Lead and develop

In our People Strategy, we put a strong focus on developing our leaders, our leadership pipeline and our employees at all levels. In addition, we offer various programmes to young adults moving into the workforce, the most prominent being our award-winning [email protected] programme.

Investing in our leadership and a strong pipeline

The Swiss Re employee experience is very much dependent on our leaders. They serve as role models and play an important role in the growth and development of our people whilst being focused on delivering results. We recognise that being a good leader is not easy. We therefore strengthen the leadership capabilities of our line managers and prepare them to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing work environment. We do this through targeted skills programmes that strengthen our leaders’ skills both in people and general management.

In addition, we regularly review and adapt our leadership development programmes. In 2019, we put a special focus on embracing agility. The goal is to equip our leaders at all levels to cope with challenges such as creating joint movement amongst employees, responding faster to business changes and empowering everybody to take a leadership role.

For senior leaders, we launched the new CEO-sponsored Pathfinder Experience Programme to build a community of change catalysts who will reinforce the agile, forward-looking principles described above. We also developed the Explorer Programme for our leadership talents, which enables them to take on additional leadership responsibilities and to lead in an ambiguous and dynamic environment.

Developing our employees

In a world where the ability to learn and adapt quickly is increasingly crucial, the effective development of our people is key for our enduring success.

We firmly believe in the 70/20/10 approach to learning. It advocates a blended approach to learning, consisting of actions that reflect “on-the-job experiences”, eg rotations and stretch assignments (70%), “learning from others”, eg mentoring and coaching (20%) and structured learning (10%).

In 2019, we introduced our new learning experience platform called LearningOne. It is a one-stop shop aimed at making the learning experience more effortless for all our employees, by enabling them to easily access all the learning offerings they require. It finds the required content wherever it is hosted – inside or outside SRZ – while artificial intelligence personalises the learning offering for every individual. This supports the democratisation of learning because experts working for our company can now share their learning quickly and widely and be credited for their contributions. All this is helping us in our journey to become more agile.

Classroom and inhouse eLearning data, Swiss RE Group






In 2018 we began changing Swiss Re’s learning landscape with LearningOne, adopting a new learning philosophy that gives our employees access to bite-sized learning nuggets at their personal convenience. We no longer track these learning hours, which explains the significant drop from 2017 to 2018.

Total learning hours

234 609

165 440

174 420

Learning hours per employee




Learning costs per employee (in USD)




Through the introduction of LearningOne, we have reduced classroom training (see table above), but continue to offer courses on topics where the focus is more on practising than on knowledge transfer. These topics include sales, negotiation and presentation skills, emotional intelligence and interpersonal effectiveness, change management and leadership skills.

Our innovative approach to learning has been recognised externally through multiple awards. We are especially proud of the NASSCOM award we received in India, one of our fastest growing locations where learning is crucial to our success (see below). NASSCOM is the premier trade body and chamber of commerce of the tech industry in India and comprises over 2800 member companies, including Indian as well as multinational organisations with a presence in India.

Winner of the NASSCOM award (photo)

In 2019, our Global Business Solution Centre Bangalore was recognised for “Excellence in Learning & Skills Development” at the NASSCOM Global Capability Centres Conclave.

NASSCOM award for "Excellence in Learning & Skills Development" in India

With more than 1 100 employees, largely millennials, our Bangalore team has adopted a holistic approach to continuous learning, while putting a special focus on early leadership development initiatives, including a social responsibility programme. Ensuring that all its employees understand Swiss Re’s value chain and helping them to be “future ready” has been enabled through different trainings and by encouraging job rotations and job movements across regions and functions. Our ambition to truly live “diversity and inclusion” has translated into offerings such as gender intelligence workshops, female mentorship programmes and LGBTI+ integration.

In a bid to tap into the best re/insurance talent in the country, Swiss Re Bangalore has signed Memorandums of Understanding with some of India’s leading academic institutions such as the National Insurance Academy in Pune and BIMTECH – Birla Institute of Management Technology in Noida. Through these partnerships, we also get an opportunity to shape and build the academic curricula, as well as raise awareness of the talent potential in re/insurance.

Engaging the next generation: [email protected]

Every year, our award-winning [email protected] programme provides entry positions for university graduates and offers an excellent opportunity for young talents to discover the exciting world of a leading global re/insurer.

Over a period of 18 months, the graduates receive on-the-job training in their respective functions. We have recently introduced a modern learning experience and encourage more on-the-job learning. These training sessions are specifically designed for the programme and focus on Swiss Re’s core business areas. The programme was first launched in 2007, and we still have 380 graduates working for Swiss Re from this 12-year period.

Our graduates recognise our strong focus on their development, which helped us win an award from TheJobCrowd for the fourth year in a row (see below).

Winner of TheJobCrowd Award (photo)

Our [email protected] programme offers university graduates from across the globe the opportunity to discover the exciting world of a leading global re/insurer. In 2019, the programme won an award from TheJobCrowd for the fourth year in a row.

Award from TheJobCrowd – for the fourth year in a row

In 2019, our [email protected] programme again won an award from TheJobCrowd, with first place in the Banking & Finance category. TheJobCrowd is a popular job review website for graduates in the UK.

To determine the ranking, our graduates were asked to complete a survey about working for Swiss Re. The survey included questions such as: What are the best things about your company? What attracted you to SRZ? How do you rate the work/life balance, training and ethical/environmental balance? The results from our graduates were overwhelmingly positive.