Don’t panic, I’m not going to go all "sports analogies" on you. But, like any group effort such as sports, playing in a band, or acting in a play, claim management is a team activity. Real success only comes when every member participates for the greater benefit of the team.
In a band, if the oboe player is in the key of F and sounds great, but everyone else is in G, it doesn’t work.
In football, if the quarterback drops back to pass, but his offensive tackle decides he doesn’t feel like blocking, it doesn’t work.
In claim management, if the claim analyst needs a nurse review but hasn’t requested updated medical, it doesn’t work.
So what can insurers do to create the ideal environment for a successful claim management team? It starts with who's on the bench.
Who's on the Team?
Let’s say for the sake of this example that you are the claim analyst. Who else makes up your team? Clearly the managers that support you are on your team. Your team leader or supervisor is a mentor, coach, subject matter expert, and probably the person who evaluates your performance.
Plus there’s a laundry list of other subject matter experts that support the work you do which brings them onto the team. For example, can you do your job without nurses, doctors, vocational professionals, outside vendors, and the help desk? No way.
Finally, let’s not forget your peers. The other claim analysts on your team are probably the most important members. Who are you going to trust to cover your desk when you’re on the beach in the Bahamas? Can your teammates trust that you’re going to go above and beyond when you cover for them?
What Makes a "Winning" Team?
Teams are complex organisms. There are thousands of books and tons of research out there on “highly performing teams”. It’s all great stuff if you have time to plow through it. They share similar themes though - there are leaders, followers, the team spirit guy, the quiet but diligent person, and in some cases people who don’t even want to be on a team.
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Some people will stand out and others won’t. It can be very difficult and sometimes it only takes “one bad apple” to mess things up.
For claim management success, here are five things to keep in mind when it building a winning claims team:
- Find a common goal or objective that is more than counting widgets.
- Know the strengths of your teammates. Someone might be really good at claimant calls. Another person might write a beautiful letter. Focus and capitalize on these strengths.
- Put the success of the team before your own success. It’s a pretty easy concept because it’s incredibly difficult to be a standout on an underperforming team.
- Have your teammates’ back. Be selfless. Celebrate the team’s accomplishments.
- Don’t be that “bad apple”. Make sure you keep the greater good in mind.