As of this week, many companies are finding they have begun to quickly execute the business continuity plans they have developed and documented in order to address the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Executive Summary

Plans to keep business operations moving have been put to the test in recent days, but as hard as they can be to execute when a crisis unfolds, addressing the human element is a bigger challenge. Here, Novarica's Nancy Casbarro provides advice for P/C insurance leaders, reminding them about EI traits of self-awareness and empathy while setting aside business-as-usual policies. Leaders also need to be decisive during a crisis, she writes, even if it means correcting missteps along the way.

Through mock exercises or short-term weather events, many have tested their plans and executed them to a certain extent. But even the best-prepared plans for keeping business operations humming—and the fine-tuning they have undergone over the years—are bound to encounter situations that were unaccounted for as organizations respond to this widespread and potentially extended event. What may be even harder to assess and address is the human element of this crisis.

Leadership is an essential driver to business success. That is true during times of business as usual. In times of hardship and crisis, leadership is even more critical to the success of the organization for the long term. Leaders who can lead decisively and empathetically can motivate employees and reinforce that they are all working for a company that puts people first. In a time where talent moves quickly from job to job, creating a sense of belonging, purpose and loyalty with employees is an important connection. The actions leaders take now will also leave an indelible brand perception for customers and agents that lasts well into the future. Relating to each of these constituents on a human level will help reassure them all.

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