There is a great deal of public awareness about medical insurance in Dubai as the 30th June deadline approaches. Most employers view this as an additional burden. A transfer of risk from the public sector to the private sector. But one employer I spoke to this week saw things differently…
As with most employers this company regularly tells me that ‘our people are our greatest asset.’ This is an over-used phrase in management circles and whilst often said the practical application can often be somewhat muted. Therefore I decided to try and find out what this phrase actually meant to them.
At the core of the organisation there is a simple recognition that nothing gets done without the people employed by the company. There is no long line of customers bashing down their door begging to give them money. And even if there was, staff are needed to take orders from them and deliver the goods. So it is true to say, without the people there is no company. Attracting the right people is important. To be an employer of choice, where the employer is able to choose the right candidate rather than just someone who will do the job can be crucial in achieving the organisation’s objectives.
There are many attributes which make up an employer of choice. It is not all about the salary. The culture of the organisation plays an important role too. Where people cooperate and genuinely care about each other makes the work easier. Happier employees have fewer days off ‘sick’ and stay in their jobs longer making them more productive as their expertise improve. This improves the company’s profitability.
So, what’s this all got to do with medical insurance. Quite a bit. Our greatest asset is our health. We all under appreciate this until we are sick and then all we want to be is better. One way a firm shows how much they care about their staff can be seen in the benefits they provide. If the firm’s greatest asset is its people and the greatest asset of the people is their health, it makes sense that the employer should have a vested interest in the health of their staff.
If you are unwell or have a long term untreated chronic illness you are probably taking many days off sick and are probably less productive when you are at work. If your spouse or children are sick, you probably spend a significant amount of money treating them or worrying about how you are going to afford the next round of treatment. Serious illnesses can cost hundreds of thousands of dirhams in treatment.
An employer who provides you with medical insurance helps alleviate the financial burden and enables you and your family to focus on getting better by obtaining suitable medical treatment quickly and without worrying about the cost. This costs the company money there is no way around that but there is a dividend paid in terms of increased productivity and profitability. The solution is to find the right balance between the premium charged by the insurer, the benefits provided and the improvement in profitability.
I hope the above is of interest, please let me know if you have any questions.