„Our employees are our capital. Their highest skills underlie our competitive edge. Thanks to them we not only build the Group’s market position but also pride ourselves on the position of the leader in the areas of our business activity. But as the leader, we have special obligations to fulfill: continuous perfection of standards. Therefore, we are always willing to share our experiences, which could serve as models to follow by all insurance market players.”
PZU Group’s policies [Accounting Act]
[GRI 103-2, GRI 103-3]
Most of the PZU Group companies have implemented special procedures and principles related to planning and organization of training and all development activities for employees. They define the process of obtaining and supplementing knowledge and skills as well as improving professional qualifications by employees. The documentation provides also the rules for the organization and financing of training and development activities.
The PZU Group strives to be an employer that gives its employees above-average and flexible development opportunities at an individual and team level and at the level of the whole organization. In planning its development activities it frames them in the context of its strategic business objectives and attaches great importance to selecting optimum forms of development. They contribute to both work productivity and employee engagement in the long-run.
The approach to comprehensive development developed in the PZU Group is based on organizing general corporate activities designated for various employee groups and individually addressed activities. Training courses and workshops are frequently supplemented with activities which employees do on their own before a training course (form of preparation) and after its completion (mastering knowledge, exercising skills). Enriching traditional training schools with modern solutions such as e-learning, webinars and virtual reality means that the educational offer is ever more attractive. In 2020, a vast majority of development activities were held online, including in the form of workshops. This trend will surely prevail, since a greater availability of the offered actions is ensured (a webinar, an online conference is attended by between 100 and 1,900 employees), remote work methods and tools are being intensively developed and the reception of online events by their participants is increasingly more positive.
PZU’s priority is to take care of effective knowledge management in the organization - maintain, share and utilize it across areas. That is why more and more frequently managers and specialists are engaged in internal development activities as authors of training programs, educational materials and as internal trainers.
PZU and PZU Życie have in place:
Employee training and development procedures were introduced in PZU Group companies. In addition, PZU TFI has an Employee language skills improvement procedure in place and PZU CO introduced Rules for the organization and financing of training and development activities for employees.
This is a cycle of actions performed by PZU, which concerned effective learning in the context of new techniques, rules, habits and use of technologies for this purpose. The initiative was supposed to show the employees that they can always learn better, faster and more effectively. The key objective of these actions was also to make the acquired knowledge stay with them for longer.
The following were delivered as part of the program:
Over 300 people in total attended the webinars and workshops.
The Pekao Group and Bank Pekao provide opportunities for education and individual professional development to employees through investments in training and improvement of employee competencies and skills.
The Bank Pekao Group does not have a joint policy for all its companies; however, employee training and development procedures and training instructions have been rolled out. Regulations are being implemented and pursued according to the legal regulations, including ones referring to the capital market. Bank Pekao has in place the „Policy on training and improvement of professional qualifications of employees of Bank Polska Kasa Opieki Spółka Akcyjna. „The “Policy” defines procedures referring to the course of processes related to employee participation in individual forms of professional qualification improvement.
Although a joint policy was not established in the Alior Bank Group, employee training programs, in addition to training policies, are delivered in individual companies on soft skills as well as hard and technical skills. Alior Bank has a „Policy on training and development” in place, which regulates issues related to induction and development training for bank’s employees, to possibilities to finance training & development activities, and to electronic training. Thanks to the introduced „Policy”, bank’s employees can develop expert specializations in a selected field and the implemented management systems and development model enable effective targeting of specialists and dynamic development of their careers.
Training plans are run for a given financial year in PZU Zdrowie while giving consideration to internal and external training. Detailed procedures, depending on the company, are specified in various documents, including the „Collective Bargaining Agreement” and the “HR Management Procedure.”
Additionally, rules for the organization and financing of training and development activities for employees are in force in all the companies.
The command of English is increasingly more necessary for our employees: some of them use tools in English, follow trends in foreign markets, use English-language forms of development or cooperate with foreign organizations. The aim of the pilot project was to convince the employees that learning English online was effective and convenient.
We tested a few modern learning solutions:
375 participants in the pilot projects spent approx. 21 thousand hours on learning with the use of these three solutions. In the case of the pilot e-learning platform alone, an average improvement of participants’ knowledge was recorded (based on examinations they wrote): 35% after approx. 6 months of learning and 76% after one year of learning. The plan provides for implementing the e-learning platform for English for more than one thousand employees.
Supporting employees in the new reality – preparation for hybrid work
The organizational change caused by the pandemic and the transition of virtually the entire organization into hybrid work were the inspiration for the establishment of a cycle of compendiums of knowledge, which were created in the „what counts is attitude” spirit and motivated for coping with the current difficulties, for cooperating and sharing best practices.
The second half of the year saw the creation of the “Distributed-Connected” cycle devoted to hybrid work to support the employees in the new reality, which answered the following questions:
The following were prepared as part of the initiative:
The employees were much interested in these actions – 1,700 of them participated live in the webinars – so they will be continued in 2021.
Average number of training days per employee hired under an employment contract in the PZU Group was 2.86 in 2020 (0.11 days fewer than in 2019). In the Pekao Group it was 3.76 (vs. 3.13 days in 2019) and in the Alior Bank Group 2.80 (up by 0.07 days vs. 2019). In PZU and PZU Życie, the average number of training days decreased slightly in 2020 when compared to the previous year, amounting to 3.19 (3.94 in 2019), which is related to the transition to shorter online forms, often supplemented with own work before and after the training.
In 2020, similarly as in 2019, 100% employees were subject to regular job quality and professional development assessments.
Regular assessment of the level of attaining objectives and the quality of work makes it possible to verify developmental needs and the action plans focused on developing specialist knowledge to help employees achieve their business objectives and check interpersonal and managerial competences – indispensable to engage in effective cooperation.
A development program called New Manager has been prepared with people in mind who are taking up managerial positions in the PZU Group for the very first time. Its goal is to acquaint the people with the expectations placed on managers in PZU as regards their management style and competences (in this manner the Group shapes the desired leadership model). During workshops managers are trained on key managerial competences, inter alia, on providing constructive feedback, holding talks with reports, task management and planning a team’s work. The program is held in the stationary and online forms and the workshops supplement trainer consultations, teleclasses in smaller groups, individual tasks. Additional workshops are organized for the superiors of the newly appointed managers. Their objective is to present the contents communicated as part of the “New Manager” in more detail and to provide managers with the best support in their new role.
In 2020, Laboratory of Managers, was launched, which initially aimed to support managers who contended with the new challenge, being team management in the hybrid work mode. However, the program evolved and currently it is a platform for exchanging knowledge and best practices between managers. Topics related to current challenges involved in management are discussed on regular meetings. They are attended by managers of all levels, from all areas of the company and from whole Poland. Webinars are facilitated by external experts and company’s managers. The form involving debates between leaders concerning the most topical questions has proven exceptionally well, e.g. is there a women’s and men’s management style, is the pandemic a time of risks or opportunities, when is there a good time for innovation. In addition, during the meetings managers exchange opinions and ideas on chat. Also mini-surveys are often used, which make it possible to learn and choose the available possibilities and solutions. Distributed leaders need inspiration and joint discussions. By exchanging experiences and encouraging to reflect, the initiative develops managers’ self-consciousness, invites them to seek new action methods, at the same time building a community of committed leaders.
In 2020, Bank Pekao executed the ON-LINE LEADER program, which supported managers in the new distributed organization resulting from the COVID-19 epidemic. The primary aim of the program is to enhance the competencies of managers in the field of effective distributed team management, to learn the tools and techniques supporting managers in the role of leaders managing such teams, and to build and develop a culture of remote work in the organization. The program comprised three training modules delivered online and ensured individual substantive consultations with trainers both during the program and also after its finish. The program covered Team Managers who manage distributed teams and would like to develop their competencies in this regard.
Laboratory of Managers
This program was prepared as support for managers contending with the new challenge, being team management in the remote and hybrid work modes in connection with COVID-19. This was a new situation for most of them, which required additional actions and special preparation for the functioning in the new reality.
The program comprised meetings facilitated by external and internal experts. Completed topics:
As the debate was held online, it was possible for many people to participate in a given event in real time, and the recordings of these meetings allowed people to become familiar with the discussed topic at any moment.
These meetings gathered nearly 3,200 participants live. The webinars were additionally played by 1,334 people.
LinkedIn – develop, inspire, be active!
A popular website gathering professionals, LinkedIn is not only a recruitment tool but it can also be a source of interesting articles and posts, at the same time being a space for brand building.
In order to activate PZU employees in the social media and to polish their profiles, a special webinar was organized, devoted, among others, to the effective LinkedIn profile running and the manner of website configuration so that it suggests interesting contents. The training, in which 347 people participated, was delivered by a LinkedIn trainer. People who were particularly interested in the topic of LinkedIn had an opportunity to participate in a cycle of workshops, during which they polished their own profiles to modify them in accordance with the best practices and standards. 33 people took part in these additional workshops.
#TyTworzyszPrzyszłość conference [#YouCreateTheFuture]
The internal conference titled #TyTworzyszPrzyszłość was organized for the second time in November 2020, but this time it was held online, thanks to which all employees of the PZU Group were invited.
The objective of the conference was to show the employees how big a digital revolution was going on in the world, how it affected the business and the human. What will the future of work and the competencies of future look like? How does technology affect the human and how to interact with technology? This was supposed to show the employees, according to the motto “YouCreateTheFuture”, that they have an influence on what the future of their work and the future of PZU would look like.
14 Polish and foreign experts spoke during 8 lectures. The viewers were won not only by the charismatic speakers but also by numerous 3D animations, e.g. a robot just like from the “Terminator” movie or a Lego minifigure. Plenty of materials recommended by the speakers and a list of ideas and innovations shared by the employees on chat were published on the website dedicated to the conference. The recordings were available to the employees for viewing at any time and place for the successive two months.
As many as 94% of the participants gave the conference the highest rating in the “well invested time in my development” category, appreciating also that this was the first online event in PZU on such a large scale. The conference not only provided the employees with knowledge in the field of new technologies and the future of work, but also the comments reveal that it encouraged employees to be open to change, to experiment and to act.
Another edition of the conference is planned in 2021.
„Click for development”
The “Click for development” conference is a huge dose of knowledge and inspiration in the field of modern development and digital tools. On 15 September 2020, its second edition took place, where such topics were addressed as how to memorize new information quickly and for long, where to find valuable podcasts and what can be taught thanks to them. Other addressed topics were why it is important not only to learn effectively but also to unlearn, and how to minimize the damage caused by continuous exposure to new technologies.
The participants had the opportunity to listen to:
The conference could not be held on the first planned date for technical reasons, so it was postponed. It was decided to invite another speaker – Karol Bielecki, a world championship runner-up in handball – for the second date. Referring to conference and his eye injury, he presented the topic of failure, determination and continuous development. Valuable lessons were learned from this event, though.
Video summarizing the conference: QR code
The aim of the podcasts created as part of the “Click for development” project was to familiarize the employees with various tools and formats used in online education both from the student’s and the teacher’s point of view. Podcasts are a format that is increasingly more popular in Poland and very easily available, so they were used also for this project.
PThe podcasts were recorded by the employees themselves. External experts, who specialize in various fields: podcasts, webinars and movies, as well as platforms for English learning or gamification and virtual and augmented reality, were the guests. Seven episodes were created, which were played approx. 1,500 times.
The podcast cycle on online education is being continued and developed on a continuous basis. Additionally, and a new cycle of podcasts concerning digital transformation and deployment of new group work tools is already in preparation.
„A job with a purpose” campaign
In autumn every year, a campaign promoting the PZU employer brand is carried out. In 2020, which was quite difficult for many organizations, the decision was made to return to the campaign from 2019, which emphasized the purpose of work and to reach a broader group of recipients with this motto – also potential candidates for employees.
The 2020 campaign used the materials recorded for the purposes of the previous campaign. The title question “Does your job have a purpose?” was answered by PZU employees, thinking about the common denominator of the actions performed by them and by the whole company, as well as emphasizing the possibility of influence on their tasks, which translate directly into business actions and projects that support the surroundings. In the new edition of the campaign, the idea was to return to a few participants in the recordings of 2019 and to ask them what had changed in their professional lives over the past 12 months. The conversations show that employees still feel that what they are doing has a purpose and in their everyday work they want above all to have the concern for safety in mind and to help others. This message became the pivot of the promotional actions, which were executed from 23 November until the end of 2020.
As part of the completed campaign, all media objectives were accomplished above the adopted targets:
A continuation of the actions promoting PZU as the best employer is planned for 2021 under the slogan „PZU. A job with a purpose”.
1 Estimated data on account of the lack of statistics in this area. Data presented as FTEs.