The promotion of health and well-being among employees It is gaining more and more weight in companies -more so after the circumstances generated by the pandemic, which have made them more aware of both mental and physical health- due to the benefits it provides: it contributes to reducing stress, increases productivity, reduces absenteeism and improves the business climate and employee commitment, among others.
But this concern for occupational health is not new. Axa Partners already launched its corporate wellness program in 2015, which over the years has become Healthy You. “The program is conceived with the idea of promoting the emotional stability and physical well-being of employees,” says Alma Palazzi, director of human resources at Axa Partners. “For us it is so important that in 2005 we created a specific area within human resources dedicated to this subject”, remarks Palazzi.
Axa Partners is fundamentally dedicated to providing assistance services, specialized insurance and credit and lifestyle protection insurance. “We are more than 1,100 employees and we have some 46 nationalities working with us. In Spain we have two offices, in Barcelona and Madrid”, points out Palazzi.
Employees have a 24-hour telephone service for psychological consultations
Healthy You contemplates actions such as a health questionnaire, through the platform developed specifically for this topic, through which employees receive an assessment that helps them become aware of their physical and mental health, as well as obtain advice to improve health and well-being globally. “This questionnaire is completely confidential for the employee,” Palazzi points out. “If the result yields a worrisome diagnosis, we offer you two options: the psychological telephone service, related to mental health and that works 24 hours every day of the week, and the medical assistance service, for other types of typologies, more physical. “, Explain.
In addition, included in the annual medical examination, are carried out specific cancer screening tests, such as mammograms for women over 40 years of age and PSA (prostate specific antigen) test for men. In addition, the program includes an information dossier on cancer, which contains information about the disease not only for those employees who are going through a cancer process, but also information and advice for managers and colleagues.
Palazzi points out that “30%-40% of the workforce undergoes this medical examination, and 12% of targeted women and 18% of men are undergoing specific early detection tests.”
The medical examination includes mammograms and PSA test (prostate)
The program also promotes Healthy You Days, which for a fortnight a year (this year it was held in October) organize different conferences, events, training sessions and online and face-to-face awareness days dedicated to health and well-being which are led by specialists in physical health and mental health.
Likewise, this year, coinciding with Healthy You Days, the company has launched a mental health and wellness digital services platform consisting of two spaces: one for awareness, with articles and infographics on how to improve and manage physical and mental health; and another for self-assessment, in which employees can evaluate different aspects of health, stress, sleep quality, etc.
The training offered by the company went from being only face-to-face before the pandemic to its online adaptation during it. Now a mixed format has been adopted. “The face-to-face ones are hypopressive [fortalecimiento abdominal], vocal overload or the initiation of physical activity. And training more linked to nutrition, stress management or early detection of cancer, for example, we do it digitally”, details the director of human resources at Axa Partners. Everything related to prevention, safety and ergonomics are mandatory training; the rest are voluntary. Digital training is recorded and available to employees on the platform.
The practice of some type of physical activity is also encouraged by the company: yoga, postural exercises, relaxation techniques. “And the mental and emotional exercise we associate a lot with this practice. It also offers the opportunity to join a network of gyms nationwide, subsidized, so it doesn’t matter exactly where you live”.
The company also offers employees the ability to receive flu vaccine at your facility. And with a view to 2023, the company is working on the deployment of the second medical opinion for employees with serious illnesses.
Healthy You, Axa Partners’ health and wellness program, it is fed periodically from the interaction with the workers and the collection of information to gradually adapt this program to the needs of the employees.
“We have, on the one hand, the satisfaction surveys when we finish the formations, and that gives us a series of ideas. We also have the work climate survey, where our employees express themselves anonymously, and there they give us relevant information on well-being. And we also occasionally do interviews with those responsible and we have the anonymous statistics derived from visits to the attending physician. On average we have almost 20% of our staff that go to the medical assistance service. And although I don’t know what their ailments are or their names, or that detail, the service then provides us with statistics on the most common type of ailment or issue that worries them and in this sense we are also modifying and adapting content according to those needs”, explains Alma Palazzi, director of human resources at Axa Partners.