Want to know what’s really happening in comp? Spend a day sitting next to an adjuster.
Whether you’re a work comp exec, big employer, investor, or service provider, there’s no faster or better way to really understand what goes on, what works and what doesn’t, and why, then spending a day with someone at the “pointy end of the spear”.
Or, as one adjuster said, “the end of the pipe that starts at home office and ends on top of my desk.” I won’t repeat what he said was coming out of said pipe, but it wasn’t champagne.
There’s a reason the series “Undercover Boss” is so popular; it reveals that many execs really don’t know what happens at the most important point in their organization – the customer interaction. Execs (and consultants too) make plans, devise workflows, develop strategy, change IT platforms, often with limited or no idea of what actually happens when that pipe dumps out in front of the customer. Sure, they may seek input from managers or survey customers, but unless the bosses understand all aspects of that customer-facing job (sorry, consultant-speak) there’s just no way to grasp the nuance, understand the implications.
I’d suggest that execs, consultants, investors, service providers spend at least a day a year sitting next to an adjuster – ideally two days. Don’t do this with anything specific in mind. This isn’t something you should do as part of a product launch or change, but rather come in with an open mind, to watch, listen, and learn. That way you’ll pick up a LOT more than if you’re focused on this or that specific issue/workflow/concern.
Make it a day. Promise nothing will ever get published, be shared with the office manager, or find its way back to the adjuster. Bring coffee and a couple breakfast items, have lunch delivered for you and your new colleague, take lots of notes (but do so unobtrusively and rely on memory alone if note-taking appears to concern your colleague), and send a sincere hand-written note of appreciation.
No emails; they get far too many of those.
You will leave energized and with a new and much deeper understanding of what works, what doesn’t, and most importantly why.
What does this mean for you?
If you can’t find the time to do this, you don’t have the right priorities.