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The Skills Edge Blog

Stay ahead in the RMI landscape with expert insights, practical tips, and innovative solutions designed to help you elevate your career and drive organizational success. 

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Featured Post

Why Stepping Into Insurance Leadership Is The Right Move

By Adam Carmichael, CPCU

Being a leader within your organization is a challenging yet rewarding responsibility that can transform your career. Leaders have more influence to shape the culture of their organization and guide decisions that impact clients and society... 

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image of young employees in an office walking and discussing insurance leadership opportunities
Maximizing Leadership

Why Stepping Into Insurance Leadership is the Right Move

By Adam Carmichael, CPCU

Being a leader within your organization is a challenging yet rewarding responsibility that can transform your career. Leaders have more influence to shape the culture of their organization and guide decisions that impact clients and society. However, many employees today—both in and outside of the risk management and insurance field—are hesitant to make the move into a leadership role.  

You may have even found yourself questioning if the benefits of leadership outweigh the potential increased pressure and workload. 

Becoming a leader is an important step in your career that you should feel empowered and excited to make when the time is right. Read on to explore the top benefits of being in a leadership role, what part continuous learning and development plays in your career journey, and why taking the leap into risk management and insurance leadership is ultimately worthwhile.  

The Opportunity to Shape the Future of Risk Management and Insurance is Here 

RMI professionals are some of the most dedicated employees you can find—they understand the importance of their jobs and the impact their decisions have on their clients and society as a whole. It’s no surprise that many are hesitant about jumping into a leadership role without the right consideration and preparation. The increased workload and added responsibilities might seem overwhelming, and they may even be worried about a shift in work-life balance. 

But here's the thing: these challenges also bring incredible opportunities to grow as a professional and make a real impact along the way. Plus, the need for new leaders in the RMI field has never been higher.  

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, half of the current insurance workforce will retire in the next 15 years, leaving over 400,000 positions to fill. This creates a unique chance to step into a leadership role while being guided by experienced mentors and supported with educational opportunities.  An infographic about stepping into a risk management and insurance leadership role and the benefits gained.

The Benefits of Stepping into an Insurance Leadership Role   

While being an insurance leader comes with unique challenges, it offers even more rewarding benefits.  

Personal and Professional Growth 

Leadership comes with more opportunities to develop key skills like strategic decision making, critical thinking, and cross-organizational collaboration. These people-centric capabilities are some of the most valuable insurance skills in 2024 and will not only open many doors to those who master them, but also lead to growth as an individual outside of the workplace.  

An Increased Level of Influence  

An organization’s leaders drive the major decisions and policies that directly affect the rest of the workforce. Internally, good leaders can help influence a positive work culture for all employees. Externally, they can participate in regulatory discussions, join professional associations like The Institutes CPCU Society, and begin to impact the risk management and insurance field at large.  

Career and Salary Advancement  

Leadership positions typically come with a clear path for career advancement and salary increases. The more an emerging leader invests in their professional education and development, the more opportunities they’ll have for continued growth later in their career.  

Job Satisfaction and Fulfillment 

The average worker spends at least 40 hours a week at their job, so why not spend that time doing something fulfilling? The ability to make impactful decisions, guide a team toward success, see the real results of your efforts, and eventually mentor someone to follow in your footsteps can be incredibly rewarding. 

A Broader Professional Network 

Becoming a leader unlocks a whole new network of other key stakeholders and insurance experts. Cultivating these connections can lead to new friendships, more opportunities to share ideas, and early insights into the state of the risk management and insurance field.  

The Role of Continuous Learning and Development 

Those who adopt a growth mindset realize the path to leadership is a journey, not a destination. To be truly successful in their roles, RMI professionals need to stay up to date on emerging trends and commit to the growth of their technical and leadership skills.  

One of the most impactful ways to advance your RMI knowledge and skills is by earning The Institutes Designations' CPCU®, the leadership standard in risk management and insurance. CPCU is more than just a designation—it's a commitment to excellence and a signal to your colleagues, clients, and employer that you’re prepared to lead the future.  

In addition, the importance of on-the-job mentorship and apprenticeship opportunities can’t be overstated. Having real-world exposure to the nuances of underwriting, claims processing, risk assessment, customer service, and compliance will be invaluable when leading those teams and innovating new solutions.  

It’s Your Time to Thrive in an Insurance Leadership Role   

While the idea of moving into a leadership position may seem daunting to some, the personal and professional benefits are well worth it. Insurance is a stable, supportive career to become established in, and the community is full of thought leaders who are ready to welcome more into the fold! 

To start your risk management and insurance leadership education journey today, learn how you can lead the future with The Institutes Designations' CPCU®. 

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Image of employees in an office collaborating and using top insurance skills of 2024
General RMI Trends & Insights

The Most In-Demand Risk Management and Insurance Skills in 2024

By Diane Hanlon

The RMI field is evolving at a rapid pace, which is only accelerated by the rise of AI and machine learning. This means that professionals across all sectors should be continuously honing their skills and keeping up with the latest trends. Whether they want to stay competitive among their peers, provide better customer service, or anything in between, investing in the right risk management and insurance skills can help any professional advance in their field.  

Read on to discover more about these top skill areas! 

How We Identified 2024’s Top Risk Management and Insurance Skills 

Each year, risk management and insurance professionals from around the world engage with leading education resources from The Institutes Knowledge Group. In the past year alone, our community of learners completed nearly 100,000 courses and earned over 11,000 designations.  

We compiled that data into our 2024 Skills Report, which identifies the top designations earned, courses completed, and skills utilized in the past year. The report groups those skills into broader categories to identify trends and patterns and give insights into the state of RMI skills development. Below, we dive into a few of the top skill areas. Be sure to check out the report for the full findings. 

An infographic about some of the top insurance skills of 2024 and why companies should invest in them.

 In-Demand Skill Area: Risk Assessment 

Risk assessment is all about identifying, analyzing, and evaluating risk. By determining the likelihood of potential risks, risk factors, and the overarching impact they could have, RMI professionals provide stakeholders with crucial knowledge they rely on to create a plan of action. If the risk assessment is flawed or incomplete, there can be serious consequences for both the insurer and the insured.  

Risk analysis, risk management, and risk assessment are all key aspects of this skill area and need to be continuously nurtured. To protect assets and data in an increasingly digital world, skills such as cyber risk management are especially important to stay current on. 

We offer a range of formats to sharpen risk assessment skills, including courses from the following Institutes Designations:  

And this collection of leading topic courses is a great way to learn new skills within the flow of work, with average course times that range from 1-3 hours.  

In-Demand Skill Area: Data & Compliance 

Due to the wide range of personal information insurance companies need to collect and maintain—from policy records, to claims details, to credit references—they’re a prime target for cybercriminals. Plus, all that information needs to be processed and analyzed for experts to accurately assess and price risk. So employees not only need to be well-versed in compliance, but also in skills like data analysis and financial statements.   

In fact, data science is quickly revolutionizing the RMI field. This is helping insurers move from a “detect and repair” model to a “predict and prevent” one, as individuals and organizations move to more innovative risk management practices. With the ability to access more data than ever from a multitude of sources, insurance companies need to be able to efficiently extract the most valuable insights and apply the proper products, services, and actions to every situation. 

Looking for the best way to upskill in data and compliance? We recommend these designations and courses: 

In-Demand Skill Area: General Insurance Fundamentals 

For those new to risk management and insurance, the wide range of terminology, laws, and processes can be overwhelming. So it’s no surprise that these green employees are eager to close the gaps in their knowledge and learn as much as they can at the beginning of their RMI career. This may range from the role of insurance in society, to regulations, to insurance and risk management fundamentals.  

Organizations can leverage this interest by providing recommended learning pathways that give employees a view of their full education journey. This not only helps increase engagement, but also sets employees up for success and guides them through deeper levels of knowledge acquisition. A few popular designations and courses to grow fundamental insurance skills include: 

In-Demand Skill Area: Strategic Leadership 

Strategic leadership is one of the most valuable skills in 2024, but according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, an estimated half of the current insurance workforce will retire in the next 15 years. There’s a critical need to fill the talent pipeline and start fostering future leaders now. Otherwise, people-centric skills like critical thinking, collaboration, and strategic decision-making may be lost, along with valuable institutional knowledge. 

Organizations that want to attract and retain top talent, while protecting their bottom line, should encourage their employees to develop strategic leadership skills. As the leadership standard in risk management and insurance, The Institutes Designations' CPCU® provides employees with practical leadership expertise, credibility, and holistic risk management and insurance skills. There’s no better way to support the talent who will lead the future!  

Explore CPCU and everything you need to get started today. 

Risk Management and Insurance Skills to Take into the Future 

In this rapidly evolving landscape, the benefits of continuous learning and skill development for RMI professionals can’t be overstated. Organizations are looking for employees with knowledge in key skill areas like risk assessment, data & compliance, and strategic leadership, and those who are new to the RMI field can make a big impression by mastering insurance fundamentals early on. And those are just a few of the top skill areas—our full 2024 Skills Report has even more to explore. 

Remember: Whether you or your team are looking to enhance existing expertise or gain new skills, The Institutes Knowledge Group is here to help, now and into the future! To connect and learn more, contact Sales@TheInstitutes.org.   

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Risk Management Strategies

Innovative Risk Management: Shifting To A Predict & Prevent Approach

By Skills Edge Team

In today's rapidly evolving insurance landscape, staying ahead of the curve is not just a strategy but a necessity. Embracing innovation has become essential for navigating uncertainty. But what defines innovative risk management, and how is technology driving the shift toward a predict and prevent approach? 

Understanding Innovative Risk Management 

Innovative risk management extends beyond reactive measures to address potential threats; it involves anticipating them proactively and leveraging technology that enables prediction and prevention. This strategy moves beyond conventional risk mitigation approaches by identifying and addressing risks before they escalate into crises.  

To adopt an innovative approach to managing risk, individuals and organizations must lean into experimentation and continuous learning. It’s also important to stay current on advancements in the risk management and insurance field and invest in the right solutions to anticipate and respond to risks proactively.  

The shift to a predict and prevent approach is at the center of innovative risk management and will help revolutionize the way society approaches risk. It’s a model that makes sense for all parties involved:  

  • Insurance companies have fewer claims and avoid the expenses associated with losses. 
  • Policyholders are safer and can skip the hassle of submitting a claim and recovering from a loss. 
  • Regulators are able to enhance overall stability within the sectors they oversee.  

 An infographic of a chart about how innovative risk management and a predict and prevent approach can benefit insurance companies, policyholders, and regulators.

The Transformative Role of Technology in Risk Management 

The traditional detect and repair model is being challenged by one that uses technology to predict and prevent losses from ever happening in the first place.  

Organizations are now equipped with cutting-edge analytics and predictive algorithms, giving them the power to foresee and prevent potential threats before they become serious issues. This proactive stance isn’t just about minimizing risks; it’s about protecting safety, assets, and reputation. 

A major advantage of these technological advancements is the efficient gathering and analysis of large amounts of data. Through real-time data processing and predictive modeling, predicting emerging threats and anticipating risks will become more efficient. 

There are many new approaches for leveraging technology to predict and prevent losses. For example, Whisker Labs has developed an innovative device being deployed to millions of U.S. homes that's proven to prevent 80 percent of home electrical fires. And Betterview deploys a property intelligence platform that can score various property risks.  

Peter Miller, CPCU, President and CEO of The Institutes, deep dives on both of these innovative risk management technologies on episode 2 of the Predict & Prevent™ Podcast. Through conversations with insurance experts, the podcast sheds light on how technology and resilience techniques are being used to prevent losses before they occur.  

For those interested in staying current on advances in technology, successful initiatives, and emerging trends in risk management, be sure to subscribe to Predict & Prevent wherever you get your podcasts.   

Embracing Innovative Risk Management for a Resilient Future 

Keeping ahead of risks is key to staying resilient in uncertain times. By embracing technology and continuously upskilling employees, organizations can proactively predict and prevent risks, boosting their resilience and ensuring success into the future. This not only minimizes potential disruptions but also fosters a culture of innovation and adaptability, leading to sustained growth and competitive advantage. 

To navigate today's risks effectively, it's vital for individuals and businesses to fully embrace these innovative strategies. Investing in technology-driven methods and proactive risk management not only safeguards assets and reputation but also fosters a safe and resilient culture.  

Looking to Stay on the Cutting Edge of Skill Development?  

Professionals looking to gain strategic risk management skills and remain competitive in the evolving shift from detect and repair to predict and prevent should explore The Institutes Designations' Associate in Risk Management (ARM™). ARM equips individuals with the knowledge and expertise to navigate today's complex risk landscape effectively through a holistic and strategic understanding of risk assessment and treatment. You can even try ARM and see if it's right for you with this free micro-course!

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image of a manager congratulating an employee in an office showing the power of recognition
RMI Education & Employee Support

The Power of Recognition for Employee Engagement and Performance

By Diane Hanlon

Employee recognition is essential for cultivating a positive work environment and a thriving company culture. By regularly acknowledging and rewarding employees for their contributions, your organization can boost employee engagement, performance, and retention.  

Recognition can take many forms, from public shoutouts on social media, to financial incentives for hitting professional development milestones, to quarterly awards for high performers. The key is finding what best fits your organization and makes your employees feel valued. 

Read on to discover why you should leverage the power of recognition and actionable tips to get you started!  

Why Employee Recognition is More Important Now Than Ever Before  

Investing in a culture of recognition is vital for making your employees feel engaged with your organization and its mission. Gallup research shows that 70% of workers today are disengaged, and this number is even higher for employees under 35. And with a potential leadership gap looming in the risk management and insurance (RMI) field, it’s more important than ever to engage your emerging talent.  

A recognized employee, on the other hand, is five times as likely to be connected to company culture and four times as likely to be engaged. This engagement leads to enhanced job satisfaction, a greater sense of belonging and loyalty, and an increased motivation to contribute to team goals.  

An infographic with 4 tips for leveraging the power of recognition in the workplace.

4 Tips for Leveraging the Power of Recognition within Your Organization    

If you’re looking for inspiration to enhance employee recognition efforts in both the short and long term, try implementing these tried-and-true methods. 

1. Establish Clear Recognition Criteria  

Provide clear goals for your employees to work towards, and then celebrate them when they achieve important milestones. For example, if you have structured learning pathways, your employees will understand how to progress in their professional development and which credentials are most valued for their career path.   

This structured approach also brings equity to career advancement and shows your employees that commitment to development and performance will be recognized and rewarded. 

Explore our guide for sample learning pathways covering the entire RMI employee lifecycle: from onboarding, to technical development, to strong leadership.  

2. Use Formal and Informal Recognition Methods 

You should make a commitment to celebrate wins both big and small. When an employee in your organization completes one of The Institutes Designations, for example, do they earn a bonus? Is the credential worked into promotional criteria? 

Financial and promotional incentives are powerful motivators, but you can celebrate hard work in other ways too. Try highlighting accomplishments in a company newsletter, all-hands meeting, or social channel. You can use this recognition graphic template to quickly create images that can be shared to enhance your employee recognition program. 

And for everyday wins, encourage managers to show appreciation on a more personal level. A quick email or message acknowledging a job well done can make a big difference. 

3. Foster Peer-to-Peer Recognition 

When you develop a culture of recognition, your employees will begin to cheer each other on as well. Encourage team members to share their learning achievements with their managers, peers, and social networks.  

You can use this communication template to inspire employees to proudly share their accomplishments. And when they do, be sure to interact with their posts from your organization’s accounts to fuel excitement and motivation!  

4. Ensure Recognition is Timely and Specific 

Recognition is most powerful when it’s delivered close to the achievement. Set reminders or a consistent schedule to recognize and celebrate employees within your organization who achieve a major goal or milestone, like earning a designation.  

Remember that if you’re a corporate client of The Institutes Knowledge Group, you have access to detailed reports on exam statistics and designation completers, among others. Explore our Key Person Resources Manual for step-by-step instructions on viewing and exporting reports, reviewing student scores, and more! Then, use this information to recognize your high achievers.  

Use Recognition to Boost Employee Engagement and Your Bottom Line  

The power of recognition influences every aspect of your organization, from motivating employees to boosting profitability. Start putting these recommendations into action and get more tips and tools by subscribing to our Key People Resources today.  

To learn more, contact Sales@TheInstitutes.org.    

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Professional Development

How to Study for Professional Exams While Balancing Work and Life

By Angela Pilotti, CPCU, ARe

Earning one of The Institutes Designations is a great way to enhance your professional skills and your career. It’s a signal to your employer, peers, and clients that you’re committed to gaining and maintaining expertise in the fields of risk management and insurance.  

When you start your journey towards a designation, it’s important that you’re aware of all the study resources available to you so you can take advantage of them. In fact, our research shows that students who complete their course content and use the exam prep resources score, on average, two to five points higher on exams.  

Here are three tips to help you prepare for your exam while balancing your professional and personal commitments. 

An infographic about how to study for professional exams and listing the top 3 tips

Tip #1: Leverage Available Study Tools 

Course materials from The Institutes Knowledge Group are designed for the busy adult learner and are accessible whenever and wherever you need them. Whether you’re fitting studying in over lunch, in the evenings, or even between rounds of pickleball on the weekend, you can learn at your own pace.  

When you’re preparing for your exam, remember to make the most of the digital resources available to you, including assignments, study outlines, flashcards, quizzes, and a simulated exam—all designed to help you build new skills. 

  • Assignments: Assignments are self-paced and interactive, featuring a variety of learning formats such as real-life examples, videos from subject matter experts, graphics to illustrate key concepts, and knowledge checks to help you apply and retain what you’ve learned.  
  • Study Outlines: Comprehensive course outlines condense the material into manageable sections, so you can plan and streamline your study process. 
  • Flashcards: Flashcards on key terms will help you test your knowledge of course material and strengthen your learning and retention. 
  • Quizzes & Simulated Exam: Confidently prepare for your course level exam with assignment and course level quizzes, plus a simulated exam that mimics the structure and level of questions you’ll find on the actual exam.  

Remember: Use these resources as a part of your overall study plan to boost your chances of success! 

Quote from Alex Portwood that reads “Online course materials were super helpful, you could pull up your laptop at any time of day. It made studying super flexible.”

Tip #2: Incorporate a Study Routine into Your Daily Schedule 

Creating a daily study routine is a great way to stay focused and maintain progress when preparing for professional exams. It's not just about putting in the hours; it's about making a plan, setting goals, and using your time effectively.  

According to PWC research, people who set at least four daily goals per week were 34% more likely to hit their targets than those who didn’t. Try setting goals around your exam prep and integrating study sessions into your daily routine to help you stay on track.  

To get started you can use this personalized study plan. There are even two formats depending on your preferred study style!  

Keep in mind that effective time management is essential in this process. Start by identifying your peak productivity hours and schedule focused study sessions accordingly. Whether it's early morning or late evening, choose a time when you're most alert and ready to absorb information. Set specific goals for each session, such as completing a certain number of assignments, to keep your progress steady and measurable. 

Tip #3: Cultivate Motivation and Accountability  

Lastly, it’s important to maintain motivation and accountability throughout your exam preparation process. One effective strategy is to partner up with a study buddy—ideally someone who’s also working through similar course material. You might find a study buddy by connecting with other colleagues or connections who are working towards the same designation.   

A great place to find support is The Institutes Chat Facebook group. This group offers a space of encouragement, study tips, and success stories.   

Additionally, remember to communicate your commitment to your study goals with colleagues, friends, and family to help you stay accountable. And when you’ve achieved a goal you’ve set for yourself, be sure to celebrate the milestone: share it with your colleagues and manager, post about it on social media, and find a way to treat yourself and reflect on the progress you’ve made.    

Gain the Skills to Prepare for Your Exam and Grow Your Career  

Balancing work, life, and prepping for professional exams might feel like a juggling act, but don’t worry—you’ve got this! With these study tips you’ll be ready to tackle that next exam with confidence.  

Make the most of The Institutes Knowledge Group's study resources, and don’t forget to celebrate and share your success when you pass your exam. Your dedication to continuous learning and professional growth is setting you up for success as you navigate your career in risk management and insurance.