ARAGcare – OHM based on two firm pillars
The ARAG Group sees itself as a challenging employer, expecting high performance standards from its employees. As a consequence the company has increasingly been investing in Occupational Health Management (OHM) measures. Prior to introducing an OHM programme in 2009, ARAG conducted an analysis of the current status which showed that a range of measures had already existed, such as company-facilitated sports activities, „health days”, occupational health and safety facilities and courses addressing stress management. What had not been introduced was a concept that, along with coordinating and harmonising these measures, would also bring them into line. The aim of the project was therefore to create an overall plan for the implementation of an OHM system which could integrate the many existing activities to the highest possible degree. ARAG‘s definition of health is oriented towards the wording of the World Health Organisation: „Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. For this reason, mental and social aspects are given focal interest in ARAG’s approach to OHM. As the balance between work and family life has a significant impact on psychological and social health, these issues – alongside „Fitness and Health“ – create the second pillar of OHM within the ARAG Group.
The project managers particularly wanted to maintain and promote the commitment among employees that already existed when OHM was introduced and put into practice as ARAGcare in November 2009. In order to enhance awareness of this topic and its importance it was, and still is, vital to use the existing channels to publicise actively and broadly the voluntary OHM activities within the company. The central communication channel is the intranet which enables structured access to all OHM topics via a dedicated section. The management board statement on ARAGcare presented on that section serves as the strategic framework.
The ARAGcare committee is responsible for the overall management of OHM within the Group. The committee comprises employees from HR as well as, among others, representatives of the works council and the company-facilitated sports activities, the company safety officer and the company doctor (B.A.D). A new cooperation started with pme Familienservice, a German company that offers a wide range of services and counselling relating to childcare and care-dependent family members.
Impacts and benefits
The concept of OHM with its integrating and comprehensive approach has already proved a success within the company in the four years since the introduction of ARAGcare. One of the obvious successes of ARAGcare is the marked increase in the number of people attending specific health-awareness events that are regularly organised in cooperation with SBK and BAD. Further proof of the benefits is the frequent and very positive feedback that the ARAGcare team gets personally from employees or via the „like function” on the intranet. The comprehensive activities and services are also seen as an added benefit among job applicants; for example, a large number of job candidates said they also chose ARAG as their employer because of the variety of measures provided particularly to help balance work and family life. The high standard of ARAGcare has also been acknowledged outside the company: in 2014 after comprehensive auditing, ARAGcare won the excellence label of the Corporate Health Award for the fifth time running. In addition to this award, following an extensive certification process, ARAG also received the „berufundfamilie” certificate (audit on work and family life) in May 2014.