August 30, 2014

Challenge Accepted!

dan ice bucket challenge2Our CEO Dan Epstein has accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! This wildly successful initiative is not just about hilarious videos of people you know experiencing discomfort and recording the evidence. It is about raising awareness and funding ALS programs that include services for individuals and families living with ALS.

This innovative fundraiser harnessed the power of social media to engage 1.7 million new donors and as of today raise nearly $80 million dollars. Over the same time period last year, the group raised $2.5 million.

Three cheers for the geniuses behind the challenge and all who accepted and donated!

Click here to watch Dan’s video.

Visit www.alsa.org to donate and learn more about the Ice Bucket Challenge!

6 years running, ReSource Pro named to 2014 IAOP Global Outsourcing 100

2014 GO100 logo R

 

We are thrilled to announce that ReSource Pro has been named to IAOP’s Global Outsourcing 100 for the 6th consecutive year!

We are in good company as everyone on the list were judged on size and growth, customer references, organizational competencies, and management capabilities.

Click here to view the full list. The list is also available as an advertising feature in the June 16, 2014 issue of FORTUNE. You can download the special feature here.

In Good Company: ReSource Pro Named to IAOP’s Global Outsourcing 100 List

Top 100ReSource Pro is happy to announce that we have been named to the IAOP’s Global Outsourcing 100 List for 2014 for the 5th time in a row!

“ReSource Pro’s continued ranking on this respected international list is further validation of our professionalism and leading-edge efficiency solutions for the insurance industry,” said Dan Epstein, ReSource Pro CEO. “We’re honored to have our efforts recognized, and we continue to work to improve productivity growth across our clients operations.”

The 2014 Global Outsourcing 100 and The World’s Best Outsourcing Advisors recognizes the world’s best outsourcing service providers and advisors. These rankings are based on applications received and evaluated by an independent judging panel organized by IAOP. The 2013 panel is led by IAOP managing director of thought leadership, IAOP, Jagdish Dalal, COP and president of JDalal Associates, LLC.

“At a time when there is a growing need to outsource, The Global Outsourcing 100 and The World’s Best Outsourcing Advisors lists have become invaluable reference tools to help companies research service providers,” said Debi Hamill, IAOP CEO. “The companies named on these lists and sub lists have demonstrated their expertise following a rigorous, independently judged process and represent the top in the industry.”

The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals® (IAOP®) is in its eighth year of compiling its annual ranking of the world’s best outsourcing service providers and advisors – The Global Outsourcing 100.

The Global Outsourcing 100 and its sub-lists are essential references for companies seeking new and expanded relationships with the best companies in the industry. The lists include companies from around the world that provide the full spectrum of outsourcing services — not just information technology and business process outsourcing, but also facility services, real estate and capital asset management, manufacturing and logistics. They include not only today’s leaders, but tomorrow’s rising stars.

Congratulations to everyone who made the list this year!

An Overlooked Factor in Workplace Productivity

Getting enough sleep

When you’re managing an office full of employees, one of your top priorities should be increasing productivity. Your team can only offer a healthy return on your investment in them if they work to the best of their abilities. As a result, managers try many different tactics – such as holding constant meetings, or publishing production reports – to ensure that employees are working at their best everyday. However, there’s one overlooked factor that has a significant effect on productivity – and it has nothing to do with the office itself.

Charles Czeisler, head of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, recently told The Boston Globe that sleep is one of the three main pillars of good health alongside exercise and eating well – and that sleep deprivation can cause major damage to the output of a given office or organization.

“We are at the same place that the impact of smoking was on health 50 years ago, when finally there was enough evidence that the surgeon general issued a report indicating that smoking was hazardous to people’s health,” Czeisler told The Boston Globe.

Czeisler went on to note that regular sleep deprivation can cause an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and other diseases, in addition to causing problems throughout the workplace.

Causing problems in offices everywhere

Getting an increased return on investment from employees is a challenging task for any manager. The most direct way to do this is by increasing the workload of each employee, but there are negative implications to that strategy, including damaged employee morale. Another approach would be to align each employee to their highest level of contribution in the organization. This can be done by outsourcing time consuming job responsibilities that limit the amount of high level, value driving activity each employee can dedicate time to. However, an overlooked factor in improving productivity is ensuring employees get the necessary amount of sleep on a nightly basis.

As a result, some businesses are even taking proactive measures to ensure that employees are well rested. BusinessWeek, for example, recently reported that Bank of America issued a memo demanding that its employees take off at least four weekend days per month, as opposed to working through Saturday and Sunday. The news outlet went on to note that Americans tend to work through their daily meals, work longer hours and retire at a later age than their counterparts in most other regions of the world.

Czeisler told The Boston Globe that businesses should be sure to motivate their employees to get as much rest as possible, bolstering efforts such as those undertaken by Bank of America. His Division of Sleep Medicine has developed formal sleep policy standards for companies. These policies, for example, encourage businesses to offer their employees regular time away from checking emails, to screen for sleep disorders, and to take other preventative measures that can help employees to stay well rested – and as a result, stay efficient.

“We fool ourselves into thinking missing a little bit of sleep here and there is no big deal,” Christopher Barnes, associate professor of management at the University of Washington, told The Boston Globe. “The data indicate it can be a big deal.”

 

 

4 Ways to Attract Millennial Generation Talent

Consider these two facts:

  •  According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020 more than 40% of the US workforce will be comprised of the millennial generation – broadly defined as those born in the 1980s and 1990s.
  •   In 2012, The Griffith Insurance Education Foundation conducted a survey and found that less than 10% of the millennial generation was interested in working within the insurance industry. The most common explanations were, “I don’t want to sell insurance,” and, “Insurance sounds boring.”

This begs the question, how do insurance businesses attract talent from a 451-Marketing-Millennialsgeneration of individuals that aren’t interested in working in the industry?

Sparked by the findings of the survey, leading national insurance program manager and ReSource Pro’s parent company, Distinguished Programs set out to answer this question by leveraging the knowledge and opinions of their summer interns, a group of bright, career focused millennials.

The internship coalition conducted a survey targeting college students through an array of social media sites. Through this research, they found that a majority of students knew little to nothing about the insurance industry. The data also showed that this lack of knowledge about the industry was a major contributor to the pessimistic career outlook in insurance. In order to produce a more optimistic view, millennials suggested that more information be made available in terms of how the industry functions, what key skills are highly valued for various positions, and what sort of income potential is possible. Attracting this generation’s talent pool is all about making the industry more transparent and breaking down pre-conceived perceptual barriers.

Here are 4 ways that insurance businesses can generate career interest from the millennial generation:

  • Attend college and community career fairs to provide first-hand accounts from those working in the industry
  • Provide internship opportunities for a variety of students with different backgrounds to generate credible word-of-mouth in the millennial community about what it’s like inside the walls of an insurance organization
  • Expose millennials to the industry with public workshops/seminars featuring the assortment of career arcs in the industry
  • Highlight outside-the-box, interest peaking work activities like investigations, social events or collaborative problem solving

“Insurance is very important for the functioning of the economy. It provides opportunity to take risks and gives people the opportunity to grow.” – Dan Epstein, CEO, ReSource Pro

If the insurance industry can make this crystallized statement more clear and tangible for the incoming workforce, they’ll better position themselves to attract talent from the millennial generation.

Excellence in Practice

 

ASTD-Excellence-in-Practice-250

We are thrilled to announce that ReSource Pro’s Learning and Development department in Qingdao, China has recently been recognized for their Achieving Business Results Through ESL Learning program. The program has been selected to receive an American Society for Training and Development Excellence in Practice citation in the Organizational Learning and Development category for the 2012 award year.

There are many ESL programs in China but few corporate English programs are earning this kind of distinction. This program is one of many offered to the to our team members working in our Qingdao and Jinan offices in the Shandong province of China.

 

 

The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) is the world’s largest association dedicated to professional training and development. ASTD members are found in 100 countries (www.astd.org).

Ten-Hut!

logoWe are counting down the days to the  ReSource Pro Operations Boot Camp! The first of it’s kind, this boot camp aims to train and arm participants with the necessary tools to turn process into profit. The event has been sold out for weeks and as we approach the big day our excitement is only growing.

 

In advance of the event we encourage both participants and those not attending to learn more about some of the expert speakers we are welcoming at the Operations Boot Camp.

Dan Epstein, ReSource Pro CEO, will share with us exactly why process matters and how it can drive organic growth. Click here to read his article entitled “Profitability is an Inside Job.”

Jack Burke, founder of Sound Marketing, will asses individual organization operations maturity level through an interactive session. Jack is a marketing and communications specialist. Within the insurance industry he has spoken at numerous gatherings ranging from HGH TECC to Sales & Marketing Rubles for the National Alliance. Read some of his work here at the Sound Marketing website.

Dr. Keely Killpack, change management expert with PeopleFirm, will deliver tactical tips on how to effectively engage staff in embracing change and manage the ongoing process of acceptance of change. Keely has over 12 years of consulting experience helping companies change and positively influence employee behavior and performance. Follow Keely on Twitter, @DrKeelyK.

 

Follow us on twitter @ReSourcePro and #OpsBootCamp13 for real-time updates during the event. Check our blog for post boot camp meeting summaries!

Victims, Villains & Heroes: A Workplace Drama

During the recent IAC meeting in San Diego, HR specialist, author, speaker, and founder of HRthatWorks.com, Don Phin conducted a daylong workshop on “The Inspired Workforce”.

One of the segments that definitely got everyone’s attention was entitled “Victims, Villains & Heroes in the emotional drama of the workplace.” As Don explained,everyone from management to staff falls into various emotional traps that result in dysfunctional performance due to the role or roles they play.

The victim engages in destructive drama blaming others for their difficulties.  They feel that they have no voice, no control and are not understood, resulting in a feeling that the company lacks loyalty towards them.  The villain, on the other hand, appears to be uncaring and the emotions can be triggered when others fail to meet the villain’s expectations.  The hero is definitely caring, but falls into the trap of over-commitment and is viewed negatively by others when offering unsolicited advice.

Unfortunately, people don’t necessarily fall into a singular category, but can assume any of the three roles at various times according to circumstance.

During the workshop, Don explained the emotional energy related to each of the three categories and provided tools to help everyone better manage the energy.  To illustrate how to best manage communication between victims, villains, and heroes, Don put the group through a 40/40 exercise that showed the best way to engage in dialogue that would defuse the situation and enable everyone to move out of emotional paralysis into constructive performance.  A separate blog and video highlights the 40/40 exercise and explains how both parties can move into the hero role.

If you’re not sure if you have this drama going on in your workplace, just consider the following questions:

·     Do you agree the workplace is overrun with a victim mentality?

·     Do you sometimes find yourself feeling life at work “isn’t fair?”

·     Have you ever tried to help someone, but despite your efforts, that person never “gets it?”

·     Do you find yourself “owning” other people’s problems?

·     Do you get worn down from playing the hero role?

 

More information on this concept is available in Don’s book “Victims, Villains and Heroes”, which can be found at www.hrthatworks.com.

Lessons Learned from an HR expert.

For those of you who attended ReSource Pro’s Innovation Advisory Council event last week, you’ve heard Don Phin saying that there is no substitute for  sound HR management practices. It makes no difference if you are a professional firm, retail outfit or contractor. It makes no difference if you have 5 employees or 50,000. It makes no difference if you have seasoned HR executives or not. Many companies fail to see the true cost of poor HR practices and don’t embrace the right ones until they get whacked in the head enough times that it begins to hurt!

Great companies don’t wait for the pain, they model best practices. This is not rocket science, it’s just plain common sense. By going through the HRthatworks.com calculator and using your own figures you will see the bottom line distinctions HR That Works can help to create at your company.

How does your agency compare to the best? Benchmarking for Improved Financial Performance

Insurance agencies have been notoriously ineffective at measuring performance; yet the top performing agencies both measure and benchmark leading practices. There is a strong correlation between effective management and effective measurement. After all, what you measure provides insight into gaps, opportunities and ultimately areas in which businesses can focus; and what investments are required.

Our upcoming Innovation Advisory Council will meet in November to discuss “The Inspired Workforce”. We have invited Marsh, Berry and Co. Inc. back for an encore performance. In a previous IAC meeting we  explored the topic of Financial Performance Benchmarking as a tool to drive organic growth. We invited MarshBerry ‘s APPEX group to facilitate a discussion on benchmarking efficiency and its relation to driving agency value. Here are some of the key takeaways from that meeting:

What can agencies benchmark?

Anything that can be measured can also be benchmarked. Benchmarking can take place internally by looking at best performing processes or groups and benchmarking others against them. If there is information on things you measure available on your industry, then you can measure externally. In this case, APPEX provides benchmarks for Retail Insurance Agencies.
Certain factors such as how much time producers spend selling vs. servicing, how well an agency controls cost, how the appointment to quote to close ratios look like, impact the agency’s performance. By benchmarking, agencies are able to focus on activities that correlate to improved results.

What do best-In-class agencies measure?
Typically agencies look at Revenue per Employee as a primary measure of performance. This is often a superficial indicator. ReSource Pro specializes in driving back office efficiencies to its clients through insurance processing outsourcing, for this reason we are interested in measuring for our clients the return on investment for their various operational strategies.
Marsh, Berry and Company’s APPEX presentation showcased new metrics and indicators that best-in–class agencies measure in order to create a total sales oriented agency culture.

How best-in-class agencies develop a sales culture for organic growth?

  • Best-in-class agencies focus on factors that drive efficiencies, productivity and margins. Some of those activities include:
  • Focus on larger average account size that typically reduce service staff cost.
  • They benchmark and help their producers achieve better hit ratios.
  • Trade some service staff productivity to support higher producer productivity (sophisticated servicing increases the time producers spend selling).
  • Provide service staff incentives based on retention, size of book serviced, timeline compliance and quality of customer service they provide.
  • Trade down smallest 20% of accounts each year by eliminating commissions paid on smaller accounts