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Insurance Employee Training Is a Key Industry Challenge

In many industries, the workplace of the future will be much different from that of the present. As the COVID pandemic recedes as a central focus of our society, we are left with a more distributed, diverse workforce. According to Statista, half of the workforce will consist of freelancers by 2030. Large, small, and mid-sized enterprises are both maintaining remote workforces and creating hybrid armies of workers. Insurance is not an exception to this trend – insurance employee training has become the number one challenge for many companies in the industry in the midst of all the technological and legal changes.

Another change that we’ll be seeing in the coming years is AI, Internet of Things, 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 Insurance Thought Leadership, large insurers will need to balance the human touch, especially in underwriting (where risk is often unpredictable and risk assessment is highly nuanced) with digital transformation.

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, former 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 onto 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,” said Dan. The transactional aspects of HR that are done manually now will be automated or completed by various HR bot-type mechanisms. 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 their remote teams continuing to grow, pandemic or not, 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,” said Dan.

The right data helps building better insurance employee training 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 demand more and more development, and smarter development at that. Many employees already understand that lifelong learning is required for a successful career, and they will demand more resources to support them. We have already seen this with the growth of on-the-job training in white-collar work.

This is why companies will need to “up their game” in regards to the time and resources that they offer employees for their development —  as well as the manner of 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 for insurance employee training

Looking from within inside the industry, Dan envisions that technologies like AI, Internet of Things, 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, skilled, and tech based. This is why the L&D function needs to increase its capacity 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 shared his point of view that the company was moving in the wrong direction. His L&D budget had been reduced by 70% from the previous year when this conversation took place. Despite this, he and his team delivered some fantastic 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 2030 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.

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