The Insurance Industry Needs to Boost Its Learning and Development Efforts

In many industries, the workplace of the future will be much different from that of the present. We are moving toward a more diverse, distributed workforce. According to the World Leaders’ Summit in London study, half of the full-time global workforce will consist of freelancers by 2020. Companies like Amazon, Dell and IBM are among the leaders in increasing their remote workforces. And the insurance industry is not an exception to this trend.

Another change that we’ll be seeing in the coming years is AI and Blockchain taking over more and more jobs. And even though there are multiple reports that technology threatens to make insurance underwriters’ jobs obsolete, according to a Wall Street Journal report companies like AIG will continue to employ the human touch, especially in underwriting, where risk is often unpredictable and risk assessment is highly nuanced.

With these developments, one of the biggest challenges for the insurance industry will be determining how employers will design, develop and deliver professional training for their workforces. We spoke with Dan Lovely, Chief Learning Officer at AIG about what the future of learning and development in the insurance industry will be like.

HR bots will shift the focus of HR teams on Talent Management and Culture Development

“The HR organization of the future will be a small percentage of its current size, but with a much higher skill set,” says Dan. The transactional aspects of HR that are done manually now will be automated or completed by various HR bots. At the same time, the role of HR will be focused on talent management and culture development.

According to Dan HR will become much more data-driven, or it will no longer exist as a function. One of Dan’s past job titles was the Global Head of People Intelligence.

“I think HR should be called People Intelligence. It needs to be far more data centric, and we need to develop a workforce in an analytical way.”

Companies will see the trend of a large number of remote employees continuing to grow, but the composition of the distributed workforce will also change. “I believe that we will have an increasing number of employee types. It will not just be employees and contractors, but all sorts of different employment relationships. More and more people will be in multiple roles, all at the same time. This will drive the need for greater collaboration across many more interfaces,” says Dan.

By using the right data we’ll be able to develop much more efficient talent development programs

So far, most organizations have had a more ad hoc approach to learning and development (L&D), focusing on one or two dimensions and lacking the analysis of needs and impacts needed to enable a more disciplined approach.

In the upcoming years, Dan sees the role of AI largely changing the way we design and deliver workforce training. “If we were to track and analyze the performance of every employee in our organization, and also analyze how they developed the capabilities that they have which contribute to their performance, we would then understand how to plan and focus our developmental efforts. We could also use this data to project into the future and build multiple development plan scenarios.”

Such changes will be dictated not only by the need of businesses to stay ahead of their competition but also by employees, who will be demanding more and more development. Many employees already understand that life long learning is required for a successful career, and they will demand more time and resources to support them. This will mostly be driven by the increasing rate of job changes and related skills.

This is why companies will need to “up their game” in regards to the time and resources that they offer employees for their development. Besides that, Dan believes that we will need to be far more flexible in regards to how employees define their employment status noting that in this growing gig economy, people will be working in many different ways.

Micro-learning, micro-assessments, and adaptive learning are the future of talent development

Looking from within inside the industry, Dan envisions that technologies like AI and Blockchain are going to transform the insurance industry, reducing the number of workers needed while still allowing new entrants into the industry. The jobs that do exist will be much more technology focused, and although fewer employees will be needed, they will be more specialized and skilled. This is why the L&D discipline needs to increase its abilities in order to meet these needs. It is going to require even more highly trained L&D talent, and investments in technology.

When asked about AIG and its preparations for the future of work, Dan shares his point of view that the company is currently moving in the wrong direction. His L&D budget has been reduced by 70% from last year. Despite this, he and his team are delivering some amazing things, like their internally developed leadership micro-learning programs (Leadership Expeditions), which are delivering new leadership content to all of their thousands of leaders at the same time every month.

“I believe that micro-learning, micro-assessments, adaptive learning, and AI technologies will all be required for us to be successful in the future”. 

Major future of work predictions for 2027 by Dan Lovely

  • The way we define an employee will be dramatically reshaped. Very few professional staff will just work in one role at a time, and in one or multiple companies.
  • Employees will need lifelong learning, and providing this will be a key competitive advantage for successful companies.
  • The relationship between organizations and educational institutions will be totally reinvented.  It will evolve into a much deeper partnership, and the educational process will be ongoing.

More Learning and Development interviews from industry leaders are coming soon. So don’t hesitate and subscribe to our blog below.

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