“If an employee is struggling, don’t wait for the situation to get worse,” says Paul Marsh, Practice Leader, Workplace Risk, at Gallagher. “The quicker you move and can come up with a strategy, the better the outcome.”
Marsh and his business partner Jim Kydas formed the specialist workplace consulting practice P2 Group which has recently became part of the Gallagher workplace risk offering. They bring more than 15 years’ expertise in troubleshooting employee health problems to deliver optimal outcomes for both business personnel and their employers.
Marsh says employers shouldn’t wait for their WorkCover insurance agent to tell them what to do but to instead be proactive about giving the insurance company the right information at the right time.
“People over-complicate the area,” he says. “They can be a bit scared to ask, ‘Are you okay? How can we support you?’ Initiating a conversation works for the most part.
“Managers who don’t know what to do, that’s when they should pick up the phone. We can help them.”
Putting employers in the driver’s seat
Marsh and Kydas met while both were involved with WorkCover claims and discovered that they shared the perception that the service provided to employers through bureaucratic structures was limited. This led to a lightbulb moment: that if they teamed up independently, “we could change the paradigm for how Work Cover could be handled”. That was in 2003, and shortly after their P2 Group service was born.
“Ultimately it came down to being that the best people to handle workplace injury were the employers themselves,” Marsh explains. “If we could educate and provide services to employers we could get better outcomes for employees ‒ and for employers, by reducing costs: a rare win-win situation.”
From working out of a two bedroom apartment the business grew organically. “We’ve never really had to advertise,” he says. “All of our consultants are occupational therapists and use their skills to guide employers in getting a good outcome.”
Business case for health
The consultancy takes a direct approach that focuses on achieving results by presenting a business case for enacting change. “If you can give employers ROI from managing workplace injury differently then they will try an alternative way, and enlist the support of their team members.
“The injured employee gets better service and a quicker return to work, and the employer saves money and gains productivity.”
He says workplaces and the way people interact have changed. “Stress and mental health are more than 50% of our work now compared to 15 years ago.
“I think the reasons are twofold: it’s not as taboo to speak about it, and the world has changed due to digital communications. The work-life distinction is now blurred so that some people never take a break from work. We’ve forgotten how to relax, almost.”
Want to learn more?
If you are interested in getting help with managing your business’s employee health more efficiently and cost effectively, contact Marsh or Kydas and their team via the website or by calling 1300 789 467.