The workplace revolution

August 17, 2022

Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on X

By Scott Alcock, corporate counsel and national human resources manager, New Zealand

The competition to attract and retain talent has never been more challenging, and it’s driving a global workplace revolution. The pandemic made everyone think long and hard about what really matters – work-life balance, pay, benefits and career opportunities, even employers’ green credentials. These are all crucial considerations during the ‘great resignation’ era.

Conditions imposed by the pandemic accelerated digital developments and facilitated new home working arrangements for many. Without the routine and focus of an office environment, there was some concern that productivity might suffer, but, that wasn’t always the case. Nearly everyone who had to adapt to a work-from-home model appreciates the flexibility of managing their time differently. This hybrid approach is changing employer and employee expectations across a wide range of market sectors.

The ageing demographic in the loss adjusting profession accentuates the burgeoning need to support smarter and more adaptable workplace opportunities. But, as an industry, what can we do to attract the talent and skills we need to develop the claims experts and market sector specialists for tomorrow? This is the question facing every forward-thinking claims management business today.

Taking care of people

We are all competing for the same people, so every employer’s benefits are regularly compared and scrutinised. Baseline pay is still the key differentiator and primary focus for candidates today, but there are countless ways for employers to build a well-rounded benefits package. Flexible working arrangements are now almost expected by potential employees. While some find remote working fulfilling, others prefer a five-day-week office structure. There’s no doubt that real-time, face-to-face connections are important, so a programme of office ‘anchor’ days where all colleagues meet up, discuss projects and support less experienced staff has rapidly become the norm.

Developmental opportunities

Clearly defined career development pathways have always been important to ambitious and driven candidates. A transparent progression programme — where colleagues are supported through any required exams or training and can gain the necessary experience to help them escalate their careers — is vital to every potential employee. Mentoring is another key factor. These opportunities empower colleagues to use the knowledge and expertise that’s available within the business and encourages them to develop their skills — inspiring the next generation of senior adjusters within the business.

Many colleagues have the opportunity to provide catastrophe assistance in parts all around the world, which is one of the attractions of working for a large, international organisation. And for those keen to travel, fresh challenges and a different approach will broaden their experience and enable them to develop new skills that can be used across multiple jurisdictions.

One step further

Wherever you are in the world, the range of benefits you’re offered must appeal to a wide cross-section of the business, while tailored to regional market conditions, behaviours and needs. In New Zealand, we’ve introduced comprehensive life insurance and critical illness cover, which has received excellent feedback. We further support the ANZIIF programme and sponsor colleagues, to gain specific qualifications – in engineering, for example, or bespoke courses for CPD points. This goes hand-in-hand with financial support for industry organisation fees, community work and other vocational commitments.

For employers who want to go one step further, wellness allowances, an extra day’s holiday or an employee referral programme complements a company’s benefits packages and strengthens the culture. To keep our business in touch with the workforce and increase awareness of potential issues, we found colleague engagement surveys to be helpful. Throughout the pandemic, we were equipped to monitor where we needed to improve support for colleagues’ well-being and assisted in identifying new sustainability proposals, such as how we could reduce printing and conserve more energy.

Looking ahead

The workplace revolution has created an opportunity for every business to rethink the strategy behind where and how people work. It also empowers employers to reevaluate how they support colleagues’ mental, physical and financial well-being and promote a better and more sustainable future. One thing is very clear – good people have choices. To attract and retain the best, you must offer a world-class range of benefits.

Sedgwick clients count on us to continue to improve the health and productivity of our staff so as to support their customers in ways that are cost-effective, efficient and caring. To learn more, visit our website.

Tags: benefits, careers, colleagues, culture, Employee, Employee engagement, employee experience, employee wellness, Employees, People, People first, Productivity, Recruiting, View on people, Work life balance, Work-life balance, Workforce