Drive the business

Our employees work hard to fulfil our vision of making the world more resilient, and we hold each other accountable for performance in this context. The way we have evolved our approach to managing performance and, consequently, reward our people supports this.

Managing performance

Our performance management approach supports our aim for a high-performance culture in which our individual and team goals, as well as behaviours, are aligned to our firm’s purpose and business strategy. We want our employees to reach their potential and be fully supported in their work, which also links back to our approach to learning (see section “Lead and develop”).

Our Leadership Imperatives are fully embedded in our performance management approach, focusing both on what people achieve and how they achieve their goals. Including these behaviours in performance and feedback discussions allows for robust, forward-looking conversations, better performance differentiation and transparent pay-for-performance.

Following the encouraging results from the Performance Management Pilots conducted over two years with over 2000 employees, we are now moving ahead with Continuous Performance Management, which will remove year-end ratings and focus on the qualitative aspects of performance management. We are committed to making Swiss Re a more commercial, nimble and agile company by enabling our employees to adapt quickly and smartly to changing business needs.

Together, we are moving Swiss Re towards a culture of continuous performance dialogue by placing more emphasis on frequent conversations between employees and their managers that provide forward-looking, ongoing and timely feedback.

Rewarding our people

Our compensation framework is designed to attract, motivate and retain the qualified talent the Group needs to succeed globally and to create a tangible link between performance and pay. The aim is to provide compensation that is competitive in local labour markets and to ensure that our employees focus on delivering outstanding results while supporting appropriate and controlled risk-taking.

For most employees, total compensation comprises base salary and the Annual Performance Incentive (API), which is linked to both individual and company performance.

Swiss Re has several incentive programmes that reflect the long-term nature of our business: both the Value Alignment Incentive Plan (VAI), as the deferred part of the API, and the Leadership Performance Plan (LPP) aim to reward sustained business performance rather than short-term results. This helps align shareholder and employee interests more closely. The VAI applies to employees who have a total API in excess of a defined threshold, and the LPP is awarded to our senior management and select key employees.

We also encourage our employees to own Swiss Re shares by providing opportunities to participate directly in the long-term success of the Group through the Global Share Participation Plan.

The balanced compensation package is generally complemented by competitive pension plans and other employee benefits. Such benefits include, for example, the Continuous Contribution Award, which recognises the loyalty, commitment and continuous contribution of our employees by offering them opportunities at defined milestones to enjoy additional paid time-off. Health benefits and financial protection in case of ill health are a further important part of many of our packages. We provide medical, life and disability insurance in excess of state provisions in most locations. Furthermore, we support employees in accumulating retirement benefits to supplement any state provisions.

In addition, the COyou2 Programme has continued to offer our employees subsidies for a range of climate-friendly investments they want to make in their private lives (see The COyou2 Programme).

Further information on Swiss Re’s approach to compensation and benefits can be found in our 2019 Financial Report.