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Company: Swiss Re, Zurich, Switzerland
Category: Curated Training Platform of the Year > Managerial/Professional

Entry Title: Development Compass for Managers: Revolutionizing corporate learning at Swiss Re

Products Essay:

Swiss Re serves the reinsurance market and, with a revenue of approximately 36bn USD in 2017, is a leader in this sector. With our 14'000 employees, we insure the insurers, safeguarding financial risk in the event of catastrophes like wildfires or earthquakes. Our market position has been earned by investing significantly in our people, so that we’re at the cutting edge.

We would like to nominate our new learning approach aimed at line managers. We call it ‘Digital Inter-Active Learning’ or ‘DIAL’ for short.

To understand what it’s all about, we first need to look at the challenges it addresses.

From a company perspective, we need to develop the latest industry knowledge and management capabilities of 2'200+ line managers of all levels spread over five continents. It has to be easy to update to reflect what’s happening in the wider world at any moment. In a survey, employees revealed that they wanted accessible self-paced learning that didn’t take great chunks of time. This leaned toward an e-solution, but people didn’t want to be isolated in their learning either.

With this in mind, a platform called 'Development Compass for Managers' was developed, curating the latest learning resources. It harnesses the DIAL approach and includes features and functions such as virtual conferences, videos, responsive e-learnings, infographics, and editable presentations participants can use to lead team meetings. Experienced managers can skip some of the more elementary material while newbies are offered more coverage.

Inspired by MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses such as coursera or edx used in the academic world), we developed business-specific content tailored for our line managers. To strengthen management skills, DIALs were developed covering: Strategy, Risks, Budgeting, Cost Consciousness.

For immediate application and tangible business value creation the 70/20/10 concept was employed: participants spend 10% of the time acquiring new knowledge; 20% interacting with their own manager, peers, and experts; and 70% applying what has been learned.

The program starts with a self-assessment to choose the most relevant DIAL topic. There is a virtual introductory session and engagement with the learner’s line manager, so that they can see the benefits along the way. The topic is introduced as are the required business deliveries. Study is self-paced, with content presented using different media and through deep dives in virtual sessions with experts. Participants share their experiences with peers on the course so they’re not working in isolation. Participants create business value through an implementation plan to improve a situation in their own team. For example, they might map out team strategy against overall company strategy and ensure it is closely aligned by making any necessary changes, or they might conduct a cyber security risk assessment. There is a final assessment and a progress report goes to the participant’s manager to highlight the business value that has been created. This is the ‘ta da!’ moment.

The benefits are in being able to develop our growing workforce quickly. We can accommodate a great number of learners while maintaining quality and reducing cost. The business benefits as the focus is on value creation. Participants benefit from better communication with their line manager and team, a better understanding of accountability, and new links to peers and experts. The MOOC can be taken anytime and anywhere on a number of devices thus offering great flexibility. As no employee travel is required, spend is greatly reduced. Benefits abound!

Looking at the business case for this DIAL program over a three-year horizon, the return on investment relative to the cost of investment is a whopping 266%! This takes into account design, roll out and replication of the DIAL versus a traditional workshop. And that’s not all – considerable business value is added through skills learned and plans implemented.

Products Summary

The chief benefits, features and functions include:

-Supports the strategy of the company by addressing its critical priorities with a fully tailored approach

-Developing the digital mind-set of our workforce by creating a fully responsive MOOC platform, thus supporting the technology strategy of Swiss Re

-Quick and easy access to a wide range of learning experiences relevant to Swiss Re’s success

- Rigorous focus on immediate value creation, and not 'learning for the sake of learning', resulting in a ROI of whopping 266%

-Offset of cost of implementation by cost savings within 2 years, which has been achieved

-Effortless and timely learning experience with access anytime anywhere on any Swiss Re device

-A powerful search facility – participants can easily find whatever they are looking for

-Social learning – the DIALS set up learning from others, shared learnings. e.g. participants can rate any particularly valuable content and practices they find

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