The world is changing faster than ever today, with every aspect of our society undergoing a profound transformation. This is especially important for the insurance sector, whose central mission is to help society adapt and manage risk. By enabling our employees to gain essential business expertise while pursuing their individual growth, AXA ensures that all of its people maintain their employability and career satisfaction at every step.
What makes a Learning Company?
“In a VUCA world marked by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity, as well as an unprecedented and exponential pace of change in every aspect of our lives, companies must ensure that their employees acquire the critical new skills needed to thrive in new environments”, analyzes Stéphanie Ricci, Group Chief Learning Officer at AXA. From machine learning and digital transformation, to decision-making and leadership in a changing world, these new tools and frameworks are poised to transform a significant number of jobs, especially in insurance.
AXA’s strategy is to transform itself into a learning and experimenting company. In order to ensure long-term success and resilience, fostering the sustainable development of our people is key. Building the critical skills to prepare AXA’s employees for the future is what we strive for.
At AXA, we are convinced that in order to stay relevant and prepare for the future, we must adopt a continuous learning mindset in which learning becomes second nature. By creating an environment in which everyone can learn and grow continuously, we encourage our employees to proactively and regularly develop the new skills they need to exercise their profession and maintain their employability.
To assess the pertinence of our approach, we sought feedback from employees in a range of roles and responsibilities who have taken part in AXA learning programs. “In my view, such initiatives are essential”, explains Data Scientist and Analyst, Benjamin. “The insurance business lies at the junction of many different skills and fields (data science, modeling, finance, etc.). As a result we are continually coming into contact with new technologies that require the acquisition of new skills.”
We are lucky to be in a company whose top management understands the strategic necessity of learning, and the impact it can have on the future of our employees and our business. Our Group CEO Thomas Buberl, along with the rest of AXA’s Management Committee are very supportive and vocal about learning.
For a company of our size, becoming a Learning Company and building the critical skills to prepare for the future is a major challenge. But with the support of AXA’s entities across the globe as well as AXA’s global digital offer, we can provide our employees with access to the continuous learning they need today.
Innovating to ensure successful learning
All throughout the Group, AXA employees have access to a wide range of learning resources available in the entity where they work. In addition, our people also benefit from a mix of global digital learning resources and formats, ranging from inspirational talks and micro-learning nuggets, to intensive learning programs in which they can acquire new expertise or develop existing skills over several weeks.
Employees also participate to tailored training sessions, enjoy access to a well-stocked and updated library of courses and have the option to study online. “All of these elements have a definite impact on our career trajectory”, tells Retail Underwriter, Diaa. “In a constantly changing world, this allows us to stay one step ahead.”
In addition, new technology and the digital transformation are having a transformative impact on learning and information. At a time when learning anytime, anywhere and on any device is fast becoming the standard at many companies, AXA strives to integrate learning into the fabric of the workday.
At AXA, we offer a first-class digital offer to all employees by leveraging innovation in digital learning and technology. In this way, we can blend our learning approach by combining different learning methods within a single program, such as in-person and digital learning, to deliver a more engaging learning experience. For example, employees can complete a managerial development program in-person with other colleagues, and then perform follow-up exercises on a mobile app to reinforce what they have learned.
Connecting personal and professional success
Creating a digital ecosystem that allows for a dynamic and personalized learning experience is now well within our reach. But continuous learning does not come without its challenges: for many, time management represents a significant barrier to learning. In order to embark every employee on a path in which they learn proactively, continuously and within the context of their work day, AXA tests new ways of learning.
This notably includes flexible solutions allowing employees to learn when they can. In this way, despite their busy schedules, employees can find time to learn a little each day. “Learning was made even easier for me as I was allowed to move my work schedules on days when I had classes”, recalls Reporting Analyst, Patricia.
In addition, AXA believes it is crucial for each employee to view continuous learning as an opportunity to grow. In this way, our people not only develop their professional expertise, but they can also pursue their own interests.
What would be my advice to help you complete your studies? Embark on a project that’s important to you! Whether ambitious or not, having a passion for something keeps you motivated while you learn.
Crafting an exciting learning experience
Beyond high-quality learning resources and programs, AXA is determined to initiate a company-wide transformation in its culture. In order to make learning a crucial reflex for every employee, AXA has launched innovative learning initiatives with the help of all its entities, while creating a new space for learning via global initiatives and competitions, such as the AXA Learning Games, the Customer First Competition and AXA Learning Week.
AXA’s Learning Games was a great experience for me: it gave me the chance to interact with colleagues from around the world, including India, China, Mexico and beyond.
Following the success of the AXA Learning Games in 2018, the Group has now rolled out a unique initiative known as the Customer First Global Competition. The competition aims to help engage our employees worldwide around our number one strategic business priority which is “Customer First”, by helping them understand what being Customer First really means and entails. It is based on peer-to-peer learning, feedback and continuous learning. Beyond providing a rich learning journey on the topics of Customer Experience, Customer Mindset and Emotional Connection, employees at AXA had a chance to record and share their own Customer First story with colleagues and discover the experiences of other employees via a unique app-based platform.
After the competition, AXA Learning Week will give all employees an opportunity to continue to learn and explore by participating in numerous activities. Also dedicated to the Customer First concept, AXA Learning Week will continue to help demonstrate why learning is instrumental to growing and expanding our Customer First mindset as well as our learning mindset.