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The Great Resignation: Broken Processes

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

This woman is what a satisfied claim professional on a busy day should look like. In control with a smile because that message carries through all their communications. That's what comes from practical workflow automation tools deliver.

Workflow Automation: Creating Environments that Foster Job Satisfaction & Success.

The other day I read a post in LinkedIN from Michele Tucker, Sr VP Engagement Lead at Marsh. Her post was an excellent commentary on the state of the workers' compensation industry's treatment of its employees. It left little question about why 65% of claims professionals are leaving the industry! The 100+ comments from LinkedIN members underscore that the job of the claim's administrator has become rather frustrating and challenging.

In his work "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us," Daniel Pink demonstrated how humans function best when confronted with complex problems that involve many subtle connections. Connecting the dots and fully grasping the significant issues underlying a claimant's difficulties thrills and motivates most claims professionals. They love picking up on subtle "tells" from the claimant and figuring out what's behind it. It seems to make them want to wake up and come to work in the morning.

Sadly, claim managers have to deal with a never-ending flow of complicated, multi-task routines that must be completed in a highly prescribed fashion. Their performance is monitored under a tight schedule where success offers minimal rewards, but the negative consequences of failure are significant. Further, these processes involve no human contact, while human connection motivated most of them to enter the profession. These conditions crush human motivation. Yet, most organizations remain committed to these kinds of procedures. Pink's research shows many adverse outcomes when people find themselves in such environments.

The time-sensitive multi-tasked jobs require workers to narrow their focus and attention dramatically. They lose their ability to think and perceive beyond the immediate task. Their ability to pick up on those subtle tells that the claimant may be signaling important information about their case is shut down. Perhaps more importantly, it leaves the employee with no absolute joy in their work. That is not a viable long-term prescription for optimal health and happiness, let alone job satisfaction.

On the upside, technology can effectively respond to this situation. Technology can process the most mundane, mind-numbing, time-pressured, multi-stepped, routine tasks all day long and never complain. Further, it complies with guidelines imposed by whatever authority is in charge or will point you quickly to any source of non-compliance.

Most claim operations organize around the flow of authority, which flows from top-down and eventually into multiple silos. Work within the silo is conducted according to standard operating procedures (SOPs) that fit various standards within the silo. SOPs guiding the production within the multiple silos may not have anything to do with how or when the product is delivered.

In today's economy, however, the workflow is a process, not a procedure. Work runs laterally across the organization without regard to silos or lines of authority. This situation creates many dysfunctional processes that run counter to an effective organization. Unfortunately, there tends to be substantial internal interest in maintaining the status of the silos and the belief in the hierarchal and procedure-based model of workflows.

Subsequently, claim organizations today are attempting to operate according to procedures that are no longer relevant and have created destructive work processes. The functions that create value within claim organizations are broken. Given that critical stakeholders within the organization are the ones that made the SOPs, the broken processes tend to remain untouchable as open secrets within the organization. Thus, executive management teams attempting to deal with the significant resignation issues find themselves dealing with the symptoms of the problem rather than the problem itself.

When key stakeholders believe they have too much to lose if a specific change in the system occurs, the stage is set for the initiatives to be launched but fail within 12-18 months.

With the BaseLine Platform, EHS has demonstrated how to integrate disparate software systems, manage data into a consistent platform, and create a unified workflow across the organization. It incorporates the siloed nature of the industry and automates the end-to-end stream of mundane manual tasks that consume hours of your adjuster's time and attention. In so doing, BaseLine allows the actual work process to be fully revealed and managed. The SOPs are recognized as relics of a management style no longer relevant in the digital world.

BaseLine can meaningfully contribute to the organization's need to curtail the exodus of qualified and competent adjusters from the field. BaseLine frees the claim adjusters of all the routine tasks, decisions, and procedures that add no value to the organization. The result is the adjusters gain more time to do what they do best... recognize and respond to the human issues driving a claim.



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