The paper provides a discussion of the purpose statement for Anthem Inc. that is related to a training needs assessment. The paper describes the insurance industry in the United States with the focus on the aspect of competition, the company’s mission and vision, and the specific organizational structure and leadership. The analysis of current training programs adopted in Anthem Inc. is also provided in the paper. The reason for conducting a training needs assessment is presented in a separate section of the work. The issues to explore with the help of the proposed assessment include business, performance, learning, and learners’ needs.
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The assessment of needs that employees have about their training is important to improve the workforce’s performance (Jen-Chia, Tseng-Chang, & Chen, 2012). Anthem Inc. is a large insurance company located in the United States, and it is important to concentrate on training initiatives implemented in this organization. The purpose of this paper is to describe the insurance industry in the United States, Anthem’s mission, the organizational structure and leadership, and current training; demonstrate the reason for conducting a training needs assessment, and present issues to explore with the help of the needs assessment.
Anthem’s Mission, Leadership, and Training
Health insurance companies represent a large sector of the healthcare industry of the United States because they provide individuals and organizations with required insurance plans and premiums to guarantee that they receive the medical care. Anthem is one of the leading companies in the industry, and its mission is presented in the purpose statement: “Together, we are transforming health care with trusted and caring solutions,” as well as in the vision: “To be America’s valued health partner” (About Anthem, Inc., 2016).
The organization was formed as a result of the merger of WellPoint Health Networks and Anthem in 2004, and it became known as Anthem Inc. in 2014. Currently, Anthem performs as a participant of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and it has its subsidiaries and offices in different states of the country, including California, Virginia, New York, and Nevada among others.
The company is led by executives, the board of directors, and board committees. Joseph R. Swedish is Chairman of the board of directors, as well as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). John E. Gallina is the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and Craig Samitt is Chief Clinical Officer (CCO) (About Anthem, Inc., 2016).
The current training proposed to employees in the company is organized with the focus on the needs of Anthem subsidiaries. Thus, each company belonging to Anthem Group implements specific training programs oriented to the needs of employees in the concrete subsidiary and state (About Anthem, Inc., 2016). The company pays much attention to developing and supporting training programs because of the necessity to provide high-quality services. Therefore, training programs include education and sessions for top managers, administrators, practitioners, and clinicians.
The Reason for Conducting a Training Needs Assessment
Even though managers in Anthem Inc. are focused on providing the required training for employees in different subsidiaries, it is important to conduct a needs assessment and conclude regarding the necessity of the systematic approach to educating employees. Furthermore, the needs assessment is necessary to decide on areas in which all employees working in Anthem companies require improvement. Currently, Anthem subsidiaries and offices in different states recruit trainers who develop separate programs for each facility (About Anthem, Inc., 2016). However, it is important to assess the training needs of the entire company.
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Issues to Explore with the help of the Needs Assessment
Specific issues associated with Anthem’s business and training activities can be identified with the help of the questions proposed by Tobey (2005). The author provides a set of questions to determine business, performance, learning, and learners’ needs. Anthem’s business needs are associated with the tendency of downsizing observed in the company’s offices.
Depending on negative changes in sales and the increased costs, managers choose to decrease the number of customer service representatives and insurance sales agents. As a result, the number of customer complaints increases, as well as turnover rates among the mentioned groups of employees. Moreover, the competition in the industry intensifies because many companies provide similar services and insurance plans at lower costs. Therefore, more attention should be paid to increasing the number of customers and improving the quality of services.
Performance needs include the necessity of improving the productivity of the decreased number of insurance sales agents and customer service representatives. It is important to provide training for these groups of employees to contribute to their competence and ability to work with customers (Ferreira & Abbad, 2013). These actions are important to increase customer loyalty.
Learning needs can be identified for these two groups of employees. Customer service representatives need to pay more attention to the development of communication and negotiation skills to improve the approach to resolving disputes and addressing customers’ complaints. Insurance sales agents need to develop their skills in cooperation, team-building, and leadership because, currently, the teamwork of insurance agents is not developed effectively.
Learners’ needs are associated with the necessity of addressing the diverse workforce. Employees belonging to different generations and cultures are often hired as insurance sales agents and customer service representatives. They have different learning styles and various cultural, social, and educational backgrounds. As a result, it is a challenging task for managers to coordinate their work and achieve the goals regarding increases in productivity.
Furthermore, insurance sales agents are inclined to discuss the working environment as routine, and customer service representatives describe it as stressful (About Anthem, Inc., 2016). Besides, employees point at the lack of transfer opportunities for them. To address the listed issues, it is necessary to propose training programs for these two groups of employees to improve their experience during the work.
Anthem Inc. is one of the leading insurance companies in the United States, and much attention should be paid to analyzing its training initiatives to conclude regarding training needs related to the company’s employees. The paper described the insurance industry in which Anthem operates, the company’s mission, details of the organizational structure, the company’s leadership, and current training initiatives adopted in the organization.
The training needs assessment was conducted to identify issues related to the company’s operations and employees’ productivity. It is found that much attention should be paid to training insurance agents and customer service representatives in Anthem Inc. to improve their performance and the company’s position in the market.
About Anthem, Inc. (2016).
Ferreira, R. R., & Abbad, G. (2013). Training needs assessment: Where we are and where we should go. Brazilian Administration Review, 10(1), 77-99.
Jen-Chia, C., Tseng-Chang, C., & Chen, K. Y. (2012). The systematic construction and influential factors of training needs assessment. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(24), 3-12.
Tobey, D. (2005). Needs assessment basics. Danvers, MA: ASTD Press.