Allianz manages employee stress through a comprehensive wellbeing programme that was launched in 2007 to engage its staff and boost morale. Some 58 wellbeing champions across the insurer’s 24 UK sites are tasked, on a voluntary basis, to devise events based on the company’s quarterly themes.
This year’s themes include improving lifestyles and enhancing resilience, which relate to stress management but with a positive spin, says Banu Gajendran, occupational health and safety manager at Allianz. Other themes will be active lifestyle and sustaining healthy working environments.
Allianz has worked with the Stress Management Society to train its champions to deliver the resilience segment. Also, line managers have been trained to recognise early warning signs of stress in their team and know how to respond appropriately. Mental health charity Mind undertook Allianz’s most recent line manager training sessions.
“These were run to train managers, but also for employees, to encourage them to take ownership [of their issues],” says Gajendran. “Stress is responsible for so many lost days in a year, so we are doing our utmost to try to manage it.”
All 4,500 of Allianz’s UK-based staff have access to an employee assistance programme provided by PPC Worldwide.
Allianz communicates its wellbeing initiatives to staff via intranet and email. It also hosts a one-day wellbeing conference every two years, to which it invites staff and external businesses in the area of its UK head office in Surrey.
But Allianz’s wellbeing strategy does not have a dedicated budget. “It is driven by our management board and cascaded to all our business leaders, so we don’t have to have a separate budget; we can absorb the cost into the business,” says Gajendran. “Each division comes up with its own spend and practice, which we give them guidance on.”
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