As we head into the final stretch of the year, it’s important we take stock of our key learnings from this year.
2021 was a year shaped by a challenging talent crunch, agile and evolving workforce, and cyber threats – with many organisations feeling the flow on 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 will shape our industry:
- Prioritising people
It has undeniably been a challenging year to retain and acquire new staff, with a flow on impact to customer experience and strategy execution. In 2022, it’s critical that we set clear expectations and standards for how employees should treat policyholders, resolve claims or promote their employer externally.
Setting these expectations will ensure your team will always be the ultimate mirror and predictor of growth for the business. This mirror must go both ways though, with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion measures continuing to be a core part of every modern business’s operation. Your ability to acknowledge, support and recognise every person who is part of your team is critical to retaining talent.
Another key tactic you can employ to overcome talent challenges is strategic partnerships. Whether it’s a TPA for claims management, risk advisory to assess your operating environment or recruitment specialists to hunt out the best talent for your future, partnering with the right organisation can alleviate much of the friction in your business and provide you with long-term stability.
- 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 crucial that every business has contingency plans for their workforce, operating processes and technology. While some were ready for employees to work remotely, many 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 not wanting to return to the office, seeking employers who can accommodate their lifestyles and preferred way of working. This will lead to an even tighter pinch on resourcing, and in the face of increased severe weather and other surge events, insurers 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 will see many go through much turbulence in the new year. Without a clear strategy for navigating these headwinds, it will be difficult to find a way through.
Your risk register should include a thorough, tested plan for what partners, teams and resources are needed to manage these situations when they occur.
- Protecting valuable data
We have seen a concerning rise in ransomware and cyber attacks in 2021, with the flow on effect of these attacks seeing ambulances rerouted, medical records inaccessible, or other serious business and claimant impacts that compound the issue.
Cybercrime is a challenging issue to confront – but one that does not have to be dealt with alone. There are many cybersecurity vendors who specialise in negotiating and responding to these incidents, and 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.