In today’s highly competitive job market, attracting the right talent is not just about money. It isn’t necessarily about offering flextime or office perks, either. For most would-be employees, choosing the right company is about finding deep, meaningful engagement. People want to do work that is interesting and purposeful. They value an organizational culture that places a premium on creativity, thought leadership and innovation.
What’s the alternative? Stagnation. Boredom. Slow decline. As Will Rogers famously said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
Companies that lack innovation are stuck managing the status quo. Employees naturally want to be part of a winning team. The best organizations in the world strive for continuous improvement. They generate new ideas. They are populated by creative innovators, not by mere managers.
We’ve been hearing a good deal lately about the so-called Great Resignation. A tectonic shift is taking place as workers take stock of their lives and their careers. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for change. People are leaving. Some are taking early retirement, others are reordering their priorities and seeking new opportunities. For employers, that has meant increased competition for talent.
In the context of this shift, innovation matters more than ever. This isn’t to say that innovation should exist simply for its own sake, of course, but it’s an important ingredient in any successful corporate culture. Businesses succeed by developing superior products, by being more efficient and by mustering the right mix of resources. In all of these endeavors, innovation matters.
Without a doubt, the present wave of innovation is fueled by data. That’s true across every industry and in virtually every business function within large organizations. We’ve moved well beyond the realm of speculative projects that are simply aimed at exploring new technology. Today’s analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning initiatives are delivering measurable real-world value, often with remarkably rapid ROI.
We have more data available to us than ever before, and it’s coming at us with lightning speed. Processing power and efficiency have improved vastly in recent years and continue to do so. Storage costs have plummeted. Cloud technologies are providing elasticity that makes computationally intensive processes affordable and reasonable. Data governance has emerged as a core requirement for any sizable enterprise. All of these ingredients are coming together to help us master the deluge of new data.
There are important qualitative changes happening, as well. We’re better than ever at ingesting information and discerning its meaning. Natural language processing provides a window to unstructured and semi-structured data, enabling machines to make sense of human communication. We can discern sentiment, extract relevance and discover anomalies. Advanced analytics, AI and machine learning are changing virtually everything. Top-performing companies are riding the crest of this innovation wave, and their employees know it.
What should insurers do in the face of all of this? Embrace it. Use it to build competitive advantage. Identify the business cases that can drive value in your organization and commit to implementing technology aimed at producing game-changing results.
As you do, be mindful of how the effort benefits your organizational culture. Make innovation integral to your corporate DNA. As the Great Resignation unfolds, innovation will increase your organization’s capacity to attract top talent.
See also: Innovation Is Really Happening
Innovation and the Great Resignation
Imagine you’re an ambitious job seeker with multiple options before you. Now, imagine you’re employed at one of the industry laggards, slow to innovate and mired in bureaucracy. You’re offered a job with a competitor that is challenging the status quo. What do you do?
In today’s world, top talent will choose innovation nearly 100% of the time. It won’t be the sole factor, but it’s a very important element. In the past, this inclination might have been offset by the prospect of long-term job security, but that simply isn’t true anymore. In today’s world, slow-moving companies don’t offer security — just gradual decline.
Talented people don’t want to be part of that decline. The best ones always have other options. Technology innovation offers companies a pure win-win scenario, delivering tangible business value while fostering a high-performance culture with far-reaching benefits to you, your customers and your employees.
As first published in Carrier Management.