Cracking the whip on GIP

How many times have you come up against that old chestnut ROI when discussing wellbeing initiatives with corporate clients? It seems like an endless and insurmountable problem considering the sheer amount of variables affecting wellbeing outcomes.

I'm not saying that proving results and value isn't important but when it paralyses decision-making and ends up ensuring that much-needed wellbeing initiatives are not implemented, it's a big issue that needs a radical rethink.

GIP providers are well placed to support brokers and clients with the hurdles often faced when implementing wellbeing initiatives - from overcoming the ROI obstacle to helping employers gather the data required to inform wellbeing strategy.

They can also work with brokers and employers to help reduce rates of absence, and associated costs. Whilst all the while, improving outcomes for employees.

And what's more, they want to.

Yet it's probably safe to say that, aside from a few exceptions, the wellbeing benefits and services that are now part and parcel of all GIP providers' products are not being utilised to their full effect.

Maybe they simply get forgotten about once GIP is in place - highly likely considering the insurance aspect was no doubt the primary driver for purchase.

Or, because they're included at no extra cost, maybe they're considered watered down versions of what could be purchased on a standalone basis.

Whatever the scenario, the fact is that employers with GIP in place probably have all the wellbeing products and services they need already at their fingertips.

They don't have to state their investment case to the Board because it's not costing them anything on top of their GIP premium.

And if they are missing something that might help them meet an identified wellbeing need, the insurer might well support the funding of that too.

Of course the GIP insurers benefit from all of this. By utilising early interventions to help get people back to work sooner - often well before an absence gets to the claim stage - costs can be contained and because clients are making regular use of the services, there are retention benefits to be had too.

All of these advantages may be just as easily applied to the broker in the equation.

3 top tips to achieving that win-win:

Work in partnership to inform wellbeing strategy: insurers are well placed to help brokers and clients gather data on the health status of employees, simply by working with their own internal and external wellbeing suppliers - for example, Management Information from Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), online health screens, fitness apps and lifestyle surveys. This, combined with claims and absence data, plus feedback from employees on what they would need and value, gives you everything you need to ensure that wellbeing services are appropriately targeted and utilised.

Encourage employers to notify their insurer about absences early on: insurers want to know about absences early so that avenues of help and assistance can be explored, where relevant, to ensure that employees get the support they need to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

Take advantage of benefits intelligence by country: as more employees are living and working abroad, it's vital to know what benefits would be most appropriate in a host country, in terms of what health issues are most prevalent in those countries and what's available from the state. Insurers with global experience will have this data and experience.