How do you make your wellbeing proposition stand out from the crowd?

Health and group protection insurance products can add value to your offering – here’s how

How do you make your wellbeing proposition stand out from the crowd?
Image: Getty

After a recent Green Paper highlighted the importance of income protection products to support sick or disabled employees, Aviva’s Steve Bridger explores the value of these benefits 

Workplace wellbeing is not a new concept. The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development Wellbeing Advisory Group was set up over 10 years ago to raise awareness of the importance of workplace wellbeing initiatives. However, over the past three years the focus on the importance of workplace wellbeing has reached new levels. 

The core focus of a wellbeing platform is to maximise productivity within an organisation by attracting, retaining and engaging skilled employees. How then, do you make your wellbeing proposition stand out from the crowd?

The elements of a successful wellbeing strategy

In an increasingly competitive market, employee wellbeing and engagement has to be core to business strategy. An outstanding wellbeing platform incorporates the financial safety net provided by specific insurance products, a happy workplace culture, and the flexibility to maintain a good work home-life balance. Whilst we all have some common motivators, when you look around your workplace, it’s obvious that we’re all different in our personal objectives and needs. When it comes to health and wellbeing - no one size fits all.

Ingenious solutions

I’m always amazed when speaking to different HR teams at how ingenious employers are in their means to create a happy and stimulating work environment. Active travel options such as stair challenges and walking routes; outdoor meeting areas; rows of waist-high gardening boxes enabling  employees to ‘talk and plant’ during lunch breaks; wearable technology fitness challenges; meditation pods; yoga and Thai Chi classes; wellbeing champions; mental health awareness training; canteens with living walls and chill-out areas; job roles and working spaces designed by psychologists and ergonomists – the list goes on.

Following on, what attracts us, as employees, to an organisation?  In a survey conducted by Aviva in 2016, employees sited the following as what matters most to them at work;  financial security (a competitive salary, Pension, Life Insurance), getting along well with colleagues , a good physical working environment, recognition for good work, and a flexible working culture. 

Wellbeing is not just about being happy at work. It’s also about providing a culture that supports employees when things go wrong. Your wellbeing platform needs to encompass the health & rehabilitation services required to enable employees to get back on their feet after a period of ill health, and the financial support required by their families to survive such worrying times.  

Where does income protection fit in?

The government’s Work & Health Unit Green Paper has recently highlighted the importance of income protection products to support sick or disabled employees. This is timely as currently in the absence of this type of employee benefit; a family could be left with as little as £88 per week to live on if they were reliant purely on state benefits. 

Adding Health and Group Protection insurance products to your wellbeing offering not only provides immediate medical care or financial security, but also offers other valuable services such as vocational rehabilitation and case management to help employers facilitate the return-to-work of employees. Adding such benefits means that you will offer a truly outstanding wellbeing strategy.

Communication is key

What you offer, however, is only as good as the means you have to communicate it; you need to shout louder and further than your competitors to demonstrate the value that your wellbeing platform can provide. As employees, we don’t all engage with the same forms of media.  We now use the internet, a multitude of social media platforms, conversations with colleagues and formalised training, to name a few, as a means to inform ourselves of the world around us.  

As an employer with a great wellbeing platform, you need to engage with as many of these media as possible to capture the interest of employees and increase their awareness of the valuable support and services that are available to them.

Ultimately, we all start our workplace wellbeing journey with a need for financial reward and a happy working environment. Beyond that, we’re attracted to employers who offer benefits that provide us and our families with tangible financial stability at times of ill health, or the premature loss of the primary wage earner.  

Making your proposition the best available relies on you providing benefits that offer variety and diversity, having a commitment to engaging employees to improve their health and wellbeing and understanding the importance of supporting the financial needs of their families.

Steve Bridger is managing director of Aviva Group Protection

Sunday 25 June 2017
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