Allianz Insurance is used to ensuring that risks and liabilities are managed for the thousands of individuals and businesses across the UK, but it’s also an important part of the way they work to support staff and manage the risks of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression or stress affecting their employees.
So Allianz has been working with Able Futures which means its staff can receive advice and guidance to help their mental health at work from the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service. Diana Salmon, Health, Safety and Wellbeing Manager at Allianz Insurance explains why the company has communicated the support Able Futures can provide to its employees over the last few years: “We got involved back in 2019 when we were starting to introduce our mental health first aider program and were looking at what additional support we could give them and to other people within the organisation,” says Diana.
As part of the services it provides to its customers, risk management, and specifically managing the risk of issues affecting mental health in the workplace, is something Allianz Insurance has been proactively addressing for years, but it is constantly evolving and continuing to add to its portfolio of tools that it can call on to support staff. Which is why it now promotes Able Futures to its team as part of its mental health at work toolkit.
"I have responsibility for the staff over the UK to make sure their health, safety and well-being is being maintained and within that role I have a duty to look after people's mental health while they're at work.”
Diana Salmon, Health, Safety and Wellbeing Manager, Allianz Insurance.
Allianz Insurance employees more than 4,200 people across the UK, with the Head Office operating in Guildford, Surrey. “Using the service for our workforce and having it available has been an extra tool in our armoury. So we have an EAP service, we have our mental health first aiders but with the pandemic having hit the organisation and mental health services not being readily available with their being long waiting lists to actually have an additional support mechanism that we've been able to offer to our staff has been a really useful tool in our kit of information that we can pass out.”
Koreen Samuel, Business Account Manager at Able Futures, explains how the service has supported Diana and her team to communicate the support that is available to their staff: “So my role is to tell employers that the service exists and help them embed it for their people. One is to display the comms and make sure that they are visible. Another is to share the materials in email and to remind people that the support is there for them. And one of the most effective ways is to hold a short session where we pop up in the team meetings and explain the service in detail and give examples of, you might feel like this, it may impact you and work in this way, use the service now.”
Amelia Montague-Rendall, Lead Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant at Able Futures knows how important it is to provide tailored advice and guidance to each individual person who applies for support from Able Futures. “My role as a Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant is to support people in work who are struggling with their mental health over a nine month period. I support them with information, advice and guidance on how to manage their mental health at work and to be able to work to their full potential.”
Allianz Insurance knows that common mental health problems can be brought about or made worse by work and that as an employer it can help to manage and prevent stress and other mental health issues at work, by supporting employees through improving conditions, making adjustments and helping them manage a mental health problem while they are at work. Diana says: “Allianz really promotes the well-being of its staff and their mental health and to actually be able to offer all of these extra services and know about them is really important to our business. The people who have accessed it that we're aware of have talked of the benefits that it's actually offered them. As an organisation, knowing that we've got all of these extra tools available to our staff just makes us feel as if we're really making a difference at the time when they need it most.”
Allianz has seen benefits across the organisation according to Diana: “Not having the extra support in the organisation would mean that potentially we would lose a lot of staff to mental health conditions. It has meant that we've actually been able to keep staff working as opposed to them going on long term sick and that prevents a cost to our business.”
“Able Futures can support employees including self-employed people, contractors, temporary workers and apprentices with the things that might play on their mind at work."
Koreen Samuel, Able Futures Business Account Manager
Koreen explains more how Able Futures can support many different types of working people: "They may be experiencing anxiety or depression for example they might not necessarily know what it is that's causing them to feel low but if they can identify that they've got things that play on their mind that might sometimes impact them at work they can receive support from a Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant which we shorten to VRC.”