Cancer at Work: An Interview With Unum’s Andrew Potterton
Unum’s Head of Proposition Development talks employer confidence and employee engagement as he joins us for the third in a series of articles about Cancer in the Workplace.
The products and services you’ve designed at Unum address people’s genuine concerns. They make life easier for them. What problems did you notice employers and employees grappling with before you plugged the gap with a cancer service as part of your critical illness offering?
“The need to support people affected by cancer was clear to us. Employer confidence was a noted weakness.”
You’ve been instrumental in helping UK employers to improve wellbeing in the workplace. And to support their employees – practically and financially – through cancer. Can you give me an example of how the service you’ve introduced at Unum has helped an employer to date?
From the start of our relationship with HSC it was clear that people value what you do. And it didn’t take long for our customers to start benefitting from the support you provide. For employers to show they care by having this service in place for their people is most powerful. It drives engagement and secures the trusting relationship they all want to have with their people.
“Having this service in place is powerful. It drives engagement and secures the trusting relationship employers want to have with their people.”
To what extent would you say supporting employees with cancer has moved up the workplace agenda in the last few years?
Hugely. Cancer is a key part of the health and wellbeing story. And, as I said earlier, plays well to building positive places to work.
Linking cancer with the equally concerning issues of mental health, ageing and elder care is proving valuable. And I think this is something we’ll continue to talk about.
And what do you feel still needs to change?
But we’ve not yet been asked to provide as much content and training to get managers to a greater confidence level. I suspect freeing people up to work on it still doesn’t come easily to businesses.
I’m also surprised by the number of people telling us the time isn’t right to contact HSC. Even though they’d certainly benefit from the support. We’re now doing more to get the message across that it’s never too soon nor too late to make the call.
“Life and health insurance products are beginning to be valued by employers for their support services, every bit as much as for the financial protection they and their employees need.”
“Cancer is a key part of the health and wellbeing story.”
All Unum Critical Illness customers have access to medical specialists. So they can get clear about their most appropriate cancer treatment plan. And you’ve opened up access for people to treatment, innovation and technology not readily available through traditional CI and PMI. It must be rewarding to reflect on the positive ripple you’ve sent out into the world as a result. What would you like your legacy at Unum to be?
Our life and health insurance products are beginning to be valued by employers for their support services, every bit as much as for the financial protection they and their employees need.
Bringing forward the interaction with the protection provider and the service deliverer – so this becomes a far more regular customer engagement – is a very positive move that I’m personally proud to have influenced.
Over to you
If you want to know how to stand by employees and their families when they need it most. Or you’re looking to introduce a health and wellbeing benefit that can minimise the workplace impact of cancer on individuals, teams and the business overall, speak with your Financial Adviser or click here to discover how HSC can help.
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Unum protects almost 1.4 million people in the UK. And 37 of the top FTSE 100 companies*. As part of its offering for Unum Group Critical Illness customers, the employee benefits provider includes a cancer support service.
This service, by HSC, gives enhanced support to employees when they’ve been diagnosed with cancer. Customers benefit from access to medical specialists and treatment, innovation and technology not readily available through traditional critical illness insurance products or private medical cover.