Here are the top news stories in talent & organization from this week.

Why more insurers should teach insurance

“Insurance is complicated, and it is a misunderstood career field,” writes Patrick Wraight in this Insurance Journal article. “We are suffering with a real problem of backfilling positions with high quality people. Agencies and companies alike are experiencing high turnover and unfilled positions.” Wraight believes part of the problem can be attributed to a lack of sufficient qualified insurance educators. Insurers who like to read and learn more about their industry, who can explain complex terms in simple language and like public speaking should consider teaching what they know, he writes. “We need you in the different designation programs out there. We need you to teach CE courses. We need you for the Insurance Academy. The insurance industry needs people that can connect with a new generation of insurance professionals,” Wraight notes. 

How to build a winning company culture

Culture in the workplace is defined as “the personality of the company,” and encompasses “the values, behaviors and attitudes followed by the entire organization.” In this Oracle blog post, Tuula Fai argues that an innovative work culture is one of the reasons why some startups have been able to attract and retain top talent in a competitive market. She believes building a winning company culture is not just about the perks, but also about the fundamentals of work. “Employees want to be part of something greater than themselves—a mission they believe in, a community of caring professionals, a role that offers meaningful work, and a manager who values their contributions and celebrates their success,” she writes. Here are three steps Fai recommends to build a winning company culture: 1. Ensure your business and HR processes reflect your organization’s vision, mission and values. 2. Prioritize cultural fit and relationship networks when recruiting, in addition to skills and experience. 3. Foster an environment in which employees “walk the talk” and encourage their peers to do so.

Millennials just say ‘No’ to jobs without training

According to research from the Wharton School’s Center for Human Resources, only a fifth of employees reported receiving on-the-job training from their employers in the five years leading up to 2011. For Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork, the consequences for young professionals are tragic and costly. “Traditional jobs aren’t providing them with new skills and therefore aren’t setting them up for success in their careers,” he writes in this piece for Entrepreneur. “Unsurprisingly, young workers aren’t happy with their employers, so they’re leaving—constantly. Disengaged from their jobs unlike any other generation and seeking new skills, they’re job-hopping.” Where do dismayed millennials go? According to Upwork’s Freelancing in America 2017 report, young workers are increasingly choosing to go their own ways, becoming their own bosses and training themselves. The report also found that 47 percent of millennials have freelanced over the past 12 months. “This trend means that reaching today’s talented youth is transforming before our own eyes. Put simply, to leverage the skills of many of the most talented, self-driven young workers, businesses increasingly require different hiring strategies,” Kasriel writes.

Four steps to convincing the C-suite to make learning a priority

If the above statistics on millennials’ thirst for on-the-job training aren’t enough to persuade the C-suite about the importance of learning and development (L&D), this TLNT article outlines four ways L&D yields real benefits to companies: 1. L&D creates agile employees, which results in companies staying ahead of the competition. 2. It improves retention and recruitment by making the employees more interested and engaged. 3. It can help address the growing skills gap to have the right talent for tomorrow’s work. 4. L&D reduces workplace distractions that impact productivity. “The smartest companies are rethinking how they prioritize learning and development in an age of continuous innovation and change. By engaging workers, helping them build careers within the organization, and equipping them with the knowledge and opportunities they need to innovate, employees and businesses alike can reap the benefits,” the article states.

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