Insurance, Looking to Bolster Your Talent Pool? Don’t Forget to Prioritize Company Culture

By: | July 14, 2022

Erich Bublitz is the Senior Vice President of AmTrust’s Excess and Surplus (E&S) division. He leads the AmTrust E&S team in supporting a unified national underwriting appetite focusing on specific industry segments while continuing AmTrust’s dedicated wholesale distribution strategy. AmTrust E&S offers clients a wide range of specialty insurance products through its three primary underwriting platforms: Specialty Primary and Supported Excess, Unsupported Excess, and Contract Binding.

Insurance has had a relatively steady business model since its inception centuries ago. It has evolved to meet regulation, globalization, technological innovations and the ever-changing market conditions.

Today, Insurtech companies have upended the industry’s status quo by blending traditional insurance services with new technologies that focus on customer-centric tools and services.

This has caused a shift in how insurance companies run their businesses and work with their customers.

The new technologies also allow insurance companies to recruit diverse teams from a variety of backgrounds-technology, customer service, traditional insurance, law, and more. These new teams are working to help reshape the insurance industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), insurance company jobs are projected to grow by 7% through 2029.

In 2021, the BLS reported that over 27 million people were working in the financial sector (which includes insurance). This is broken down to 600,000 agents, 330,000 claims adjusters and appraisers, 257,000 claims and processing clerks and 128,000 underwriters.

Company Culture Is Enhanced by Having a Diverse Workforce

Insurance companies are rethinking how they hire, train and retain their employees. One of the factors that job seekers are interested in is good company culture.

Company culture is the shared values, attitudes, behaviors and characteristics of a company and its employees. It encompasses all aspects of a business, including the work environment, a company’s mission, values and goals.

Insurance companies value teamwork and encourage their employees to build connections within their team and between other departments in the organization. The organizations work to foster a diverse culture, because they hire individuals of all academic and cultural backgrounds.

Insurance companies offer a wide range of jobs in various fields, including:

  • Finance
  • Customer Service
  • Claims
  • Administration
  • Data Analytics
  • Human Resources
  • Technology
  • Legal Services
  • Sales
  • Marketing

In most cases, applicants do not need prior industry experience to be hired at an insurance company. Many companies have training courses for the insurance industry basics and encourage continual training as they learn their new jobs.

Having a workforce with a diverse background brings different skill sets to the team and enhances their ability to work towards a common goal.

What Are Today’s Workers Looking for in an Insurance Company Culture?

New workers want to feel that their work is relevant and not one has too rigid rules.

They want a company culture that values meaningful work and collaboration, where they can achieve personal and company goals. Younger workers also want customized career paths to use their tech skills and managers who allow them to embrace an entrepreneurial mindset.

They are also drawn to employers who embrace social causes that they care about.

Workers want to know precisely what they are doing, why they are doing it and how it benefits their coworkers, the organization and customers. They want an open, communicative culture that has genuine engagement where they can see how their responsibilities advance the company’s overall success.

This will show the worker that what they are doing is meaningful to the company’s overall goals. It can ultimately inspire a culture of engagement and a general purpose.

Diverse thoughts, personalities, cultures and demographic backgrounds will interest new workers in the industry and they can, in turn, help to inspire the next generation to drive innovation for insurance products and services.

Creating a Winning Company Culture

Most leading insurance companies place a high importance on company culture and values.

In fact, most of these organizations share similar core values. For example, where I work, AmTrust Financial’s values are excellence, innovation, integrity, responsibility, inclusion and teamwork.

Together with our vision, mission and people, these values help define our company culture.

A winning company culture can foster innovation and promote higher employee performance.

Strong company culture is also critical for strong customer relationships and agile decision-making. Price Waterhouse Cooper explains that each company is different and will have different cultures. However, companies with a winning culture have the same common foundations:

  • A compelling sense of purpose
  • Engaged employees
  • Creativity and readiness to challenge
  • Alignment
  • Long-term impact decisions

The overriding objective of culture is to improve business performance. Culture can help deliver an organization’s goal only if it is built into your employee’s everyday routines.

Understanding the Company’s Purpose

The changing insurance landscape can provide opportunities for insurance companies to redefine and reassert their purpose. If changes in a company culture need to be made, it has to have the buy-in from the company leaders at every level of the organization.

How does having a definite purpose translate to real life?

In Culture Code, Daniel Coyle studied high-performing teams and their working cultures. He explains that research showed real-time signals through which team members were connected with the purpose of their work.

Team performance is driven by:

  1. Everyone in the group talks and listens in roughly equal measures, keeping contributions short.
  2. Members maintain high levels of eye contact and their conversation and gestures are energetic.
  3. Members communicate directly with one another, not just the team leader
  4. Members carry on back-channel or side conversations within the team.
  5. Members periodically break, explore outside the team and bring information back to share with the others.

It is a never-ending process of attempting to do something, failing, and learning. A group will navigate its problems together and evolve to meet the challenges of the technologically advancing insurance world.

Insurance companies that adopt a more innovative and agile work culture have a head start in having a positive employee culture, strong customer service capabilities and a stronger urge to succeed.  &

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