Executive assistants have all but vanished from insurance company offices. There are 65 percent fewer than there were in 2004. Productivity technology like voicemail, email, and calendars have automated many of the tasks previously done by assistants.
Unfortunately, administrative work has not vanished. According to the HR management platform Service Now, executives now spend 16 hours per week on busywork. They also work longer hours—65 percent report working more than 50 hours per week.
It turns out that all those productivity tools and apps that replaced traditional admins have placed the administrative burden on executives themselves. As a result, basic administrative tasks eat into the day and distract teams from more significant growth and strategic work. For example, it takes:
- 25-30 minutes to schedule a business meeting.
- 45 minutes to fill out an expense report.
- 8 hours to plan a business trip.
- 3.5 hours a day to sort, read and respond to email.
Executives Standardizing on Managed Virtual Assistant Services
More insurance businesses are turning to managed virtual assistants for insurance services to enable leaders to focus more on strategic initiatives than day-to-day administration. The value of the managed virtual assistant service is that the service provider hires, trains, and supervises remote assistants, provides a fully trained backup, and continually optimizes the service, taking on more tasks over time.
A traditional virtual assistant is an independent contractor hired directly or through an agency. It is up to the hiring entity to qualify, train, and manage the performance of the assistants. Two challenges with this approach are:
- It takes a good deal of time and effort to recruit, hire, train, and manage remote assistants.
- Hiring remote assistants one at a time for executives is not scalable for teams.
- Turnover can be high, disrupting operations.
- HR departments and executive leaders do not always have the experience to train and manage remote administrative assistants.
Benefits of a Managed Assistant Service
With a managed assistant service, the service provider employs the assistants. Executives get a dedicated, part-time assistant pre-trained in your company's tools and system. Trained backup assistants ensure continuity, and the assistant team works together in the background to provide a seamless service.
As the team gets to know your business, the service becomes more valuable, and it becomes much easier to add new assistants as your team grows. All of this comes at a much lower cost than a full-time, fully loaded employee. The managed service also relieves you of the risks of a bad hire.
Time is Your Most Precious Resource
Insurance executives' time is their most valuable resource. Yet a Harvard Business School study that tracked behavior of 27 CEOs of billion-dollar companies found that CEOs:
- Spend less than half their time on strategic work.
- Spend 36 percent on their time reacting to issues—in line with the Alternative Board's 16 hours per week on busy work.
- Are in their email inbox 24 percent of the day.
- Attend 37 meetings a week, which takes up 74 percent of their time.
This time allocation is unproductive and unnecessary. Companies do not need to pay leaders to do their admin work.
Prialto's Managed Assistant Service
Prialto has provided a managed virtual assistant service to insurance company executive teams for more than a decade. We understand the industry's unique demands, sales cycles, security and privacy regulations, and business constraints. All remote virtual assistants are fully trained on your systems during a week-long onboarding process and arrive ready to contribute. The assistants are:
- Fluent in English.
- Using secure computers and networks.
- Put through background checks.
Prialto supports two layers of management to provide quality control and ongoing service optimization and trained backup assistants when a primary assistant is unavailable. Insurance businesses throughout the U.S. like Graham Company and Woodruff-Sawyer trust Prialto with their executive admin needs, providing a turnkey administrative layer for the c-suite and beyond.
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