Sustainable business

People

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Having a talented, qualified and healthy workforce is key for a.s.r. in achieving its business objectives. That is why a.s.r. is committed to attracting, retaining and inspiring the best people, offering them extensive scope for training and development, and facilitating a sound work/life balance.

a.s.r. aspires to be a sustainable employer by:

  • recruiting, developing and retaining the best people;
  • creating an environment of objective and transparent leadership, allowing responsibility to be given and taken;
  • ensuring a focus on trust, so that engagement and performance go hand in hand;
  • investing in the empowerment and sustainable mobility of people, both within and outside the organization.

Sustainable employability

Sustainable employability involves ensuring that employees can continue to participate as long and as fully as possible in the labour market while retaining their vitality. An important precondition is that they are highly motivated and have the right skills and training. a.s.r. contributes to this by offering them oppertunties to develop themselves and improve their labour market prospects, both at a.s.r. and elsewhere. All a.s.r. employees are entitled to support for increasing their sustainable employability; they can ask to receive career counselling and choose from a wide range of workshops and courses. In 2016, 295 employees received sustainable employment counselling and 112 availed themselves of mobility services (redundancy programmes).

Diversity and inclusivity

a.s.r. strives for an inclusive culture in which differences between employees are recognised, valued and exploited. At a.s.r., everyone who wants to use their talents to achieve the company’s objectives will have the opportunity to do so, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or sexual orientation. By diversity, a.s.r. means all aspects in which people differ from each other: both visible differences, such as age or gender, and less visible ones, such as cultural and social background, physical and mental capacity and styles of working.

The fundamental principles of a.s.r.’s diversity policy:
1. A balanced workforce composition based on age, gender, cultural or ethnic origin, physical and mental capacity, beliefs and working styles;
2. Promotion of a balanced composition of management through a policy of positive discrimination;
3. Equal development opportunities for all employees;
4. Participation of people with limited labour market potential.

Objectives of the diversity policy
At least 30% of the Supervisory Board, Executive Board and senior management are women. In 2017, both the Supervisory and Executive Boards had three male members and one female member. This brings the representation of women to 25% on both Boards. On 31 December 2017, senior management consisted of 22 members, 6 of whom were women and 16 of whom were men (27%:73%). In order to achieve the 30% target, application of the diversity policy has been explicitly included in the recruitment of the Supervisory and Executive Board members. Diversity policy is part of the recruitment process and the employee review, in which, among other things, succession planning is discussed.

a.s.r. is committed to employing at least 70 people through the Participation Desk by 2026. These are individuals with an employment restriction who are covered by the Labour Participation Act. In 2017 a.s.r. had 31 employees with an occupational impairment. In order to achieve the target, the Participation Desk was further professionalised in 2017. Attention was also drawn to this theme within the Management Teams (MTs), the aim being to increase awareness of the Participation Desk and hence the scope to employ people with limited labour market prospects.

Engagement

In 2016 the engagement scan was once again used to measure the extent to which employees feel committed to a.s.r. The engagement score rose to 65.0% in 2016, a 11,5%-point rise on 2015.

The engagement score rose for the following reasons:

  • Employees take more pride in a.s.r. and its reputation;
  • Employees have more faith in the company;
  • Employees give a higher rating to their development options within a.s.r.;
  • Employees are more motivated to contribute to a.s.r.’s success.

Works Council

The Works Council of a.s.r. represents employees' interests and consults with the CEO on matters affecting the company. The starting point is a focus on the shared interest of the company. The Works Council represents the interests of everyone at a.s.r. and weighs up both the interest of the company and that of the employees.

The structure, procedures and the position of the members of the employee representation bodies at a.s.r. have been documented in writing and this information can be consulted by all employees.

The Works Council and its subcommittees have an advisory role in significant commercial and organizational issues, including restructuring (merging or splitting of departments or business lines), acquisitions and integrations.

With regard to staff policy issues (e.g. performance appraisals, pensions and working conditions), the Works Council has a right of consent in many cases. This applies to policy concerning appraisals, working conditions, pensions, appointments, etc. In addition, the Works Council can exercise its statutory right to speak. This gives the Works Council the opportunity to voice its views on significant proposed board decisions before and during AGMs.

Frequency of meetings and composition
The members of the Works Council are elected for a period of three years. The Works Council meets 12 times a year and consults formally with the Executive Board six times a year. Twice a year, the state of affairs in the company is discussed in the presence of two members of the Supervisory Board. The topics that are addressed in any event are the company's financial performance and its strategic plans. A meeting at which the Works Council, Executive Board and Supervisory Board are all represented is held at least twice a year. These meetings are attended by the Chairman of the Supervisory Board and another member of the Supervisory Board, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Works Council, the CEO and the Director of Human Resources.