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Employee Engagement in Our Ongoing Virtual Workplaces

Maintaining a strong sense of connectedness among employees, and a passion for the business purpose of an organization, requires a concentrated effort on behalf of the company’s leadership. This became especially evident last year with the rapid, worldwide transition to a work from home (WFH) environment for most office employees. Companies had to quickly adjust their strategies to ensure continued employee engagement.

As the second-largest provider of lender-placed insurance and tracking services in the U.S., National General Lender Services (NatGen), a proud member of the Allstate family of companies, had to apply special consideration to our WFH environment. Continuing to offer every customer a high-touch experience, as well as effectively processing most transactions behind the scenes without the need for customer contact, was imperative. We found the real key to success was empowering employees to always put customers first and never miss a beat while adjusting to a new work environment.

One aspect of empowering our employees was to deliver training for new hires and existing employees that included new, customer-focused modules and was effectively delivered using the latest tools and techniques in a virtual environment. NatGen’s virtual training methodology allows us to be creative in deployment of both live and recorded virtual training sessions and knowledge testing. Our award-winning virtual training is very successful, with increased average training assessment scores as compared to a similar period pre-pandemic.

Our leadership team also remains focused on virtual team-building and keeping each employee actively part of our corporate culture. For new employees, especially, we are focused on creating an environment like what they would have experienced onsite at one of our physical locations. The goal remains the same: to ensure each employee is supported and encouraged to achieve their full potential. In the virtual working environment, it’s critical to have active and frequent two-way engagement with all staff. NatGen is purposeful in encouraging open lines of communication, beyond traditional reporting structures, and placing a special emphasis on knowledge transfer and mentoring of staff. The team-building sessions are designed to be positive and generate enthusiasm, and, importantly, are conducted on a regular and consistent schedule.

Further evidence of our effective training, coaching, and employee engagement amidst the pandemic is National General’s recertification as a Great Place to Work® for 2020-21. This honor is especially meaningful to us as new employees hired during the pandemic have never met their co-workers in person. We recognize that satisfied, engaged, and highly trained employees, regardless of physical location, can always deliver exceptional results. NatGen’s achievements in deploying a seamless WFH strategy, along with delivering a highly effective virtual training program, earned 2021 Stevie® Awards for Customer Service Training or Coaching Program of the Year and for Customer Service Department of the Year—Financial Services.

As is the case with many companies, NatGen closely evaluated the lessons learned during the pandemic. Our WFH success made it easy to transform from a primarily office-based model to a mix of home-based and hybrid options that enable employees to split time between an office location and their home office. To foster continued success in client servicing, as well as to provide employees with clear information about their path forward, NatGen evaluated each position and advised each employee, several months prior to any change, whether their role needed to be office-based, home-based, or could be a hybrid of both. Offices and technology are being further enhanced to accommodate new ways of working and increased collaboration, so that all employees are effectively supported and able to engage with their coworkers regardless of their location.

NatGen provides our clients with more than 45 years of expertise, delivering full-service property and casualty insurance capabilities, award-winning customer care and technology, all while ensuring continual compliance with everchanging regulations and requirements. NatGen is the only lender-placed insurance provider to be certified as a Call Center of Excellence by BenchmarkPortal for 15 consecutive years, and our commitment to continuous improvement is supported by our annual ISO 9001 certification since 2008. Learn more about how NatGen can deliver outstanding results to you and your customers at NationalGeneral.com/LenderServices or by contacting us at 800.225.8178.

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About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.
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