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Chuks Udo Okonta
Many insurance companies have retained their employees and continued to pay their full salaries, in spite the challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Inspenonline can report.
This is even as many blue chip companies in other sectors of the economy have slashed their workers salaries and benefits.
Investigations by this medium revealed that though many of the employees are working remotely, they still enjoy their benefits. It was also gathered that some companies do support employees working from home with Internet and fuel fund to enable them work effectively.
An executive of one of the underwriting firms, in a WhatsApp interview said: “The partial lockdown has not affected salary in any way. Salary should not be based on physical appearance in the office. It’s the value that staff bring to bear that matters. What we have been doing since the partial lockdown is basically rotational operation whereby the staff take turns on a weekly basis to come to the office. Meetings that have more than five persons in attendance are done virtually in observing the social distancing directive.”
He also said the company has been engaging its customers online to reassure them that it is still fully in business.
“Our online engagement transcends all our social media platforms and just recently, we have started working on how we can bring our Customers Relationship Management, CRM on every staff’s telephone.
“So that they can actually attend to customers’ needs at their finger tips,” he said.
An official from another underwriting firm said: “We have been fortunate in that we have been fairly insulated from any severe impact. We recently completed the rollout of new core insurance solutions for the general, life and health companies coupled with the core banking solution for the Microfinance bank which are all cloud based. This has made it possible for remote work to function seamlessly. We continue to process transaction on site and remotely and that has ensure that we don’t have transaction backlog.”
He posited that the sales team has continued to engage clients remotely and hold meetings via recently implemented Microsoft teams collaboration tool which is the global best in class collaborative tool at the moment, stressing that these and many more have significantly positioned the companies favorably.
“Staff welfare have not in anyway been impacted and salary increase exercise embarked on before the pandemic is still being followed through and will be implemented in the next couple of weeks,” he said.
According to a top executive of another firm, the Managing Director of the firm has assured the employees of their salaries and other benefits. He said the managing director told the workers not to worry for they would not be punished for a situation they never caused.
He noted that the firm has also put in place a performance evaluation strategy to measure the contributions of those who engage on remote duties.
An executive of another firm said: “Our staff are paid full salaries (including outsourced staff) nationwide despite the lockdown to ameliorate the financial hardships encountered by people at this period.
“Management has also promised that the lockdown period will not affect staff annual leave entitlement.
“Also, our investment in ICT infrastructure is yielding fruits as our staff effectively works from home with minimal disruption as most of our documents are stored in the clouds, arranged methodically for ease of retrieval. This has enable us to to remain afloat while we continue to engage with existing and new customers as well as other stakeholders via our existing digital platforms.”
An agent also told this medium that underwriting firms have continued to payout commissions to agents who turned in businesses. According him, the pandemic has really made it difficult for small scale agents to pool more businesses as most people are reluctant to renew their policies.