Businesses in almost every industry and sector are striving to become more conscious of their employee’s wellbeing. Achieving good mental, physical, social and financial health will help employees thrive both personally and professionally.
Insurance brokers are also now beginning to recognise the importance of wellbeing. There’s no doubt about it – broking is a tough job. It’s stressful, fast paced and comes with a high degree of responsibility. Brokers deal with a range of clients and many different issues – requiring empathy and professionalism at all times, even during times of difficulty and frustration. Remember – it’s our job to reassure our customers and always do what’s right for them. Sometimes customers call us in moments of high stress and anxiety and our team are always there to offer a listening ear and expert advice. Whilst we love our job, it can be tough.
It’s easy to see why unhealthy and unproductive patterns creep in. Eating at your desk, working late, checking emails at weekends or during a holiday, turning up to work ill… it’s no wonder some brokers experience burn out if they don’t have the right support structure in place.
When we say we care about our team, we mean it. That’s why wellbeing is a key part of our workplace culture here at the Romero Group.
The Chartered Insurance Institute, in partnership with mental health charity Mind, have developed six key wellbeing standards. As part of “A Guide to Implementing the Thriving at Work Standards”, brokers are advised how to implement wellbeing practices in order to help employees. The guide provides easy-to-implement strategies and suggestions for businesses.
So what are the six key standards and how is Romero Insurance Brokers using them to improve workplace wellbeing?
- Produce, implement and communicate a ‘mental health at work’ plan that encourages and promotes good mental health of all staff and an open organisational culture.
Our workplace wellbeing programme ensures wellbeing activity happens continually throughout the year. The wellbeing plan is promoted to all employees via posters around the office, all staff emails and regular team catch-ups delivered by our Wellbeing Champions.
Mental health is by no means uncommon, yet it is often not discussed in the workplace. 73% of workers experience mental health problems, yet just 32% take time off. We want to de-stigmatise mental health here at Romero, and our employees are actively encouraged to talk openly. Furthermore, managers and colleagues are trained to actively listen, be understanding and act respectfully. Our range of support materials signposts staff to professional help if necessary, too.
- Develop mental health awareness among employees by making information, tools and support accessible.
Wellbeing Champions across the business ensure key tools and support materials are easily accessible for all staff. This includes printed material as well as a range of advice and information saved on our shared system for employees to access at all times.
We also want our employees to feel empowered to manage their wellbeing outside of work, too. We offer an Employee Assistance Programme, gym discounts, free counselling and much more.
- Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling, during the recruitment process and at regular intervals throughout employment, with appropriate workplace adjustments offered to employees who require them.
Our new starters receive a wellbeing induction with one of our Wellbeing Champions. This ensures all members of staff know who to talk to, and know what support is available. Wellbeing Champions regularly check up on new starters and colleagues within their team to make sure everyone is aware of upcoming seminars, internal campaigns and more.
We view mental health the same as physical health here and encourage employees to keep open dialogue with their line manager if they are struggling. We will always be accommodating and help our team where we can!
- Provide your employees with good working conditions and ensure they have a healthy work-life balance and opportunities for development
The workplace culture here is often commented on by customers, colleagues and new starters. Our team are always smiling and there’s always something happening, from a charity bake sale to a fundraising dress up day! We do the serious stuff well, too. We regularly assess our employee’s work stations, workplace satisfaction and career development to make sure everyone is on track.
We want passionate, interesting people to work for us. And that means having a life outside of work. Our team are encouraged to work hard and be themselves. We offer training and development opportunities to all staff, even launching our own Academy to make sure our team achieve their goals.
- Promote effective people management to ensure all employees have a regular conversation about their health and wellbeing with their line manager, supervisor or organisational leader and train and support line managers in effective management practices.
Supporting managers to support their team is important to us. Our management team take part in specific manager training, mental health training and more to ensure they are equipped and empowered to have open conversations with their colleagues. Employees know they have the option to speak to their manager, other members of their team and of course our Wellbeing Champions. But our senior management team are also incredibly friendly people and their ‘open door’ policy encourages a welcoming feeling of transparency for everyone at every level of the business.
Managers regularly have one-to-one sessions with employees to help them keep on track with tasks, objectives and overall wellbeing. Our team feel involved and included in every big business decision and celebrate with us when things go right.
- Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing by understanding available data, talking to employees and understanding risk factors.
Our annual Wellbeing Insights Reports gathers the opinions and thoughts from the whole business, helping us to identify which areas of wellbeing our team need the most assistance and advice. This then forms the foundations of our yearly strategy – helping us programme in seminars, workshops and health checks that will really make a difference to the team. We trust our employees to lead the way and help us help them.
TINYPulse allows us to regularly ask the team important questions about life at Romero, allowing staff members to make anonymous suggestions and give valuable feedback. We’ve actioned plenty of these suggestions and regularly monitor the feedback to see how we can further improve our workplace culture and support our colleagues.
Of course, we couldn’t achieve such fantastic results without the expert help of our wellbeing partner, We Are Wellbeing. The team have developed our extensive and exclusive wellbeing programme, which is tailored to our Group’s needs. Working with a knowledgeable partner to deliver wellbeing services allows us to support our team in all the right ways. From delivering mindfulness sessions right through to arranging on-site fitness classes and wellbeing seminars, We Are Wellbeing has been with us every step of the way helping to consolidate our positive workplace culture and do the best for our team. Our motto is simple: we want our team to go home feeling better than when they arrived!