Oct 2020

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Change management is key

Source: Middle East Insurance Review | Aug 2020

In a post-pandemic world, we must focus on strengthening culture and find ways to develop people and leaders.
Talal Al Zain, Group CEO, Trust Re
As soon as Trust Re management put work-from-home measures into place in accordance with government guidelines, we saw the spirit of collaboration and resilience alive in the Trust Re team. 
Thinking ahead to leading in a post-pandemic world, these values of collaboration and resilience among company team members and between (re)insurers and business partners will be crucial to mitigating future risks. After all, working together to build economic and societal resilience is at the heart of what we do as (re)insurers. 
Trust Re’s sound infrastructure and the quick adaptation to working from home without any interruption to business demonstrated agility. For the (re)insurance industry as a whole, agility is crucial. Business partners need the comfort that they are dealing with a nimble (re)insurer which is able to execute pre-planned business continuity measures without any disruption to delivery of services. Always, and especially during times of crisis, customers need the comfort of dealing with trusted partners. Relationships, trust and the personal touch are vital. Quick processing and timely payment of claims become ever more important.
Continuing to develop human talent within our industry will remain key. Aside from specific technical skillsets, more emphasis needs to be put on enhancing soft skills to make sure that employees are emotionally equipped to deal with change. Hence, change management is key. We need to match our people to new roles and activities and ensure that they have the appropriate training to deliver services through technology. 
Applying digital tools to strengthen engagement 
COVID-19 can be considered as a catalyst for accelerating digital transformation in our work and digitising the insurance value chain. We recognise the behavioural shift of consumers towards more digital and mobile channels. This was already evident before the pandemic hit. In this regard, Trust Re will be fast-tracking technology enablement to manage these changes. One example is our experience on the digital journey of e-accounting/claims which we shared with business partners in a webinar in April. 
Video conferencing and virtual events have become the new normal. Our team’s engagement was strengthened through a series of knowledge-sharing seminars, held online, in June. Remote working is cost effective and efficient. By using video conferencing, it is possible to hold meetings and transact business with people in different time zones within a 12-hour period. Previously, international meetings would involve hours of flight and waiting time at airports. 
There are, however, challenges associated with remote working. We lose the chance to meet informally. Much can be learned from face-to-face interaction and an informal exchange of ideas. Most of us learn better with other people around. As such, in a post-pandemic world, we must focus on strengthening culture and find a way to develop people and leaders by virtual means. 
More focus on life and cyber
Customer centricity is a key point of focus for Trust Re and the entire (re)insurance industry. For us, it will remain so as we seek to consolidate underwriting activities and implement our restructured operational model which focuses on profitability, cost management and maximising core strengths. The post-pandemic world can be seen as a further opportunity to reduce the protection gap by revising products to meet customers’ needs. We expect to bring more focus to products such as life and cyber that will benefit customers because of new exposures caused by the pandemic and increased technology usage. M 
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