Allianz Insurance is one of the largest general insurers in the UK and is part of the Allianz SE Group, one of the leading integrated financial services providers worldwide and the largest property and casualty insurer in the world. Allianz Insurance employs over 4,500 people across a network of 20 offices in the UK and the company’s Head Office is situated in Guildford, Surrey. At Allianz it is well recognised that wellbeing is a contributing factor to strategic and commercial success.
A new dimension was added to the Allianz Engagement Survey: Work Life and Health Management which included work life balance questions. The scores in this area were very low against the benchmark and after further investigation, Allianz UK noticed that there was something about being a remote worker that affected the work-life balance. Being a remote worker has its advantages. However, the loneliness, lack of separation and loose working environment was causing team members to feel unhappy. Off the back of these results, the Risk Control Surveyors team began their follow up activities which lead them to International Wellbeing Insights.
In collaboration a bespoke wellbeing strategy was devised that would enable Allianz to tackle these issues. Allianz and The Stress Management Society decided that the best approach was to first conduct a focus group. 15 diverse members of the team, without their managers, attended.
‘Some of the things that came out of this focus group were astounding’.
The focus group reiterated that people love working within the Risk Control Surveyors Team. However, challenges with targets, high expectations and the time allocated to the workload were also brought to light. In the absence of Allianz UK telling their employees exactly what their expectations are, it appeared employees created the answer for themselves and this led to misunderstanding and miscommunication.
The aim was now to fill the void and make sure all employees know what is expected of them. The next step was to run a Management Training Workshop to focus on work-life balance and teach participants how to lead their team in a way that gives them appropriate support and creates a healthy environment to work in.
When the next Allianz Engagement Survey: Work Life and Health Management was conducted, work life and health management scores had increased by 13%, measures to deal with stress had increased by 19% and my manager supports my efforts had increased by 14%.
The work that we did with International Wellbeing Insights clearly portrays the importance and benefits of integrating a wellbeing measure in the workplace. The use of focus groups to investigate the main problems for Allianz allowed us to really focus on the main areas that needed improvement.
We have more work outstanding in the team than we have ever had. The team operate most effectively with 2500 jobs outstanding; we currently have 4500 jobs outstanding. The anecdotal evidence that we have achieved something is that everyone is still happy about it.
Stuart Daws, Risk Control Survey Manager, Allianz UK