What sets Baloise apart as an employer?
Baloise uses its values to create a unique working environment that enables its employees to make a contribution and actively shape the future. The new Simply Safe strategy, with its emphasis on the workforce, underlines how Baloise will only be able to achieve its ambitious goals for future growth with the support of dedicated employees.
Baloise would now like to also focus much more heavily on its employees so that it can be even more successful in future. Baloise aims to become an employer of choice in its industry. To this end, a programme of lighthouse measures was launched that will run until 2021 with the aim of achieving these objectives. Progress will be measured by a new performance indicator that will be published regularly. However, ‘Employee focus’ is not an initiative that is being dictated from above: it is built on the ideas of the employees and their willingness to help shape the future and, in return, promises to give them the freedom they need.
has been Head of Group Human Resources since June 2013. He joined Baloise in 2007.Contact
Across the Group, managers explained Baloise’s new corporate strategy to their employees with the aid of cascade workshops. Employees were also encouraged to play an active role in the associated process of change. The specific aim is for management to lead by example here. This will present challenges for the managers in particular as they will need to learn how to hand over responsibility even more.
The concept of viral change was used to drive change from the bottom up. Starting from the established three Baloise values, employees came up with their own behavioural values (see infobox), and it fell to a select group of highly engaged and well-connected volunteers to embed these in the organisation.
Baloise cultivates a culture of performance and trust. A key element of this culture is the performance and talent development process, which focuses on continuous learning and on helping employees to make the most of the freedom they are given in their work. This process is made up of two components:
One-to-one meetings between managers and employees: These provide guidance and clarity about the common objectives and continuous learning. They are the central element in an ongoing dialogue focused on performance and development targets.
Talent development programme for high-potential employees: Every year, Baloise identifies talented young employees and key individuals, finds potential successors and agrees staff development activities. In 2016 this process was also brought into line with the management competencies of the Baloise Leadership Compass. And local measures were added that will make it easier to harness the individual potential of the talented employees who have been identified. We observed a correspondingly significant increase in quality with regard to the intensity of the talent development meetings and the specific action plans for the talented employees.
The dedication and commitment of our suitably qualified and highly motivated workforce help shape the Baloise Group and the success of all concerned. We operate according to a values-based culture, which is reflected above all in our groupwide Baloise Code:
The Baloise Group wants to become an employer of choice in its industry. The way it presents itself on the labour market will play a key role in achieving this goal – all the more so because competition for the best brains has toughened considerably in recent years and, because of demographic change, will only get tougher. Baloise is finding it particularly hard to recruit IT workers, insurance specialists and apprentices for commercial vocations. It is therefore hugely important that people are made aware of Baloise as a potential employer. One of the ways that the Company is engaging with the public is via social media. It gets in touch with potential new employees through a variety of channels, giving tips on how to apply and using employee profiles and articles to paint an authentic picture of what it’s like to work at Baloise.
We are always looking for new ways to reach potential recruits. A lot of emphasis continues to be placed on one-to-one dialogue with potential recruits. In Switzerland, Baloise exhibits at numerous job fairs and regularly holds workshops for students. These traditional face-to-face activities are used by HR to present a realistic picture of what Baloise is like as an employer.
As well as the aforementioned groupwide activities, the HR units for the individual countries also have regional responsibilities. These are dictated not only by the requirements of the local business but also by the local legal system.
Baloise in Switzerland prides itself on being a Friendly Work Space, so re-certification under the scheme for the second time was an important achievement. The Swiss Health Promotion Foundation first awarded the Company its seal of quality in 2010. It recognises how Baloise goes above and beyond the legal requirements to create a healthy working environment.
In Germany, to facilitate the transition to a culture of growth, emphasis was put on encouraging employees to take the initiative.
Talent development remained the focus in Belgium. Central to this was the development of managers, particularly with regard to the empowerment and individual development plans of the employees working under them. A management trainee programme was also introduced that is modelled on the existing programme in Switzerland.
The focus in Luxembourg is currently on fostering a shared corporate culture. In addition, considerable attention is being focused on the development of talented individuals through the creation of a dedicated training department and a mentoring programme.
The Baloise Group offers a wide range of training opportunities in Switzerland and Germany. It currently has 230 apprentices, interns, temporary student employees, and management trainees across all its corporate divisions. The Company’s trainee programmes are highly popular with university graduates, and provide personalised training for graduates starting their careers. Participants in these programmes are highly regarded within the Company and often find permanent employment with Baloise.