[GRI 103-2], [GRI 103-3]
The knowledge and experience of the PZU Group’s employees represent the company’s enormous capital. As we understand how important this is for the society and the economy, PZU rolled out new knowledge sharing standards. Participating in various types of events, conferences and symposiums and activities to benefit business development, science, new technology and financial education makes it possible to convey some of the expert knowledge to employees and the company while showing our care for the common good.
One example of such an approach is the issue of proper risk assessment. This is a key skill in many positions, not only ones that are directly related to the insurance industry. Many pre-eminent experts related to this area work in PZU.
In 2020, PZU LAB in partnership with the Kozminski University launched “Risk and insurance” postgraduate studies. During classes, students are supposed to acquire tools necessary for correct risk identification and analysis and to apply an effect risk management method. Practical knowledge will be shared with students and participants by professionals that are appreciated in the market, who deal with the topics of insurance and risk management. The studies kicked off in November and are to take two semesters, with the number of participants being nearly 30.
In January 2020, PZU LAB in cooperation with the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone and the Polish Maritime Technology Forum co-organized the 3rd Maritime Industry Safety Forum in the Baltic Port of New Technologies. The Forum was devoted to the topic of critical infrastructure safety, offshore wind farm safety and offshore technological innovations, such as autonomous marine vehicles (underwater robots). The event served also raising awareness of risks and threats in the maritime industry. The speakers and participants of the debates are academics, specialists in the field of safety, and practitioners. The event was attended by more than 200 people.
In December 2020, online training was delivered to employees of Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne on claims under third party liability, motor claims and machinery/property claims in the power industry. The training was held for three days and was delivered by specialists in their respective fields.
Business Open Door Days is a workshop event for students from across Poland. It offers students an opportunity to face the real business issues and become familiar with the unique daily challenges in the area of their choice. They are also able to put the knowledge gained during their studies to a test. Through the workshops, they learn the organizational culture and work at PZU and are encouraged to participate in other events designated for students.
Four workshop days were organized between 30 November and 4 December 2020. Each day was devoted to a different topic (corporate sales, innovations, artificial intelligence and Big Data, audit). The online workshops, preceded by a theoretical part, were run by PZU employees, experts in selected fields, who used business examples for this purpose.
Over one thousand applications from across Poland were acquired during the recruitment campaign. Following the recruitment, 88 participants were invited. 35 experts in various business areas were engaged for the workshops.
The substantive level, form, preparation of trainers and topics of the program all received high marks from the participants, as compared by the evaluation surveys, in which 95% of the respondents would recommend the Business Open Door Days to their acquaintances.
Programs for students
The Apprenticeships and internship program is also a method of sharing knowledge. It allows students to gain professional experience and get to know the organizational culture of a large organization.
Cooperation with the academic circles is an important part of social commitment and building the image of PZU as an employer among students. Students organizations, universities whose profile matches the recruitment needs and fits the performed actions in the employer branding are periodically invited to cooperate.
Through participation in academic events, PZU tries to reach the group of ambitious students, who will soon enter the labor market. Therefore, PZU organizes various projects addressed both to students and graduates, i.e. Apprenticeship and Internship Program, Business Open Door Days, or Ambassador Program. Thanks to such engagement in the academic life, many students choose precisely PZU as a place to begin their professional career.
To support the academic circles in 2020, PZU cooperated with the most active students’ organizations. PZU participated also in the 5th edition of Go4Poland Program organized by the WSE Foundation, under which Polish students from renowned foreign universities were invited to become interns at PZU.
All actions and cases of cooperation translate into a large number of high-quality apps received by PZU in connection with projects addressed to students or for junior positions. A measurable effect is also a TOP10 position in the Employer of the Year survey by AIESEC.
Apprenticeship and Internship Program
The main goal of the Apprenticeship and Internship Program at PZU is to ensure the inflow of young talents to the organization and build the image of the company as an attractive employer. The program allows the students to gain professional experience and learn the company’s culture.
In 2020, the program started in July: the term of the apprenticeships was three months and of the internships – six months. A campaign promoting the program with the motto “Practical knowledge makes sense” was launched in early March. Due to the pandemic, the whole activity related to the promotion was moved to the Internet. In order to ensure the best communication possible, Q&A sessions with recruiters were held on Mondays. Also recordings with team managers, for which interns and apprentices were sought, received very good opinions. Selected PZU employees (who became Project Ambassadors) and Academic Ambassadors were involved in the program promotion. The executed „Practical knowledge makes sense” campaign was awarded in the Employer Branding Excellence Awards 2020 contest.
Apprenticeships are offered by various business areas of the company in different locations, e.g. in Warsaw, Kraków, Poznań and Wrocław. Their participants took part in the “Laboratory of Talents” development & integration program, which was executed fully online. What was new in this year’s edition was the establishment of cooperation with Go4Poland program, as part of which Polish students from renowned foreign universities were invited to become interns.
On average, 74 people responded to each offer. After over 300 remote meetings with the candidates, 65 participants were recruited: 26 apprentices and 39 interns. After the finish of the internships, nearly 60% students have continued their cooperation with PZU. According to the results of the evaluation survey, 92% of the apprentices would recommend the program to others.
In 2021, 30 apprentices are to be employed for 3-month summer apprenticeships and 30 interns for 6-month internships, and to make the program more attractive by introducing additional training and projects for students.
PZU Ambassadors Program
PZU Ambassadors are a group of proactive students, who represent the PZU Group in their universities and act as liaisons between the company and the academic community. They help engage the best students in their universities in the projects, cooperate with local career offices, recommend student projects in which it is worth participating. Owing to their activity in, among others, local governments, organizations and science clubs they are popular at their universities, which contributes to a better reception of PZU’s communication and a higher effectiveness of joint actions. This year, the Ambassadors were recruited fully remotely and the cooperation with them started with workshops devoted to social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram) and techniques that would allow them to create engaging contents.
In the academic year 2020/2021, a total of 18 PZU ambassadors have been active in the largest academic centers in Poland. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the integration, meetings and communication of the team are performed remotely.
PZU Ambassadors provide a very strong support for PZU during recruitment for flagship programs dedicated to students, i.e. Business Open Door Days, Apprenticeship and Internship Program and Ambassador Program. It was thanks to, among others, the strong commitment of the Ambassadors in this year’s Business Open Door Days that over one thousand submissions were received. The Ambassadors created a video promoting the program and actively participated in students’ conferences (online) and meetings organized by career offices, by talking about the development opportunities at PZU.
Additionally, the ambassadors support the PZU Group’s activities on an ongoing basis by gathering recommendations regarding interesting local events, represent the PZU Group in student associations and science clubs. Moreover, some Ambassadors take part in the recruitment for the Apprenticeship and Internship Program. The familiarity with the company and the organizational culture makes them candidates who quickly get accustomed to their new role and contribute a high value to the teams they join.
The PZU Ambassador Program enjoys a very good opinion in the market, which is why it is to be continued and developed. Given the shift of the majority of activities to the digital world, it is planned that the future Ambassadors are able to make use of social media effectively. The actions performed by the Ambassadors online so far have replaced stationary events and proven that nowadays such actions must be the basis for communication with students.
IT students 2020
PZU intends to provide students with the best development opportunities possible. Bearing in mind the digitization, the direction of the industry development and the interest of students with technology topics, PZU is going to focus on the Information Technology Division and offer a broad range of apprenticeships and internships to students – from maintenance teams to development teams.
In 2020, as part of the Apprenticeship and Internship Program ten apprentices and interns were employed in the IT area, three of which have continued their work and further development at PZU after finishing the program. In order to develop the IT area among students, one day during the Business Open Door Days was devoted in whole to workshops concerning this topic. Nearly 20 students learned the characteristics of work in the area of artificial intelligence and Big Data. The participants also had an opportunity to see for themselves how the process of solution creation runs and how it is executed from the tool side.
Development program for PZU apprentices and interns – Laboratory of Talents
To encourage participants in the Apprenticeship and Internship Program to cooperate with one another and to improve their soft competencies, a development program was organized for the apprentices and interns. It was held online and was an alternative to the direct meetings and sessions organized in the previous editions. The group of 65 students distributed across Poland had an opportunity to establish contacts with one another and to cooperate in team projects.
In the Laboratory of Talents, every participant had an opportunity to develop their competencies both individually and in a team. Over the successive 10 weeks the participants scored points in gamification and improved their skills in virtual training, group and individual challenges in the form of games and tasks. The program was based on the idea of growth mindset, i.e. mind oriented towards development. The program was an opportunity to test new skills and after each training module the participants verified the acquired knowledge in bigger and smaller challenges. In addition, a dedicated interactive landing page for the Laboratory of Talents was created, where the participants gained access to educational materials. The students additionally took part in the Retro Game, i.e. a virtual puzzle room, in which only perfect cooperation in a team ensured success.
During the program held from 15 July to 9 September 2020, the following online training courses were successfully completed: