Canadian Underwriter

What P&C may find when it goes beyond its four walls

April 30, 2021   by Adam Malik

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Ignoring the successes, failures and lessons learned by other industries and not applying them within the world of property and casualty insurance is a big mistake some in the industry may be making, according to a panel of experts during a recent webinar.

P&C pros need to see what strategies other industries are implementing and note what advice they’re taking, said Sonia Boyle, chief human resources officer at Gore Mutual Insurance. Furthermore, the industry needs to look at hiring from that external pool as well.

“We do need to look outside of our industry,” she said at the recent virtual CIP Symposium during the session The Decentralized Workforce. “As an HR professional, we look to hire not only from within insurance — we look to hire outside of insurance for different skill sets as well. So we have to take that into consideration because our employees will also be looking at that.”

The insurance industry can’t be naive and think only people within insurance have the solutions to cure the industry’s ills.

“We’re not unique in terms of some of the challenges that we’re facing and so I think we have to be open to other ways of working that we perhaps wouldn’t have considered if we had gone through this pandemic,” Boyle said.

When examining lessons from companies in other industries, you have to make sure you’re making the right comparisons, she noted. A long-established company with hundreds of employees may not want to use a start-up with a handful of employees as an example. The strategies may not mesh.

“I also think it goes back to: We have to do what’s right for us and what works for our workplace and what we need to do for our customers,” Boyle said.

Dr. Stephanie Fitzgerald, senior business partner — mental health at Rolls-Royce, observed during the panel discussion that many different industries are facing similar challenges as each other.

“I think it’s essential that you look beyond the industry and challenge yourself and go, ‘Well, how was everyone else doing this?’” she said.

Jan LeRoy, vice president of human resources at Marsh Canada, agreed.

“It’s the diversity of thought and going across different industries and reading about different innovations and sharing, as well as sharing our innovations of what we’re doing in our industry,” she said. “So, I think it’s the collective … it’s beyond our industry, and so it’s really to access that and to encourage that diversity of thought.”


Feature image by Young Ju

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