Posted 26 September 2018 by Christina Hughes
As a large business, Carpenters Group operates in diverse and multicultural societies in all of its locations. Working with people from various backgrounds and circumstances has proven to be an advantage to the company’s business and ensuring the whole team is well taken care of is the foundation on which growth opportunities are built.
Within the insurance industry, lack of diversity is certainly noticeable with very few women in senior positions. I don’t believe in positive discrimination but I believe that the best person should be selected for each role. However, I also believe that in order to ensure that a business has a balanced outlook there should be some reflection of the general population mix within its senior leadership.
A business cannot be agile and adaptive without the benefit of a diverse and inclusive employee base, especially if the business is focused on customers. A fully integrated approach in every part of the employee lifecycle, for example, Culture & Core Values statements and written policies which offer flexibility and promote consistency and inclusion can demonstrate that diversity is a fundamental part of everyday life without question. Executive managers must lead by example and maintain an open and transparent environment and ensure that their responsibilities are carried out within an environment of fairness and inclusivity.
From my experience as Carpenters Group CEO, I have seen how people, values and culture made our success possible. The way we conduct ourselves and demonstrate our ethics and standards at every level throughout the business is a testament to our belief in our people. In 2017, a large group of employees from across the business were involved in our Institute of Customer Service project, which culminated in them giving presentations to the Executive Board of their ideas for business improvement in their area. A number of these innovations have either been or are planned to be implemented imminently.
The most important lesson I have learnt is that businesses should adapt to changes and together with technological advancements, it should remove barriers to flexibility and open the workplace to a more diverse team - which would provide a broader outlook for businesses in this sector. All businesses are people business and it is therefore critical that we invest in those people and engage and inspire them to be the best they can.
Clients’ expectations are also changing and driving service encourages partners to be innovative and find new technological solutions to make the claims journey as smooth and painless as possible. It is imperative that in order to thrive, insurance service providers need to deliver excellent customer service during their claims journey and provide smart solutions to help insurer customers in a cost-effective manner.
Our people are our greatest asset and as with all valuable assets they must be nurtured and encouraged in an environment of openness and inclusion.
Donna Richards, CEO