People First: Out Front Ideas Addresses The Future of Work in Latest Webinar

Out Front Ideas with Kimberly and Mark hosted its latest complimentary webinar on Tuesday, March 12th. Hosts Kimberly George of Sedgwick and Mark Walls of Safety National were joined by four leaders in the field of workers’ compensation to discuss the future of work. The panelists were Lisa Corless, President and CEO of AF Group; Artemis Emslie, Founder of AGM Holdings Inc.; Faith Mason, Manager of Workers’ Compensation Claims at Comcast/NBC Universal; and Marijo Storment, CEO of Complex Care Solutions/Paradigm.

The future of work as an emerging idea in the corporate space has less to do with automation and technology and more to do with talent attraction and retention, according to the panelists.

“We of course use the traditional recruitment channels,” said Storment, “But we also use social media to recruit, which helps with all talent, but especially the younger talent. We really try to create and work on an engaging, fun, supportive work environment so that our employees can be our biggest referral source.” Storment added that for her part of the workers’ compensation sector, nursing, the profession is largely unaware of the opportunities as nurse case managers.

This thought was echoed by the other speakers in their areas of the industry, who explained that workers’ comp and the insurance industry at large has an image problem that stymies efforts to recruit. “We’re reaching out to area youth to lure them into the insurance industry,” Corless explained of her organization’s partnerships with local high schools and colleges. “We use technology to lure in the talent of the future, we share what we’re doing in the innovation space whether it be robotics or artificial intelligence or hack-a-thons, and once we get them in the door, we can say, ‘Okay here’s some of the exciting things you probably didn’t know were in the scope of an insurance company.’”

Ultimately, according to Corless, it doesn’t matter the skill set of the prospect, it’s important to show them that there is a place for them in the insurance sector. Further, all of the speakers, including host Kimberly George, mentioned at some point that they are looking for people with the soft skills to be successful in dealing with injured workers, such as empathy and dynamic communication.

Regarding those soft skills, some organizations are taking it a step further and providing assessment and training to develop them. “Getting yelled at for eight hours a day takes a toll on a person,” Mason said of Comcast/NBC Universal’s wide ranging workers’ comp and disability claims offices. “As a result of [that realization] we’re taking a two pronged approach. We’re making sure that when we’re hiring folks we’re looking for people who test high in resilience propensity, as well as offering training for customer service executives for dealing with our more troubled claims.”

The panelists thoughts centered around the “people first” concept of employment which includes training, recruitment and meaningful diversity of both race, sex and gender and thought. The result of this is organizational health. According to Emslie, “Organizational health is really about how you run an organization and corporate strategy renewal. Training and development starts with onboarding and explaining the company’s purpose, where the company sits in an industry, and how the company is going to measure itself to that purpose.”

The next Out Front Ideas webinar will be held on April 17th on the Globalization of Risk Management.

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