The Talanx Group employed 21,529 (22,180) staff at year-end, equivalent to 20,004 (20,887) full-time positions. The number of employees outside Germany fell as expected to 10,227 (10,989) as a result of restructuring measures in the Retail International Division in connection with the integration of the Polish company WARTA. The headcount within Germany rose slightly to 11,302 (11,191). While there was a further decline in the Retail Germany Division owing to restructuring measures, the number of employees in the other segments increased in Germany. Our Group has employees in 40 countries on five continents around the world. Roughly three-quarters of staff in Germany are employed in the federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony.

M57Headcount by region
P099_Chart: Headcount by region

In Germany, the proportion of female staff was 48%, while 17% of employees were part-time. Both these figures were thus on a par with previous years. Of employees in Germany not subject to collective bargaining agreements, 31 (28)% were women. At senior executive level, women accounted for 19% of positions.

M58Headcount by part-time/full-time status in Germany
P099_Chart: Headcount by part-time/full-time status in Germany

It is a fundamental principle at Talanx that employee development takes place without regard to ethnic origin, gender or religion. The participation of women in most of our development programmes for management trainees and newly appointed managers has averaged almost 30% in recent years. This means that we are able to increase further the proportion of women in management positions. Working-time models geared to the various phases of life and support for families searching for suitable day-care facilities also help to advance and retain women with management potential.

M59Headcount by gender in Germany
P099_Chart: Headcount by gender in Germany

Our human resources management aims to ensure Talanx’s success in times of constant social, economic and cultural change. We can achieve this by having the right staff in the right place and by assigning them the right tasks. Our employees are distinguished by their high levels of professionalism, loyalty, entrepreneurial mindset and action, flexibility, motivation and mobility. Targeted employee support and development is of crucial importance to the Group’s successful development and the achievement of our strategic objectives. We provide continuous and personal support for employees through training and a transparent management style. Human resources marketing, professional training and staff development are fundamental components of our Group-wide human resources work.

Basic professional training is particularly important for securing new talent. As at 31 December 2013, there were 410 (404) trainees at the Talanx Group in Germany. Courses that lead to commercial qualifications in insurance and finance are particularly respected at the Talanx Group. Practical orientation and self-reliant working as part of a team are a very important part of this training, which spans all companies. Trainees thus have a wide range of career options after completing their courses. As well as the number of trainees, the number of employees taken on permanently after completing their courses has remained consistently high for years. Talanx’s training courses have won German insurance industry training awards four times since 2005. Talanx is also the only company to have submitted at least one entry every year since this training award was introduced; these have often concerned projects that involved supporting social welfare organisations. Our training focuses not only on professional and methodological expertise, but also to a large extent on social skills.

We also value highly the dual-track Bachelor of Arts (business studies, insurance, sales) and Bachelor of Science (business computing) programmes. To this end, we extended our cooperation agreements with the colleges that run these courses. To support the Group’s internationalisation, study courses in 2013 increasingly incorporated periods of practical work experience for students at foreign subsidiaries or branches. As experience has been positive so far, we plan to continue with this concept.

In addition to human resources marketing, where we once again stepped up our activities at careers fairs and university events, strategic staff development continued successfully at the Group. Employees and managers are systematically prepared for current and future challenging tasks through various training courses and staff development programmes. As part of our fostering of young staff, we offer a programme that allows top performers and employees with high potential to develop their potential, and in 2013 we introduced a development programme for specific divisions. Established managers with the potential to take on additional duties can participate in the management development programme. This programme was launched for the first time at the end of 2013 in English, with participants from foreign subsidiaries and branches. Managers are also offered training on an individual basis and coaching if required. We give preference to our own employees when filling management positions, assuming that candidates are equally well qualified. Further training for employees for current or future tasks is essential to ensure that staff remain employable in times of change. We are constantly adapting our entire range of training courses to current and future requirements, and also organise a variety of insurance and specialist seminars, training sessions in practices and conduct, management training and IT and language courses.

The Talanx Corporate Academy has been successfully established as a key instrument in strategy implementation and the development of corporate culture within the Group. It provides information on strategically relevant topics in the form of a programme for the most senior level of management in all divisions throughout the Group, which offers high-quality content with a practical focus. As a catalyst for change and a platform for exchanging knowledge and experience, the Talanx Corporate Academy, with the involvement of a large number of participants, played an important part in the reporting period in promoting cooperation between the divisions and Corporate Operations. The Talanx Corporate Academy has developed the Talanx values in discussions with senior management around the world. These form the basis for cooperation within the Group and are a crucial factor in success.

As a public declaration of its commitment to the recognition, inclusion and appreciation of diversity in its corporate culture, Talanx signed up to the Diversity Charter in October 2013. We do not merely want to create a working atmosphere that ensures openness and integration, but also to actively and consciously exploit diversity to improve the company’s performance and competitiveness. The Group considers the issue of diversity to be very important in view of demographic change, the decline in the working population and the growing proportion of female staff and of people from immigrant backgrounds.

Faced with an impending shortage of skilled workers, the Group plans to promote the transfer of practical knowledge from older staff to the next generation from the beginning of 2014. Among other measures, teams and project groups including a mix of ages will be strengthened, a cross-generational reverse mentoring programme will be set up and a series of talks will begin, enabling career starters and experienced employees to learn from each other.

To increase the number of women in management positions, at least 25% of vacant management positions in Germany will in future be filled with female employees. 26% of Talanx’s managers worldwide and 19% in Germany were female at the end of 2013. The network Frauen@Talanx will be a tool that will actively work this year to create a corporate culture that supports and challenges women in management positions in their professional and personal development. A Group-wide mentoring programme supports female Talanx employees with potential in progressing to more senior management positions.

Talanx offers training courses to raise awareness and intercultural workshops to ensure an open corporate culture in which there is mutual understanding of different cultural backgrounds. We are also planning a programme that will allow employees from foreign Group companies to sit in on lectures, as well as an international management development programme, to strengthen the integration of the Talanx Group.

The pilot project on “occupational health management” aims to maintain and promote the health and employability of employees in a time of rapid change in the working environment. We are developing measures for preventive and sustainable health promotion together with our social partner. These include preventive measures, early detection measures, health information and services relating to stress management and exercise.

Our Industrial Lines Division continued the trainee programmes set up for account managers and underwriters in the various industrial lines as part of systematic fostering of young talent. These courses, which usually last one year, convey a solid grasp of the various fields of work involved in industrial insurance. We hope that this will ensure that our Industrial Lines Division continues its success in future, despite the departure of experienced specialists due to age.

We continued our “management workshop” as a support tool for all managers as part of the realignment of the Retail Germany Division. This series of events discusses strategic issues in a yearly cycle and draws up concrete measures for implementation based on these discussions. With the “management workshop”, The Retail Germany Division set itself the goal of firmly establishing continuous and systematic support within the process of change and a collective understanding of managerial conduct in such a process of change. This scheme for managers focused once again in 2013 on continuation of understanding between companies and on reflection on managers’ own roles. The management workshop II was used extensively and met with widespread approval. Based on the positive feedback we have received, we will continue this support tool this year.

Human resources activities in the Reinsurance Division focused closely on the most recent employee survey in 2013. The human resources department supported the Board of Management in its analysis of the main results by providing a detailed evaluation. At the same time, concrete measures were implemented based on areas where potential for improvement had been identified, such as complexity training specifically designed for experienced senior managers and a seminar providing information on relevant health-related issues. We also continued successfully establishing the numerous initiatives launched in recent years in this line, such as training based on the “blended learning” format, revision of our management principles and adjusted management feedback.

Acknowledgements to staff and representative bodies

The Board of Management would like to express its appreciation to all of the Group’s staff for their continued high level of personal dedication and their valuable contribution to the Group’s good business results. It thanks the Group Employee Council and all the other employee council bodies for their continued faithful and constructive cooperation.