How sustainability and workforce transformation inspire innovation


The current 2024 Qorus-Accenture Innovation in Insurance coverage Awards are a robust, sensible illustration of the developments shaping the insurance coverage business. Sustainability and workforce transformation have gotten central to insurers for retaining relevance in a altering market. Insurers must embed sustainability into their technique and worth proposition, and so they should embrace workforce transformation within the gentle of things similar to a decent labour market, ability shortages, rising human-machine interactions and hybrid work preparations. Each are additionally changing into key issues for individuals when choosing their insurance coverage provider of alternative and/or a spot the place to forge a profession. 

Social, sustainable and accountable  

Accenture’s 2021 Insurance coverage International Client Examine illustrated that sustainability in all types has develop into more and more necessary for customers, with 67 % of millennial and youthful generations saying that sustainable services are interesting. This curiosity stands to have a double profit to insurers, who can construct sustainable threat administration mannequin, whereas on the identical time demonstrating to youthful customers that sustainability is a shared worth.  

In a earlier sequence on sustainability, I mentioned how we now interact with a wider definition of sustainability inside insurance coverage. Sustainability not solely pertains to defending the planet, however defending our future by means of optimistic socio-economic practices, caring for underserved and susceptible communities.  

Built-in, proactive sustainability is not going to be potential with out implementing the appropriate expertise. As our newest analysis Uniting Expertise and Sustainability discusses, expertise is a key enabler for creating holistically sustainable companies and for that sustainability and expertise methods must develop into tightly aligned. Actually, in Accenture’s Notion to Actuality: Closing Stakeholders Consensus Gaps to Form Sustainable Organizations we illustrated that 43% of executives point out accessing the appropriate expertise on the proper value as a key barrier to creating sustainability targets. 

On this yr’s awards, we noticed how insurers are overcoming these challenges by connecting sustainability to their function and imaginative and prescient and utilizing applied sciences similar to AI to trace their very own ESG necessities or construct progressive merchandise that add worth to clients, in addition to to society and the broader atmosphere.  

Class winner – PZU (Poland) 

This was definitely the case with this yr’s winner of the Social, Sustainable & Accountable 2024. PZU gained the class for its AI Pores and skin Most cancers Prevention device, which empowers clients to entry pores and skin most cancers pre-screening rapidly and simply by means of an AI-enabled cell app. 

Marcin Kurczab – Head of Innovation Lab at PZU explains how the device got here to be: “When implementing the mission, we recognized the problem of low consciousness of pores and skin most cancers threat among the many staff of our company shoppers. Because of this, we provided them a easy and fast answer that routinely reminds them to carry out common self-examinations.” 

Over 3,000 individuals registered within the app within the first months of the pilot programme, with 5 pores and skin most cancers instances recognized by the app and being confirmed by dermatological evaluation thus far. PZU acquired optimistic suggestions from customers, who shared that the device made pores and skin most cancers prevention simpler and extra accessible.  

Kurczab provides, “Two individuals advised us about their medical consultations, throughout which medical doctors have been impressed by the effectiveness of the app, which proves its reliability. That’s our mission as an insurer – we now have the distinctive functionality to guard and help individuals in residing higher and longer. It takes solely takes a minute for PZU clients to examine their pores and skin situation at dwelling and, if there’s a concern, to escalate this by seeing a health care provider. Analysis at such an early stage will increase the prospect of a profitable restoration.”  

PZU noticed a rise in buyer sentiment because of the device, noticing a statistically vital distinction within the analysis of PZU’s innovativeness (+13 p.p. compared with the management group) and the notion of the corporate as trendy (+10 p.p. compared with the management group) of their annual advertising survey.  

“It’s generally recognized that healthcare providers are overloaded, and sufferers usually have to attend a very long time for a health care provider’s appointment and remedy. New applied sciences similar to AI have an enormous potential for revolutionizing healthcare by addressing its major ache factors. AI-based instruments can tackle a variety of challenges by checking signs, optimizing healthcare processes, conducting triage but additionally predicting threat of a given illness (like cancers) or enabling early detection of such diseases which can lead to decrease mortality charges. Trendy AI instruments can act as a help of medical doctors throughout examination (there are already purposes with medical certification which can be prescribed by medical doctors similar to medicines or different types of rehabilitation) or allow self-examination choices as a part of prevention – similar to our mission. AI doesn’t really feel fatigue, it’s higher in avoiding biases, and might see what shouldn’t be all the time seen by people. These options could make AI an inseparable factor of medical prognosis sooner or later.”  

Workforce transformation  

Expertise is the lifeblood of the insurance coverage business. It’s only with the appropriate assets and information that insurance coverage carriers will be capable to remodel and realise their imaginative and prescient.  

Nonetheless, expertise and expertise shortages are a rising concern throughout the insurance coverage business. Talent gaps ensuing from the introduction of recent applied sciences and growing digitization of operations, coupled with an ageing workforce and big retirement looming are notably worrying. For instance, expertise administration (succession, planning, recruiting, retention, and coaching) was highlighted as rising challenge by underwriters in The Institutes-Accenture’s 2021 underwriting survey. 

A key rising problem and alternative for insurers is the rise of the distant workforce. On the one hand, the distant workforce opens up new alternatives for efficiencies. In Accenture’s 2021 Expertise Imaginative and prescient for Insurance coverage 88% of insurance coverage executives shared the idea that the distant workforce opens up the marketplace for difficult-to-find expertise and expands the competitors for expertise amongst organizations. Then again, optimizing the assets that guarantee a wholesome and productive workforce, no matter bodily location, may be difficult. Working remotely additionally makes a cohesive and collaborative office tradition harder.  

Class winner – Zurich Insurance coverage Firm 

Zurich addressed the actual challenges which have come about by means of the hybrid workforce, with an all-in-one cell utility for Zurich staff that simplifies the day-to-day expertise whether or not they’re at dwelling or within the workplace. 

Oscar Escudero Sanchez, Head of Digital Supply, Zurich Insurance coverage Firm discusses how the workforce approached the creation of the app, “Zurich has about 56,000 staff globally and so they deserve the very best and best instruments to assist navigate their work life. We initially launched the app in a number of Zurich enterprise items with a concentrate on workspace reserving however have come very far since and are going world this yr. With One Zurich, we’re turning our outdated mannequin of functional-based digital experiences on its head. The place we beforehand had completely different platforms for, let’s say, HR or IT help, now our staff have it multi functional place.”  

Liz Oswald, Head of Expertise Transformation, Zurich Insurance coverage Firm provides, “One Zurich goals to supply our staff with a holistic digital expertise. We recurrently interact our staff by means of a number of channels similar to focus teams, interviews, polls and in-app suggestions types to grasp their desires, wants and preferences, and use these inputs to outline and prioritize a backlog of app options and user-experience flows. As soon as these are in manufacturing, we observe their utilization and observe up with staff to grasp what’s working effectively for them or what they want to see improved – after which we take these adjustments and enhancements into our backlog.”  

This strategy aligns to a hybrid method of working. Escudero Sanchez explains, “Zurich has embraced the brand new post-pandemic method of working, together with providing expanded flex and distant working choices to staff. This mannequin creates many alternatives for each the corporate and staff on easy methods to keep linked in a hybrid working world. At a tactical degree, the One Zurich app helps staff in managing their on-site days with user-friendly, visible instruments that enable to see when their colleagues are planning to come back into the workplace, e-book close by workspaces and handle their reservations. Extra broadly, One Zurich serves as a channel for participating staff with related updates and actions once they matter most and to assist them really feel linked regardless of which office mannequin they select.”  

Workforce transformation doesn’t occur in a vacuum, however as a part of a deeper strategic dedication. Oswald concludes, “At Zurich, our ambition is to be probably the most accountable and impactful companies on the earth. We all know {that a} key factor of attaining this shall be offering our clients, brokers, and brokers with trendy, streamlined and intuitive instruments and person flows that interact and delight them, and which can be tailor-made to their particular person wants. Nevertheless it’s not sufficient to concentrate on innovating for our exterior audiences – all of it has to begin on the core! Our staff make Zurich. With One Zurich, we’re offering an instance for our staff by remodeling their very own expertise and sharing our findings to tell our group’s broader digitalization journey.”  

As these two winners present, a holistic dedication to sustainability and workforce transformation from the within can have a widespread, highly effective affect.  

See the total 2024 Qorus Accenture Innovation in Insurance coverage record


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