REMAINING RESILIENT IN A RAPIDLY EVOLVING WORLD
To say this year has presented us all with a unique set of challenges and changes, would be an understatement. While change can be unsettling and the rate at which it happens seems to accelerate with each passing year, its value is undeniable. Change is a test of our inbuilt agility, abilities and durability. It challenges us in ways that may be stressful but at times, incredibly fulfilling.
COVID-19 may be a test like no other, but this tide will turn. For now, we must continue to bring our ‘A’ game so we can successfully mould the future of our businesses, industry and economy. How? You may ask…
Balance experience, expectation and reality
Maintaining consistent, high service standards - especially through difficult times - is vital to our customers’ and our individual successes. Patience, sound advice, the ability to listen and empathetically understand, prompt responses and sometimes just a little bit of assurance can be the most impactful in sustaining as well as growing relationships.
- What our customer is looking for. Understand if there is a disconnect between this want and their business’ actual need
- The customer’s state of mind – especially in these turbulent times. It is important to peel the layers to properly distinguish requirements and respond in a manner that shows consideration but remains balanced, unambiguous and aligned to what they are actually covered for
- What adjustments can be made to provide more seamless access to our collective products and services?
- Where there may be a gap in solutions available and how this may be addressed?
Since the onset of COVID-19, we have seen so many businesses succumb to the intensifying pressures faced. Those that continue to soldier ahead, are having to constantly anticipate changes and factor in many more unknowns.
So, as part of this planning, it is necessary for customers to:
- Stress test scenarios through simulations of likely events
- Adapt response strategies to close any gaps, working not just with internal teams but also reputation, crisis and risk management experts, risk engineers and legal
- Consider the recovery/sustainability of their business but also that of their sector.
This is a crucial part of examining and adjusting operations to maintain agility, relevance and ensure we continue to respond in an informed and decisive manner.
The insurer and broker partnership in creating awareness and managing customer risk, is a complementary one. Pre-empting and managing exposures before these become an issue may seem like an impossible quest, but there are formulas that can assist in building buffers. While there is no manual for dealing with risks – especially unprecedented ones, it is necessary to contain them as they materialise.
Effective groundwork enables the optimisation of response times. Business resilience and risk management plans must contain clearly defined roles for both internal and external stakeholders and test their ability to fulfil these functions.
Strengthening talent, solidifying outcomes
Managing risk is multi-faceted. In addition to the prevention measures and covers in place, there are many operational adaptations/enhancements that can dramatically reduce exposure.
While the goal post seems to keep changing and we are all still figuring out what the ‘new way of doing things’ looks like, businesses must:
- Collaborate with employees to devise creative and sustainable solutions
- Adequately equip employees so they are well placed to leverage opportunity amidst chaos
- Fast-track relevant technological adaptations and empower employees through up-to-date information and resources
Have there been any workforce changes
that are leaving gaps and if so,
what is the alternative?
Never before have businesses stood a higher risk of stagnating. With access to all sorts of information and expertise at our fingertips, the reality is that anyone has the opportunity to achieve much more, with little resources. What the current situation demands is a perspective change. Furthermore, as strategic advisors to your clients, it is imperative to create an appreciation for:
- More resourceful, out of the box thinking and application
- A necessary journey of reconditioning where businesses unlearn limiting practices and broaden horizons
Risk management, business resilience and sustainability require communication, curiosity, commitment and consistency. As risk mitigation specialists, we need to ensure that we maintain an emphasis on enhancing processes, effectively identifying and using channels, intensifying the focus on relevant solutions and maintaining excellence at every stakeholder touchpoint.
Resilience and agility remain critical enablers to business success and if effectively achieved, these can help empower our mutual customers so that they too, may achieve sustainability, one business at a time.