How Lloyd Sadd is returning to work after COVID-19 shutdowns

How Lloyd Sadd is returning to work after COVID-19 shutdowns | Insurance Business

How Lloyd Sadd is returning to work after COVID-19 shutdowns

With businesses in the province of Alberta beginning to reopen, brokerages have not only been providing risk management advice to clients on how to proceed safely in this new environment – they’ve also been mapping out their own plans.

Read more: Provinces continue plans to reopen after COVID-19 lockdowns

Just like in the case of the initial move to work remotely in order to adapt to shutdown orders, some brokerages have found it easier than others to return to normal operations albeit at a slow and safe pace.

“We adopted a work from home policy about a year and a half ago, so we increased our server size, we got laptops for all our advisors,” said Shawn Bower (pictured), manager of risk services and loss control at Lloyd Sadd Insurance Brokers, adding that when the shutdown orders came down, “We basically sent 150 people home on a Monday afternoon and everybody was working remotely Tuesday morning; and the server held up, all of our software held up.”

As a result of this smooth transition, clients’ experience seeking help from the brokerage’s advisors didn’t falter and the team has been available to clients consistently throughout the crisis.

“Clients want to know that you’re there when they need you, whether it’s an insurance question, whether it’s a claims question, whether it’s a loss control risk management question,” said Bower. “If you can be there to provide advice and service, especially in this time of need, they remember that.”

Read more: The great lockdown re-opening: Key points for business owners to consider

When it comes to returning to the office, Lloyd Sadd has been putting together its playbook for a few weeks now. Bower, who has a health and safety background and business continuity expertise, teamed up with the brokerage’s HR manager to collect information from Alberta Health Services as well as other provinces that have started to reopen to inform Lloyd Sadd’s approach.

“It’s all about pre-planning, bringing employees back, and workplace evolution,” he explained. “We’ve put a plan in place and we’re doing an office risk assessment,” which involves steps like buying traffic control flow arrows to place on the office floor and crafting controls to manage visitors.

The brokerage will also bring its people back in stages. After all, its teams have been operating remotely for two months now, proving that people don’t need to be in the office physically to provide good customer service. It is, however, important to recognize individuals’ unique experiences during the crisis and take their challenges into account.

“There are people at home that have kids now that don’t have school and there’s no daycare,” explained Bower, adding that on the other hand, “We’ve got some younger teammates that have been in their condos for two months and are single, and they want to get back to work just to see some people.”

Nonetheless, the guiding principle is “slow and steady” to make sure the office is clean and sanitized, customers and employees feel safe, and effective policies and procedures are put in place to manage those in the office.

Read more: Key risk management strategies for businesses bringing employees back to work

The day-to-day of managing this crisis might be shorter term in nature – after all ‘how do we bring people back’ is a question that needs to be answered over the coming weeks. Over the longer term, however, brokerages that aren’t prepared to deal with this type of crisis will find it difficult to keep clients satisfied.

“We’re seeing a lot of the smaller brokers in the Edmonton area, clients can’t even reach them because they’re not in the office, they don’t have their phones pushed, they can’t work remotely, and they’re dropping the ball on the customer experience,” said Bower. “It’s going to really accelerate – everyone is going to be required to work remotely if need be. That’s going to be a part of everybody’s emergency response and business continuity planning moving forward. If they don’t have it, they’re going to be losing their customers.”