How Edelweiss Tokio Life built a people-centric company over a decade
23 Jul 2021
Guided by the belief that customer centricity is rooted in people centricity, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance has focussed on creating an environment that fosters growth, development and protects the overall wellbeing of its employees over the last 10 years. These efforts have culminated into the insurer being recently acknowledged as a Great Place to Work.
Life insurance has always been a people’s business, more so in India, wherein face to face interactions play a big role in customer experience. This instrument primarily signifies a promise to protect people’s dreams and aspirations. Understanding these delicate nuances, Edelweiss Tokio Life has put a higher emphasis on building a new-age people-first business in a sector that carries a legacy spanning several decades. This has required a higher focus on understanding customer behaviour, empathy, and not only processes, which in turn has dictated the kind of culture the company wants to create for its employees.
Over these last 10 years, the insurer has shown a commitment to primarily three aspects of employee engagement – Professional advancement, Personal Wellbeing, and Social Responsibility. With structured efforts on each of these factors, the company has been able to carry out meaningful engagement with its employees.
Recognising People’s Edge
The company’s Employee Value Proposition – Edge has been a driving force behind a meaningful and effective employee engagement. Born from employee insights, Edge focusses on three key pillars – Growth, Development and Impacting Lives (Wellbeing & Social Responsibility).
Under the aegis of Edge, the insurer charts out a learning journey for each employee, envisions their growth trajectory within the company, secures their overall wellbeing and promotes a sense of social responsibility through initiatives several initiatives, notable ones being Unlimited Umang, and Organ Donation.
Unlimited Umang is a social initiative which aims to encourage a higher social involvement by its employees through a volunteering program. This initiative is currently working towards engaging Edelweiss Tokio Life employees in spreading financial awareness among marginalised women and equipping them with an understanding of the evolving digital world. Similarly, the insurer has adopted Organ Donation as its flagship social cause and has been making efforts in bridging the need gap of organ donors.
The company has also identified and instituted skilling initiatives at multiple levels for its employees. Some noteworthy programs are Business Leader, Young Leader, and Women Leadership Program, which hope to nurture meritocracy and leadership within its existing talent pool.
Coping with the pandemic
Employee wellbeing has emerged as one of the key concerns since last year given the public health crisis ravaging the world. The second wave of the pandemic was a graver concern and presented newer challenges in navigating this crisis for the employees.
Building and retaining trust and confidence of employees was extremely critical during this period. In line with this objective, the company bolstered internal communication between leadership and employees to promote transparency.
Family has become an integral part of employee experience since the Covid 19 pandemic began. Edelweiss Tokio Life has been making efforts towards providing relevant and adequate support to employees and their families during this period. The second wave has led to an unprecedented loss of life, which has warranted going beyond the defined benefits to support employees and their families.
Apart from routinely monitoring health status of employees and their families through an established mechanism, Edelweiss Tokio Life mobilised its local branches for employees in critical need of resources. The local HR partners and the managers played a key role in ensuring that such support was delivered timely to employees in need.
Given the surge of information on Covid, people needed access to credible information. With this context, the insurer set up 2 helplines – one which offers verified information regarding Covid and related resources, and second wherein a TPA can help understand insurance-related concerns. Adequate financial preparedness also became a matter of concern. In cases where Mediclaim wasn’t enough for certain employees, the insurer has offered extended medical benefits and interest-free loans to help them tide through this temporary but essential financial need. The insurer is also delivering Covid Kits to affected employees, which has all the essentials like oximeter, steam inhalers, etc. The insurer has also carried out Inoculation drives for its employees and their families in addition to making the cost of vaccination reimbursable.
Other than the physical fallout, mental health has suffered across the board owing to this pandemic. Edelweiss Tokio Life announced organisation-wide initiatives like sessions with doctors, Yoga, guided meditation, setting up of counselling helplines and more. The insurer has also set up grief counselling sessions for employees who have lost a loved one during the second wave to help manage the mental fallout. It also introduced Staycation, an initiative to offer extended weekends to its employees for facilitating a break from work and more time with family.
Over the years, the insurer has placed a higher emphasis on inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Women, especially, have been an area of focus and the company has spent resources in understanding the challenges of this co-hort. Some of the important initiatives that have helped in attracting women talent has been flexi-working hours, maternity benefits, leadership programs and more.
As the company completes 10 years in business, the insurer now intends on expanding its vision of diversity and inclusion to heed the importance and indispensability of all its employees.
This article has been created in association with Edelweiss Tokio.