Insurance Europe is the Federation of Insurers and Reinsurers and represents the interests of 37 member associations with more than 4900 affiliated insurance and reinsurance companies.
Strategically, it is headquartered in Brussels in order to facilitate lobbying the European institutions based in the capital of Europe. The economic value of the insurance sector is not to be underestimated: European insurers together pay out € 1,000bn - or € 2.8bn a day - it employs 920,000 staff and invests as much as € 10.6 trillion in the economy.
Compared to these staggering figures, the organisation itself is relatively small. The management team consists of 5 members, the number of employees is at 40. As it befits any professional organisation, they dared to ask themselves what they could do to take the performance of their management team and employees to the next level. Finding insightful and science-backed answers to this strategic key question, could only be achieved with the help of a research firm.
But why did this high-profile federation decide to choose excap as their research partner? What exactly was their research question and how does Insurance Europe look back on this collaboration?
Koen Ameye, Head of HR & Support Services at Insurance Europe, was willing to answer these questions himself. Read on to discover all about it.
Can you specify the context from which the question for a research study arose?
"Being an advocacy organization, we as an International Federation, hold our service in high regard. However, we do see a direct link between the experience of our 'customers' on the one hand and the behavior and attitude of our employees on the other. Both things are interdependent, and influence and amplify each other.
How is the team spirit? In what way is the work structured? What about the appreciation of the managers? Does each employee feel connected and to what degree? ... Specifically, it is about getting an in-depth and detailed view on the Employee Experience.
Actually, we had planned to assess the entire organisation back in 2020. But then the pandemic came along and, unfortunately, we had to postpone it. Looking back, this bizarre period was an important learning moment for companies and organisations. Flex work, hybrid workplaces, new communication tools... it had an impact on the organisation and all employees. Therefore 'the new way of working' was also listed as a topic in the survey."
How did you end up with excap as a research partner and what convinced you to engage with excap?
"We were actually not so satisfied with the previous research partner, so I contacted three new organisations, including excap, which I found via desktop research.
What made the decisive decision to go with excap was the scientific methodology on which they conduct research in CX and EX. Add to this the proven expertise of the excap project team and then you know you have made the right choice."
How was the preparation?
"I sent my request for an initial meeting via the excap contact form on their website. We were immediately contacted by Yves to gauge what our challenges were and exactly what research questions around Employee Experience we had in mind.
In summary, we envisioned 2 pillars for the research:
- How can the performance of the management team and employees be improved?
- What are the necessary developments and challenges in the future?
Following this, Yves and Jill, project manager at excap, came to present a proposal to the management team. The design of the survey itself would consist of 2 parts: an online EX survey among the 40 employees and 360° feedback interviews on the 5 members of the management team.
The proposal was innovative, science-based and constructive. We felt a great connection with the excap team. After the project was approved, a kick-off was organised fairly quickly with the entire excap project team."
How was communication with excap around and during the project? Was there room for adjustment?
"Communication was excellent. The project follow-up from Jill was outstanding and both Ellen and Jelle, from the research team, are also very competent. This was reflected in the setup of the questionnaires, the preparation of various templates, the processing of any adjustments, taking into account the input of the European professional federation, etc.
Ellen and Jelle took care of the 360° feedback interviews and afterwards I received nothing but positive feedback about their working method and interviewing style."
What did you think of the final reporting of the survey results?
"The final report was conveyed in a very clear PowerPoint. As part of the 360° survey presentation, an individual report was written for each member of the management team.
Within Insurance Europe, the working language is English and therefore the explicit request was to deliver the entire report in English. The quality of the English was good but not excellent. We therefore suggest to have such reports proofread by a native speaker."
Did the study ultimately lead to better insights regarding the 2 research questions?
If we reduce the results to 3 themes, I would define them as follows:
- Management team and employees: the knowledge, expertise and experience are widely appreciated and present. The management team has strong and motivating leaders and exudes confidence. Areas for improvement are structure and decision-making.
- Challenges for Insurance Europe: the more complex regularisation of the insurance sector, technical evolutions such as AI, digitalisation and sustainability; all in a context where budget and staffing pressures have to be taken into account.
- Members: Insurance Europe enjoys a strong and good reputation among its members. To meet the challenges, the Federation wants to get more input from those members and also make better use of their expertise and knowledge."
Brussels, 9th of October