unum logo

Financial protection specialist Unum has today launched a practical guide for employers to help put plans in place to attract and retain the best people and ultimately thrive.

‘Your Blueprint to a Caring Company’ aims to help employers make the case for a renewed focus on health and wellness at board level after recent research from Unum revealed that almost a third (30%) of employees said they would consider leaving their job if they didn’t feel cared for by their employer. Employee loyalty and retention is an issue that employers cannot afford to ignore, with the cost of replacing key staff members (earning over £25k per annum) equating to £30,614 per employee on average.

Unum has gathered leading industry experts to debate and discuss what it takes to become a caring company in 2014 and developed a Blueprint to inspire forward thinking progressive companies.

Created in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and some of the country’s most established brands and innovative start-ups including Ernst & Young, Mumsnet and Metail, the Blueprint gathers these insights in one place and provides employers with best practice examples and practical solutions to apply in the workplace.

The Blueprint explores five business areas for becoming a company that cares:

  • Leadership and line management – the importance of strong senior leadership for creating a positive company culture, while ensuring that line managers buy into this concept and understand how to implement it within their teams.
  • A caring culture – developing a culture that supports learning and embraces new ideas, while engaging and motivating employees.
  • Working practices – empowering employees to examine the best ways to do their job most effectively and efficiently.
  • Getting the employee benefits balance right – taking account of employees’ diverse needs to offer a tailored, balanced benefits package, and communicating effectively what is on offer.
  • Protecting your business for the future – assessing the way the business and technology is evolving, and constantly reviewing practices to ensure they continue to fit the criteria for being a company that cares.

Acting in these five areas will address what employees expect to get from a caring employer, being: guided and mentored, trusted and enabled, rewarded and appreciated, and protected and provided for.

Peter O’Donnell, Chief Executive Officer at Unum, said: “We are launching the Blueprint at a time when employees are reporting a worrying deterioration in their levels of wellbeing at work. To address this problem, health and wellness must become an absolutely key consideration at board level – and our Blueprint will equip employers with the tools and understanding they need to make this case.”

“People stay with companies that demonstrate they value – and care for – their employees. One of the most tangible ways to do this is to provide a best practice employee benefits package, including long-term benefits like Income Protection which supports staff financially if they fall ill. Employers should look at their entire benefits offering to help them improve wellbeing and keep their best people.”

Mark Beatson, Chief Economist, CIPD, added: “There’s no doubt that a company that cares is the employer of choice. A comprehensive and well thought-out wellness policy allows organisations to drive recruitment, retention and productivity, and in turn drives growth for the business.

“The reality is that not being seen as a caring employer is now a risky strategy – so it’s concerning that many are seemingly still not getting it quite right. Now is the time for employers to get up to speed with what their staff expect from them, and Unum’s Blueprint will provide organisations around the country with the necessary means to do just that.”

The Blueprint is available to download for free from Unum.co.uk.