1 Financial Services Insurance Case study: Increasing employee engagement during a major transformation a success story Executive summary The effect that large-scale change could have on morale and engagement of employees is a major concern and potential risk for operational leaders. A decrease in morale and engagement may impact customer service, which is also a significant risk. Additionally, a workforce that is not highly engaged will resist change taking longer for expected benefits to be achieved. Managing these risks is a priority for insurance leaders today as the industry drives through an era of extensive change . Many insurers are undertaking major change initiatives to transform their operational capabilities, modernize technology and adjust to new market realities.
2 New target operating models enabled by new system implementations have been especially prevalent in the industry, as outdated legacy systems prevent many carriers from delivering the flexible and personalized service today's consumers demand. Not managing organizational change management (OCM) properly as a part of an operations transformation program can impede the realization of anticipated benefits, with the cause frequently tied to organizational or people-related factors. Specifically, lack of employee engagement results in people and teams across the organization resisting strategic change and refusing to adopt new tools and processes. The impact on performance can be significant, as customer service is disrupted and the expected value from very large investments never materializes.
3 Our experience has shown that a robust OCM program can effectively aid in managing these risks by proactively addressing key employee-related needs throughout the initiative. Westfield Insurance ( Westfield ), an Ohio-based P&C carrier, has leveraged a holistic OCM approach to deliver impressive results on a multi-year claims transformation program. In fact, Westfield accomplished a very rare feat: actually boosting employee satisfaction and engagement during a time of significant change . About Westfield Insurance . Founded in the 1840s, Westfield Insurance provides commercial and personal insurance in 21 states and The biggest change surety Services to customers in 31. Westfield Insurance undertook an initiative states. Westfield is one of the 50 that included the deployment of a new largest property and casualty claims management platform, the redesign of core business processes with a focus on insurance groups in the US and is the customer experience, and a complete represented by a network of more restructuring of the claims organization than 1,100 independent agencies.
4 With new leadership. When we first started the program, change management was my number one concern, commented Mike Prandi, National Claims Leader for Westfield. While the broad-based nature of the change would challenge many organizations, Westfield's leaders, using a coordinated and multifaceted OCM approach, have actually increased employee engagement. Key strategies that have enabled the program's success have been high-profile executive sponsorship, cross-functional stakeholder alignment, regular and tailored communications, comprehensive training plans, and an extensive change champion . network. This article will highlight Westfield's experience in keeping its associates engaged through a robust OCM program tailored to its specific needs, transformation methodology and culture.
5 2. Business need for transformation Recognizing the power of OCM. At Westfield, the need for change in the claims organization was The company's recognition of the value of OCM grew from a clear. The company had not upgraded its legacy claims technology successful experience on a previous project, which involved deploying in a decade, and a decades-old mainframe-based system limited its a new business intelligence toolset. In fact, senior leadership ability to optimize claims performance. Westfield identified a core recognized effective change management as the number one priority set of objectives for the program, such as enhancing the customer in moving the claims transformation strategy forward. experience, boosting the company's analytics capabilities and The people side of change can easily get lost in the technical and improving process efficiency in claims.
6 Operational complexity we were facing. Yet it's people who ultimately To instill new capabilities required to support the transformational determine success by embracing or resisting change , said Rob effort, the company chose a new claims technology platform. But Bowers, National Claims Strategy Leader. We began addressing our Westfield recognized the need to go beyond new technology, and change strategy before tackling many technical details that's how it worked to restructure the claims department around functions high a value we place on change leadership.. instead of geography. Selecting and onboarding a new leadership Backing up the commitment, Westfield allocated significant budget team and devising significant process re-engineering efforts were the for OCM.
7 More tellingly, the company hired experienced change other core components of the transformation plan. management leaders, including Kerri Weaver and Patti Miller, The new technology was a big part of our change effort, but we Deployment and Training Leader, even before hiring an IT program were planning more fundamental changes to the way our business manager. External change management professionals from operates, said Kerri Weaver, the program's Organizational change Ernst & Young LLP also joined the team and played a key role in Management Leader. Because of the broad impact, we knew designing the strategy and execution plan to meet Westfield's specific significant investment in organizational change management would needs, complementing other EY resources who were engaged with be required to hit our transformation objectives.
8 The process design and technology configuration. Ultimately, the proposed changes impacted the 600-person claims This proactive approach enabled the company to avoid a common unit, along with 500 other users outside of the claims organization threat to transformation success: waiting until too late in the project across 30 US service locations. To provide Westfield leadership with a to address change risks. Often, OCM teams find themselves in a solid understanding of the impacts on all employees, the first step was reactive mode, having to focus the majority of their attention on to conduct a change impact assessment. This assessment produced putting out fires rather than proactively planning for and addressing a road map to define appropriate activities and incorporate them into the concerns of employees.
9 This insight and endorsement of OCM was the comprehensive change plan. important, given the scope and nature of this major change initiative, according to Weaver. The first major change implemented as part of the transformation effort was selecting and placing a new claims leadership team. Once Westfield is very much a traditional company, but market changes installed, the leadership team helped design the new business units, and competitive imperatives have forced us to greatly increase the including defining new roles, processes and performance metrics to pace of our decision making and our ability to respond to change in manage future operations. With the new organizational structure a flexible and adaptable manner that addresses the needs of each of defined, existing employees were encouraged to apply for new jobs.
10 Our unique audiences, Weaver said. The key to becoming a more There was considerable risk that widespread attrition and loss of change -capable organization has been the support we offer our institutional knowledge would damage the near-term prospects for people through OCM. In that sense, our OCM efforts have been very the transformation program and hurt the company's service to its much in line with our people-centric culture.. agents, policyholders and claimants, but Westfield made a conscious decision to deploy the new operating model structure and transition employees to their new roles in advance of the new technology being deployed to help mitigate this risk Increasing employee engagement during a major transformation a success story | 3. Comprehensive strategy, Communicating the vision and targeted tactics addressing concerns After completing a comprehensive assessment of the change Senior leaders provided a considerable amount of face time through impacts, the OCM team focused on the opportunities and challenges preliminary question-and-answer sessions with their impacted associated with stakeholder alignment.