The new wave of technological innovation is creating an abundance of opportunities for insurers to transform their products, services and experiences. But to capitalize, they need a workforce that is empowered and supported to unlock not only the full potential of the technology, but also their own potential. Welcome to the world of the Human+ Worker.

Human+ Worker describes an employee who is empowered by his or her skills and knowledge, together with a new set of tech-driven capabilities. As humans and smart machines collaborate more closely, work processes become more fluid and adaptive, enabling companies to change them on the fly. AI is changing all the rules of how companies operate.

Insurance carriers are not going through their digital transformations alone––and their employees are using technology to perform existing roles in new ways and, in some cases, to adapt for roles that did not exist in the pre-digital era. Unfortunately, most insurance companies are locked into an old way of doing things. In fact, 76 percent of insurance executives agree that their junior employees are more digitally mature than their organization. The result? A workforce that is waiting for the insurance industry to catch up.

To better understand this third trend identified in Accenture’s Technology Vision for Insurance 2019 report, I recommend this video:


Traditional ways of determining an employee’s value are shifting. Leaders are now focusing more on potential than on past experience. Of course, that doesn’t mean picking up just anybody off the street. But smart leaders are adapting their technology strategies to help identify strong candidates for open roles, and later, to match employees with the training needed to prepare for a role switch.

Technology is helping insurance companies assess candidates based on capabilities in order to create an optimized workforce. While human+ workers are identified as willing and able to learn and adopt new digital tools quickly, organizations have typically limited training programs to specific individuals. Leading insurers, however, are investing in learning platforms that better prepare workers for tomorrow and that are more widely available.

An example of this is Spain’s Mapfre, which has piloted the use of virtual reality (VR) for training adjusters in assessments of electric vehicles, since it no longer needs a physical car on site. VR makes it affordable to train adjusters on a wide range of vehicle models––and inexperienced adjusters can also learn without exposing themselves to electrical hazards!

The trend of human+ has increased the capabilities of the workforce beyond what insurance companies could have ever imagined just a decade ago. However, in order to fully support this trend and unlock its true value, insurers must invest in their workforce with the same level of commitment as they have to technology.

Human + Machine, a book by Paul Daugherty and James Wilson, is a great resource for further reading on this important new trend. It shows that by incorporating training and learning needs into their technology strategies, leading insurers are matching human+ capabilities and potential with both current and future enterprise skills needs. Through this investment in tech, training, and people, companies will be positioned for success––and the human+ workforce will drive the organization into the post-digital era.

To learn more about the Human+ Worker, I encourage you to read the Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2019 report, which examines the technology trends most likely to affect the industry in the near to medium term. If you’d like to learn more about tech, trends and insurance, I encourage you to visit the Accenture blog.

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