Michael Makar, Head of MassMutual Romania
- What are the trends related to technology that 2022 will bring or will continue in our industry? How will they impact us? What opportunities and challenges should we expect? How do you plan to use them in your favor and to be ahead of the others?
In the next decade we will experience more disruption and advancements than in the past 100 years combined as technology reshapes finance, health, energy, transportation, and many, many other industries, and domains.
Many of these trends are industry-agnostic, such as process automation and virtualization, applied AI, or next-generation computing. Others are industry-specific, such as bio revolution or future of clean technologies.
One thing is for sure, the need for speed is greater than ever, and companies like MassMutual are taking steps to stay ahead of this curve and move faster – from launching new business models, to improving productivity, to rolling out new products.
At MassMutual Romania, we contribute to the digital transformation that will help MassMutual maintain its position as a leader in its industry. We’re committed to our mission and objectives, while at the same time ensuring work-life balance for our employees. We want to provide everyone with opportunities to grow their careers long-term and simultaneously make every day with the team fun and engaging. Our biggest challenge remains to continue the rapid pace of growth. It’s a very competitive market, and we continue to work hard to tell our story and attract the best employees. But being a new company on the market makes us even more ambitious than our competitors and motivates us to work that much harder to ensure that our employees thrive.
- The way of working, recruiting, onboarding and so on were probably the most affected by the pandemic. What do you think is here to stay and what new trends will emerge in 2022 when it comes to work? What challenges will companies face? How companies as well as employees will be affected? Does your company plan to implement new strategies for recruiting and retaining people? Do you intend to go back to the office? When? What changes should your employees expect to see there?
The labor market in Romania remains very competitive in 2022, particularly in the IT industry, which is characterized by a high demand for talent We are a new company in an extremely competitive marketplace where the labor force is far below market demand, so we need to continue showcasing our strong benefits and opportunities to hire and retain talent.
We have been working in a remote environment since launching MassMutual Romania, yet we’ve had excellent results. In 2022, we will continue to recruit and work mainly remotely, but our offices in Bucharest and Cluj are open for our employees. I expect that recruitment and onboarding especially in sectors such as IT will remain predominantly online during the period to come, and very similar to the previous pandemic period. We continue to meet online, hold remote team video meetings and block time for socializing and getting to know each other through informal discussions and events. Our employees value flexibility and openness in our working model, and they shouldn’t expect any changes in how we are organizing our activity.
Working remotely has been beneficial for our company yet still a challenge. It allowed us to grow our team in multiple cities across the country and cast a wider net for our recruitment efforts. However, a lack of in-person connection between team members while working remotely in a pandemic was challenging. This gave us increased awareness that we must take incremental steps to build team cohesion and grow a strong culture centered around our people. Maintaining continuous communication with our peers remains critical throughout the following period.
- Are there any trends in the customer experience area? Do you foresee any change in the way our industry delivers services? Is the customer satisfaction affected by the pandemic? What opportunities do you see for this year? Did your company find any new solutions to improve the customers’ experience?
We’re moving towards more and more digital transactions and experiences. Companies like ours with sophisticated IT capabilities and market-leading analytics capabilities are at an advantage. Businesses that thrive in this fast-changing environment must be adaptable and agile, while at the same time stay in touch with the customer through the multitude of channels at their disposal, leveraging data to truly customize that experience.
We want all our customer journeys to be mobile-enabled in order to meet them where they are. Most life insurance business was previously conducted through in-person meetings with customers and financial advisors. During the pandemic, this shifted to virtual meetings. Younger generations want to do more online and on mobile platforms, so we must meet and exceed their expectations.
MassMutual Romania is making a big impact in this digital journey through deploying modern technology stacks, our cloud-first strategy, mobile development and taking advantage of the advancements in data science, AI, and machine learning capabilities. This enables MassMutual’s next stage of growth, our next 20 million customers.