6 Findings on Workplace Culture in the Insurance Industry

(DigitalInsurance) - The workplace in the insurance industry today bears little resemblance to what it was just a few years ago, when remote working was a remote possibility for most people and commuting to the office was the norm.

Insurers, however, are embracing the change. Read our roundup for the latest cultural shifts in the landscape of the insurance workplace.

Putting the employee at the forefront

The focus on employee health and safety was already ingrained in the culture at Allstate when the pandemic struck, making it an easy decision to transition immediately to remote working, according to Stephanie Roseman, the company's vice president of people solutions and experiences. 

"It was all really about the employees and their well-being — that has been our primary decision maker through a lot of things," said Roseman "When the issue arose it wasn't something we had to really think through, it was second nature to us to make this work."

It was therefore only natural to ask staff for their thoughts on WFH vs. hybrid vs. office working when the company reviewed its workplace strategy. With 83% favoring WFH and Allstate responding accordingly, Roseman says the policy is bearing fruit with a big improvement in employee recruitment and retention.

Setting new norms for the remote working environment

Melissa Jones, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at CSAA, would be the first to say that if remote working is going to become the new normal, companies have to be intentional about establishing what the norms should be.

Jones spoke with Digital Insurance to discuss how CSAA approached the company's transition to work from home, why it's important to recreate the "water cooler" experience virtually, how going remote has improved employee recruitment, and more.

Changing the cultural mindset in the industry

The key to having happy, engaged staff in the insurance industry is to give them a modern employee experience, with better compensation, an improved work-life balance and good prospects for career advancement, according to Jena Wierwille, VP of Human Resources at Central Insurance.

During the pandemic, many insurers offered more progressive working arrangements and company benefits, said Wierwille. Some firms are now looking to turn back the clock on these policies, but their employees are unlikely to want to return to the way it was before.

Wierwille, however, sees a clear way forward: "Taking a page from the tech industry's playbook can help modernize and move insurance companies in the right direction."      

Disability inclusion is the ‘new frontier’ in the top workplaces

A number of insurance firms and insurtechs have been recognized for their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by making the list of best places to work on The Disability Equality Index. 

"To prepare for the future and create sustainable businesses, companies must engage their stakeholders with disabilities and weave disability inclusion into everything they do," said Ted Kennedy, Jr., co-chair of the Disability Equality Index.

Of the 16 insurance industry companies on the list, 12 received the top score of 100%, including Chubb, Lincoln Financial, Prudential and USAA. 

Progressive heads list of best employers

Insurance firms account for almost 20% of the companies on the Forbes list of America's Best Employers for Diversity, with Progressive taking the top spot.

Based on a survey of 60,000 U.S. employees, the annual list ranks companies according to their level of the commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by asking the employees to rate the firms they work for on a variety of factors, including ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation.

"At Progressive, the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion are built into our core values, which are the foundation of our culture and guide everything we do," said Marisa Afzali, director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Progressive.  

‘Perfect’ LBGTQ+ score awarded to 27 insurance industry employers

Top P&C and life insurance companies featured highly in the Human Rights Campaign's 20th annual Corporate Equality Index for their policies, practice and benefits for LGBTQ+ employees.     

Companies are rated by the HRC on very specific criteria, covering protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace; benefits for spouses, partners and transgender people; and internal education, resources groups and outreach to LGBTQ+ communities.

27 insurance companies were awarded the top 'perfect' score of 100 in the report, including American Family Insurance, Chubb, CNA, CSAA and Farmers.   

By Courtney Hoff
February 16, 2023


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