Lifelong Learning: demographic change calls for modern-day answers. Agreement on Guidelines on Lifelong Learning
- Name of the companyAllianz SECorporate headquartersGermany, with the measure also being applicable for all Allianz SE subsidiaries with registered offices in EU member states, the contracting states of the EEA and SwitzerlandSize and sectorInsurance and asset management group, 142,459 employees worldwide, € 125,190 million total sales (as at: 12/31/2015)Website
Background to introducing the measure
Demographic change and also the dynamic market environment and the increasing international competition, call for a high degree of flexibility from companies and their employees. Under the constantly-changing conditions there is a need for structural adjustments on the company side, in order that they can also act successfully in future. On the employee side, the challenge is particularly to boost and further extend individual competences and skills, thus increasing employability. Given this background, Allianz SE stresses the great importance of Lifelong Learning.
Particularly as a result of demographic changes, supporting its human capital is given high priority. A growing awareness of Lifelong Learning in society and in business is vital in this. In agreement with the recommendations of the joint Demography Statement of the European social partners, Allianz SE and the European SE Works Council entered into talks on this issue, and in 2012 they concluded an agreement on Guidelines for Lifelong Learning.
Signed on 28 June 2012, with unlimited duration
Allianz SE and (European) Allianz SE Works Council
Object of the measure
The agreement formulates the development and encouragement of employee competences as a key element in strengthening the performance capability of Allianz SE and incorporates Lifelong Learning into the corporate aims.
The concept of Lifelong Learning aims to increase employee knowledge, skills and competences. Allianz SE is strongly committed to a positive work environment in which the awareness of the performance, training and development of employees is strongly anchored in the corporate culture. At its heart is sustainable and far-reaching knowledge and competence transfer via which (as an overarching objective) the present and future requirements of a constantly-changing market environment can be met.
Reflecting the importance attaching to this, the following aims were specifically agreed:
- Support high performance of employees and quality of their work
- Improve the productivity and efficiency of the company
- Help to improve the quality and attractiveness of opportunities for Lifelong Learning as well as the accessibility to such measures
- Adapt job profiles resulting from change
- Reinforce the company's contribution to social cohesion, corporate citizenship, intercultural dialogue, gender equality and personal fulfilment
- Allow employees to actively influence their learning path by giving them the opportunity to agree upon their development goals with their superior
- Help promote creativity, innovation, competitiveness, employability and the growth of an entrepreneurial spirit
- Ensure access to Lifelong Learning by people of all ages and gender, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical or mental abilities, religious beliefs or other ideologies
- Contribute to increased participation in Lifelong Learning by all kinds of employee
- Promote co-operation in all areas of education and training in order to foster high quality and consistency of learning standards
- Ensure compliance with any regulatory requirements
A fundamental requirement in achieving these targets is active participation by both company and staff. To that end, Allianz SE agreed to provide sufficient and suitable learning and development resources, systems and offers and to regularly measure the effectiveness and long-term effect of the learning, using jointly-determined standards. On the employee side, it is their personal responsibility to actively boost their own employability by acquiring new knowledge and new skills.
Effects and benefits realised
Two years after the agreement was signed, the European companies of Allianz SE were required to submit a report on the implementation measures adopted. Since that time, joint reviews have been conducted on an ongoing basis, and analysis undertaken looking at how locally-implemented and proven practices can best be passed on to other Allianz companies. Lastly, the effectiveness and the long-term effect of the learning are measured using generally-recognised standards and KPIs, both at company level and group level.
Key success factors/obstacles
One key success factor for the agreement was the trust-based collaboration between Allianz SE and the European SE Works Council. There is an active role for the Executive Board, management and employees in incorporating Lifelong Learning sustainably into corporate culture. In addition, the sectoral discussions of the European social partners about the demographic challenges in the insurance sector also influenced the agreement at company level.