The success of our company depends directly on the successful work of our employees. We therefore pay particularly close attention to the qualifications, experience and commitment of our staff and foster these attributes through our excellent personnel development and leadership practices. Our strategic human resources planning enables us to harmonise the size and skills of our workforce with the current and future requirements of our global market presence as well as with the requirements of increasing digitalisation.
We employed 3,317 staff (previous year: 3,251) Group-wide as at the end of the year under review. Our company’s continuing growth prompted further expansion of the workforce in the financial year just ended. Consequently, there were no major job losses in the year under review, as was also the case in previous years.
|Number of employees by country|
As a global entity, we are able to offer our employees an attractive workplace that fosters motivation, dedication and teamwork. Our attractiveness as an employer is further reinforced by systematic career development programmes. We are committed to clearly expressing our appreciation of employees and we enable them to participate in the sustained success of the business.
The basis of our common corporate culture is the greatest possible delegation of tasks, responsibilities and authority. In this way we ensure that our employees are able to act in a quick and flexible manner. This is supported through management by objectives, and we expect our managers to instil a sense of individual accountability in their staff. Our managers therefore play a particularly important role. They lead their staff according to our management principles. We support them in developing their leadership qualities, inter alia with the aid of the management feedback process that gives members of staff an opportunity to provide feedback to their supervisor on how his or her management style is experienced. For further information we would refer to the section “Employee retention”.“Employee retention”.
|Breakdown of employees by country and gender|
Where qualifications are equivalent, vacant management posts are filled whenever possible from within our own ranks, and we therefore consider leadership potential even at the recruitment stage. As part of a standardised process that takes place every other year at the Hannover location, all positions from management level (General Manager / Director) upwards are reviewed at corporate headquarters and at selected international entities. With a view to achieving a better gender balance we strive for an increasing proportion of women on all levels of management.
When it comes to expanding and establishing our personnel development measures, we set particularly great store by a range of activities tailored to specific needs and target groups. Our programme of further training, which is open to all employees, encompasses above all offerings in the fields of reinsurance, information technology, social and methodological skills as well as language courses. The range of measures is continuously reviewed and extended.
In the financial year just ended we focused our training and development activities especially on supporting our employees and managers in dealing with the implications of markedly changing work environments. In this context the effects of agile forms of working or automated and digitalised workflows play a particularly important role. For example, we launched a new workshop called “Fit for changes”. This event has a preparatory purpose inasmuch as change processes are simulated for both employees and managers in order to prevent the stressful situations that can arise. The workshop is thus consciously designed to serve as a bridge between the topics of change and health.
We also supported our managers by holding “practical training days” on which the challenges of a manager’s daily routine were explored by small groups operating in a safe space with the help of a trainer and issues could be worked through with the aid of coaching and conflict resolution techniques. We continued to cover subjects such as “Wellness - Management Task and Individual Responsibility” and “Gender-specific Communication”; the latter event also supports our mentoring programme for women on the management level. At the same time our managers were offered special expert seminars, including for example updated and redesigned workshops on matters of employment law.
The health management programme, which has been expanded in recent years, continued unchanged in the year under review. Seminars and workshops geared to enhancing the resilience and relaxation skills of our staff and managers are integral components of our preventive support measures.
The Employee Assistance Programme is another component of our health management. This provides external and anonymous immediate counselling on personal, professional and health concerns for our employees, managers and their family members, including access to a service for families. This support tool once again proved helpful and popular in the financial year just ended.
Last but by no means least, we took steps to further improve our occupational reintegration management, a process that is required by law in Germany. A company agreement was concluded in this regard in 2018, ensuring a harmonised internal process with the participation of all relevant areas of the company.
Staff at our Hannover head office also enjoy access to an extensive range of fitness opportunities, including company sports groups dedicated to various types of sport and cooperation arrangements with fitness studios. When it comes to individual workstations, we take care to provide an optimal room layout and ergonomic furnishings.
|Goal to be achieved by 2020:|
Executive development / Employee advancement
|Optimisation of further training measures for employees and executives (training days per employee and year > 4 days (Group-wide))||In 2017 the average number of training days per employee was 4.0 at the Hannover location. The number of training days Group-wide was 2.7. As at the reporting date a complete record of the number of training days per employee for the 2018 financial year was not yet available.|
|Promote, preserve and restore the physical and mental well-being of employees, including through our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)||In the financial year just ended the EAP once again proved to be a helpful and popular support tool.|