When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world in 2020, everyone had no choice but to adapt to the changes.
Dale Hansen, CEO and director of broking at BMS Coast to Coast and one of Australia's Elite Brokers for 2023, shared with Insurance Business Australia (IB) how the brokerage and its leaders faced the pandemic's impacts and protected their employees.
In an interview with IB, Hansen said he concocted a plan to help the company deal with the pandemic in recent years.
“We have allowed our staff to work more flexibly,” he said. “As part of this initiative, we audited all our internal and external staff's IT equipment, and we upgraded and updated our IT equipment. We increased and improved our IT security.
“We soft-tested our system and tested our capacity for all our staff to work remotely.
“We studied and evaluated the results and made changes where necessary.”
The brokerage set new rules to ensure the success of the new working environments, leading to greater efficiency.
“Rather than see it as nothing but a problem, we also looked at the opportunity it presented,” Hansen said. “We were able to recruit some highly qualified and skilled staff as a result of the changes that we made and our move to a more flexible working environment.
“We were able to offer some of our existing staff a change in their existing work structure; as a result, we have been able to allow more of our staff to work remotely.
“These changes have allowed us to both recruit and retain staff. This has changed and expanded the working hours of the business and changed our productivity.
“Some of our staff now work hours that better suit their needs and, in many cases, better suit the needs of our clients. Staff engagement tells us we have happier and more motivated staff. This has resulted in a productivity increase.”
Aside from being CEO and facing various challenges, Hansen looks after a book of business that generates over $1.1 million annually. His customer service focuses on building relationships and understanding his clients' business, always asking clients for a referral and invariably getting at least one, if not more, and then writing that client.
Hansen's strongest professional quality is his advocacy for his clients, giving them 100% effort and attention and being available 24/7. He currently serves on the Queensland Committee for the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) and regularly sends staff to training seminars, requires brokers to hold a diploma in financial services, and conducts business with clients personally.
“I see myself mentoring younger brokers in the industry,” Hansen said. “My role is to teach brokers how to service clients properly. I spend a lot of time training my staff from a technical perspective within various classes of insurance.”
Learn more about Hansen and the rest of IB's Elite Brokers this year by reading the 2023 Best Insurance Brokers in Australia (Elite Brokers) report.