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How to successfully manage your team through stressful times

How to successfully manage your team through stressful times

The recent wild weather showcased how unpredictable and powerful Mother Nature can be. All across the East Coast of Australia and Tasmania, residents were affected to some extent, be it in the form of flooding, road closures and property damage.

For some, a disaster period signals a very busy time — a time when they need to jump into action in order to mitigate the disaster.

Even though those of us in claims management aren’t braving the extreme conditions, these events can create enormous pressure in our line of work — for there might be a spike in the claims, but there is still the same onus on ensuring that the claims are processed quickly and consistently.

So how do you ensure that your team can manage an elevated work-load, while maintaining a great standard and not becoming too overwhelmed in a very stressful period? This blog posts looks at how you can ensure your team keeps on track and stays sane.

Be proactive (not reactive)

In the words of the Boy Scouts, one of the most important things you can do in the face of an emergency is to be prepared. Being proactive, rather than reactive, means that when a swell of claims comes rushing at your team you have the processes in place to stem the tide, rather than drown.

Part of being a good manager is empowering people, by giving them what they need to job as quickly and pain-free as possible. As business leader, Dr Marshall Goldsmith states a manager’s role is to:

‘... encourage and support the decision-making environment, and to give employees the tools and knowledge they need to make and act upon their own decisions. By doing this, you help your employees reach an empowered state.’

In a claims management environment this means that in order to empower their team to do their jobs, your processes (and systems) must be optimised. A key component of this is to have a central repository for your information, rather than merely relying on an array of spreadsheets and documents.

If you and your team can log onto a system and find all the information in one place, then you will cut down on double-handling and searching for documents and correspondence. It should all be there in one dashboard.

For example a Risk Management Information System (RMIS) allows your team to:

  • Log into the system and know immediately where the claim is at
  • Locate all the documents and emails associated with the claim
  • Get a proper overview of the claims financial position
  • Update a claim record at the same time as another team member

As a manager it also allows you to protect sensitive information by setting the appropriate permissions and by allocating approval at different levels. RMIS software promote transparency. As a manager you cannot only see the workload of each individual in your team, but you also get a very clear picture of staff-members who are lagging behind or anomalies in the work-flow, which allows you to proactively make a decision.

Being able to take charge and solve issues before they blow out into problems can make a significant impact to your bottom line as well as allowing your staff to know exactly what they have to do and that they have the tools to do their jobs efficiently.

Lessons learnt

A very important aspect of this period is to look back on it when the dust settles and to do a proper assessment. In claims management, this isn’t just about the processes themselves, but also the incident that occurred and questioning what measures need to be implemented to ensure the magnitude of the disaster could be mitigated if it were to occur again.

In order to ascertain this, clear and complete data sets are vital. If you can access rich data, then you can establish trends and look at what must happen in order to protect assets, and protect the business from potential severity of future claims.

In order to gather the most comprehensive data having an RMIS is important because it not only allows you to access data, but can give you the tools to undertake analysis and make decisions that could have a significant impact when the next disaster occurs. This doesn’t just mean a reduction in claims and a more manageable workload for your team, it could have a real-life impact on the claimant's life, be it avoiding asset damage, injury or even fatality.

We realise that we can’t take away all the stress, during these busy times,  but we hope that these tips can help to mitigate it.

If you want more ideas on better claim management practices, you need to download our guide to Optimising your claims management processes today.

Optimising your claims management process

Aug 23, 2016

 | Originally posted on 

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