The HR strategy enables a.s.r. to execute its strategy and realise its targets by providing for the most driven and skilled workforce. The focus lies on:
Strategic personnel planning;
Total workforce management;
Development and leadership;
Diversity, equity and inclusion.
a.s.r. needs an agile and future-proof workforce. a.s.r. deploys Strategic Personnel Planning (SPP) for that purpose.
A SPP was prepared for each business line in early 2022. In light of certain developments in the areas of the labour market, digitalisation, professional development, vitality and leadership, specific interventions were identified for each product line. The implementation of these interventions by the product lines started in 2022.
Through total workforce management, a.s.r. ensures that the best solution is sought for every workforce requirement. In 2022, the total workforce grew by 4% to 4,313 FTEs (2021: 4,155). All of these employees work in the Netherlands. More information is given in section 7.5.
Attracting the right talent was a big challenge in 2022 due to the tight labor market, especially in certain functional areas and in terms of specific technology skills. To ensure sufficient skilled staff is available, increasing the working hours of part-time and contract workers is now also being considered as a recruitment strategy for filling new open vacancies. Another recruitment strategy is reskilling current employees for a new job at a.s.r.
a.s.r. aims to fill at least 40% of all vacancies internally. This retains the knowledge of the colleagues in the company and gives employees the opportunity to develop further professionally. In 2022, 277 of a total of 720 vacancies were filled internally, equating to 38%.
a.s.r. runs two trainee programmes to attract talented graduates, one focused on IT and one general traineeship. These programmes enable candidates to develop as specialists or to progress to management positions.
In January 2022, five new trainees started in the IT talent traineeship, a two-year programme for candidates with Masters’ degrees in the field of IT or data science. They are trained as IT professionals via assignments, professional courses and skills training.
In September 2022, seven new trainees with Masters’ degrees in various subjects started in the a.s.r. traineeship at one of the a.s.r. product lines, in fields matching their previous education. The trainees carry out a number of assignments independently and follow a customised development programme. The a.s.r. traineeship takes 1.5 years.
In an environment where automation and digitalisation are becoming increasingly important, and agility is essential for sustainable employability, employee development is more important than ever.
Developing the talents of every employee is key. The aim is to enable employees to become and remain future-proof.
All a.s.r. employees have access to a wide range of development opportunities in the a.s.r. academy, a.s.r.’s learning platform. In the Talent Development Plan, employees can indicate how they want to work on their personal development.
WIth 63%, the share of employees who followed training courses was stable compared to last year (2021: 64%). The total amount spent on training in 2022 increased to € 5.4 million (2021: € 4.4 million).
For managers, there is the Leadership Education programme. The aim of this mandatory development programme is to help managers develop and maintain their professional knowledge and skills.
Managers and employees reach agreements on targets, behaviour and performance in 'The Other Dialogue', a dialogue between manager and employee that takes place on an ongoing basis. The Other Dialogue is also used to evaluate and discuss actual performance against previously set targets.
In 2022, a.s.r. won the award for the most innovative and inspiring HR policy in the Netherlands. The jury of the HR Proffie looked at organisations that have responded well to changing circumstances while retaining the corporate culture or that have undergone a transition in which HR activities played an important role. The jury report states that a.s.r.'s HR policy is impressive, and consistently implemented throughout the organisation and called a.s.r. an "inspiring example of continuing to facilitate, monitor well-being and keep in touch with employees in times of COVID-19 and beyond". The prize is an initiative of NVP, the trade association for HR professionals, and is made possible in part by Berenschot, SkillsTown and Human Capital Group.
Vitality was assigned its own cluster in the a.s.r. Collective Labour Agreement (CLA). Agreements have been made about vitality and considerable attention is paid to physical and mental health during hybrid working. Employees can take part in an annual health check and a vitality scan, with which they gain insight into energy sources and stressors. They can then get started on improving their health through a wide range of workshops, e-learning, podcasts and training. a.s.r. Vitality is accessible for free for all employees.
a.s.r closely monitors development in absenteeism and sickness leave.
Absenteeism due to illness amounted to 4.2% in 2022, a percentage point above the target of 3.5%. COVID-19 and the flu caused a sharp increase in sickness levels at the start and the end of the year. The proportion of long-term absenteeism remained the same in 2022.
Short-term absenteeism increased in 2022 to 1.1% (2021: 0.5%). Most absenteeism is long-term. After several lockdowns, a.s.r. employees found a new balance in hybrid working. The balance between work and life is more blurred when people work from home. a.s.r. therefore continues promoting the health and vitality of its employees, with the focus on enabling 'self-management'. The percentage of employees who did not report sick (nil absenteeism) was 50% (2021: 63%).
After a prolonged period in which employees predominantly worked from home due to COVID-19, they started to return to the office in 2022. In late February 2022, the government dropped its full home working advice and the 1.5-metre social distancing requirement. at which point a.s.r. reopened the office for its employees. Frameworks had already been put in place for working in a post-COVID-19 era, in particular for hybrid working. More details on hybrid working at a.s.r. and trends relating to office occupancy are shown in section 3.3.3.
To better understand cultural diversity, a.s.r. took part in bi-annual Statistics Netherlands’ Cultural Diversity Barometer. This revealed that 18% of employees at a.s.r. have a migration (non-indigenous) background (2020: 17%). On a national level, the proportion of employees with a non-indigenous background is 23%. Of the employees with a non-indigenous background, 1 in 10 is of non-Western ethnicity. In the working population throughout the Netherlands, the proportion is approximately 1 in 8. The category of employees up to age 35 includes more people with a non-indigenous background, namely 23%, of which 17% are of non-Western ethnicity.
To further promote cultural diversity in the workplace, a.s.r. has joined the Agora Network. This network was founded to work together on increasing cultural diversity at the top of the Dutch business community. Participants organise master-classes, give role models a platform, share best practices and discuss follow-up steps to further promote cultural diversity.
To avoid potential unconscious bias (regarding, for example, gender, cultural background, age, appearance, etc.) in the selection process of new hires, a fully anonymous application for certain positions was introduced in 2022.
|(in % female / male)||2022||2021|
|Supervisory Board||40 / 60||40 / 60|
|Executive Board||33 / 67||33 / 67|
|Senior management||22 / 78||25 / 75|
|Management excluding sr. and jr. management||23 / 77||23 / 77|
|Junior management||34 / 66||37 / 63|
|Other employees||46 / 54||44 / 56|
|Total employees||44 / 56||43 / 57|
On average, a.s.r. employs more people with a distance to the labour market than in organisations of comparable size. In 2022, a.s.r. maintained Stage 1 of the Performance ladder Corporate Social Responsiblilty (Prestatieladder Socialer Ondernemen; PSO) by employing or retaining more people with a vulnerable labour market position over the past two years since first achieving Stage 1 in January 2020. So far, a.s.r. is the only insurer in the Netherlands to have achieved this stage. The aim of the PSO is to get more people with limited labour market skills into work. a.s.r. has also made a larger indirect contribution to such employment since tightening its procurement policy. Organisations that a.s.r. works with must be able to demonstrate their commitment to people with a vulnerable labour market position.
The diversity, equity and inclusion objectives with respect to gender diversity are that at least one-third of senior management, Executive Board and Supervisory Board members should be women and at least one-third should be men.
To achieve these objectives, the diversity, equity and inclusion policy is applied to the recruitment process and the annual employee review. Succession planning is one of the topics discussed during employee reviews. Further measures to ensure gender diversity in senior management and the Executive Board include the annual fleet review, succession planning, Focus on Talent and the Leadership Education (LE) programme.
The gender diversity target for the Executive Board has been met since the end of 2019. In 2022, there were no changes in the composition of the Executive Board and the target was still met.
The gender diversity objective for the Supervisory Board was also achieved in 2022 and is still being met. This will not change with the appointment of Daniëlle Jansen Heijtmajer and Lard Friese to the Supervisory Board (conditional upon closing of the business combination with Aegon Nederland). In the selection of new appointments to the Supervisory Board, the gender diversity objective is a leading determining factor.
The gender diversity objective for senior management was not met in 2022. In 2022, there was one new appointment of a woman in senior management but also one departure by a woman in the senior management. Given the relatively small size of senior management, a change of one person significantly affects the male/female ratio. For instance, as part of the IFRS17/9 project, an additional position was temporarily filled by a male senior manager. As a result, the percentage of men in the male-female ratio was temporarily slightly higher until 1 January 2023. In 2023 further efforts will be made to achieve the objective by applying the aforementioned measures. Specifically, the development and advancement of female talent from junior management and other employees will be given extra attention.
Equal treatment of men and women is also part of gender diversity. The yearly equal pay gap analysis, most recently conducted in December 2022, showed that there is no pay gap between men and women at a.s.r. For further insights on how a.s.r. promotes gender diversity, see the section "Women and men given equal pay for equal work" in section 3.3.4.
Employees who identify as both male and female, or feel themselves to be neither, can register as non-binary in the HR system as of May 2022, provided they are also registered as such on their passport or ID. The latter is necessary because of data connections between the HR systems and government agencies, such as municipalities, tax authority, and the Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen; UWV).
a.s.r. established the Participation desk to reduce the distance to the labour market for individuals with a work disability. This desk employs people with a Work and Employment Support for Disabled Young Persons benefit (Wajong) on various assignments. During a two-year period (maximum), these individuals gain work experience and develop employee skills. They receive intensive guidance and are offered a tailor-made development programme. The aim is to prepare them for a permanent position, preferably within a.s.r. The objective is that in 2026 we will have 70 employees who meet the criteria set by the Participation Act. At the end of 2022, 44 employees (2021: 46) who fell within this target group were employed at a.s.r. via the Participation desk. In 2022, a start was made on redesigning the Participation Desk so that it remains future-proof and enables us to achieve our objective.