Article: The new-age handbook to corporate wellness for employers

Employee Relations

The new-age handbook to corporate wellness for employers

These uncertain times have taken a toll on the overall physical and mental health of the workforce.
The new-age handbook to corporate wellness for employers

The idea of providing group health insurance to ensure employee wellness is not new. What’s new, however, is how it has evolved over the years to encapsulate contrasting needs of all segments while keeping up with digitisation. If the pre-COVID era saw corporate insurance warming up to technology, the pandemic essentially transformed its landscape, particularly to match the pace with remote work settings. Besides, COVID has brought the significance of insurance to the forefront. Hence, what was earlier perceived as a perfunctory component of the CTC, is now being carefully scrutinised just so it caters to the health needs of employees - and by extension their families - in a pandemic-ravaged world. 

These uncertain times have taken a toll on the overall physical and mental health of the workforce. Therefore, the new-age corporate wellness playbook is all about flexibility, customisation, inclusivity, and digital means to achieve these goals. This is where InsurTech comes into the picture - to act as an interface between corporates and insurers and facilitate a smooth transition of technology into the group insurance space. Here’s how digitisation is rewriting the rules of corporate insurance that employers need to know about.

Adapting to dynamic workplace needs 

The recurrent pandemic waves have made it difficult for the organisations to set a policy in stone. The workplaces have been operating on different models, keeping the employee well-being in mind. Even as offices continue to switch between fully remote and hybrid set-ups, it becomes equally essential to adapt to changing wellness needs as well. Social distancing can lead to a loss in sense of belongingness with the organisation and can even snowball into economic trends like The Great Resignation, 2021. The employers need effective strategy to combat this issue and connect with the workforce. 

Employers need to make a holistic approach towards ensuring sound mental and physical health. The plans should include wellness programs, mental health counselling and yoga sessions and gym memberships to ensure overall wellness. Apart from this, they can leverage technology to stay on top of employee well-being. They can offer rewards or wellness points to employees based on their fitness quotient. Smart-wear or mobile apps can easily track physical activity, sleep and water intake and share with a certain group of people. This will not only help organisations stay on top of employee fitness quotients but also promote interactions and better connect with people.

Technology for the greater good

With digitization, the solutions to several complex problems in insurance have been made simpler. Even in a remote set-up, the efficient use of tech and data largely eliminates the need for manual effort. Therefore, it makes the process much more cost-effective, time-saving and errorless for employers. 

The tech innovation has made way for HR portals, employee apps, a digital marketplace to compare and buy, WhatsApp bots and easy claim support with a few clicks to iron out the glitches in traditional practises. These bots have a two-way integration with the TPAs where one can easily see the status of claims filed earlier and also file fresh claims, and even request a call back on WhatsApp in case of any support. Similarly, inclusion of telemedicine in health insurance is another great example of ensuring protection without the risk of exposure. This effectively helps employees access healthcare from the safety of their homes in the current times.

More room for flexibility, innovation and customisation

The need of the hour for workplaces is to become more flexible and employee-centred. These times call for employers to strengthen the organisational ties with their employees. Offering more flexibility and customisation in group policies is one way to achieve this. Over the years, people’s preferences have undergone a lot of change. There are now options available to accommodate people’s choice of covering their pets through insurance. Further, they now have the flexibility to opt for insurance covering their parents. Additionally, there’s customization available for increasing the sum assured limit as individual needs might differ from the group. Also, the user has the scope to opt for pre-existing illnesses to cover if the need arises, which is a significant development in the COVID times. Not just this, people are moving away from the traditional definition of the spouse who is covered under their policy. A spouse might also include a live-in partner, for instance.

Earlier, such calls would usually rest solely with the employer. However, the horizons are far broader now as there’s more awareness regarding employee wellness. With a good enrolment portal and communication system at the back-end, it has become easier for both brokers and insurers to offer this range of flexibility and customisation in corporate insurance. 

Targeting every segment of the workforce with technology

Often, mentioning corporate insurance conjures up the image of the workforce employed with large companies. This leaves out the employees engaged with smaller start-ups or even the blue-collar labour pool of tech companies. With the help of tech and data, the insurers can cast their net wider and provide coverage for each and every segment. 

For instance, if the delivery or warehouse employees need assistance with insurance, a fancy app wouldn’t solve the purpose for them. Here, a WhatsApp bot helps overcome language and technological barriers. The bot can help with needs like delivering an e-card with a few clicks and further assisting the user with the process. It’s available in several languages to facilitate easier interaction with all kinds of users. It takes the insurance away from a very operations-heavy way of functioning and introduces more efficiency. Similarly, smaller ventures that are just starting out have budget constraints and technology helps them address these gaps efficiently.

In a nutshell, employers need to match the rapid pace at which the corporate world is changing, especially after the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic has brought the need for overall wellness to the forefront and technology is the only way to address it.

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Topics: Employee Relations, #GuestArticle, #MentalHealth

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