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Achieving work-life fit at Cigna



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As a global health service provider, which encourages the Hong Kong workforce to take better care of their health and well-being, Cigna is well aware of its duty to help its employees on their health journey.

Research has revealed work-life balance has become the top reason employees decide to stay or leave their jobs.

With an understanding that all employees have their own particular priorities, and are at different stages of life, Cigna encourages them to advocate their own work-life fit – meaning sketching a personalised work-life pattern that enables them to pursue their career and personal goals, while offering them the flexibility to achieve them.

From diagnosis to action
To further identify employees’ well-being needs, Cigna conducted its Cigna 360° Well-being Survey globally, with local insights. From this it concluded the top five benefits valued by employees were flexible working hours; additional leave (such as stress leave, compensation leave for overtime work and birthday leave); work from home; subsidised activities (such as massage and yoga); and consultation with health experts.

In light of these results, Cigna reassures that its benefits package is comprehensive, and addresses all the needs of employees for a flexible working arrangement, including flexi-time and homeworking, wellbeing leave and birthday leave, and wellness-oriented activities (such as fitness classes).

There is also a focus on a healthy diet, involving free fruit and discounts for ordering a healthy lunch from the Cigna Virtual Staff Café.

Going the extra mile
Apart from the above initiatives, Cigna developed the 360 Joyful Employee Experience programme to promote employee well-being through three aspects: health professionals or advocates, employee-centric infrastructure and policy, and the adoption of innovative technologies.

“Having inspired and healthy employees is essential to delivering a high quality service. We put our employees’ health and well-being as a top priority as we believe an engaged workforce delivers the best experience for our customers. Our 360 Joyful Employee Experience programme aims to provide an all-round employee-centric solution to improve employees’ health and well-being,” said Yuman Chan, CEO and Country Manager of Cigna Hong Kong.

The most effective campaign is the “Mental Wellness Year” which is a series of health-oriented social engagement activities throughout the year. Cigna’s employees engagement committee, VivaBEEs, consisting of employees from all departments, organises various wellness sessions, a mindfulness series, a mental health first-aid certification course, a family day, annual party and a Facebook@Work appreciation programme. They successfully attracted high participation and received overwhelmingly positive responses.

One of the most popular initiatives is the Cigna Hong Kong Health Day, a company-wide wellness day for employees to participate in physical health check-ups and professional consultations by its in-house health, wellness and clinical services team comprising registered nurses of different specialties. Everyone who participated received a personalised report with detailed health advice. This allows Cigna employees to have a first-hand experience of the company’s health and wellness services for its clients and customers.

Empowerment and support from senior leaders
Constant communication through formal and informal communication channels is deployed in view of varied effectiveness to different employees. In fact, communication occurs before a new hire is on board, which is done through Cigna’s Facebook career page and its digital onboarding platform.

Most importantly, the senior leadership team leads by example by adopting the flexible working arrangements itself and constantly reassuring employees that their performance is measured by deliverables, instead of the hours they spend in the office.

When Typhoon Mangkhut hit Hong Kong in 2018, top management announced the option for all employees to work from home for the week following the storm, taking into consideration travel disruptions and employee safety.

In fact, flexibility is a core consideration during the design process of engagement programmes. Employees are empowered to make choices according to their well-being needs.

Cigna’s healthcare benefit plans for employees – offering comprehensive global coverage in six areas with minimal limitations – allow an individual to allocate resources according to his or her medical needs.

“We believe agility, empowerment and personalisation are crucial, competitive and practical elements of our value proposition as an employer. We take a holistic view when considering the well-being programmes of our employees, aiming to enable them to select the options that best suit their needs,” said Constance Yuen, Chief of Staff at Cigna Hong Kong.

As part of its future planning, Cigna plans to strengthen its key capabilities and current well-being strategies such as an expansion of the in-house team of health professionals, an enhancement of the employee-centric infrastructure, and an integrated policy supported by valuable insights from internal and external talent.

It’s the company’s aspiration that every employee will be offered a first-hand experience of the solutions for customers, such that employees will genuinely become Cigna’s brand ambassadors.

Cigna’s all-round HR strategies earned the company five awards at HR Distinction Awards Hong Kong 2019: Excellence in Employee Work-Life Balance (gold), Excellence in Innovative Use of HR Tech (silver), Excellence in Employee Engagement (bronze), HR Rising Star of the Year (bronze), and Excellence in Global & Local HR Strategies (bronze).

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