Case study – The Claims Team and Culture Change
One of our insurance clients wanted to change their corporate image. It was essential that they moved away from being seen as the ‘just say no’ people to a reputation for working with brokers to build business. But how was a whole claims team going to change their approach without brokers suddenly seeing them as a ‘soft touch’ and pushing for unfair pay-outs on claims? The Business Leadership team was clear about the answer – the future was collaborative negotiation and not claims rejection.
deWinton-Williams was given the challenge of shifting culture while keeping a commercial edge to the negotiation of claims.
Our first step was to define the negotiation model we would use. We identified the Fry and Ury model which focuses on building long-term relationships through focus on interests rather than positions. Giving claims professionals a good theory, however, was not enough. We had to make training relevant, realistic and based on the reality of their world.
Our approach was to create a training programme using real-play techniques in which delegates built up layers of skills through practice with trained actors. To ensure relevance we created scenarios based on real claims in marine, property, health, catastrophe and more. We even sent our actors to Lloyds of London so that they could observe the interactions between Underwriters and Placing Brokers and so better understand how the insurance contract comes into being. Too often Claims were seen as the back-office service in darkened rooms. We deliberately linked their decisions and behaviours to both renewals and new business.
The training was no walk in the park. One very experienced delegate stated ‘I have never been so far out of my comfort zone – but I have never learned so much in two days. I have changed.’ Another declared ‘I can’t wait to get back to the desk and use these skills!’
The result was that the claims professionals were able to make significant shifts in their relationship with brokers and clients. Conflict reduced and co-operation increased. Over a short time, brokers started to change their attitude and their feedback.
The claims team went to the top of the market rankings by brokers and stayed there for five years. More than that, motivation increased in the claims teams as stresses reduced in their relationship with brokers and clients.
Head of Organisation Development, Top 30 Law Firm
"We'd had lots of recommendations for de-Winton Williams. Four years on, we are winning major accolades for the impact we have made together. We've simply had no need to use anyone else for this work.
deWinton Williams add market-leading organisational psychology insight, legal sector specialism and pragmatic application to what we are looking to achieve. Most importantly, they listened to us and adapted their input to meet our unique situation and needs, internal capability, timelines and budget, without compromising on quality.
I feel relaxed and confident to use them and would heartily recommend them as the leading consultancy to call on for organisational development within law firms".
Head of L&D, Top 5 Law Firm
"I've always found deWinton Williams helpful, insightful, commercial, strategic. We work with them from the CEO downwards and across the international network – they get rave reviews from all they meet and we are always very satisfied with their service. If you have something important that needs doing, deWinton-Williams will do it well".
Partner, International Law Firm
"Coaching has been a very positive experience which has significantly improved my ability to manage my team and my work effectively. I am better equipped to deal with conflict and change issues when they arise and I am a more confident and self-assured leader as a result. The sessions with Deborah Barleggs have been engaging, insightful and enjoyable. I would recommend coaching without hesitation to anyone with demanding management responsibilities."
Head of Claims
"With de-Winton Williams our experience is that they go the extra mile for us in terms of coaching expertise and business mentoring. They present a compelling mixture of commercial experience coupled with psychological insight which has helped my senior management team help the people in our business prepare for and deal with change".
Claims Director, Top 5 Lloyds Syndicate
"Working with deWinton Williams has enabled us to gain clear momentum in delivery on strategy and organisational goals. We sought advanced negotiation training and having given the specification to a number of potential providers, found deWinton to be the ones who listened and sought to understand our business. They designed and built a program designed to our specific needs at the best cost. It has since been hailed as the best training and development received by the business which we have been able to embed and roll out to other areas also".
Head of L&D, Top 20 Law Firm
" deWinton Williams are one of the few consultancies that genuinely want to understand our firm's requirements and always bring creative ideas to each assignment. Their knowledge of the legal sector is second to none and they work effectively with all levels across the firm".