Ensuring Employee Development

TM: How do you measure workforce performance?

Little: We have expectations from a metric perspective of how our business will perform throughout the year, if not on a monthly basis, and we link back to how well we organized around that and what’s our ability to actually deliver against that — whether it’s selling insurance policies or handling customer service inquiries. We use a variety of 360 instruments to measure our success. We measure pretty much everything, and we continually push ourselves to do that better. We know that getting a little bit better every day is really our secret to success, and we continually find ways to celebrate our success as well.

TM: How do you handle succession planning at Zurich North America?

Little: It’s a very structured process that’s done on an annual basis. We back it out from what’s called GEC People Days, which is our global executive group. It’s a two-day session that we do annually to look at our top people across the world, and, with that end in mind, we go through a local succession process that’s based in the business division for business units. Then we look at regional succession planning, for example, North America, and then we look at that along group functions like marketing, HR, and across those functions across the world as well. Then hopefully, in that very organized way, we’re able to build succession plans that really highlight where we need to either attract or develop talent or that we feel pretty strong about [it] and know we’re doing pretty well. It’s a very deep assessment in terms of our overall readiness, in terms of each position that we have in terms of succession, and that has really helped drive a lot of the development activities that we have.

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