The below text is taken from the Middle East Insurance Review Article.
In any organization across industries, leadership matters. The best leaders are those who are planning not just for the short term but are actively looking at who could replace them to ensure business continuity and progression.
Planning for the future is one thing, future planning is a different skill and process entirely. In a competitive industry such as insurance, it is imperative to have a comprehensive succession plan in place that accounts for all eventualities with the right talent identified and primed to assume leading roles when required.
Success in succession planning
Succession planning is a lengthy and challenging process that requires systematic identification, assessment and development of talent to ensure an organisation is future-proofed across all areas, from executive level to management, technical, and all professional positions. This is especially pertinent in the broking industry where internal continuity will help maintain and strengthen relationships and potentially foster even greater levels of trust.
Such plans should form part of the wider organisational strategy that encompasses resource allocation, analysis of skills and career development, with the objective to identify positions that are critical to the success of a department or the company due to specific strategies, process constraints, resources, or regulatory requirement. In addition to guaranteeing a continuous flow of talented people to meet the company’s management needs, identifying lines of succession improves employee commitment to their own development and desire to remain with the organisation. It can also improve efficiency, countering the difficulty and costs associated with recruiting externally to fill positions.
Putting the plan into action
According to a recent survey of 2,300 board members by KMPG, only 14% had a detailed succession plan in place, Succession planning key to achieving longevity while another report from Halogen found that almost two thirds of respondents had not established succession planning goals.
Future proofing has been key to the continued longevity of ACE over the past 65 years and will continue to be an important strategic pillar as we evolve. Historically, we have a high level of talent retention, however we are fully aware of the importance of a strong talent pipeline and do not solely rely on the talent of a few executives. We have plans in place across all branches and country markets, ensuring the company is well-positioned to replace key employees, from departing C-level executives through the various pillars of our organisation.
Once a plan is implemented, monitoring and evaluation of its efficiency and effectiveness are essential, while it must be adaptable to keep pace with market needs and developments. As the Middle East insurance sector continues to evolve, we are striving to remain at the forefront of that evolution by providing all of our teams with training and exposure to global best practice so that when certain regulations are introduced in our market we, as ACE, and industry professionals, are already ahead of the curve and at a competitive advantage.
Active succession planning keeps employees engaged
Facilitating opportunities for team members to learn and develop increases loyalty and sense of belonging, which ultimately will lead to an increase in retention rates. By ensuring staff are trained and offered further educational and developmental avenues, the talent pipeline will continue to flow.
Identifying clear paths of succession and understanding the needs of employees as well as the wider market allow leaders and businesses to secure, and keep, the right talent. It is key that leaders show initiative whilst planning and lead with resilience.
Al Bayan's interview with our CEO about the effects of the pandemic on the industry and how digitalization played a role in business continuity.
18 March, 2021