As digital transformation continues to disrupt industries rapidly, skills are becoming redundant more quickly than ever. It is also changing the way organizations function and is making it imperative to devise new ways to handle this rapid digitization influx. As businesses adapt to the changing dynamics, so does the demand for new skills.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report, automation may eliminate 85 million jobs by 2025.1
The key to bridging the widening skill gap is upskilling and reskilling your existing workforce.The insurance sector is no exception. Insurers that understand the pivotal role of employee upskilling and reskilling will flourish in the coming years.
So, how is the insurance industry handling this digital disruption creating a massive demand for upskilling and reskilling initiatives?
Like every other industry globally, insurers face their share of challenges while incorporating insurance training programs to bridge the digitally-enabled workforce’s skill gap.
Upskilling and Reskilling Challenges Faced by the Insurers
The insurance sector is undergoing one of the most dramatic changes in decades. Machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and automation have already posed challenges to the insurance value chain’s status quo.
According to a report by PWC, 50% of CEOs say that they are not able to innovate effectively due to skill shortages.2 To close this gap between demand generation and capabilities, many insurers are proactively equipping their workforce to meet current and long-term skill requirements.
Almost every insurance organization is reimagining their reskilling and upskilling by implementing new insurance training programs. However, the training and development initiatives come with their own set of challenges. A few of them are listed below:
Virtualization of the Training Content Delivery
Training in the insurance sector was traditionally carried out via one-on-one classroom sessions or in-person coaching. The industry is still treading carefully in the waters of digital disruption. The industry’s learning and development (L&D) professionals have been slow to recognize that their processes are not scalable and must be digitized and delivered in virtual environments.
Communication with Subject Matter Experts and Information Swamp
Communication with subject matter experts (SMEs) has always been a challenge for insurers. They continue by stating that managing communication among groups of subject matter experts is often stressful, especially when their contributions take the form of data dumps.
And in the scenarios of such a large influx of information, the need to develop upskilling and reskilling programs can complicate the situation.
Time is another critical factor. The SMEs usually have a minimal amount of time to build courses. Instructional designers (IDs) are on their own to generate value from the provided content.
Review Cycles Acts as a Blocker
There is a perennial requisite in the insurance sector to review specific insurance training programs from the legal departments. Such training modules can be made live only after receiving a green signal from the legal department. The anticipation of legal review often requires that legal be involved earlier in the development process. Thus, in the event of any discrepancies, development may get slowed.
Win the Upskilling and Reskilling Game in a Digital Workspace
Skilling the global workforce necessitates a long-term commitment and the power of technology, regardless of their circumstances. A logical approach to executing insurance training programs will help sail smoothly.
Insurers should promote an innovation culture that produces talented individuals within, attracts talent from outside, and aids in long-term talent retention.
The following workarounds are recommended to reskill and upskill the digital insurance workforce:
- Identify the outcomes excepted to achieve through digital upskilling and reskilling investments.
- Make employees aware of the value of upskilling and reskilling in a digital workspace.
- Once they follow through, launch the training program to a limited workforce segment.
- Upon the successful pilot launch, make the insurance training programs live for the rest of the workforce.
- Address workforce fears about automation, and loss of employment, particularly among employees in typically non-tech professions.
- Employees may view upskilling and reskilling in digital technologies as a transitory trend. In such cases, measure progress to achieve and showcase sustainable outcomes.
Results of the aforementioned recommended practices may take a few months to materialize, but to be on a winner’s side, it is recommended to move quickly. The proactiveness of the upskilling and reskilling initiatives will help create maximum opportunities for innovations.
Insurance companies seeking to build solid and stable teams will need to create a culture for lifelong learning. The following are the best practices:
- Sometimes the workforce cannot make out the skills required for a specific job role due to the fast-paced and unpredictable future. When what they learn doesn’t match their employer’s needs, they start hunting for jobs. By being an educational source for the employee needs, insurance organizations can make their digital workforce stay for long.
- Technology skills may become obsolete every few years, but soft skills do not. It is suggested to enable the workforce with the following three skills:
- Learning: Ability to think critically and creatively and collaborate and communicate with others.
- Literacy: Ability to understand and navigate information in various fields.
- Life: Ability to listen and empathize, lead, take the initiative, and plan and execute projects.
The changing technological landscape has transformed the job-role requirements across the organizations. Thus, creating new jobs that require people with the right skills. This is where upskilling and reskilling initiatives come into play.
Insurance training programs and upskilling and reskilling strategies will continue to meet the productivity goals of the next-gen insurers and provide customers with an engaging experience.