(Most) attractive employer
The UNIQA Group has also set out plans for its employees with its new UNIQA 3.0 strategic programme. The overriding objective is to become the most attractive employer in the industry by 2024. Specifically, UNIQA wants to achieve a score of at least 4.5 stars on a scale of one to five. A wealth of measures have been designed to achieve this, with a plan to implement these consistently over the next few years, and this in an environment that is not exactly straight-forward, particularly for Human Resources.
HR management is also facing considerable challenges in the same way as the UNIQA Group as a whole. A clear strategy and various other measures are also required therefore with regard to employees in order to be able to achieve the ambitious objectives of the new UNIQA 3.0 Group strategy. This has already become inevitable as a result of external requirements, such as comprehensive digitalisation, new job profiles and working models, new working techniques as well as changes in the aspirations of potential employees. Work as such is changing massively due to new activities and jobs, digital media and working from home; at the same time the demands on employees are also shifting, as different and new skills are increasingly required, and the geographical working environment is undergoing significant transformation.
UNIQA also faces various internal challenges, such as an upcoming wave of retirements in Austria, the requirement for even greater Group-wide harmonisation of HR standards and processes, and a resource situation that is under strain overall. On the one hand, the coronavirus pandemic, integration of the companies acquired from AXA in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia as well as the preparations for and implementation of the headcount reduction currently under way in Austria have placed additional demands on HR over the past year.
On the other hand, the high level of employee satisfaction at UNIQA accompanied by the well-established brand is a positive factor. Ratings of 3.9 out of five stars in an employee survey in Austria in August 2020 and 4.0 out of five stars on company satisfaction website kununu reinforce this finding.
Irrespective of this, UNIQA needs to implement changes and also improvements in many areas, from HR management to the structure of the working environment, in order to be able to continue to compete for the best talents in the future. In summary, there are three main lines of impact here:
- Ensuring an attractive employee experience from recruitment and onboarding through to leaving the company; digital solutions, rapid feedback and continuous improvement are essential elements of this.
- Ensuring that more openness, personal responsibility and innovation are enshrined in a new corporate culture where shared objectives take precedence over those of the individual and where meaningful work is possible.
- Making change visible by designing a working environment for the future that is flexible in time and place and offers workspaces that are adapted to different work activities.
Four strategic pillars ...
Our employees are the most important resource and the real capital at UNIQA. We are therefore making targeted investments in existing and future employees, while at the same time strengthening our diverse, performance- and people-oriented culture in our efforts to become the most attractive employer in the financial services industry. This should be reflected accordingly not least in UNIQA’s employer branding.
Four strategic pillars define our overall course:
- People & Culture
We are transforming our corporate culture and providing an outstanding employee experience.
- Brand & Communication
We remain the leading brand in our region, including as an employer.
We incorporate environmental and social objectives within our corporate governance structures.
We promote diversity out of conviction because it creates innovation and growth.
... five key action areas for HR
As far as the strategic area “People” is concerned, i.e. the direct field of Human Resources, we have defined five key action areas where we want to work on improving our attractiveness as an employer over the next years. The overriding objectives in all of this are to improve the entire “employee journey” and to initiate the cultural transformation sought within the framework of UNIQA 3.0.
- The Employee Experience action area forms the first essential pillar. We will continue to make our recruiting process even more professional in this regard, create a Group-wide harmonised evaluation system (five-star rating) and develop both onboarding as well as offboarding even further. This way, we are creating Group-wide minimum standards that we will continuously improve based on structured employee feedback. It ensures that we can integrate and retain the talents that we have engaged as effectively as possible in all business segments. We measure our success based on employee satisfaction. Other key components of this action area include the planned development of career paths and establishment of the UNIQA brand as Austria’s leading employer brand.
- The Employee Engagement action area based on our strategic declarations and our non-financial strategy, conveys the target image of a shared corporate culture. The objective is to create a culture that is based on community and that follows the same principles across the entire Group. It should support employees in all regions and business segments in establishing end-to-end responsibility and improving cross-functional cooperation. To this end, the topic of corporate culture at UNIQA is formulated in highly specific terms and in a way that can be measured. Comprehensive change management and credible internal communication are aimed at making the new corporate culture a tangible concept, which will also be easy to appreciate through the establishment of a so-called “culture radar”.
- The Learning & Leadership action area involves designing new leadership programmes, while at the same time focusing more on performance measurement. We are gradually establishing a new remuneration system with a longer-term character, which also includes non-financial targets for the first time. We are also working on defining a “learning” strategy. The specific objectives include enabling agile ways of working, preparing for future digital and hybrid working environments, as well as ensuring further compulsory training. We are promoting the effective and efficient deployment of our employees and also supporting our transformation in the international environment through all these initiatives.
- Our initiatives in the Digital Skills action area are the foundation of almost all other activities in the HR field. The existing human resources management system is being modernised based on new methods for classifying and segmenting activities and forms the basis for new analysis and analytics capabilities. In particular, this enables the introduction of strategic human resource planning, which allows for forward-looking, future-oriented planning for our capabilities and resources. Digitalisation of HR processes will also enable our managers to perform their leadership tasks much more independently and more effectively than before.
- The coronavirus crisis is not the only factor to have highlighted that digitalisation and technical progress will bring huge changes to the workplace of the future. For UNIQA, the Future of Work action area, which is also anchored in a separate organisational unit, will continuously analyse this process, evaluate technical possibilities and develop new concepts. The focus here is on new ways of working and workplaces of the future, as well as on tasks such as analysing labour and training markets in order to support strategic human resources planning. In the short and medium term, the expansion of mobile working options, the introduction of shared desk concepts at all sites, support for employees and managers in transitioning to modified working environments and support for IT in scaling agile ways of working are all on the agenda.
- Employee Experience
We offer an outstanding employee journey in line with standards across the entire Group.
- Employee Engagement
We shape a culture of inspiring coaches in line with our approach and principles.
- Learning & Leadership
Further development, reflection and feedforward are at the heart of management work.
- Digital Skills
We are digitising our processes and developing data-based management.
- Future of Work
We are designing the workspaces and ways of working for the future.
The strategic pillar of diversity, which is also highly relevant for employees, is defined by a clear commitment both internally and externally that diversity results in significantly more innovation and growth. We have created the role of a dedicated Diversity & Inclusion Officer as of August 2020 in order to highlight this. UNIQA is focusing on all dimensions related to diversity, although three specific objectives are being pursued as a priority: more women in management positions, equal pay for work of equal value and good cooperation between generations. We have developed a comprehensive UNIQA diversity strategy alongside this. In addition to the three objectives already mentioned, this also focuses more on issues such as work/life balance, internationality and cultural diversity, integration of people with disabilities, and respect for all sexual orientations and identities.
We are working specifically on enshrining and promoting diversity and inclusion within the structure and organisation at UNIQA in the Diversity@UNIQA project. Aware that confronting our own unconscious biases is the most important prerequisite for living diversity as part of everyday life, a workshop was held in September 2020 with board members on the topic of “Unconscious Bias”. A mandatory module “Unconscious Bias. Inclusive Leadership” was introduced in the newly launched “#leader_ship” programme for all managers as a logical next step.
We launched structured surveys on diversity at the same time in the fourth quarter of 2020: one example of this is the new Women’s Career Index, an important tool for determining where we stand and for measuring and managing our gender equality objectives. The DisAbility Performance Check serves the same objective and is intended to provide starting points for effective measures for more inclusion of people with disabilities at UNIQA.
The women’s network “Women with Power – Network Now” established in November 2020 involved the introduction of an initiative aimed at enabling experiences to be exchanged, and at the same time supports the professional development of women and identifies any obstacles. More than 70 women provided strong momentum at the launch event. The “Get ready” event in June 2020 was dedicated to generation management as a focal point for diversity.
The current figures show that there is still a long way to go in terms of women holding leadership roles: at 56 per cent, there are more women working in the UNIQA Group than men (44 per cent). However, the proportion of women on the management boards at our insurance companies is just 23 per cent across the Group, and 42 per cent in management as a whole.
More information on diversity management can be found in the Corporate Governance Report.