Are you getting the most out of the creativity and ingenuity of your people? Most insurance organizations don’t realize how much expertise and insight their people can bring to a product, process or service where they have experience. In fact, they are often not even asked their opinion. But, your people have so much more to contribute – how can you leverage these resources that are already on your teams?
To get your insurance organization coming up with new ideas (products, services, operational processes), build an innovation program that encourages creativity, risk and collaboration. Turn to your own employees for ideas – they are the experts, the individuals on the front line day-in, day-out. Unlocking your team’s potential and getting everyone across the organization involved in an innovation program will garner small and big wins and encourage greater collaboration and contribution from your staff.
Here are some valuable tips on how to start your own innovation program:
- Brand the program – define the vision behind the program and create a unique name that reflects its objective; be sure the brand connects with your staff.
- Establish an idea submission process so that all employees can contribute to the new program and how it will work; ensure the process allows you to track employee ideas.
- Provide incentives and rewards so that your employees feel great about their participation; incorporate basic gamification tools to encourage engagement such as badges, certificates and leader boards.
- Implement short training sessions on Lean Basics to continuously help employees in coming up with ideas designed to improve any process by eliminating waste in everything they do and promoting the delivering of value to the customer. Train them on the 7 Wastes (overproduction, waiting, transporting, inappropriate processing, unnecessary inventory, unnecessary/excess motion, defects) which are at the root of all unprofitable activity within an organization.
- Be sure to conduct regular and ongoing communication with employees on the innovation program via email, online newsletters, meetings and innovation boards across all departments.
- Use a platform to share best practices and ideas and allow for new inquiries to continue to enhance the program and foster a culture of creativity.
The insurance industry is evolving with innovation driving change. Be a part of that change with your employees helping to take the lead.
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