Here's how Helen Birnie, HR Partner SEA, builds a diverse workforce that brings together the best of multiple generations, cultures, skillsets, and thinking.
Swiss Re Asia recognises that employees' needs and wants are different and changing. With this in mind, its corporate ethos around personal resilience and DEI ensure the group provides core protection to enable a resilient workforce.
Encompassing multiple initiatives and programmes to ensure that the group attracts the best talent as it retains and develops teams, it is no surprise that the multi-faceted approach has won Swiss Re multiple awards at the HR Excellence Awards 2022, Singapore:
- Bronze - Excellence in Leadership Development
- Gold - Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Bronze - Excellence in Retention Strategy
- Silver - Excellence in Total Rewards Strategy
- Gold - HR Manager of the Year - Sanjiv Agarwal
Read on as Helen Birnie, HR Partner SEA, Swiss Re Asia builds a diverse workforce that brings together the best of multiple generations, cultures, skillsets and thinking.
Q Congratulations on the achievement! Could you take us through the highs-and-lows of your people strategy?
Thank you! We are so proud of the recognition that the team has achieved in this year's awards.
Swiss Re's vision is 'to make the world more resilient'. Our employees are our most important asset that sets us apart from the competition and enables us to achieve our vision and business goals.
Operating in the fast-growing and dynamic APAC region, we ensure that we align our HR strategy with business needs to meet the demands so we can perform competitively and win in this fast-paced market.
Q How did the HR team identify and align the business & employee needs, and craft out this perfect solution?
Our HR strategy has a multi-faceted approach that takes into consideration the demands of the business, market trends and employee needs in the design and delivery of our support, initiatives and solutions to meet these objectives.
Our total rewards and retention strategies are tailored accordingly, encompassing multiple initiatives and programmes to ensure that we are attracting the best talent as we retain and develop our teams.
Q Could you share the results that your strategy has delivered – be it on the business, HR, or people side?
We are very happy to receive recognition in multiple HR areas, in particular, for our work around diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) and our total rewards strategy.
At Swiss Re, we see our people as our most important asset. We recognise that our employees' needs and wants are different and changing – there is no "one size fits all" solution. We take an employee centric approach in our practices. Guided by Swiss Re's corporate ethos around personal resilience and DEI, we ensure that we provide a core protection to enable a resilient workforce. It is important to recognise and celebrate employees' moments that matter, giving employees a distinctive experience and creating an inclusive work environment and culture where employees can bring their true self to work and are supported to be at their best.
We have observed positive engagement from our employees' feedback, a sentiment that is reflected through our retention figures as well. We make continuous efforts in building a diverse workforce that brings together the best of multiple generations, cultures, skillsets and thinking.
Q What is your message to all the stakeholders who have supported you in this journey?
We have been very fortunate at Swiss Re to have a very supportive senior management team who understands the importance of a comprehensive HR strategy in contributing to our business' success in the region.
We are also glad that Sanjiv Agarwal was awarded HR Manager of the year. Congratulations to Sanjiv for all his hard work and commitment to the team and the SEA region.
A big thank you to all the various teams who have contributed to making Swiss Re a great place to be.
Q What are you most excited about when you think about the future of HR?
The success of a good people strategy boils down to the ability to create a positive employee experience that enables the company to excel and this is an area where HR, as a function, can play an active role in making a real difference. Going forward, we are focusing on building and strengthening the various levers in our strategy, ensuring that we have the best capabilities in our people to deliver on our business goals, while providing an enriching career experience for our employees. These are exciting times, as we have ambitious plans.
As with all aspects of business, the HR function continues to evolve, and we need to keep ourselves agile and one step ahead, as we embrace the future of work.
Photo / Swiss Re Asia team
Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets' section!