Innovation in healthcare

posted by on 18 Apr 2018

Jessica Lonsdale explains the value of the Health Tech & You awards to the future of health and wellbeing, as well as the innovative impact it’s had on AXA as a business.

I started at AXA seven years ago on a six week secondment in the marketing department. Fast forward five years and, after learning all the tricks of the trade, I joined the Health Tech & You programme. An annual awards ceremony, the programme has been running for four years and exists to support and champion thinkers and creators who are shaping the future of healthcare technology.

Feeling inspired

Previously we ran the categories yearly but technology moves on so quickly that we’ve slightly changed the way it works this year so that we can better incorporate the innovations we find into our strategies. As such four of this year’s categories are sprint based and run over three months. They focus on specific challenges that have come through from speaking directly to the people in our business trying to improve things for the better for our members.

One of the categories is related to an internal campaign I ran at the beginning of the year where I asked all employees to think of something in their lives, either personally or at work that could be improved by healthcare technology. Belinda Munro, Chief Technology Officer at AXA PPP Healthcare brought up a challenge around perimenopause – it is estimated that around 1.5 million women in the UK experience symptoms such as insomnia, hot flushes and night sweats every year with 85% due to perimenopause, years before a woman’s menstruation cycle stops completely. The challenge looks to find technologies that help give women better control of their health and easily track symptoms of perimenopause, so they can better understand their experience and can get better support and information.

Richard Turner, Head of PPP Taking Care came up with the next challenge – looking at technology to replace the red button service. The current basic device, for inside the home, is a button which hangs around the user’s neck or wrist and sends a radio signal to a box connected to their landline telephone. This is quite dated so we’re searching for new technologies that can help monitor and subsequently alert (in case of emergency) a caregiver in a more intuitive and useful way, both inside and outside of the home.

The speed of development

As well as the four challenge categories we have two more consumer and media focused categories, including innovations in the early diagnosis of dementia and supporting women entrepreneurs. The Dementia Category is in partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK and is looking for pioneering ideas and developments that will help us diagnose dementia and the underlying related diseases. This dementia category and our women entrepreneurs in health tech category are now closed and we have chosen our finalists were announced on 10th April.

Personal stories

I love my job! We have truly amazing things coming through that really make a difference to people’s lives. I thoroughly enjoy talking to the amazing people coming up with these innovations. It’s humbling to think that they are putting all their energies into developing something for the benefit of others – and there are often personal stories around why they were inspired to get involved in a particular area.

If Jessica has inspired you or you want to find out more about our work in this area, check out our AXA Health Tech & You website for more information. 

categories: AXA PPP healthcare  Innovation at AXA 

Karen Dodd: Supportive and inspiring – why I’m proud of my team

posted by on 11 Apr 2018

I started at AXA over 30 years ago as a Claims Advisor in customer service and worked my way up to my current role as Head of Quality and Audit. I’ve worked in lots of areas in different roles – including health and safety, business continuity and operational risk – fitting my career around my two children.

For me, being a manager means being available. I lead a team of 80+ people from Bristol to Bangalore who make sure AXA delivers excellent customer service. We look at everything in a pragmatic way, so that we make our services as easy as possible to use. We encourage our people to think differently and make a positive impact on our customers – my team and I have been heavily involved in promoting that.

The people I work with inspire and motivate me on a daily basis. I’m proud of them because they’re very supportive of each other and that’s what I like about working at AXA – that community aspect. And it’s not only each other that we support, of course, we also support our customers. We’re looking after them when they need us most, and that’s the best part of what we do – whatever your role, we all play into that. 

I’ve always been interested in helping people so a few years ago AXA gave me the opportunity to become a mental first aider. I was keen to continue developing my experience and now, AXA is supporting me to do a counselling course, helping me to be the best that I can be for my team.

categories: AXA Hero  AXA people  Women at AXA 

How to know if you’d make an amazing Claims Handler

posted by on 6 Apr 2018

It’s not always obvious which route we should take in life, even if we have our destination in mind. So how would you know if becoming a Claims Handler could be right up your street? Well, that’s the position that Louise found herself in after she took a break from working full-time to focus on her family. Thankfully for Louise (and us) she found a role with us which fit her needs. Here’s her story and advice if you’re looking at your options too:

It was a friend who recommended me to AXA. I’d been an insurance broker for most of my career, going part-time to look after my children and then returning to work full-time. Only I found myself working in roles I wasn’t really enjoying and I was eager to work for a large corporation again. My friend told me AXA was a great company, a fun place to work and that I’d have good career prospects. So I joined AXA almost a year ago, as a Claims Advisor.

I work within the Lifestyle and Travel claims department as a Travel Claims Handler specifically. We deal with a mixture of inbound and outbound calls from customers as well the claims documentation process: so I look at the documents we’ve received, assess them and make sure everything is in order. Then I put a payment through for authorisation and contact the customer to let them know.

We support all kinds of different customers and I really like the variety of it all – every day brings something new and different. You never know who you’re going to answer the phone to or what kind of situation you’re going to be dealing with.

Within my department, most people start off as claims handlers and are placed in a development framework starting on foundation. As a claims handler there are 3 levels you can work through. I’ve managed to work through the first two within my first year and have one left to do. So you can progress quite quickly if you want to. You can move up to a team coach and then to a team leader if you want to. It’s all down to how hard you want to push yourself. The great part is, the opportunity is there.

The support really makes it for me. We have such a great team bond and our team coach and team leader are always there for us. We have monthly one-to-ones, to check in and deal with any issues. I’ve never had that before, it’s really reassuring. The team are really supportive too. We rely on each other to help out so if one of us doesn’t know the answer to something, there’s always someone there who does.

Joining this team has been a great step in my career. And while I can’t tell you if this role would be right for you, what I can tell you is that if you’ve got the ambition to push yourself, if you want to be part of a company with a wider purpose, if you want to help people and make a difference, AXA is really a great place to do that.

categories: AXA people  Claims  Customer Service  Employee story 

How to change the game in customer service. Literally!

posted by on 4 Apr 2018

What’s life really like for our award-winning AXA Ipswich customer service team? We want all our Customer Service people to develop their careers and have access to the training they need to continue to provide exceptional service to our customers. So we spoke to Stephanie Challis, a Customer Service Representative at AXA Ipswich to find out how she’s keeping her team, as well as her customers, happy.

I get a lot of satisfaction from helping customers, providing them with a good service and being able to see enquiries and queries through to the end, making sure everyone is happy.

Coaching to be the best you can be

AXA are really good at developing people. I often step up quite a lot outside of my regular role. I develop staff to competency and often act as Floor Manager overseeing the whole department, answering queries and helping with systems.

When I’m coaching, I listen in to calls that a colleague may have had with a customer and go through the call giving positive and developmental feedback to help them improve. I also check that they are completing mandatory business specs correctly and I mark them on their customer care and communications throughout the call.

You could be a game-changer

There are quite a few members of staff in my team and I’m running an exciting incentive for them at the moment – Monopoly! I have created the board myself and I’ve personalised the landmarks and streets so that they are AXA offices around the UK. I’ve even made Community Chest and Chance Cards!

The team need to answer questions about products that AXA offer and, if they get it right, they get money from the bank. Yes, I’ve made our own banknotes too (with a little help from my team who helped me cut them all out!). If you complete the business regulatory to the required target you get three rolls of the dice. If you fail your checks you miss a turn. There are 11 people in my team, it’s good fun and is going down really well at the moment.

One big happy family

The office we work in is open plan, with a communal lunch area and each team is a pod of 12. It’s a friendly place to work with a lot of support.

Outside of work we hold team bowling nights and quizzes. There is a certain amount of coaching per month and monthly one to ones, there are also development programmes if you are interested in other areas of the business as AXA always look to promote from within.The people are nice and approachable and the culture is great, it feels like a real family atmosphere.

We hope that helps give you a little insight into our culture at AXA and what kind of coaching and development you can look forward to in a role with us.

categories: AXA people  Customer Service  Employee story 

Parul Kaul-Green: Start a movement

posted by on 16 Mar 2018

Parul, former head of Mergers and Acquisitions and Innovation, tells us how her new role as Head of Group Innovation means she can make even more impact.   

Challenging, disruptive, inventive: we’re helping small start-ups start something big. I love helping entrepreneurs find their voice and reach their potential: I’ve been in their position as a founder member of small tech start-up in mobile messaging, with its challenges, excitement and frustrations and I want to realise their ambitions.

My dream is that insurance is seen as an industry for social good that provides for users’ needs at a time of difficulty. To achieve that we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to better understand how existing technologies which have exponentially improved access, storage and compute power can make the lives of our customers better. In my role, I sit in local investment committee of AXA strategic ventures (UK), so I get to hear from a whole host of very different start-ups with brilliant ideas on how to reimagine and improve insurance. I introduced Goji- a peer to peer lending aggregator which is working to help investors and small businesses understand crowd-sourced lending, to AXA Strategic Ventures. I also worked with the team at AXA PPP to acquire Aid Call, a call centre that helps and supports the elderly to be more independent and stay at home, a transaction for which we are now finalists for Transaction of the year by M&A Advisor (an organisation that recognises outstanding achievements in the industry).

Outside of AXA, I volunteer and mentor for Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London’s International Business Partnering programme. I have recently supported many female founders understand the complex world of financing and fund raising – and I’m hugely passionate about this and other opportunities for women in business. I’m determined to create a fairer world for my daughter, so that she doesn’t need to go through what women in business go through today. This work ties back into our strategic schedule at AXA, but it’s also generally about supporting the whole of the UK start-up ecosystem. That’s why I am a finalist for Corporate Development Professional of the year in 2017 – for having that impact on the industry as a whole – which is a huge honour.

The most crucial factor in my professional development is purposefulness that what I do must make the world fairer and more equal. Having courage of my convictions has enabled me to progress to where I am, and that would be my advice to anyone who wants to make a difference. 

categories: AXA Hero  AXA people  Innovation at AXA  Women at AXA