Doing More with Less

Mar 7, 2024

Anyone in the insurance industry knows that there is a labor market crisis. The industry has long struggled to fill open positions and to attract new talent. Yet recent news from the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) predicts the unimaginable – that by 2036, half of the current insurance workforce will retire, leaving over 400,000 openings[1].

Meanwhile, the market continues to grow. According to LIMRA, life premiums in 2023 set new sales records[2], and NAIC reports a 10.3% increase in direct premiums written in the first half of 2023[3].

With increased business and decreased staff, how will your organization manage?

Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve your current staff’s performance as well as address the worker shortage.

Review staff activity. What is each staff member’s ideal function? How much time each day are they able to devote time to that function? In many cases, staff are buried in paperwork and back-office duties, taking their attention and effort away from more customer-facing, revenue-generating activities. Knowing what needs to be remedied is the first step to enhancing employee performance.

Examine the size of your business. Have you taken on more business than your team can handle? Look at who is handling which accounts. Is the workload evenly distributed so that no one employee is doing the majority of the work? Are there employees who are not handling enough work? Why? Consider how shifting accounts or duties might improve the overall performance of your entire team.

Revamp technology. If your technology is more than five years old, it’s time to upgrade. Nothing slows work down more than outdated software and ancient hardware. Stay abreast of new technologies that can help your team be more efficient. Invest in tools and resources that make their jobs easier.

Cross-train. No matter the size of your operations, having employees who know more than one department’s tasks can help when there is sick leave, or an employee leaves the company. Every employee should know what each team member’s job entails and how their activities impact that team member.

Ramp up communication. A workforce that communicates well works better. Use every possible communication channel available – email, chat, phone, video conferencing – to ensure your team talks to each other and to your management team daily.

Engage remote help. By engaging the services of a remote worker, you can offload back-office tasks, augment current staff efforts, and reduce workloads. WAHVE helps you augment your staff with vetted pretired professionals on a long-term contract basis. You get skilled industry veterans who bring knowledge and experience to your team. You also remove geographic boundaries by considering remote workers, which gives you the ability to find a worker who has the right skills for your organization’s needs.

The talent crisis is nowhere near over for the insurance industry. As more employees retire, asking fewer staff to complete more work is likely to result in an exodus of your best talent. Instead, rethink your current operations and find ways to make the most of your employees’ skills. And rethink how you hire. By engaging remote workers, your organization can reduce workloads


[1] Q&A: Insurers Group Warns Of ‘Retirement Cliff’ In U.S. Workforce | WGLT

[2] LIMRA: 2023 Marks Third Consecutive Year of Record Sales for U.S. Individual Life Insurance

[3] cipr-report-property-casualty-mid-year-2023.pdf (naic.org)

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