At Tech HR 2018, TapanSinghel, MD & CEO, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance company in conversation with Prashant Bhatnagar, Director, Human Resources, Credit Suisse discuss how a balance between the human touch and technology can be brought about in an industry like insurance. Tapan starts by talking about how his HR team loves to use technology in HR to bring about a change. “But the one point I always focus on is not to be so enamoured by the tech that you forget the purpose of it.”
Focusing on how HR can bring in the right technology, Tapan speaks about how often there are only 15% to 20% of the workforce that are comfortable with communicating their needs or discuss new ideas while there are so many others to shy away from doing so. The HR teams should be looking at this ratio and bringing in technologies that will enable better communication, so it’s not just a few top communicators who steal the limelight. He says his HR team is not like the typical HR teams. In his company, HR is a part of all solutions, and they are deeply integrated into whatever is done. They know numbers better than the sales team. HR is like the mother of the family because it’s such an integral part.
As Prashant points out when you think of technology, one major growing concern is that the focus is too much on tech and not people. The solution to this as Tapan says is, “We focus on people like crazy. We try to find real-time problems to solve. So, we don’t start with tech solutions to fit in our organization but rather identify the problem and then look for the right tools to solve it.” Another thing to focus on while talking about people is to have high empathy. Not just regarding customers but also the employees. Tapan talks about how companies often claim to be employee friendly, but when somebody needs help, they start following the rules. He says, “Do whats good for the employees. Rules should be made to deliver to the employees; rules should not be made to restrict what you’re giving to the employees.”
Tapan says one another challenge that the HR team, specifically in insurance companies face is to make people understand what is perceived of insurance companies is entirely different from the reality. He talks about how during surveys if non-insurance students are asked if they ever wanted to join an insurance company, they will often give you a look of ‘what are you even talking about?’. He says, “My HR team and I strive to create an environment like Facebook and Google where people would love to join our company. That’s a huge challenge because people always consider insurance is boring.”
Tapan believes that no other industry makes this huge difference to so many people with such an enormous impact on their lives. So, it’s essential to bring back the focus back to people and use tech as an enabler to do so. Instead of bringing about new technologies, it is beneficial first to identify the problem and then find a tech-led solution to it.