Ahead of Mental Health Awareness week, QBE has developed a customer self-assessment tool to enable companies to assess their mental health and wellbeing strategy and develop an improved, more holistic risk management strategy.
Developed with guidance from Mind and leading organisational safety consultants Anker & Marsh, the tool provides an easy-to-access platform with a series of targeted questions that enable an organisation to establish how they currently benchmark in terms of the mental health support they provide employees, supplemented with suggested improvement programmes.
It looks to address some of the growing risk concerns over the past few years of mental health in the workplace. According to recent QBE research, three in ten workers (29%) are struggling with their mental health. One in five UK employees (21%) say that they have not received good workplace support for their mental wellbeing while a similar proportion (22%) do not believe their employer’s concern about mental wellbeing is genuine.
The research also showed that over a fifth (22%) of employees admit to having made mistakes at work recently because they have continued to work instead of taking time off for the sake of their mental health. Further research from QBE found that when employees continue working instead of taking time off when experiencing mental health issues, it can cost companies an average of £52,000 in lost business or contracts.
Steve Field, Underwriting Manager, QBE Europe, said: “The synergy for both customers and insurers could not be clearer. We believe even a marginal improvement in an organisation's approach towards mental health will help to significantly address some of the issues behind the alarming statistics our research has illustrated. Consequently, we believe that QBE customers who engage fully with the process will see an improvement in their bottom line, their claims profile, and their people.”
QBE’s tool uses a self-assessment which is structured into systematic strategic sections that enables customers to record their progress through the development process. This includes reviewing organisational culture and responsibilities, monitoring of wellbeing, employee engagement, workplace design and organisation, training, tools and networks available and transparency and accountability.
Steve Field continued: “It is standard practice for organisations to carry out risk assessments to protect the physical safety of employees and third parties. However, while employers have a legal duty to protect employees from stress at work, our research suggests there is a real gap when it comes to ensuring organisations have solutions in place to address all the potential issues arising from the mental health of their workforce.”
“In our experience, most companies have good intentions, but find it very challenging to access the right tools and materials to enable them to develop a proactive strategy. This tool is intended fill in any gaps and ensure organisations have a holistic approach to mental health in the workplace and can examine how their strategies measure up to their peers.”
Dane Krambergar, Head of Client Services (Workplace Wellbeing) at Mind, said: “We’re really pleased to have worked with QBE to develop this tool, which helps organisations to identify where to seek support to fill any gaps in their mental health provision.
“Creating mentally healthy workplaces is more important than ever, and it’s vital that organisations take steps to help maintain their employee’s wellbeing. It is in employers’ interests to look after staff wellbeing – those who proactively promote good mental health typically see higher staff morale, productivity and lower sickness absence and presenteeism - staff working when they are not well enough to, which is likely to make things worse in the long run.
“We’re particularly pleased that organisations using QBE’s tool will be able to see how Mind’s workplace wellbeing support can help them create a mentally healthy workplace, including our Workplace Wellbeing Index which provides robust insights and tailored recommendations to improve workplace policy and practice.
Yvette Martinez, Personal Injury Insurance Claims Manager, Laing O’Rourke Plc, said that the tool was “a really interesting and valuable customer offering.” She continued: “We really welcomed the open impartial discussion and feedback on both our existing and planned strategies and solutions in this area. It’s great to see an insurer take a more holistic and strategic view of mental health and wellbeing.”
For further information contact:
Sandra Villanueva, Corporate Communications, QBE, 020 7105 5284, Sandra.Villanueva@uk.qbe.com
Alexis Burris, Corporate Communications, QBE, 020 3465 3921, Alexis.Burris@uk.qbe.com
QBE helps businesses build resilience through risk management and insurance.
QBE European Operations is part of QBE Insurance Group, one of the world’s leading international insurers and reinsurers and Standard & Poor’s A+ rated. Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, QBE’s gross written premium for the year ended 31 December 2020 was US$14.7 billion.
As a business insurance specialist, QBE European Operations offers a range of insurance products from the standard suite of property, casualty and motor to the specialist financial lines, marine and energy. All are tailored to the individual needs of our small, medium and large customer base.
We understand the crucial role that effective risk management plays in all organisations and work hard to understand our customers’ businesses so that we offer insurance solutions that meet their needs – from complex programmes to simpler e-trading solutions – and support them in minimising their risk exposures. Our expert risk management and rehabilitation practitioners focus on helping customers improve their risk management so that they may benefit from a reduction in claims frequency and costs.