Sedgwick | Transformation and other ‘T’s’: Four areas to focus on now to navigate change tomorrowOctober 11 2023
Leaders don’t have to fear change, taking steps to build trust, embrace transparency and encourage training helps teams respond better to challenges, writes Nicki Dunn, head of TPA and client services, Sedgwick in Asia.
As we approach the end of the year, one thing is certain for insurance leaders: it hasn’t been the easiest year across the board.
The insurance market in Asia has shifted and in response, leaders have had to face challenges and make difficult decisions to keep operations running smoothly. As a leader at Sedgwick in Singapore, I’ve had to implement changes within my own team to respond to market challenges.
However, I choose to take a positive approach, just as my stellar team has worked hard and remained positive. Where many see strong headwinds, I see opportunities to step up to our role as leaders and transform our teams for the better.
At Sedgwick, here are four areas we’re focused on to work against market challenges and propel our vision forward for better claims administration.
Teamwork and trust
How many times have you taken a trip on an airline and observed the safety demonstration that advises putting on your own oxygen mask before caring for those around you?
These guidelines ring true even in a business setting – we sometimes have to care for ourselves first in order to give the best level of care to others around us. And in claims management, self-care starts with optimising our team environment.
The workplace cultural transformation that has taken place across businesses over the last few years is no exception in the insurance industry. Team culture is one of the top areas we’re investing in right now at Sedgwick in Singapore. Why?
Teams perform at their best when people trust each other. Transformation goes hand in hand with lots of smaller changes, be it changes in leadership or in day-to-day practices. Taking steps to reinforce and build trust within teams, especially when changes of any size happen, is essential to making team members feel that they are valued. This in turn improves productivity and performance that keep teams resilient and growing through times of transformation.
Leaders don’t underestimate the power of team building just because workplaces have already undergone cultural shifts post-pandemic. Team bonding activities such as change workshops, team lunches, dinner and drinks, sharing experiences, and even simple leadership check-ins with staff go a long way toward growth as we set new goals and undergo transformation.
In my time leading the Singapore team as interim CEO, I’ve worked to enhance communication within our team to navigate cohesively through change. I believe that when everyone, from the top down, shares information more transparently, it not only builds trust but also fosters a sense of accountability among team members.
Leaders, take the time to show and explain decisions, changes, and areas of growth or opportunity to your team.
If the team is missing the mark, show them what needs to change and why; if they’re doing well, show what’s changed from point A to point B so they feel a sense of achievement. If leadership had to make some hard decisions, as we did in Singapore, be open and honest about how your team should move forward.
It may not be easy, but challenges become more challenging in a vacuum. Leaders who establish rapport, stay patient, and communicate consistently with their team will multiply their effectiveness as a leader.
As a result, team members are more invested in their work since they understand how their contributions fit into the bigger picture. Moreover, it promotes a culture where problems are identified and addressed more swiftly, enabling us to work collaboratively towards effective solutions.
By encouraging transparency, leaders not only strengthen their team; but they pave the way for smoother and more productive operations.
Across the board, the number one desire that insurers want from their partners and tools is efficiency.
This is especially true in a changing and challenging market: with greater efficiency, claims administrators can focus more time on processing complex claims, helping clients faster, and bringing care to new clients.
Digital insurance technology tools are one area that is making a difference in bringing that all-desired efficiency. The insurance industry has yet to fully embrace technology but is working to close this gap. Sedgwick is a major contributor to this endeavor, as we work to find new and better ways to facilitate claims management.
We see technology as another powerful tool in our toolbox, and we’re working to pioneer new digital capabilities that make processes like remote claims adjusting, data transfer, and client communications more user-friendly and more efficient for everyone.
Emerging from challenges takes hard work and that includes improving our skills to be better.
In the claims administration industry, regular training and continued education is a standard practice.
It’s important to keep the tools sharp and stay up to date with the latest technologies and best practices, so we can provide care at the highest standard.
Training and reskilling programmes are going to be crucial over the next few years in claims management as leaders strive to meet change where it happens. I’m particularly focused on making sure my team has the resources and tools they need to excel in their role or bring new skills to another role within Sedgwick.
In September, we launched the Sedgwick Pathfinder development programme starting with the technical excellence programme, which is designed to upskill support/claims tech colleagues looking to progress into adjusting.
We also launched our Aspire programme, which is a 12-month development journey focusing on a variety of technical and behavioural training and experimental learning with mentor support.
We can all take the steps to be better and how well we transform ourselves and our staff in the face of adversity is how we bring out the best in ourselves and each other.
The fifth “T”: Tomorrow
The next six to 12 months in our market will be filled with challenges and changes, there’s no sugarcoating that reality. But transformation doesn’t have to be something leaders fear. There are still steps we can take to prepare for the future.
As leaders, we can all do a better job at building trust, increasing transparency, opening up training opportunities and leveraging technology to help our teams respond to market challenges better.
With the right resources and support, we can continue to care for our clients with effective claims administration and care for our people today, tomorrow, and beyond.
Head of TPA and Client Services, Sedgwick in Asia
Email: [email protected]