The insurance sector has often been labelled as “recession-proof” and jobs within it as ones that offer stability, this is because people and businesses need insurance whether the economy is doing well or not. With stability being high on people’s checklist when searching for a new role, this means that the insurance sector should forever attract new and fresh talent. Whilst new talent is great (to keep up with the ever-evolving digital transformation) reliable, longstanding, committed and commercially aware employees will always play a huge part in a businesses success/growth.
The above point then leads me to question, how are insurance companies planning on retaining talent throughout such unprecedented times? What kept longstanding employees feeling engaged and involved when they were furloughed or are WFH? And what will stop such employees from finding a new role when the virus passes?
Talent retention, as we know, is multi-faceted and fundamentally comes to down to people staying in their role if they feel challenged, supported and aligned to the company and its goals. However, companies are now also having to take into consideration the engagement of their employees and how ‘looked after’ and supported they have felt during the pandemic.
Various employees who remained working, mentioned holistic support from their employer as being key to keeping them feeling engaged, connected and more aligned to the wider business whilst working from home. Being allowed and encouraged time to work on personal development projects has also kept them feeling challenged and motivated.
Many furloughed staff reported feeling rejected by their employer, facing worries around loss of purpose, loss of routine and concerns of future redundancy. The employees who felt empathy, assistance and guidance from their employer throughout their time on furlough, feel more eager and excited to return to work than those who did not. But where does this leave those who didn’t feel as cared about? Could this lead to a potential loss of talent once the job market becomes busier and feels safer to explore and move?
A quote I came across from an article written by a Head of Insurance for a leading global insurance firm stated “The way that insurance companies respond and work with the wider community will last much longer than the crisis itself. Staff will be more motivated if they know their employer is doing the right thing and having a positive impact on the wider world.”
In summary, insurance as a sector has been scrutinised in the past for the way in which it hires and attracts talent and how it fails to overcome it’s attached stigma of falling short of ‘keeping up with the times’. I believe the insurance companies which look after and will continue to support their staff during the coronavirus pandemic will see a positive result when it comes to retaining staff in the future. Businesses will rebuild following the pandemic and will need good, reliable people helping them to recover and expand. If I could offer any advice to the insurance sector and to my HR network within the industry it is to take extra care in looking after your people now, and they’ll look after your business once the pandemic passes.