Healthcare and Social Welfare in Sales Force
- Name of the companyLVM Versicherungsverein auf GegenseitigkeitCorporate headquartersSize and sectorAußendienst: bundesweit ca. 2.200 LVM-Vertrauensleute mit 4.400 Mitarbeitern;Innendienst: ca. 3.600 Mitarbeiter in der Unternehmenszentrale in Münster sowie im angestellten AußendienstWebsite
Background to introducing the measure
Appreciating health as the greatest asset is firmly anchored in the culture at LVM. This includes not just physical health, but also mental and emotional health. Almost 20 years ago, the area of „healthcare and social welfare“ was established as a fixed part of HR work at LVM. This path was consistently and continuously supported by the Works Council. Since that time, there has been further development in healthcare promotion, corporate reintegration management and counselling for employees in crisis situations and regarding problems in the company. The offer of counselling, however, has so far been aimed at employees working in head office and in salaried field sales, but not at the Germany-wide sales network comprising independent agencies.
One of the key reasons for developing nationwide social consultancy for Sales, i.e. LVM linked agents and their employees, was the increasing importance of the issue within the LVM culture. Employees from head office and in field sales, together with representatives for the independent LVM agency owners, developed this focus via subject-specific LVM events on demography and work-life balance. A further trigger was the increase in inquiries about counselling from Sales Force being received in the „Healthcare and Social Welfare“ section of the HR department. Given this background, LVM considered it essential to address the topic of „Health in Sales“ to provide support in maintaining and promoting employee health.
The pilot phase started in October 2014. Around half of all LVM insurance agencies have since been able to take up this offer. Nationwide roll-out is planned from 2016.
The project team entrusted with implementation comprises LVM employees from the Communications, HR and Sales departments, salaried Field Sales and LVM linked agents' representatives. The collaboration with the IHR rehabilitation service and the Catholic University of Münster ensures that all aspects of a social consultancy for the sales force are being taken into account.
Object of the measure
The focus of the project is on developing and introducing healthcare management specially customised for the sales force. The new, needs-appropriate offer is intended to give the linked agents and their employees help and support in all crisis situations relating to health, career, family and personal life, in order to maintain, restore and/or improve the health, motivation and performance of those involved.
The aim of the project is to create a well-matched offer of support for the nationwide LVM insurance agencies, via professional counselling and scientific support.
To be able to offer counselling nationwide, LVM Versicherung is collaborating with the IHR rehabilitation service. The counselling team comprises over 70 experts from various disciplines, with extensive practical experience. In addition, the team possesses access to networks focussing on the theme of physical and mental health. As a result, across Germany there are interdisciplinary teams able to meet with and support those affected locally. The guarantee of confidentiality and a good knowledge of the LVM culture are fully in place.
The initial point of contact for linked agents, their employees and the IHR rehabilitation service is the „Healthcare and Social Welfare“ section at the head office of LVM Versicherung. This section receives the telephone inquiries regarding counselling and clarifies them using a screening form, in order to determine the scope of counselling provision. The next step is for the inquiry to be forwarded to the IHR rehabilitation service. Contact from the IHR rehabilitation service to the person seeking help is made within 24 hours. The initial consultation can be held within eight working days.
Effects and benefits realised
From October 2014 to April 2015, the nationwide counselling network was able to engage successfully in over 30 individual cases. Feedback from those seeking help shows that they feel valued and they accept the offer and the assistance provided.
The „Healthcare and Social Welfare in Sales Force“ network which has been established across the country is unique in this form in Germany to date. The project group reflects on the project at regular intervals and discusses and addresses change processes, where applicable.
Key success factors/obstacles
Various counselling concepts in Germany were examined during the analysis phase. One outcome was that the following criteria were to be respected for an offer of counselling customised for LVM:
- Respecting an absolute need for confidentiality
- Coordination via a contact at the head office of LVM Versicherung
- Contact via face-to-face counselling
- A low threshold for access
- Counselling within a short period is guaranteed (initial meeting within eight working days)
- Use of a self-developed screening instrument, drawing on the case management concept
- Information booklet for all LVM linked agents
- Creating an offer of counselling which can be offered comprehensively across Germany
- Orientation to LVM values of security, trust and responsibility
- Long-term, individual counselling