove how uplifting employees can translate into elevated customer experiences says Reena Tyagi CHRO of Future Generali India Life Insurance

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With the insurance industry poised to pursue rapid technological transformation and adopt modernization initiatives, HR leaders will have to foster greater collaboration, improve skill sets and achieve greater diversity at the workplace in 2024

With the hybrid working model now becoming the new normal, organizations across industries are increasingly adopting digital workspace solutions to achieve improved employee productivity levels as well as a better work-life balance for their workforce. Not only is this positively impacting employee retention and engagement levels, but also unlocking new business and growth opportunities for erstwhile traditional sectors like the insurance industry. That said, rapid modernization comes with its own set of HR challenges, necessitating that HR leaders are constantly in touch with ever-evolving employee and organisation needs and are agile enough to respond to them. From an insurance industry perspective, there are prominent HR trends that are bound to get more pronounced in 2024 and organizations ought to be cognizant of them if they want to ensure sustainable business success.

Collaborative culture and digital mindset

As changing customer preferences push organizations to upgrade traditional infrastructures to a digital and cloud-based model, employees too will have to adapt to the new way of working by learning new tools and upgrading their existing skillsets. This is important for organizations if they want to innovate new products and services as well as adopt new-age business models that will remain relevant in a digitally connected world. This will require an agile workforce that is focused on increased collaboration, which in turn will eliminate any siloes that exist within the organization and reduce operational redundancies to improve the end customer experience. Moreover, it will be important to leverage data insights and make the most of what technology has to offer on a consistent basis. To achieve these objectives, insurance organizations will have to conduct in-house learning & skilling initiatives to build a digital mindset, enabling employees to build attitudes and behaviours to sense new opportunities using data, AI and emerging market trends. This includes having a growth mindset and responding to ambiguity and change.

With increasing technology integration and more control in the hands of the consumers, insurance agents will have to shift away from their current transactional role, towards pursuing and building lasting relationships with customers by using technology to support them. While advanced data analytics and digital communication tools should be used to ensure better lifecycle management, more relevant, important, appreciable and personalized inputs have to be provided to every customer by their insurance agent. HR has to focus on building skills of relationship management, understanding customer needs and providing niche solutions. Design thinking will also play a very crucial role in building a strong eco system for organisations to be successful, thereby creating a customer base that displays greater loyalty and ensures the long-term sustainability of an insurer.

Demand for tech talent could see a further uptick

Even though the current recessionary-like business climate has dampened hiring across many industries and sectors, the demand for tech talent is expected to grow in 2024 and beyond. In the same vein, in order to be able to respond to the changing regulatory and consumer landscape, insurance companies will need to accelerate the adoption of new technologies like Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI), Blockchain and many more. This implies hiring talent that is proficient in digital and analytical skills including data scientists, machine learning (ML) & AI engineers, digital marketers and many more with relevant skillsets. In fact, driving digital transformation initiatives that can overhaul existing legacy systems and processes will require organizations to develop a prodigious in-house talent pool. Ultimately, only those that can secure their access to latest information sources, foster greater product innovation and continuously raise customer experience standards will have a higher probability of tasting long-term success. This would mean adopting attractive programs and policies to attract and retain niche talent.

Implementing Employee Wellbeing strategies for a highly engaged workforce

To achieve a highly engaged workforce that is driven to achieve the organisation’s goals, their overall physical, emotional and financial wellbeing must be well taken care of. While this involves implementing a well-defined employee benefits policy that includes comprehensive health insurance coverage and retirement welfare, it is vital that leaders also promote greater employee wellbeing through their strategic actions. Implementing initiatives that elevate employee experience levels, ensuring that they like the work they do and facilitating greater trust between teams are a few action points towards this end. Organisations on their part will also have to empower managers to prioritize employee wellbeing through timely interventions and foment positive changes within their respective teams. Insurers that champion employee wellbeing are more likely to witness tangible improvements in terms of higher productivity standards, lower employee attrition and stronger advocacy for the organization.

Shoring up the trust quotient through holistic DEI initiatives

While insurers increasingly adopt customer-centric strategies and increase the performance bar expected from their workforce, it is equally important that employees share the same motivation and are cared for within the organization. HR leaders will have to ensure this by resolving any trust deficit and build an inclusive working environment where everyone is recognized for their contributions. Providing equal work and pay to all employees, adopting a flexible work framework and respecting everyone irrespective of their personal choices are some important aspects that will need to be ensured across the insurance sector. This will help improve the industry’s credibility amongst the larger society, while also benefiting business prospects on account of improved employee and consumer trust.

As the insurance industry witnesses transformative changes that are centered around rapid modernization initiatives, HR leaders will have to follow a more nuanced approach and effect enterprise-wide culture change to create the conditions needed for continued business success. This will require them to eradicate siloes, elevate internal talent, and walk the talk by displaying ubiquitous employee centricity; to help drive a more focused, consistent and persistent collaborative effort across the length and breadth of the organization. To summarize, 2024 could be the year where insurers prove how uplifting employees can translate into elevated customer experiences.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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