Take 5 with Jo Hatcher - General Manager of Digital & Direct at QBE Insurance

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Take 5 with Pioneera is a series of micro interviews with key business leaders on wellness, leadership, productivity and workplace culture.


This week we’re taking 5 with Jo Hatcher, General Manager of Digital & Direct, Personal Lines at QBE Insurance.

Jo has worked in the insurance industry for the past 20 years, predominantly in call centre leadership roles. In her role at QBE, Jo focuses on the distribution of Personal Lines insurance products through QBE call centres and online – what that looks like today and into the future. She has just (proudly) celebrated her first anniversary at QBE Insurance.

Welcome, Jo!

1. What does your workday routine look like?

My day would usually start with some form of exercise. I kick into work mode around 8am and wrap up the day as close to 5pm as I can make it.  I am pretty rigid about having a lunch break, I am a believer that it creates a good brain break in a day usually full of meetings.   

2. How do you stay focused and maintain a positive mindset when things get crazy busy?

I have thought about this a lot over the past four months. Changing the way in which you and your teams operate almost overnight in response to a pandemic makes things really busy! In spite of the increase in activity, I have enjoyed these last few months more than I thought I would, given the circumstances.

The reason why is really simple – what we have tried to do as a team these last few months is really simple and hugely rewarding - which is to look after our people during a time of significant change. I’m really proud of the work we’ve done at QBE to firmly put wellbeing at the top of our agenda to help our people be at their best.  

3. What are your three must-haves for a healthy work-life integration?

This is like a Beatles or Rolling Stones question. You can appreciate both bands but you can really only love one! In the choice between traditional ‘work-life balance’ and ‘work-life integration’, I would choose ‘work-life balance’.

Why? I have found that I need boundaries between the two so that I can be fully present in either work or my personal life. That’s just what works for me.

My 3 tips for work-life balance are:

1. Know what you need (exercise, late starts, a lunch break, max work hours) and the value it brings you.

2. Create the habit of making that balance a ‘thing’.

3. Self-monitor and adjust if/when it goes off course.     

4. What’s your top tip for creating a thriving workplace culture?

I think about this from the perspective of what makes me thrive in the workplace and the top thing on my list is about being absolutely clear about what the business is aiming to achieve (next 6 months, 12 months, 2 years) and to communicate it, and progress towards it, as regularly and in as many ways as you can.   

5. How do you bounce back when things don’t go as planned?

I work in a cross-functional team where everyone has a role to play in the running of the business. That makes it a lot easier when things go wrong, to come together as a team and to work through what happened?, why?, what might have changed the outcome? And most importantly, how do you feel about it?

I think this practice helps us face into things that don’t go to plan and to support each other to be able to bounce back genuinely and quickly.

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