This article was republished with permission from Risk & Insurance.
By Gary Grose, President, Commercial Specialty
The past few years have taught us that nothing is guaranteed.
In the insurance industry, the business of preparing for the unpredictable, we are not naïve to this fact. Whether it’s a new virus or a climate crisis, the only prediction we can all bet on is change.
Businesses are facing a hiring shortage unlike any we’ve seen before. In the pre-pandemic days, we had time to prepare for retirements and changes to our workforce but, today, there is both a cultural and industry-wide shift in the job landscape.
By working through a pandemic, employees had to balance their jobs, families, and mental health.
While many people lost their jobs, others decided that they’d rather retire early. The job market has changed more in the past two years than it has since the 1950s. This means companies everywhere are in severe need of support.
Companies Need Flexibility, Humanity and Innovation
A company that embraces change will welcome new types of workers — including those with transferable skills from other industries.
Change is now a part of corporate culture.
This is change for societal sake, not for the sole sake of the company, and that’s a good thing. The cultural change we’re seeing across the globe has positive ripple effects at Argo and for businesses everywhere.
The more we can welcome more people into insurance or the more we can understand complex problems and how to solve them, the more innovative and resourceful our shared future will be.
It’s a Candidate’s Market
In November 2021, a record 4.5 million people in the U.S. quit their jobs, an increase of 8.9% since September 2021.
With the pandemic, more and more employees are thinking critically about where they work. That means that flexibility is paramount as businesses look to attract talent across experience levels.
The way we used to work is outdated.
For example, at Argo, we instated a family care program so that those who work at Argo can work from home and support those who need their care and support, working whatever hours are best for them.
We are in an extreme period of change: We’ve changed more in the last 12–18 months than we had previously, and we need a workforce that is here to adapt and continue to see change as a positive.
The Future of Work
Insurance companies are not alone in needing to think critically about how to hire, train, re-train and retain employees.
From flexible hours to inflation-based salary increases, prospective candidates are asking for changes before they are even in the door. It’s an exciting time to watch how cultural change is also transforming how we hire and work.
We don’t know what the future holds.
Insurance leaders need to be able to say, “We are going to be able to operate no matter what.”
It’s pivotal that the industry recognizes we could have another catastrophic event next year. Whether it is a virus or political turmoil, we need to be ready for it.
In 2022 and beyond, companies need to be prepared for change and work on innovative ways to respond to that change.