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Improve inclusion and diversity to attract and retain today’s talents Insurance blog



The insurance industry is expanding rapidly. Accenture research shows that there will be $ 1.4 trillion in growth over the next five years. To keep up, insurance companies need to think about building their teams effectively if they want to increase market share and meet the demands of tomorrow’s customers. In light of the successes we have experienced here at Accenture, one of the most important opportunities I see for insurance organizations that plan to grow sustainably is to focus on inclusion and diversity in their workplaces.

Instead of seeing inclusion and diversity as a short-term reaction to current events, e.g.reating The as a strategic initiative helps insurance companies to move forward. Over the past two years, we have seen fundamental changes in the way we work. Employees and managers reevaluate what is meaningful to them. Insurance companies must emphasize inclusion and diversity as part of their businesss core value system to attract and retain the talent that will drive their business forward.

Why a diverse team is important for sustainable growth

Research from business review from Harvard divides diversity factors into two categories: inherent and acquired diversity. The study refers to companies whose leaders exhibit both inherent and acquired diversity characteristics as two-dimensional diversity. They found that companies with 2D diversity are 45% more likely to report market share growth and 70% more likely to report that they are entering a new market.

Diversity is fast becoming a key factor in the eyes of customers, potential employees and investors. Here are three areas where diversity initiatives lead to results:

1. Innovation

Accenture Research has found it about $ 200 billion in growth in the insurance industry comes from innovation initiatives over the next five years. Diversity drives innovation. With a variety of experiences and perspectives at the table, different teams can better create unique solutions. They are also ready to recognize new opportunities an increased awareness of different markets. For example, individuals with disabilities often manage their everyday life through creative problem solving, agility and perseverance—Characteristics that contribute to innovative thinking.

2. Customer experience

Customers want more digital experiences, but they also need personal, human contact points to build trust. Different team members in customer-oriented roles better understand how to meet the needs of a diverse customer base. When it comes to developing and improving your products, including the voices of a diverse group of decision makers, it will help you better meet the needs of emerging markets across different demographics.

In addition, customers are increasingly looking for value adjustment with the brands they choose. Eighty-three percent of millennials want the companies they buy from to be consistent with their values. It also shows our research 74% of millennials and Gen Z consumers wants companies to take a stand on issues that are important to them. Consumer surveys, for example, have shown this Millennials value well-being highly– both physically and mentally. This is reflected in 2021 ranking of top brands for demographics, which included iFit and Headspace with Peloton in the top spot.

3. Talent recruitment and retention

Pew Research Center data reveals that Gen Z is the most ethnically and racially diverse generation with millennials coming in at a close second. Members of these groups want to work in organizations that have comprehensive inclusion and diversity programs and cultivate one strengthen the workplace culture. In addition, we have discovered that there is an untapped pool of talent 10.7 million individuals living with disabilities. There is a significant employment gap between able-bodied individuals and the disabled. Staff turnover is 30% lower in companies with large outreach programs for the disabled.

How insurance companies can increase and maintain diversity

My colleague Darcy Dague has previously discussed how the insurance industry fights to implement diversity initiatives and reap business benefits.

Diversity is not just about hiring individuals with different backgrounds, abilities and experiences. It requires a commitment to a workplace culture that actively supports individuals’ unique needs. Developing sustainable methods for inclusion and diversity throughout the business is an iterative process. Along the way, it is important to be willing to make mistakes, be responsible and be open to feedback. Maintaining initiatives for inclusion and diversity requires ongoing conversations and a commitment to empathy.

Setting conscious, actionable goals to increase team members’ well-being through inclusion and diversity initiatives is more important than optics. Companies such as State Farm, Zurich and Progressive have published key highlights from their EDI (equity, inclusion and diversity) reports which describe some of the measures they have taken to improve inclusion and diversity. Here are the initiatives they have used to increase and grow different workplaces:

Prioritize communication

Promoting a culture of openness and emotional security creates an attractive workplace for those who have faced discrimination and challenges due to their identity.

On State farm24% of the executive leaders are minorities and 37% are women. Their initiative includes hiring a Chief Diversity Officer who set up a board of directors consisting of managers from across the company. The company also hosted an event where leaders spoke about racial prejudice and allies, which inspired an ongoing series of speeches dedicated to open conversations on these issues. They have also created human resource groups to encourage connection and open dialogue.

Support flexible work

Our research found that women benefit greatly from continued teleworking. Seventy-five percent of women are primary caregivers for children or elderly family members. Flexible work schedules and options for telework give women the opportunity to better balance work and life, which encourages them to thrive in their role and stay in your company.

Year 2020, It reported Zurich that their board is 54.6% women. They were on the Forbes 2020 list of America’s best employers for diversity. Gender equality in pay and policies for extended family care are key initiatives that support women who contribute to their companies.

Create space for growth

Progressive reported that their new hires in 2020 were 60% women and 46% colored thanks to a recruitment campaign aimed at different individuals. They filled 78% of their positions above the entry level by marketing from within. Their voluntary turnover rate in 2020 was only 6.9% and the average employment is nine years. These results are due to a focus on learning and development, which provides opportunities to engage in technology and analytics skills training aimed at women and people of color.

Creating opportunities for retraining and skills development is another way of increasing the diversity of the workforce. In 2016, Accenture created one apprenticeship program which provides professional development opportunities for individuals who may not have a four-year college degree. Through the program, three quarters of the apprentices report that the skills they acquired helped them get a job. In 2021, we employed 575 people in the program – most of them we have since employed in full-time roles. Due to the success of the apprenticeship initiative, Accenture aims to recruit 20% of our new employees from the program this financial year.

80% of the apprentices in our program do not have a four-year degree and 60% of them are ethnically diverse. Companies that screen applicants for degrees eliminate 76% of black adults and 83% of Hispanics, which significantly reduces the talent pool they have access to. Only 34% of veterans and only 11% of those with disabilities have a bachelor’s degree. Insurance companies can strengthen their recruitment strategies and broaden their talent pool by offering similar apprenticeship opportunities and opening doors for individuals with varying educational backgrounds.

Keep in mind that Accenture’s inclusion and diversity programming is constantly being reviewed and improved as we discover the most effective and meaningful ways to create system change. Many leaders are hesitant to embark on inclusion and diversity initiatives because they do not want to fail.

Starting with clearly defined goals and maintaining transparency about your inclusion and diversity initiatives along the way is crucial to their success. Remaining humble and open throughout the process is the best way forward. Being intentional about cultivating an environment where it is safe to speak out and make mistakes contributes to your overall confidence and sense of well-being at work – and this also applies to your managers.

You can read more about how Accenture prioritizes inclusion and diversity, and how your organization can make lasting changes, here.


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Disclaimer: This content is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be used in consultation with our professional advisors.


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