Ensuring Employee Development

Little: We are focused on creating a high-performance culture. We’re continually looking at where we are against the market in terms of our overall company performance and making sure all of our activities and the way we drive performance links us moving forward in terms of shareholder value, productivity and overall profitability. We use performance management as a way of helping employees and managers have really good discussions about the process, helping them pinpoint where they need to improve or what they’re doing well, and then have a dialogue that takes place throughout the year about their performance and ensure that developmental plans are put in place as part of the process. We have something called the IDP (individual development plan) that focuses on helping individuals not only figure out what they need to focus on in their current job but also for jobs they would like to do in the future — which skills they need to develop as part of that. By using the competencies and then looking at very clear performance objectives for their specific role, we’re able to link that together and make a good development plan.

TM: How does your company work to change or create leadership and management behaviors that lead to optimal workforce performance?

Little: We have a framework called the Zurich Leadership Model, and this leadership model is intended to be a global leadership framework. It really helps us compartmentalize leadership behaviors that we’re looking for within Zurich and the type of behaviors that will help us become more successful as a company. They’re very easily used across different cultures, and, to a certain degree, they’re easy to understand. It gives us a very consistent way of helping to either develop programs or continue to have meaningful dialogue with people about their personal leadership development.

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