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How Digital Transformation Impacts the Employee Experience

Digital transformation has been a buzzword in the industry for quite some time now — and for good reason. Most industries have already embraced the benefits of going digital and reaped the rewards.

As these tools are often designed with consumers in mind, they radically improve the customer experience. For example, innovations such as live chat and embedded insurance are now a common part of the digital insurance customer journey.

But where does the employee experience fit in?

The industry is looking down the barrel of an insurance industry talent crisis. So, insurance business leaders will need to adopt advanced digital technologies to keep up to avoid that talent shortage. Insider Intelligence predicts that insurance technology spending in the US and UK will grow by more than 25% between 2022 and 2026.

That's because technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud software can open the door to boundless opportunity for insurance companies. But in order to reap the benefits of digital transformation companies will need to weigh the impact on its employees.

The Challenges of Digital Transformation 

digital disruption insurance

Change doesn't always come easy. The majority of insurance companies have been operating legacy systems for quite some time now. The insurance workforce has grown comfortable with these tools and processes.

But technology is evolving and becoming more prevalent quicker than ever. Insurers need to identify the following challenges in their own companies in order to successfully start their digital transformation journey.  

  • Piecing together a connected ecosystem — The odds are that your company has legacy systems in place that you don't want to lose. But at the same time, implementing new technologies can make processes such as settling claims or writing policies run smoother. Finding a way to combine your old technology with new tools is the most important challenge to overcome in this process. 
  • User adoption — Digital is undoubtedly the way forward in insurance. However, some employees may need more guidance than others to get there. There will be members of your workforce that aren't tech savvy and others who are wary of change. You'll need to find ways to accommodate both these groups. 
  • The rise of insurtech — Insurtech organizations continue to grow competitive with insurance companies. That means that consumer expectation will rise to a level that insurance companies may not be able to meet quickly. The possibility exists that insurtechs may launch their own insurance companies in the future. That means that traditional insurance companies need to go digital in order to stay competitive. 

Where Do Employees Fit Into Digital Transformation?

In the push for digital transformation, one thing often gets overlooked — the employee experience. Digital transformation is a customer-centric process. Technology is often created to make the customer journey seamless for those interacting with your business. Because happy customers are loyal customers, right? 

But as Forbes aptly points out, employee engagement and experience is often overlooked in favor of a positive customer service experience. So while the user experience is seamless on the customer end, it is anything but for employees. They now have to execute additional, complex tasks in order to assist their customers. 

That means more troubleshooting and problem-solving for customers who have grown accustomed to getting assistance instantaneously. With internal software that cannot keep up, employees are left frustrated. That’s because legacy systems are not designed to keep up with the latest innovative insurtech products.

In fact, improved user experience hasn’t really made its way into insurance employee software at all. That makes prioritizing the employee journey the most important part of your company’s digital transformation strategy. It’s no secret that change efforts oftentimes fail in the insurance industry. But improving employee happiness and job satisfaction can help you to avoid that.

Bring your employees to the forefront of your digital transformation journey. Invest in software that puts your workforce first. Make sure your business model includes implementing software that is designed to make employees’ jobs easier. By doing that, you'll see a more productive insurance workforce and positive employee experience. 

Continue to Prioritize the Employee Experience

It goes without saying that you should strive to create a positive work environment beyond the digital transformation process. This will make for happier employees, which in turn will make for happier customers. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Set your team up for success — It's time to reevaluate your tech stack. As we mentioned above, seek out software that streamlines tedious business processes for your employees. For example, call center agents spend hours sifting through thousands of digital documents to find answers for policyholders. Implementing a knowledge management tool like ProNavigator would cut that search time down.
  • Invest in training programs — If you find your team to be a little wary of going digital, give them a helping hand. Whenever you implement any new software, provide accessible training to the employees who will be using that tool. Using learning programs based on behavioral design principles can help you deliver content in a way that doesn’t overwhelm employees. Tactics like these will promote upskilling and reskilling within your workforce, making for more confident employees.
  • Increase DEI initiatives — Make sure your company reflects the diversity of the workforce at large. Recruit candidates from diverse backgrounds for all open roles and start internal DEI committees to continue those conversations. Raising up diverse voices will help your employees feel appreciated, which will undoubtedly lead to higher retention. Unique points of view will also help foster innovation, allowing you to remain competitive in the market. 

Insurance is a more traditional industry, but insurtech is prompting innovation faster than ever before. Things don't look the same as they did when you joined the industry, and they're going to continue to change. Continue to stay mindful of what your employees need to adjust to those changes. By supporting them, you'll gain a loyal team that's ready to give your customers the best experience possible.