As insurers begin to reopen physical offices and adapt to the post-pandemic workplace, strong leadership and fluid strategies are key components for successfully moving forward. However, the industry’s talent landscape remains competitive, especially in terms of attracting and retaining those at the executive level. We’re seeing increased movement in the leadership ranks, as professionals who were delaying career moves due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 are exploring their options and evaluating their long-term career plans. Organizations must remain future-focused, build loyalty among leaders and their successors, and approach executive compensation through a new lens.
Most insurance professionals will agree that a diverse, inclusive and equitable workforce is essential; however, progress toward making this goal a reality has been slow. In the past decade, the number of Black individuals working in insurance rose by just 3 percentage points, to 12% in 2020. This lack of diversity is especially apparent within the C-suite and other leadership roles. According to Reuters, only three of 168 senior executives and 13 of 119 board members at the top 10 U.S. insurers and brokers (by market value) are Black. There is still much work to be done; yet many organizations are often unsure of where to begin or how to make a meaningful impact.
Last spring, insurance leaders quickly pivoted and adjusted their management strategies to accommodate the remote environment. Now, even as some organizations begin to reopen their physical office locations, work-from-home and hybrid arrangements are here to stay. As leaders develop and evolve their virtual management skills, it’s vital to account for individual employee needs, work styles and life stages to build supportive and productive teams.
It’s the start of a new year and most individuals have started taking steps toward achieving their professional goals and resolutions. Last year was one like no other; goals and priorities shifted, managers led newly remote teams and external stressors weighed heavily on professionals of all levels. However, the events of 2020 also provided several lessons that will prove valuable as we enter 2021.
As we enter 2021, business leaders are tasked with providing a sense of stability and direction amid much uncertainty. Modernization projects are moving forward, remote work is still the norm, and the line between personal and professional continues to break down. Strong leadership is vital for success in 2021. Those at an organization’s helm must inspire innovation, foster growth and serve as a north star for their employees.