WARNING: This is a deviation from our typical insurance/risk management post! It is also a blatant theft of a very similar piece posted by Neal Freyman, the managing editor of Morning Brew – one of my morning “must-reads” (Don’s referral code – morningbrew.com/daily/r/?kid=c21302).
Goldsborough Insurance has been working from home (“WFH”) since only a few short days after Maryland Governor Hogan shut down non-essential offices on March 23, 2020. Yes, insurance was deemed essential, but I felt a civic duty to do my part in the fight on the spread of the pandemic.
I’m thrilled, and just a little surprised, at how efficiently we made the conversion to WFH. We had not been as diligent at establishing processes for the move to WFH as we should have, and I initially expected (and feared) significant service interruptions. No such issues. Certainly, there were a few “workarounds” that had to be set up, and I wish we would have been more proficient with Slack and Zoom before we had to use them, but all in all the change has been transparent to our clients. In fact, we recently re-instituted our pro-active requests for client feedback and our NPS rating score is on the rise (hit me up in an email or DM to dig down on “NPS.”)
The Good News And The Better News
WFH seems to be a mixed blessing for staff. In our relatively small group, we have the full array of experiences, from a mom of two young toddlers managing schoolwork, toddler distractions, desk-sharing with her full-time working husband, and her day job all the way through to a part-timer who has been doing most of her work in a WFH environment for ten-plus years, to everything in-between. No commuting – Plus! More casual attire – Plus! Seclusion – Minus! Distractions – Minus! The list goes on. It has made me consider how the “new normal” will look. It’s almost certainly not going to be like it was three short months ago. I’m excited about the opportunities, but there is certainly much to consider.
The bad news? Turns out I’m not as happy working alone as I thought I would be. I wonder how many of you have come to the same realization? After eight-plus weeks of “quarterbacking” the office alone, live forwarding phone calls, distributing mail, and handling other administrative duties, I’m done! Not only do I miss the face-to-face interaction, but I have also discovered that when I’m not physically present for a conversation I often don’t get the whole picture of the subject. On analysis, I have discovered that body language and facial cues are a significant part of my ability to interpret and analyze the conversation. Can I retrain myself? Not sure. Not sure I want to!
What Does The Future Hold
Finally, what does this future environment, whatever it looks like, mean for the existing company culture, the culture that is effectively the “voice” of Goldsborough to our clients? How do I make sure that what we have worked so hard to establish and nurture continues to grow and those areas we are working to improve or eliminate don’t gain strength and prominence? Our “secret sauce,” like yours, is tied closely to the culture of your business. If indeed, your staff treats your clients like you treat them, does the future environment give leadership as much opportunity to exhibit those desired behaviors?
What are your thoughts, comments, and critiques? I would love to hear from you.