2020 was an abysmal year for most of us. Any plans we may have had, both personally and professionally, were blighted by social distancing, lockdowns and travel restrictions. However, with 2020 finally behind us, and as we sit here in our virtual strategy meeting, we’ve been contemplating whether there are any learnings we can take into 2021 to better equip us moving forward.
Here are our top 10 takeaways:
- You will never stop learning. The Covid crisis has meant that we have all had to adapt and learn to new ways of working and approaching assignments.
- Good communication and management of expectations are still key. Poor planning has really been exposed through this pandemic. Setting expectations in the absence of human interaction is really important.
- The pros and cons of technology. Technology has made virtual gatherings such as our CAT-tober event possible, and – one might go so far as to say – helped increase the efficiency of the insurance industry; however, missing out on the human element over the past year cannot be ignored.
- The importance of face to face interaction. Building relationships is far more difficult in a virtual setting. Gone are the days (at least for now) of bumping into clients and colleagues in the local Pret, Nero or pub. In Covid times, we’ve really had to make a concerted effort to schedule calls and video calls with our clients and colleagues.
- Having the right experience on either large or complex matters continues to be key, according to most clients interviewed in a recent survey.
- Never underestimate the inherent challenges and limitations of cover when a pandemic hits.
- Contract certainty has been tested and shown to be of utmost importance. The facts, as proven by insurers and clients’ response to Covid, shows that there continues to be areas of policy language that create uncertainty, argument and costly resolution.
- Some industries have actually thrived. Many businesses have really suffered at the hands of Covid, however, there are anomalies that buck the trend where there has been a countercyclical effect, such as pharmaceutical companies, renewable energy and technology companies, electric car companies such as Tesla and online retailers such as Amazon.
- The importance of wellbeing. The Covid outbreak is still having an unprecedented impact on daily living. Isolation, shielding and quarantining, coupled with the British winter and its short days, really take a toll. Scheduling time to check in on colleagues, even if it’s for 5 minutes to simply have a coffee/tea break together, can really make the difference.
- And finally…Public Health England confirms what many of us have known for a while …. that if one does not know how to use Excel properly it can have disastrous, albeit often innocent, consequences!