Human Capital — A key factor in a company’s success is the extent to which its employees go the extra mile and are committed to the company. To further strengthen its staff’s engagement and affinity with the company, Swiss Life launched and implemented a series of initiatives in 2009, focusing on cultivating the performance culture within the organisation and on Swiss Life’s commitment to being a responsible employer.

Swiss Life’s success essentially depends on a highly skilled workforce showing above-average engagement. With this in mind, all human capital management measures are geared towards positioning Swiss Life in the market and vis-à-vis the workforce as a responsible and attractive employer. In doing so, Swiss Life consistently applies the corporate strategy and corporate values.

Performance culture — As part of the MILESTONE programme, a Group-wide initiative entitled “My Milestones” was launched in the fourth quarter of 2009. Its aim is to accentuate Swiss Life’s values and employee competencies so as to strengthen the performance culture. This is because the company recognises that the contribution of each and every employee is crucial in successfully driving the corporate strategy forward. And the desired mindset and behaviour defined in the corporate values are vital in achieving this. Clear and open communication nurtures a relationship of trust, which fosters closer and more effective cooperation. In addition, a deeper understanding of the processes and activities equips employees to perform their tasks more efficiently. To address these issues, every country and market unit within the Group has launched a programme of measures specifically tailored to their individual needs.

Engagement — In 2009 the Swiss Life Group revised the concept and design of its employee survey, strictly aligning it to the corporate strategy. A commitment index showing how strongly employees feel an affinity towards Swiss Life is now also used to measure the value “engagement”. Engagement encompasses three components: Engaged employees speak positively about the company, are committed to the company and go the extra mile. Companies which have a high engagement rating are more successful than their competitors on the market.

To date, the new survey has been carried out in France, where the 2009 engagement value came to 43%. The European financial industry benchmark shows an average value of 49%, with the top quartile scoring much higher at 71%. The peer comparison values indicate that there is room for improvement. Plans are underway to implement appropriate measures next year focusing on issues which positively impact on the engagement value and which the employees surveyed frequently cited as requiring improvement.

Talent Development — Swiss Life has a strong track record of offering opportunities for further development to employees and management on an ongoing basis, thereby enhancing employee loyalty. Swiss Life continually opens up new perspectives for employees and managers who demonstrate a high level of performance and the required potential. Employees who have been selected for a management career are decentrally managed in talent pools and prepared for their future roles with various training modules.

In addition, specific training measures are in place for managers destined for senior management roles at Swiss Life Group level. In a series of five modules, participants from all countries and units work on strategically relevant subjects such as self-management, client orientation, financial management, strategy and cross-border and cross-divisional cooperation. In 2009, 4 of the 19 participants were women. The retention rate among the past participants at senior management level currently stands at 90%.

Social Partnership — Cooperation with the Europa Forum (European works council) was again stepped up at Swiss Life Group level and in Germany and France in 2009, with intensive dialogue and an in-depth exchange of information taking place. The Europa Forum was founded in 1996 and is based on one of the most far-reaching agreements in Europe.

In August 2009 the company launched an extensive series of measures, including a cost-cutting programme, to improve its competitiveness by driving profitable growth. Swiss Life has thus introduced initiatives in all its markets to boost client orientation, efficiency and profitability. A large proportion of the savings envisaged under the cost-cutting programme are being achieved at AWD and the Swiss Life Group’s Swiss Division.

In this connection, around 520 job reductions will be made in Switzerland by 2012. The job reduction process has been carefully planned. To support its implementation, Swiss Life has introduced a programme of measures which were worked out with the social partners and which have been in force since 1 January 2005. Natural fluctuation and the possibilities offered by flexible working hour models were exploited, and the staff affected were individually assisted and supported with their professional reorientation by a team of experts.