“Comp Talks 2016” featured three women in risk management who discussed their formulas for success in developing and maintaining winning risk management programs. The speakers for this 2016 WCI session included:
- Joe Picone, CPCU, AIC, Claim Consulting Practice Leader, Willis Towers Watson, Glen Allen, VA
- Michele Adams, Vice President, Risk Management Services, Walt Disney World Resort
- Tara L. Acton, Director – Claims & Senior Corporate Counsel, CenturyLink
- Marti Dickman, VP Risk Management, Advanced Disposal
Michelle Adams presented “Creating an Award Winning Risk Management Program.”
One of the things that distinguish their program at Disney is their understanding of who their customer is. At the end of the day their guests are the most important customers. We must all ask – Who is our primary customer?
We must also ask – Who are our key partners? For them, they look at their staff, from entertainment cast members to custodial staff. You must embed yourself in what they do to understand and see what’s meaningful to them.
One of the most important things to ask is – Are you efficient? While Disney has had a huge focus on safety and it has been part of their culture, efficiency isn’t something they had really optimized. They had to find where they waste time to make themselves more efficient. They now emphasize and promote “I perform my role efficiently so guests get the most out of their visit,” and “I use my time and resources wisely.”
Marti Dickman from Advanced Disposal shared some information on her company’s risk management program philosophy.
When Marti joined the company, it was growing fast but did not have any sound risk management practices in place. The first thing she needed to do was get buy in on risk management from the top down – and the bottom up. She also needed to tie risk management into the company’s vision and mission.
Forming a partnership is also crucial – both internal partners and external partners. She started talking to different department heads to see how she could help them meet their goals. She met with company drivers to get input from them and help establish an open flow of communication. It is important to engage all to be a part of the local risk strategy.
Accountability is also very important. “It is not only what we do, but what we do not do for which we are accountable.”
Finally, she said there is always a solution. You must dispel the “no” reputation and be creative in finding solutions. Always show yourself as a value-added resource.
Tara Acton presented CenturyLink’s Steps on “The Path to an Award Winning Program”
The steps Ms. Acton took to make improvements in her organization included:
- Developed a formal return to work program.
- Asked for another full-time employee – a workers’ comp analyst and advocate.
- Added clinical consultation – any claimants must talk to a nurse.
- Added a performance manager who reviews every loss and manages resources that assist with claims.
Results have been good in the organization. They will measure their litigation rates this year and she is optimistic. The clinical consultation and other programs are working well and they are recognizing savings. Claim counts are expected to be down this year.
The themes that perhaps resonated most clearly in the entire session were: Get management involved and get buy in, have a plan and be “show ready!”