Claims management is a team activity. But a claims department is a complex organism and real success only comes when every member participates for the greater benefit of the team (and the claimant!).
A lack of collaboration can be a slippery slope. It starts with miscommunication but leads to lack of productivity, increased employee turnover, higher litigation fees, reduced customer satisfaction, lower profits, the list goes on. So what can you do to combat this?!
Here are your 15 tips for creating a more collaborative (and profitable) claims department:
1. Set Common Goals & Objectives
Any good team needs something to rally behind. Something they believe in! A team vision built on a common set of goals will help unite employees with a common purpose. It will allow them to focus on the big picture and provide the best level of service to your customers.2. Implement A Team-Based Structure
Eliminate silos that impede collaboration. Legacy systems and structures tend to inhibit progress. Simplify communication and keep team members accessible. Collaboration requires members to be nimble and able to adapt.3. Tackle Complex Issues Collaboratively
One of the biggest advantages of a team-based approach is accountability. Cross-functional teams help to break down systemic issues and implement change. That way It’s not executives demanding improvements, but the team pursuing them of their own accord and enabling one another in the process.
4. Focus on the Success of the Team Over Individuals
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. An individual’s success is the team’s success and vice versa. This concept is a great way to lift up underperforming team members and foster a more collaborative environment.
5. Provide A Shared Incentive Program
Incentivizing employees is a great way to help them meet goals. But when those goals are shared, it encourages claims professionals to work together in order to reach them. This is a powerful way to help employees hold their peers accountable for achieving shared goals.
6. Know the Strengths of your Team
Everyone has their own personal strengths and weaknesses, use this to your advantage. Capitalize on the strength of individuals to empower the success of the team. Allow individuals to focus on what they do best and identify mentors for underperformers in the process.
7. Address the Human Element of Quality
People make mistakes, it’s in our nature. But the better you know your employees and what holds them back, the easier it is to prevent those mistakes. Provide the tools and systems that take the pressure off them and automate as much of the claims process as possible.
8. Instill a Sense of Camaraderie
Encourage employees to pick each other up and support them when they are down. To praise one another for their hard work and successes - especially the impact it has on the team. Provide opportunities for them to bond beyond the capacities of their work.
9. Don’t Let One 'Bad Apple’ Spoil the Bunch
Make no acceptance for individuals if it comes at the cost of the greater good. Even top-performers must be held accountable for their actions. If an individual is creating a toxic work environment, it must be addressed and remedied appropriately.
10. Train for Continuous Improvement
Provide training and resources to empower individuals and the team as a whole. Identify opportunities to help employees grow. If a claims professional feels bored or stuck they will seek change elsewhere.
11. Develop Leadership Skills
Create opportunities for team members to take on a greater role in the team. Career advancement is important to ambitious claims professionals but there are other ways for individuals to stand out, such as mentorship and new projects/initiatives.
12. Empower Employee Ideas
Make sure employees are taught and encouraged to recognize opportunities, but more importantly, feel comfortable in bringing them back to the team. Claims professionals are on the front-line, putting in the work that can provide a different perspective on what success looks like.
13. Listen and Respond to Feedback
Make sure team members feel heard. Take their feedback and implement changes where it will make a positive impact. Make sure they are recognized for their contributions. Doing so improves employee satisfaction and reinforces a collaborative environment.
14. Be Consistent
Don’t lose sight of team goals. Every action must point towards empowering the team as a whole. Claims professionals want to see that changes aren’t temporary, but part of an ongoing and persistent process. The more that is done for the greater good, the more team members will seek to participate and collaborate.
15. Remember, Collaboration Starts at the Top
Leaders have a duty to position team collaboration as a critical factor for success. They must practice what they preach and lead the way forward for employees by lowering barriers between teams and management. Inspire individuals to become something bigger than themselves.
Collaboration is Key
But it’s not just for your internal teams. Independent adjusters and claims professionals help to diversify your team and bring in outside resources. That’s why US Claim Solutions is here to help!
We bring extensive knowledge and expertise in both field and desk adjusting. Should you need to leverage independent claims adjusters, we’re here to service your claims needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, nationwide.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (888) 701-1153.