The Baloise Group is more than just a traditional insurance company. The changing security, safety and service needs of society in the digital age lie at the heart of its business activities. The 7,900 or so employees of Baloise therefore focus on the wishes of their customers. The best possible customer service, combined with innovative products and services, makes Baloise the first choice for people who want to feel ‘simply safe’. Located at the heart of Europe, with its head office in Basel, the Baloise Group is a provider of prevention, pension, assistance and insurance solutions. Its core markets are Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. In Switzerland, the Group also operates as a specialised financial services provider, offering a combination of insurance and banking services. The Group offers innovative pension products to retail customers throughout Europe from its competence centre in Luxembourg. Bâloise Holding Ltd shares are listed in the main segment of the SIX Swiss Exchange.
The Baloise Group’s goal for 2021 is to be among the top 10% of employers in the industry, and it is therefore forging ahead with the implementation of innovative ideas. The fixed hierarchy and working structures that are common in the industry are being broken up in order to steadily increase the Company’s attractiveness as an employer.
Flexibility and greater freedom – the new working models at Baloise
The new working models at Baloise offer flexibility and greater freedom. They are an expression of the trust that the Company places in its employees. The focus will be on granting more responsibility to individuals, so that they can decide for themselves when and how they want to work. Baloise actively supports a good work-life balance by providing a large number of part-time positions and the option of remote working. Job sharing (two employees sharing one position) forms a part of this.
In addition to providing flexible working models, Baloise also promotes the further development of its employees – on both the personal and professional levels. ‘Perspective change’ is the term used to describe temporary switches to other positions internally. For periods ranging from a few months up to two years, employees can gain insights into other work areas and thus broaden their experience. Any decisions about a possible permanent change are therefore easier to make. Furthermore, job changes to try out other areas, or permanent reshuffles in which employees swap jobs, are being pushed, especially among managers.
“We no longer think about careers as being just about reaching a particular position and then staying put. Instead, we want our employees to continually pursue further professional development based on our dynamic learning and development strategy and thus to acquire a broader range of diverse experiences. Such ‘colourful’ profiles increase the attractiveness of each individual employee on the job market, while at the same time also helping Baloise to become a much more fluid and agile organisation,” says Thomas Sieber, member of the Corporate Executive Committee.
A change of perspective creates understanding
A shorter version of the ‘Perspective change’ is called ‘Shadow for a day’. This involves following other colleagues for a day to see how they do their job. Baloise Group CEO Gert De Winter has completed about two dozen such placements in various areas of the business: “It improves our understanding of the big picture. Nobody can be a specialist in everything, but we can share our knowledge and thus understand each other better. And, by the way, the same reasoning also applies the other way around. A few colleagues have already shadowed me in my day-to-day work as CEO.”
The Baloise Group wants to develop into a business in which employees and teams use their own initiative to high degree and take responsibility to organise themselves. Dialogue on equal terms is central to this. Gert De Winter encourages this mentality in various ways, such as by having regular chats with employees over a few beers – an invitation that is open to any employees who are interested, regardless of their function. “My first question during after-work beers is always: What are we getting wrong? Then I listen and learn,” says a smiling De Winter. “A beer with Gert” highlights the Baloise Group’s employee-oriented corporate culture.