issue 006, 2016 q4

Expert view 006

Q&A with Kathy Tazic, Managing Director, Client Services, National Accounts, Sedgwick

The “Expert view” column presents a wide range of topics offering valuable insights and information for customers.

edge:
Describe the importance of developing people in the area of client services.

Kathy:
To keep pace in the risk and benefit industry, it is essential for companies to develop leaders who have the capabilities to manage all of the key issues facing employers. We also recognize the complexities of the role and the value of experiential learning as a basis for colleagues to bring excellence to our customers. We are introducing a new program that will start in mid-January called the client services leadership development program. It’s designed to create a highly-skilled, diverse and experienced workforce, able to lead into the future for our customers.

edge:
Why is Sedgwick making this investment?

Kathy:
Growing and developing leaders is a critical area for our company. With our ongoing organic growth and the need to provide our customers with the very best leaders, we wanted to create an opportunity where development – meaning giving people both improved skills and experience – is a full-time job. Our business is very dynamic and providing talented colleagues with the opportunity to experience every area of the company is a sound use of resources and will grow a future group of leaders ready for our customers’ every need.

edge:
How will the program benefit current and future customers and our colleagues?

Kathy:
We are developing leaders who will be capable of managing relationships with customers that have multiple programs with Sedgwick. This provides the ability to have a single client services colleague who can advise them, and make sure each program is growing and changing to meet the needs of their business. Customers will benefit from an educated, developed team that is well-connected both internally and externally to our industry.

For our colleagues, the program provides them with experience and skills to lead large, multi-faceted programs. It takes each colleague out of their current position and allows them to serve in a different role for a full year. When you bring colleagues from other areas into something new, they can offer a fresh perspective on the way we provide service to our customers and ask some really good questions about the way things are done. This program will also create additional capacity for us to serve new clients and grow with them as they expand their programs with Sedgwick. In addition, it offers colleagues something that we have not done in the past – a formal opportunity to move within areas of the company, supported by education and real-life experiences.

edge:
Is this type of program unique in our industry?

Kathy:
Yes. This is the first time we have done something quite like this. It’s a unique program in our industry and focuses on a combination of education and experiential learning with senior leaders. We are also looking to grow a different type of leader than we typically have seen in the industry; one who can flex with our organization and our clients’ needs.   

edge:
How does Sedgwick’s client services leadership development program work?

Kathy:
For the first time in Sedgwick’s history, we did a self-nomination process to make sure we were educating colleagues on the program and its requirements. Only colleagues who had previous client-facing experience were considered for the program. The eight colleagues who were selected will go through a one-week immersion process and then they will be assigned to sponsor colleagues who are currently leading some of our top 100 programs. The sponsors will work with the colleagues and they will rotate through four different assignments over that one-year period. It will give them an opportunity to experience different customer environments and lead projects like stewardship, analyzing outcomes and setting goals across programs. Colleagues will also learn specific skills based on their background and needs. This includes public speaking and presentation skills, as well as a strong emphasis on emotional intelligence and how it helps people lead effectively. While completing the client rotations, the colleagues will work as a team on skill development and share what they learn during monthly sessions, and they will have quarterly in-person meetings on larger objectives and training.

Kathy Tazic

Ms. Tazic is a managing director for client services for national accounts at Sedgwick. In her current role, Kathy is responsible for ensuring that our national programs provide excellent outcomes through innovative program designs. This includes both technical execution as well as ensuring ongoing improvement. Kathy joined Sedgwick in 1991 and has held various positions, including client consulting director, national practice oversight, program architect and operations manager. In her latest role, Kathy is overseeing the refinement of client services best practices and an experiential training program for the next generation of client services leaders. Kathy holds a bachelor’s degree in communication and technical writing from the University of Illinois-Urbana.

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