Young blood key to underwriter’s success

insurance award

A specialist underwriter’s focus on developing its junior staff has paid dividends, not just in industry awards but also in staff retention.

Last month, Sportscover was named Youth Development and Employer of the Year at the Australian Insurance Industry Awards.

Driven by a strategy to develop its future leaders internally, Sportscover funds and gives leave for external study, as well runs a mentorship program headed by CEO David Lamb.

It’s bringing results, with entry-level staff staying for an average of four years.

Lamb says the firm has a strong focus on giving them broad experience and exposure to many parts of the business.

“For the mentoring program, each year I select two staff to mentor one-on-one,” he says.

“We involve them in all of the business planning and they get exposed to all parts of the company.

“We have a number of success stories of people who started off here in junior roles, who are now senior managers with more than 10 years with the business.”

Lamb also encourages staff participation within their local community.

”Not only do they develop business skills but a volunteer program with a local intellectually disabled football team brings perspective to the lives of Sportscover’s staff, with many of the volunteers again being the younger staff,” he says.

“It’s a fantastic thing to do and the staff love it. Rain, hail or shine no-one misses a training session!, it’s a great culture we have built here.”

For Lamb, the focus on developing young staff also pairs perfectly with the firm’s focus on sport.

“It is a unique business because Sportscover works very hard in developing a culture that embraces sport but also embraces knowledge of it,” he says.

“We position ourselves to be living and breathing sport. An example of that is 90% of our staff play, coach or umpire sport.

“In fact, our receptionist represented Australia in three different sports.”