P&C insurance is Sampo Group's largest business area and in 2011 it employed approximately 92 per cent of the personnel, while life insurance had 8 per cent of the work force. Less than one per cent worked for the parent company, Sampo plc.
As HR activities and needs vary significantly between the two business areas, the developments in 2011 are described separately for both of them.
HR in If P&C Insurance
During 2011, If P&C’s personnel strategy continued to be influenced by the theme of the corporate strategy ‘Skills and Initiatives’ launched in 2010.
The aim of this initiative is to bolster If P&C’s value creation by increasing the company’s focus on intangible assets such as customer orientation, competence creation and the ability to innovate. These intangible assets are closely linked to our employees and how they perceive their working environment. Maximizing our intangible assets will require a company culture and work environment that creates maximum employee engagement and commitment.
Business Initiatives Process
In 2011, several ‘Skills and Initiatives’ sub themes, launched in 2010, gained momentum. One important such theme is the launch of a structured and recurring process for idea creation and idea implementation across the whole company. This process – called the ‘Business Initiative Process’ (BI) – took off during 2011.
Currently 2,400 If employees are enrolled in the process and are thus actively involved in innovation. The aim is to have 4,000–5,000 employees participating in the process by the end of 2012.
The BI Process has benefited If by helping individual employee see how their improvement ideas concretely contribute to If P&C’s customer promise ‘Relax we’ll help you’.
Top Management Training Program
To ensure understanding of and broad support for the ‘Skills and Initiatives’ theme, a top management training program has been launched in cooperation with London Business School. It is aimed at If P&C’s top 100 executives and key specialists from all Business Areas and countries.
In 2011, most of If P&C’s top executives have attended the program, and a common language for discussing initiatives has been established.
Other competence development initiatives
Investment in competence creation continued to be high with If Academy delivering over 76,000 training activities in total. This equals approximately to 10 training activities per employee during 2011.
Development of the management has been redesigned to support the ‘Skills and Initiatives’ theme better. In all of If P&C’s management development programs an increased focus has been placed on BI Process, team development and coaching.
Management development activities were also abundant in 2011. During the year, approximately 200 management development activities were delivered, which means that on average each If manager attended approximately 1.5 development activities.
High Employee satisfaction
If P&C performs a semi-annual employee satisfaction survey called Temper. In 2011, Temper revealed a very high employee satisfaction level – as many as 91 per cent of the employees stated that they enjoy working at If P&C. Leadership abilities at If P&C remain on a high level, which is supported by high and continuously rising scores, 87 per cent positive regarding 'My Leader' in the employee survey.
Sick leave percentages remain low and stable at between 1.2 per cent to 3.5 per cent in various countries, excluding Norway. In Norway, the sick leave figure was 4.8 per cent in 2011, a significant improvement compared to 2010 when Norwegian sick leave percentage was 0.6 per cent higher.
Personnel turnover ended at a level of 8.5 per cent on annual basis excluding Russia. This is slightly lower compared to 2010 (9.1) and is the result of focused efforts to create a positive and stimulating work climate in If P&C. Number of employees has been relatively stable, with the only exception being the reduction of employees in Russia as result of the exit from the Russian private market.
Reorganization of the Human Resources Function
The human resources (HR) function of If P&C was reorganized during 2011 to improve the ability to support the front line organization. HR departments for Employment Relations, HR Administration and HR Partners, which were operating on a Nordic level, were replaced by country based HR Operation Units.
If Academy continues as a Nordic function for competence development and a new Nordic department for Compensation and Benefits was formed.
HR in Mandatum Life
In 2011, Mandatum Life’s HR policies focused on the development of customer focused culture, internal cooperation and high standard personnel management processes. Understanding of the business logic was improved in Mandatum Life by organising the Sales School training program for the entire personnel.
The management development was also continued. Managerial training programs introduced in 2010 continued and, by the end of 2011, 90 per cent of company’s managers had attended the training.
The business development unit was reorganised to ensure innovations and efficient project management. The idea for the new organisation came from the training program aimed at key personnel. Customer service organisations and related career path possibilities were developed to improve customer service skills and customer satisfaction.
Personnel management also invested in the integration of the new subsidiary, Innova, and its personnel into company’s operations.
The 'Great Place to Work' survey saw Mandatum Life’s staff job satisfaction rise again in 2011 to 77 per cent (73). According to the study, 85 per cent of the respondents thought Mandatum Life was a very good company to work at.