Editorial: The power of signposting

Why its benefits are multilidinous

Editorial: The power of signposting


By Mia Wallace

Signposting is familiar terminology to many across the insurance marketplace, promoted as it is with such alacrity by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) which consistently champions its potential – both untapped and realised. At the heart of signposting is the question of access and of creating accessible routes to existing resources.

With so much economic unrest impacting businesses of every size and sector, it’s the right time for companies to explore available resources that have gone under the radar, to dust them off, and to make them visible and accessible to those who need them most.

For me, the question of tapping into already available resources was thrown into relief while speaking with Copart UK’s Jane Pocock. She shared that she has undertaken a challenge to not buy anything other than food for the entire year, an endeavour she has succeeded in to date. Her findings form a constructive message for the market – you’ll be surprised by what you’ve got and by how far you can make that go.

There are several key areas where more effective signposting is required across the market, and an especially critical one was recently spotlighted by Full Circle Communications’ Kirsty Plank who identified the external mental health resources available to those struggling at this time.

Discussing the work done by the mental health charity My Black Dog, Kirsty highlighted the need for insurance businesses to promote awareness of external services as well as access to internal employee benefits and employee assistance programmes. Citing several free-to-access mental well-being resources, including Calm, the Calm Zone and Shout, she emphasised the support that is available to leaders and their people – if they only know where to look for it.

A similar message has been delivered to the market by Carpenter Group’s Donna Scully on the subject of the cost-of-living crisis and the impact it’s having on families and individuals all across the UK.

“A crisis like this will impact so many,” she said, “regardless of whether they’re working or on benefits, and it feels like a tsunami that hasn’t yet broken. It’s coming down the road and it’s dragging more and more people in society with it.”

Donna signposted several of the ways that people can help out those hit hardest by the spiking rise in energy, food and fuel prices – from contributing to food banks or community fridges, to volunteering with local charities or community initiatives, to donating warm clothing ahead of the winter months. There’s a lot that everyone can do to help and support those around them but equally critical is signalling the assistance that is available and making sure it reaches the right people at the right time.

The need for the active signposting of advice services and accessible solutions goes right to the heart of how insurance businesses operate and has significant implications for the building of a strong workplace where employees feel highly supported. But it is more than just an effective means of helping insurance professionals gain access to the right well-being tools or economic resources. It’s also about an opportunity for business leaders to think differently about how they nurture their talent.  

This is often an internal consideration, with managers called on to flag training and development opportunities to their teams, as well as spotlighting mentorship or sponsorship prospects. It’s an external consideration too. It might seem counteractive to signpost a competitor’s job openings to valued team members but anyone who has ever attended an insurance awards ceremony or conference will tell you the same things – it’s a small world after all.

And if the right opportunity comes along for your colleague or peer– it’s better for the health of the business and the wider market if you signal that opportunity. Without having to signpost external prospects, for leaders and managers, making the transition out of your company run smoothly has the result of easing the route back in when the time is right. And displaying support and encouragement encourages the departing employee to maintain an active interest in securing and supporting their own replacement.

Signposting takes away the onus on business leaders to be all things to all men, and allows them to instead take stock of what’s already available, preventing unnecessary wastage of time and other resources. It’s a task that will unfortunately likely only become more critical in the coming weeks and months but there’s good news for the industry on many fronts – so much of the hard work has already been done by external organisations, associations and charities. All that’s left now is to find or create new access routes – and seize every opportunity to signpost them.

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