Insurance firm Allianz Partners UK has reinforced its commitment to addressing employee mental health by signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge.
The pledge marks a commitment to change the way an organisation thinks about and responds to workplace mental health problems. It also requires employers to implement a 12-month action plan, which includes implementing and communicating a mental health at work plan, developing awareness among employees, providing good working conditions to promote a healthy work-life balance and routinely monitoring mental health and wellbeing.
Allianz Partners UK signed the pledge on Time to Talk Day, (Thursday 6 February 2020). On the day, the organisation also created an area within its workplace ’employee hub’ where staff were able to go to discuss mental health over tea and cake. This also included interactive activities, such as a board game centred around mental health awareness messages. Allianz UK will be encouraging team meetings to include similar activities from now on, to help normalise discussions about mental health.
Phil Murfet, learning and development adviser at Allianz Partners UK, said: “Mental health in the workplace is a huge focus for us this year, and as a business, we plan to do all we can to break down stigmas and support employees in every way possible.
“Our professionally trained mental health first aiders and mental health champions offer employers confidential support and a friendly face to discuss any issues that they may be struggling with. Signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge formalises our commitment to implementing best-practice interventions and policy to help staff work in ways that promote positive mental wellbeing.
“The employer pledge is just the first step in ensuring our workplace is open about mental health and our employees have appropriate support. We are very much looking forward to developing new and different initiatives over the year to get more and more people involved; in doing so, we will not only reduce the stigma associated with mental health within our organisation, but we are also contributing to changing attitudes beyond the workplace.”
Jo Loughran, director at Time to Change, added: “We’re delighted to see Allianz Partners UK take the Time to Change Employer Pledge. By signing the pledge and introducing regular awareness campaigns, mandatory training for all people leaders and a specific mental health at work policy, Allianz Partners UK [is] demonstrating a real commitment to changing the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.
“We know it can be hard to talk about mental health, which is why we work with employers to encourage staff at all levels to open up; to talk and to listen. Everyone’s attitude makes a difference and it’s fantastic to see organisations like Allianz Partners UK taking the lead.”