Insurance professionals are a curious lot. They spend their days seeking solutions to their clients’ problems. How do I insure that house that has had three previous claims? What about the restaurant whose leaking dishwasher caused mold in the floor?
Their curiosity doesn’t end with figuring out insurance coverages. Insurance folks want more. As working adults, they want relevant learning opportunities which fit in with life’s other obligations. That is why Professional Development Training is at the top of their “most wanted” list. The Kaufman Institute for Insurance Studies is an excellent example of an initiative to offer employees a one-stop shop for all of their learning.
Here is a list of the top five reasons why professional development is essential to working adults and their employers:
Continuing Education (CE) courses are mandated in the insurance profession for licensing. Offering employees online CE and designation courses are extremely well received by employees and employers—as they reduce employee time away from sales production.
2. Offers a Fresh Look
When people step into a learning environment, even for a short amount of time, they exit with a new perspective of how to do their job better. Professional development programs that offer employees 24/7 access to all types of business fundamental courses, like How to Use all Facets of Microsoft Office, are state of the art. For example, a short video course on creating exciting PowerPoint presentations can give an employee the tools to turn a mediocre slide show into a commanding sales deck. It’s the same subject matter—but with a crisp new view.
3. Creates Confidence
Continued professional development ensures people maintain and enhance their knowledge and skills to provide greater customer service to their clients and their community. Focused learning assists employees to be more aware of changing trends and the direction of their industry. The pace of change is faster than ever before, so if employees stand still they will be left behind.
4. Opportunities for Advancement
Professional development provides opportunities for employees to learn new skills, stay interested and help them make more meaningful contributions to their teams. Keeping ahead of compliance issues, gaining new perspectives and gaining confidence assists employees to be more effective and move into new positions where they can lead, manage, influence and mentor others.
5. Happy More Productive Employees
Learning is nourishment for the brain. When people aren’t continuously learning they get bored with their jobs and often approach their duties in a perfunctory fashion. That is deadly. A happy employee feels confident with clients and colleagues, which is a win for all.
It’s important for employers to be committed to a full range of education and development opportunities for all of their employees.
Insurance professionals want to:
- Advance their basic skills
- Increase their knowledge of specific insurance coverages
- Upgrade their management and supervisory skill sets
- Fulfill CE requirements necessary for licensing
- Pursue AA and BA degrees
- Participate in executive development programs
We know that providing these opportunities is not only a tool for ensuring employee engagement, it is a requirement for continuing growth in profitability and client service. Business owners who have invested in employee professional growth have seen the ROI of their education investment.
Dr. Renee Lerche is an internationally recognized expert in employee engagement, human resources management and workforce development. She oversees the design, implementation and execution of the Kaufman Institute for Insurance Studies and all HR systems for the H.W. Kaufman family of companies, including Burns & Wilcox.