In his fourth and penultimate blog in this series about the workforce of the future, Brightside Group COO Richard Beaven explores the vital importance of empowerment. From culture to transparency, what more can insurers do to empower the workforce at all levels?
It is vital to extend the principle and practice of ‘knowledge is power beyond the executive team” enabling others to access data will vastly improve decision making and engender a sense among colleagues that they have a meaningful stake in the business.
Using some of the new technology, such as Teams, there is much greater access through the layers of the organisation and improved dialogue. People find it easier to send direct messages via digital (the same people seldom put their hand up if they have questions in face to face meetings)
We also need to follow through on making the workforce truly flexible. More flexible hours, times, and the tools needed to do that. Empowerment means colleagues feel they have permission to ask for more flexible working arrangements. We (and they) don’t need old fashioned time contracts. Additionally, we are flexing through life stages; at Brightside we take on young people in their gap years, and we continue to employ them now they are at university.
Enabling the workforce to deliver excellent services for customers: what role could automation play in improving services and consumer offerings?The customer expectation around being able to carry out tasks themselves easily, and whenever they want is now a widespread expectation. It is meeting a demand that really does exist. The myth around call centres is that customers are influenced by call centres behaviours driving loyalty. The empirical evidence does not support this. Ironically, most call centre transactions occur because the provider needs to speak to the customer not the other way round. So, stop them having a reason to call you – let them do their own thing, when they want, on whatever channel they prefer.