In week 14 of his 15 week blog Carl revisits the fifth of Barnett Waddingham’s 6 pillars of employee wellbeing; protection.

wellness on a budget

When I first looked at protection I scored myself 6 out of 10. On the whole I feel as though I have adequate protection for my family and my lifestyle, and the main reason for this is that I have the ability to shape my own protection.

Back in week 7 I mentioned that flexibility and choice when it comes to protection are really important as all of us have our own protection needs – some require more life insurance than others, some require more disability protection than others and some are affluent enough to not really worry about any of it.

If this is the case then the only real way to cater for the needs of all is to offer flexibility and choice but also to communicate and engage with employees as a lot of the time employees are not even aware of the protection provided for them by their employer. Here are some statistics from our ‘Why BWell?’ employee wellbeing survey from 2015:

  • 12.5% said that they felt they did not have enough protection provided in the event of maternity/paternity;
  • 18.1% said that they felt they did not have enough protection provided in the event of absence;
  • 23.6% said that they felt they did not have enough protection provided in the event of long term disability;
  • 11.1% said that they felt they did not have enough protection provided in the event of death.

Interestingly it is long term disability that caused the most concern among our respondents with nearly a quarter saying they didn’t have adequate protection. This particular statistic isn’t actually that surprising when you consider that only a third or so of companies offer long term disability protection through a group income protection plan. Have a look back at week 7 to see why I think this is actually the most important benefit any employee will ever have.

The remaining statistics still show a relatively significant minority having real concerns about their protection – how much of this is real and how much is a lack of communication on behalf of their employer? – I don’t know, but if you were surveying your workforce you would know and that knowledge would drive a more flexible and comprehensive protection strategy or it would drive a better communication and engagement strategy.

I think it would be fair to say that most people don’t worry too much about protection until they need it – then it becomes a serious concern when there is a lack of it. Therefore supporting any good strategy needs to be education: how much will the state provide, how much protection do people like you need/have?

As always (and you know this bit by now) don’t assume you know what your employees think – ask them.

Read Carl's first blog on protection HERE

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