Mental wellbeing courses make a difference to Aviva's staff and customers

This year, we've been delivering mental wellbeing courses for Aviva to help them better support customers who've experienced a crisis.

It's a partnership which has made a positive difference to Aviva's staff and customers – read on to find out how.

What were the challenges?

As a result of severe flooding in the UK during the winter of 2015/16, many of Aviva's customers' properties were suddenly submerged under water, causing widespread damage.

The floods also had an impact on Aviva's claims teams, who were working long hours on the ground – sometimes for many weeks – to support customers who were upset and confused after being displaced from their homes. The emotional impact of the situation was extremely draining.

Gavin Scaife from Aviva's technical claims team explains: "We recognised that our customers needed emotional support, and our employees needed support to help people in a crisis."

What was the solution?

"Through our partnership with the British Red Cross (an organisation renowned for helping people in crisis), we asked for help in devising a training programme which would help our claims teams to recognise the emotional impact of major events on wellbeing", Gavin said.

"Working with experts in the Red Cross, we developed training for our field claims employees on how to deal with customers who are traumatised or have been severely impacted by a crisis that has led to an insurance claim.

"This is a first in the industry and it’s already making a significant, positive difference to our customers and our people."

The mental wellbeing courses were based on the Red Cross' psychosocial framework, helping people to manage stress, build resilience and look after themselves and others before, during and following a crisis.

What was the outcome?

Over 95 per cent of Aviva's customer-facing staff have completed the training, and they have told us that they are now better able to:

  • recognise customers that are traumatised (even as a result of smaller incidents that have led to a claim)
  • have the empathy and skills to support the customer
  • recognise and manage their own feelings when dealing with customers in a crisis.

And Aviva's customers have seen the benefits too.  

  • "Aviva were extremely quick to respond to us. They were helpful, sympathetic and reassuring, making a very difficult time easier to deal with."
  • "The gentleman dealing with my claim really took the time to understand everything and was very reassuring during the whole process. This was so helpful during quite a stressful time."

Find out more

Our mental wellbeing courses made a big difference to Aviva, who won a British Insurance Award for customer care in July and invited us to celebrate with them.

Why not find out for yourself the difference mental wellbeing training could make in your workplace?

Find out more about mental wellbeing courses

© British Red Cross 2018