Employees are the basis of Swiss Life’s success; the quality of the services it provides depends upon their competence and commitment. The aim of human resources management is therefore to find the most suitable employees, to get them interested in working for Swiss Life, to retain them and systematically develop their skills. It positions Swiss Life in the market as a responsible and attractive employer.

PERFORMANCE CULTURE — The efficiency-enhancing programme produces its first results — The Group-wide initiative “My Milestones” launched in 2009 gathered pace in 2010. The goal is to accentuate Swiss Life’s values and employee competencies so as to strengthen the performance culture. Every country and market unit launched a programme of measures to address these issues.

In Switzerland, “My Milestones” was initiated in April 2010, with a three-day intensive workshop for managers. This produced 29 measures which are already being or are about to be implemented. The “My Milestones” team award was instituted for teams who have performed particularly well – improving customer service, increasing efficiency or enhancing innovation. The first award in September 2010 went to a nine-person IT team who created a self-service portal for IT services to make everyday work easier. The second award in December 2010 was presented to two employees in western Switzerland for their improvements to sales force and customer services cooperation.

Employee performance assessment is standardised in the Group Performance System (GPS), which systematically governs employee performance reviews, the setting of objectives, appraisals and decisions on salary and promotions within the framework of the performance culture. Particular emphasis was placed in all divisions in 2010 on aneven more differentiated and performance-based employee assessment, with relevant training for all managers.

In France, Swiss Life gave all of its approximately 2000 employees an individual social balance sheet for the first time. This shows every employee what he/she personally receives from the employer as a combination of salary and non-pecuniary benefits. This personal social balance increases the employee’s identification with the employer, with 94% of employees regarding it as a positive development.

In Germany, Swiss Life introduced lean management in 2010. 21 employees from all sectors, who had previously received training in lean management, led “lean workshops” in which they showed their specialist areas how best to reduce waste and add value to processes. The first process improvements have already been made.

PERSONAL ENGAGEMENT — Employees go the extra mile — In 2010, Swiss Life conducted a new-style employee survey across the Group for the first time. The main objective of the survey was to evaluate the attitude of employees towards performance, customer orientation, innovation and change, cooperation and management. In addition, it was intended to reveal to what extent they understood the company’s goals and strategies. The Group response rate was a very high 79%.

The Swiss Life Group engagement value is 56%. This is well above the average for companies in the European financial sector (50%), but below the level of the most successful companies in the peer group (70%). For the key performance indicators (KPIs) “teamwork orientation” and “empowerment”, the Swiss Life Group even produced values which are above average for the best companies in the European financial sector. Above-average values were also achieved in “leadership” and “results orientation”; only in “customer orientation” and “innovativeness” were values slightly low.

As a result of the survey findings, measures were taken to introduce improvements in all Swiss Life Group units. The “My Milestones” programme and the employee survey are aimed at boosting the development of the company and employees in such a way as to establish a performance culture which is in line with the corporate strategy.

TALENT DEVELOPMENT — Target-oriented development of junior staff with potential and the “55+” generation — One of Swiss Life’s priorities is to offer opportunities for further development to employees and management on an ongoing basis, and to motivate them to remain with the company. Every year the company nominates employees who demonstrate a high level of performance and potential for talent development locally (manager pool or MP). These future first- and second-level managers (team leaders and department heads) are prepared for their future roles during 18 months of training modules and project work.

A senior management programme (SMP) is in place at Swiss Life Group level for managers destined for senior management roles. In a series of five modules, participants from all countries and units work on strategically relevant themes and strategic projects in five modules. In 2010, 4 of the 17 participants were women, and the retention rate among the past participants in the senior management programme stands at 90%.

Swiss Life has continued to actively foster leadership and management skills at top management level by making new appointments to 40% of the top one hundred posts within the last 24 months. 60% of new top managers came from outside the company. The intention was to bring in to the team additional skills and experience from outside.

Swiss Life in France launched the “55+” programme, aimed at safeguarding expertise within the company and sustaining employee performance. It involves the obligation to reserve 12% of posts for the over 55s. At the same time, older employees are encouraged to pass on their specialist knowledge as tutors. “55+” allows a flexible reduction in working hours, with partial salary compensation in the final year of work.

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT — High investment in development for all employees — Swiss Life puts a strong emphasis on more than just the training of future managers. The internal or external training and development of non-managerial employees is likewise important to the Group. Specialists or project managers receive targeted training. Swiss Life in Switzerland pays the full fees for the Insurance College of Higher Vocational Education and Training and for training as a Swiss Certified Insurance Specialist. In addition, 56 young people are currently doing courses to obtain qualifications in three specialist areas, and 16 interns or trainees are gaining work experience in the life insurance business.

Training and development for all employees focuses on tailored courses mainly involving social and methodological skills. Expenses for staff training and development within the Group in 2010 amounted to CHF 16 million – approximately CHF 2250 per employee. Expressed as a proportion of total personnel costs, the outlay for training and development came to 2.4%.

SOCIAL PARTNERSHIPExemplary cooperation between employers and employees — Cooperation with the Europa Forum (European Works Council) was again stepped up in 2010. The nine-person committee with representatives from four countries generally meets several times a year. It deals with transnational information and consultation on topics which affect all Swiss Life employees. The EuropaForum was founded in 1996. In 2006 it was given a new charter, which represents one of the leading voluntary agreements in Europe and serves as a model for other European companies. The main theme in the Europa Forum for 2010 was MILESTONE, the package of measures launched in autumn 2009 to improve Group-wide efficiency.

In Switzerland the MILESTONE programme entails, among other things, a reduction of 520 positions by 2012. Accompanying the reduction process, Swiss Life is implementing a programme of measures which were worked out with the social partners and have been in force since 2005. In 2010, 273 employees in Switzerland underwent professional reorientation. They were individually supported and assisted by a team of specialists. The internal professional reorientation support programme is very highly rated by those affected (5.7 out of 6 points).

By comparison with the 2009 reporting period, the number of full-time positions Group-wide fell by 337 to 7483. 1094 employees left the Group in 2010, the departure of 5.6% of these being undesired (net fluctuation).