Matt Bruno is the founder and COO of ReSource Pro.
Tackle error prevention with constantly optimized processes
How does your insurance organization ensure best-in-class quality and service? Many companies use error checking or auditing, but this approach too often corrects errors that have already occurred rather than preventing them.
To achieve a 99.9% accuracy rate, ReSource Pro employs a process-driven approach called a quality management system (QMS). Any error that arises prompts us to revisit the steps that precede the task, further finetuning our processes and preventing future errors.
We launched our QMS in 2006, originally modeling it after the Toyota Production System and over time refining it to property and casualty insurance operations and processes. Implementing a QMS allows ReSource Pro to continuously optimize processes that can build protection against errors, including talent selection, employee training, and process standardization. Using this system, we have maintained top quality across the organization while also increasing the speed at which our new hires gain task proficiency by 30%.
If your insurance organization is looking to launch or revamp its quality management system, here are the essential elements to consider.
1. Establish a strong talent selection process
The first step in an effective quality management system is to ensure your process for assessing candidates can accurately identify their core competencies, ability to perform the job, and culture fitness. If attracting talent is a challenge, try modifying your strategy to help younger professionals gain interest in the industry and receive the training and certifications they need to enter an insurance role.
2. Advance your onboarding program
New hires should experience an onboarding program that enables them to receive fundamental work knowledge and live work experience. This enables both employer and employee to further validate whether the role is a strong fit. We find it most effective to use a blended learning approach that combines e-learning with one-on-one coaching.
3. Enhance on-the-job training
Establishing strong procedure documentation is key to creating better on-the-job training. This involves analyzing the tasks new hires will perform, determining the most efficient way to perform it, then documenting the process in a clear, concise, and structured manner. By leveraging this documentation during training, you can supervise the trainee as they complete the task and provide follow-up coaching as necessary, helping new hires in gaining proficiency more quickly.
4. Target continuous improvement with auditing
After new hires are fully trained, an audit should be conducted to determine whether team members are performing their tasks effectively. This requires identifying key performance indicators, establishing benchmarks, and setting up a formal system to track and analyze all necessary data.
In our company, we use a web-based quality control platform that enables us to create an audit plan for each team member and generate daily/weekly task audit reports. We collect data such as the amount of time spent on task, errors per hour, and specific error details. We also find it helpful to track broader data, such as the percentage of production audited and the percentage of team members audited who meet the quality standard.
In combination with our Advance it! innovation program, which encourages employees at all levels to present their ideas for streamlining processes, this audit process enables us to take fast, strategic action for improvement.