As we head into that final stretch between Thanksgiving and the New Year, it’s important we take stock of our key learnings from this year.
The year 2021 was shaped by a challenging talent crunch, an agile and evolving workforce, and cyber threats—with many organizations feeling the effect on their growth and development.
So, how do we wrap up the year that was and ensure 2022 is stronger? Here are the three trends we believe carriers should consider:
1. Prioritizing people
It has undeniably been a challenging year for insurance carriers wishing to retain and acquire new staff while maintaining focus on their customers’ experience. In 2022, it’s going to be more important than ever to set clear expectations and standards for how employees should treat policyholders, resolve claims, and promote their employer externally.
Setting these expectations will ensure that your team will always be poised for success and be a great predictor of growth for the business. Diversity, equity, and inclusion measures will continue to be a core part of every modern business operation, and a carrier’s ability to acknowledge, support, and recognize every person who is part of the team is a key component to retaining talent.
Another tactic you can employ to overcome talent challenges is to form strategic partnerships. Whether it’s a TPA for claims management, risk advisory to assess your operating environment, or recruitment specialists to search for the best talent for your future, partnering with the right organization can alleviate much of the friction in your business and provide you with long-term stability.
2. Preparing for when, not if
The past 18 months have proven that anything can happen, and your risk register is not a hypothetical list but a predictor of the future. It’s important that every business has contingency plans for their workforce, operating processes, and technology. While some were ready for employees to work remotely, many carriers weren’t prepared and didn’t have the processes or boundaries in place to maintain talent in line with business expectations.
In 2022, the shifting work environment will see many Americans not wanting to return to the office, seeking employers who can accommodate their lifestyles and preferred way of working. This could lead to an even tighter pinch on resourcing, and in the face of increased severe weather and other catastrophic events, carriers need a contingency plan to support their policyholders in their time of need. By engaging a partner who can support your business before an event occurs, you can set yourself up for success.
Further to this, the strain of evolving technology and operating disruptions could create new, complex scenarios for carriers in the New Year. Without a clear strategy for navigating these headwinds, it will be difficult to find a way through.
A strong risk profile includes a thorough, tested plan for what partners, teams, and resources are needed to manage these situations when they occur.
3. Protecting valuable data
We’ve all seen the rise in ransomware and cyberattacks in 2021, with the effects of these disruptions that include seeing ambulances rerouted, medical records inaccessible, or other serious business and claimant impacts that compound the issue for insurance carriers.
Cybercrime is a challenging issue to confront—but one that does not have to be dealt with alone. There are many cybersecurity vendors who specialize in negotiating and responding to these incidents, and these vendors should be a valuable part of your business continuity planning.
I hope I was able to offer you some insights into the opportunities ahead in 2022. It’s set to be an exciting year for us as an industry, and I look forward to connecting with you in the New Year.