The THiNK Blog

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7 Major Trends In Online Learning: How Does Our Program Stack Up?

Jun 27, 2018 11:15:00 AM / by Nick Durie posted in Training, E-Learning / Training

In a recent article posted on HRM Canada, Koreen Pagano, the Product Management Director at D2L identified “seven major trends dictating the online learning space”.  Naturally, we were intrigued not only to learn, but to shamelessly see how our Underwriting Training Program  stacked up !

Before we delve into the seven online learning trends and rate ourselves (shamelessly, remember), it’s important to consider what type of learning we are discussing. Usually when we think of learning, we harken back to grade school (awkward), high school (totally not awkward acid-washed jeans), or post-secondary (Frisbee in the quad!!).

This type of learning is fundamentally the same as it’s been for 3000 years - the “sage on the stage” model. One expert/teacher/professor lecturing to students. The benefits of this style are well documented (it’s been around for over 3000 years for a reason!!), but it’s important to note how vastly different learning experiences have become with the advent of modern technology. In fact, most would argue we don’t even truly know how we all learn online given how relatively new we are to it.

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Why Recruiting Dynamic Talent = An All-Star Underwriting Team

Jun 22, 2017 3:41:40 PM / by Miguel Ceron posted in Underwriting, Training, E-Learning / Training

You have a gap on your underwriting team and are recruiting to fill the position. What kind of person are you looking for? What kind of person are you not looking for? While you have a set of skills and knowledge in mind, the recruiting process isn’t always as simple as finding a candidate with x years of experience or y and z qualifications. Plus, qualifications aren’t the ‘be all, end all’.

We are firm believers that hiring for fit is paramount - especially when you are hiring someone into a team environment. To cultivate a high performing team – being able to work collaboratively and demonstrate a thirst for learning are key assets.

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The Current State of Underwriting and What it Means for Leaders

May 31, 2017 1:01:00 PM / by Miguel Ceron posted in Underwriting, Training, Life Underwriting

The Insurance Industry is changing every day. These changes present themselves in our collective value offerings, in the methods of how we are able to buy and sell insurance, or even in how insurers are able to underwrite and classify risk. Regardless of the change, they all have implications on the evolving roles of Life Underwriters.

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6 Ways to Prepare for the Insurance Industry Retirement Gap

Aug 22, 2016 4:42:06 PM / by Megan Gardner posted in Training, Reinsurance

In the coming years, the insurance industry will experience major loss of talent due to retirement. According to one study, about 25% of professionals in the industry will retire by 2018! This concern over such a large loss of talent has been looming over both the life and non-life industry but fortunately, is becoming more and more apparent. It was a hot topic at the TAI User Group we attended in May and will continue to be as the industry makes plans to prepare for a significant talent gap in the next 3-5 years.

So what can you do to prepare for this? I have 5 ideas below to help you get started:

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[Employee Spotlight] Building a Diverse Work Culture

Jun 24, 2016 9:40:01 AM / by Natalie Ho posted in Training, Reinsurance

The beauty of living in a diverse country such as Canada is that you get the opportunity to hire employees with not only different skillsets and expertise, but also of different cultural backgrounds. Varying cultures also have varying sets of traditions and behaviours, whether at home or in the workplace.

Over the past five years, we’ve almost tripled the size of quirky family of enthusiasts. This has not only meant growth in size but also in different backgrounds and ethnicities. And many of our employees speak multiple languages. 

As the lead of Sales & Marketing, I’m charged to think about what other markets to explore and how these markets would interact with our product and service offering. The diversities we have amongst our teams have uniquely positioned us to learn more about different work ethics, education systems, and how to conduct business in different geographies.

I recently had the chance to speak to one of our Reinsurance Analysts, Eugenia, who moved to Canada from Ukraine less than a year ago. I was curious to learn about her experience onboarding not only into a new organization but a new home. I asked Eugenia to share with me her experience as we may all benefit when it comes to onboarding new staff with different cultures.

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Think You're Cut Out to be a Team Mentor? Try this Quiz!

Sep 28, 2015 4:15:30 PM / by Mervyn Gillson posted in Underwriting, Training, E-Learning / Training

Mentoring has been around a long time. In fact, it is said to have originated when Odysseus went to fight in the Trojan War and he put his trusted friend, Mentor, in charge of his son, Telemachus. The term mentor has generally come to define someone with more experience being able to help someone with less  experience by sharing their wisdom and knowledge.

Mentoring is different than coaching in that a mentor supplements the coaching provided by the person’s boss/supervisor/manager. In fact a person can, and should, have more than one mentor so that a breadth of knowledge and experience can be learned. A mentee can definitely learn from more than one mentor because it gives them different perspectives.

So, in order to find out if you have what it takes to be a mentor, take a shot at answering the 10 questions we’ve crafted for you here in this Mentorship 101 Quiz!

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3 Things We Can Do to Seek & Build the Next Generation of Life Underwriters

Oct 12, 2014 5:00:00 PM / by Natalie Ho posted in Underwriting, Training

I recently received the September issue of OTR (On The Risk), a Journal of The Academy of Life Underwriting. This issue included a great article on the results for the 2014 ALU Life Underwriter Census. 

Donna Daniells, OTR Executive Editor, provided an executive summary which highlighted a concerning finding:

"23% of life underwriters expect to continue working in a life underwriting role for 5 years or less."

What's the takeaway here? We ought to start building the next generation of life underwriters! 

Read further to see what three things we've been doing to alter this potential shortage. 

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