Communication Matters


Communication MattersMany of us are now finalizing plans and budgets for the new year, which appears to offer an array of both challenges and opportunities for insurance carriers. With fingers crossed, we are looking forward to a post-pandemic era, even while dealing with the consequences of compromised immune systems in many areas, making the health recovery seem bumpy at best. There’s been a headlong rush of digitization recently, which has fundamentally altered how many consumer and business transactions take place. When visiting pretty much anywhere today, the blooming of QR codes is a stunning testimony to how things operate differently now.

Talent and knowledge management remain key concerns for companies as labor markets continue to evolve globally, and the rising interest rates being used by central banks to battle inflationary pressures continue to be both a blessing and a challenge. Uncertainty about the economic environment in 2023 has made the planning process this year seem almost interminable for many organizations. 

And now companies have a new consideration to contend with! The varied use of language by each generation is suddenly front and center as an emerging issue. To be clear, the idea that language use varies by generation is nothing new. Back in the 1960s, there was a clear generation gap reflected in how words were used and what they meant. More contemporaneously, banks recognized that millennials and baby boomers used the same words to mean completely different things. This led to digital and data strategies that allowed for the creation of unique online experiences that were typically broken down into 10-year-wide increments to reflect both varied language use and preferences.

Now we are ready to fully embrace a new generational group that is very different than their predecessors. Queue the “Zoomers,” the emergent term for members of Generation Z. As a recent story in the Washington Post noted, this is a generation like no other in terms of communication preferences. Words are used differently, punctuation carries significant implications that older generations may be blind to, and the nuances in emoji utilization appear to be mind-numbingly complex. 

In reality, none of this should come as a surprise since this is the most digitally immersed and engaged generation to ever enter the workforce. They are well versed in using an array of tools that are critical to supporting evolving business operations, and it will be important for other generations to master the way Gen Z communicates. Not only does this extend to internal working environments, but it also has implications for customer engagement models.

This is no slowly emerging concern, either. Demographic projections are that Zoomers will come to represent 30% of the U.S. labor force by 2030. This is another great example of William Gibson’s comment about the future already being here but being unevenly distributed. In this case, we have a pretty clear understanding of both how and when this will evolve. The future may well belong to those that can “slay” it in terms of adaptation. Game on. 

This will, no doubt, be part of the 2023 Aite-Novarica Group Insurance CIO Council Meeting, which will be taking place concurrently with the Hartford InsurTech Symposium in May. Registration for this exclusive event is now open.