Health care is a particularly important issue for Allianz in Austria. This is reflected not only in modern and holistic insurance solutions for its customers but also in its great commitment to its employees.
As a health insurer, Allianz is always breaking new ground – now also in the area of mental health. For about 9 months now, Instahelp has been available to Allianz employees free of charge for online psychological counselling; as part of their health insurance, the promotion of mental health is also a fixed component for customers. This offers the possibility to discuss current topics and concerns from the professional and private environment with professional contact persons. In addition to online counselling, Instahelp workshops and impulse lectures offer employees ongoing opportunities to cultivate their own mental health and increase resilience. The CEO of Allianz Austria, Rémi Vrignaud, was the main advocate for this offer. He is convinced “that psychological counselling helps to strengthen mental health.” In an interview with Christiane Katschnig-Otter, Partnership Manager for Companies at Instahelp, he talks about current challenges and “what’s really important”.
Keyword “mental health”: why is Allianz Austria dealing with this topic? What do you expect from it?
Health is our most important asset. As a health insurer, we, therefore, do everything we can to ensure optimum care in the event of a complaint on the one hand, and to promote the maintenance of health in the best possible way on the other. This involves not only physical health but also mental health in particular – and this affects us all. We want to create awareness and break up this taboo subject. We want to communicate openly and address all facets of health. It is also very important to me personally to show that psychological counselling helps to strengthen mental health.
What challenges does Allianz Austria face and how do you want to support your employees?
An Allianz survey conducted in Austria in the fall of last year showed how the COVID-19 crisis, in particular, is having an impact on our society in mental terms: In the survey, two-thirds said they had mental problems on a case-by-case basis, our young people in particular often feel lonely, and young people and women in particular increasingly complain of a lack of drive and energy, fatigue or sleep disorders. This makes it clear how present the topic is in our society and it can be assumed that the health crisis has additionally fueled this trend in recent months. It is extremely important to us to prevent this and to help people get through challenging situations mentally strong. That’s why we offer not only our customers with our health insurance but also our employees the opportunity to take advantage of online psychological counselling via Instahelp and to reflect with professionals. And we offer a wide range of other health promotion options: from professional health checks by external specialists and the company doctor or immediate telemedical advice, to seminars and workshops on dealing with stress and resilience, to online fitness courses or nutritional advice.
What was the greatest psychological impact of the Corona crisis on Allianz employees?
The last year has put all of us – privately and professionally – to the test, and the crisis still demands a great deal of effort from us. COVID-19 has changed our lives, sometimes abruptly, and has acted like a magnifying glass that shows us what is really important. Besides our family and people close to us, it is our health. Of course, we also see in the company that Corona is leaving its mark. Some of the employees at Allianz are also exposed to multiple stresses: Homeschooling, generally tight living conditions or parents in need of care – to name just a few. An internal survey showed us, for example, that six per cent of our employees initially had their workplace in the bedroom or kitchen after switching to the home office. It’s an immense challenge to reconcile everything, and as a responsible employer, we see it as our duty to provide the best possible support: with the aforementioned work-well offers as well as with monetary subsidies for ergonomic office equipment, Internet or lunch, among other things.
Why did you choose Instahelp? Where do you see the biggest advantages?
Instahelp is a young, modern and innovative start-up that has managed to provide easy and fast access to preventive medical help with digital tools. Our first conversations together showed us that Instahelp is not only backed by experienced psychologists, but also by a motivated team that is fully committed to promoting our health and puts its heart into its work. We see this every day in our collegial cooperation. And we also see that the offer is very well received: As part of our health insurance, the online consultations are very well received by our customers, and we quickly realized that we also wanted to make this option available to our employees free of charge.
What is the feedback from employees about Instahelp? What are the results and experiences since the counselling has been active?
Since September of last year, we have conducted two employee surveys on satisfaction with the service, and Instahelp also informs us about the feedback. Both show a clear picture: a high level of satisfaction with both the consultation and the ease and speed with which appointments can be made. During our most recently launched webinar “Game Changer Resilience”, more than 700 colleagues learned about Instahelp’s consulting services, which then of course take place anonymously in one-on-one sessions, as well as about the possibilities for promoting their health. This shows how great the interest is and we are pleased to have Instahelp on board as a competent and strong partner.
If you as a company are also interested in making Instahelp available to your employees, we look forward to hearing from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credits: unsplash.com/@jennyhill