With both PLRB Claims Conference and IASA Annual Convention in 2016 being hosted in San Antonio, TX I felt that I was getting a pretty good feel for the city. I’d been all over downtown, spent a lot of time at the River Walk, and stayed at the historic Menger Hotel. When I heard that the NAMIC Claims Conference, which took place two weeks ago, was also going to be in San Antonio, I figured I’d be in for a similar experience, but that certainly didn’t turn out to be the case.
Instead of taking place at the Henry B. Gonzalez convention center, NAMIC was held at the scenic La Cantera Resort in San Antonio’s Hill Country. For a relatively intimate show with around 300 attendees, La Cantera was an inspired choice of venue. The property is situated high on a hill overlooking the valley and offered a variety of outdoor seating options which created the perfect space for absorption of information, networking, and relationship building; while enjoying the views and the sun.
There were a number of discussion topics on the NAMIC agenda, but if I were to choose one overriding theme, it would be that the industry is very concerned about the Millennial Generation coming of age - both as customers and employees. As Baby Boomers begin to retire in droves, the talent gap for insurance workers is widening and insurance companies are finding themselves in planning mode for the “passing of the torch.”
I attended a very informative discussion panel called “The Aging Workforce and Millennials” that dealt specifically with the challenges that the insurance industry has had attracting young talent who tend to see insurance as a bit bureaucratic and boring.
Flexible work schedules, dress codes and perks such as pet day-care and on-site recreation spaces were pointed out to be attractive to Millennial recruits and a robust mentorship program is essential for passing on industry knowledge.
As NAMIC showed, creating the right environment drives success whether that’s an event or day-to-day office space. In a similar vein, Phil Gwoke from Bridgeworks spoke about the dynamics of multi-generational employees working side-by-side. Tips were given about how to understand the communications styles of each generation, and how to prepare for the talent gap as baby boomers reach retirement.
Luckily for insurers there are multiple ways that they can engage with and attract millennials to join and succeed in their workforce. Tara Kelly, SPLICE’s President & CEO, has written a few articles, and been interviewed on this topic. If you missed these, and are looking for additional learning, click the links below:
Overall, I found the NAMIC conference to be time well spent. I came away with a new understanding of some of the challenges insurers are facing as they deal with generational transition and a number of new contacts. Also, the chance to get away from Chicago winter weather, and enjoy some sun, certainly didn’t hurt!