One of our team members Ilija Manasijevic who works at OIP as Underwriting Assistant, recently got his Master of Science (MSc) degree at Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Nis by defending his thesis with the highest grade. For his Master thesis, he chose to investigate leadership in companies, focusing on comparing the characteristics of a good and a bad leader, debating if the leader is born or raised and analyzing styles of leadership. The title of his thesis is “Project management in the business analysis of the company Outsource Insurance Professionals”. The below is an abbreviated excerpt from his thesis that relates to leadership style at OIP.
“In the practical part of my thesis, I conducted interviews with OIP’s Director of Operations Milos Petrovic and Client Manager Stefan Stojanovic, who were answering my questions about the various aspects of effective leadership: how to become a good leader, what are the qualities of a good leader, what mistakes should the leader avoid, how to behave towards the employees, how to stimulate their work, how to make the employees feel important, valued and respected and how to deal with challenging situations.
I chose this topic because through working at OIP, I realized the company has many great leaders that are friendly, respective, professional, supporting and inspiring for the employees. I realized OIP leaders care about connecting the company goals and strategy with the value of the employees. They are approachable and will help out in resolving different issues through listening, empathizing, understanding and advising the employees.
Milos has left a strong impression on me with opening his leadership talk by emphasizing the fact his Director business title does not separate him from other employees by value and significance and that leadership is as important for a company as parenting is for children within one family. This versatile approach confirmed how much effort and dedication is being invested into leadership, which is then bound to bring both short and long term excellent results.
By analyzing the importance of leadership in the modern business age and competitive environment, Milos claims that survival on the market demands firm leadership, the lack of which can cost the company a lot. Per Milos, the most important thing about leadership is support to the employees and this is why OIP strives towards appointing not only the people who know the scope of its business well as managers and leaders, but who also possess skills of treating other people. Leaders must be competent, dedicated and versatile individuals who are always there for their employees, and who can’t forget that in the past they were also working in lower positions. Another important thing to note in Milos’ words is that a company can’t survive without profit which is being generated precisely by strongly motivated employees who feel valued, respected and appreciated by their supervisors. These employees need to be engaged in the functioning of the company so they wouldn’t feel neglected, which includes their openness in suggesting ideas that can improve the performance of the company.
From this approach, it can be concluded that leadership within OIP is based on expertise of both leaders and employees as well as motivating the employees which helps them develop a feeling of belonging. If there is no mutual respect between employees and their supervisors, the motivation to achieve top notch results will significantly drop. Dissatisfied employees would provide dissatisfying service to their clients which would then lead to a loss of the company’s total reputation as well as profit. If we can understand this cause-and-effect relationship between the level of employee’s satisfaction and the overall success of the whole company, we will also understand why OIP insists on building quality interpersonal relationships that the modern age demands and requires.
The other OIP manager I have talked with, Stefan, states that OIP has a highly developed corporate culture which is being honored and a large number of determined procedures which help employees to overcome any obstacle during their work and face any challenge they might cope with while working on their daily tasks. At OIP, leadership is perceived as the ability to simultaneously organize a large number of people and still motivate each individual to reach the highest results with the skill set they possess. While talking to Stefan about the skills he has developed as a leader during the course of time, he emphasized how his biggest improvement was team spirit and ability to function inside a team, as well as decision making, communication, organizational abilities and presenting information.
From all that I learned during this research I drew a conclusion that leaders at Outsource Insurance Professionals take great care of their employees with a lot of effort and dedication invested and that they intend to help every individual to overcome obstacles in their work and reach the best possible work results. I consider this approach to be very important for the employees that find motivation in the fact that they can speak about what is causing them problems as well as in the fact that they can talk openly with their leaders about suggestions on improving the quality and productivity of their work.”