How Managing Interruptions Can Boost Productivity

December 7, 2016

To anyone handling claims, interruptions are a constant frustration that must be dealt with on a daily basis. According to Kevin Quinley, founder and principal of Quinley Risk Associates, interruptions can prove fatal to adjuster productivity.

In a Claims Insights podcast on boosting productivity by managing interruptions, Quinley explains that time is a diminishing asset for claims handlers. Sustained, uninterrupted time blocks are needed to complete tasks because claims work is a thought intensive job.

Quinley says interruptions and distractions are bigger problems for adjusters now than in the past because of the nature of the work environment. Adjusters are bombarded in multiple ways: through emails, phone calls, electronic mail, snail mail and via impromptu meetings. In addition, the open design of most claims departments adds to distractions that can derail adjusters.

Quinley suggests that claims staff consider doing a weekly review to set priorities and review work activity to focus on important tasks. A weekly review might include assessing goal progress, addressing challenges on certain claims, as well as setting priorities for the coming week. He recommends archiving the review in a Word document, sending a copy to one’s supervisor, and reviewing it each Monday and at one’s annual performance review time.

Quinley offered some strategies for managing phone interruptions, including utilizing caller id, checking voicemail at set times throughout the day and lowering the ringer volume on the phone.

With respect to managing drop-in visitors, Quinley suggests finding an unused conference room to do work and triaging requests by determining whether it is time sensitive.

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