Allianz helps staff measure diabetes risk


Earlier this year, Allianz introduced blood checks to help its employees ascertain their risk of developing diabetes.

The checks are part of the insurer’s integrated health and wellbeing strategy, which includes a rolling education programme to raise awareness about key health issues.

Quarterly themes the organisation is focusing on this year include: resolutions to keep; improving physical activity; mental wellbeing; and warm and hearty.

Banu Gajendran, occupational health, safety and wellbeing manager at Allianz, says: “We’ve tried to sync the topics with the government’s national targets on obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular. We’ve tried to follow suit.”

Allianz invites specialist health and wellbeing providers in to support its efforts, which, for diabetes, has included Diabetes Ireland.

The employer also has a dedicated wellbeing intranet site, which gives staff access to online tools such as risk score calculators, which they can use to detect the early warning signs of disorders such as diabetes.

“It’s about us wanting to say the right thing [to staff], but not being too intrusive and also gaining the confidence to say that we’re giving the ownership of their health and wellbeing management to them, but that we’re going to try to support them all the way along while reiterating the confidentiality of what we’re doing,” says Gajendran.

She acknowledges the difficulties of identifying staff at risk of developing diabetes, and says Allianz has a blanket approach to intervention, focusing awareness campaigns on workplace sites that are at risk of specific health issues, such as obesity and high blood pressure.

“There is no way we would be able to identify individuals, because we have a confidentiality clause that we agree with staff right from the start,” she says.

“We’re not going have individual data unless someone comes up to their line manager and tells them they have just been diagnosed with diabetes and says ’this is my clinical care pathway and I need your support’.”