AXA's competencies development remains high with over 80% of its employees trained at least once during the year. See Group Social Data Report for further information.
AXA promotes a management style that aims at empowering employees, in line with the Group's core values of professionalism, innovation, pragmatism, team spirit and integrity. Learning is a key lever. Enhancing the technical expertise of employees and helping them grow as leaders stand among HR main objectives. In a challenging and unpredictable business environment, talented, engaged and resilient people are more than ever vital to AXA's success. High-impact learning and development is therefore at the heart of the HR agenda. It provides executives and employees with on-going opportunities to improve their performance, both through local programs proposed by entities and through more global programs delivered by AXA University.
AXA University is a central Learning & Development (L&D) structure whose primary objective is to provide AXA's executives a place to network and exchange ideas, through well targeted development and competence-building opportunities. AXA University offers a high level curriculum thanks to partnerships formed with world leading universities and business schools such as Wharton, IMD or INSEAD. The offering is structured around two central themes: professional "colleges" (which build specific technical competencies for professional "families" such as Finance, Human Resources or Marketing) and programs dedicated to the development of the leadership of senior executives. AXA University also plays a critical part in promoting organisational capability and corporate culture.
AXA developed a common program portfolio across geographies. Dedicated Learning and Development governance, involving L&D representatives from the major regions and entities, oversees this convergence effort. Programs critical to all are made common, while entities retain the ability to address any additional local need. Common programs stand on 3 major pillars: On-boarding, leadership and management skills, and technical excellence for transversal lines of business. Overall, AXA aims at providing to its employees the tools they need for their own development journey through the Group strategy, their direct operational priorities and their own specific needs of improvement.
Several entities have been rewarded for their involvement in this field. AXA UK won the London Relational Large Apprenticeship Employer of the Year and was national finalist (over 100 apprentices have completed or are completing their apprenticeship). AXA Germany won the European Business Awards in the category Employer of the Year. It recognizes the firm's ability to inspire and motivate their staff by enabling career development, operating equal opportunity schemes and understanding the importance of a work-life balance. AXA Switzerland also received an award, from HR Today, a national journal specialized in HR topics which rewarded the entity's Human Resources management. AXA Spain developed a "Career Path" approach, formed by different development itineraries (Commercial, Actuarial, Underwriting, Bodily Injuries Claims, Human Resources, etc.)
Since 2005, AXA performs the Organization and Talent Review (OTR), a systematic review of the organization structure required by its current business and its future needs. It also helps to review the team dynamics, the talent depth and the talent flow. Moreover, it provides a picture of the organization challenges and of the key positions; it helps identify the potential of the key people considering their performance and leadership behaviours; it helps build and share a robust and solid "talent pipeline" to ensure the right staffing around the globe; and to discuss career paths, development plans and prepare the next move, including international mobility, for key people. AXA also uses the process to review the organization and its people from the perspective of its new global business lines and their respective areas of expertise. AXA further calibrated the identification and assessment of talents through talent sharing sessions, at which cross-entity succession plans for selected key positions are shared among the HR community.
A standard on performance management has been set up. It must be used by each AXA entity to cover 100% of its employees, at least once a year. This ensures that the Group's performance-based remuneration policy and evaluation of training needs runs efficiently. The AXA "Leadership Framework" defines the competencies expected from all employees to meet AXA's challenges and achieve our ambition. It addresses their expectations and provides support for their development. The AXA Leadership Framework is a cornerstone of global Talent Management processes.
In 2011, AXA Equitable sought to redefine its performance management philosophy. Through a more effective performance management, the organization gained a better understanding of its talent assets and gaps. Its managers assigned more appropriate rewards and its employees targeted clearer priorities while developing their skills. With an emphasis on evaluation of performance based on the "what" to achieve as well as on the "how" to achieve it, people got accountable to culturally critical behaviors including collaborating and communicating. AXA Equitable also simplified the leadership framework competencies to make it more intuitive and built behavioral examples to make it more assessable and relevant to all employees. In addition, new performance management ratings were introduced with a shift from a numeric scale to a descriptive scale. This promotes clear and meaningful performance discussions between managers and employees, and fosters consistency with AXA Group's performance management practice. Also in 2011, AXA Asia put in place an extensive framework aiming at strengthening its talent pipelines through a more structured, robust and consistent approach to talent identification, talent development and career management throughout the region.
AXA developed a full framework to identify and measure operational risks that may arise from a failure in its organization, systems, and resources or from external events. Ensuring an adequate mitigation of these risks across the Group has been essential to the risk management functions. With respect to its employment practices, AXA has also defined a "Human Resources Key Risk Indicators". This set of indicators helps AXA to retain employees, attract top talent, better manage employee relations, and contribute to a safer and healthier environment for the workforce.