Training Top 125 Best Practice: Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America’s Allianz Days

Seeking to boost employees’ business acumen, the bi-annual Allianz Days program educates employees about the company’s business, products, industry, initiatives, and personal effectiveness. Last spring, more than 2,000 employees completed at least one of three Allianz Days learning offerings.

For 10-plus years, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America has invested in increasing the business acumen of its employees through its bi-annual Allianz Days program. For several weeks in the spring and fall, employees learn about the company’s business, products, industry, initiatives, and personal effectiveness. Since inception, Allianz has offered more than 140 learning sessions, online programs, workshops, and videos to support its strategic business goal of Inclusive Meritocracy, where people and performance matter. 

Program Details

The Executive Leader Group proposes/approves the learning topics for Allianz Days, kicks off sessions, facilitates business expert support for Learning and Development (L&D), and ensures all employees complete the learning. Allianz’s CEO creates videos to introduce online learning programs. 

Last spring, more than 2,000 employees completed at least one of three learning offerings:

1. “Allianz Security Arena”was a game-based, interactive session where teams of employees competed at four security-related stations. Employees “fished” for e-mails to determine if they were “phishing” or not, role-played to recognize social engineering tactics, hacked into a fictitious person’s computer using social media clues, and played a board game to identify security risks while traveling. The senior leadership team attended the session during their half-day planning meeting and provided video comments/recommendations. 

It was the highest-rated Allianz Days course ever, with 99 percent positive Level 1 (learner reaction) results. Internal phishing test results went from 13.5 percent of employees clicking on phishing e-mails to 4.5 percent after Allianz Days. This result is 75 percent better than standard industry results of 20 percent and decreased risk exposure for the company. 

2. “What’s New? Innovation at Allianz”was a live session in the company’s 350-plus-capacity auditorium. The chief marketing officer kicked off the session, discussing the importance of offering innovative products and services. Business partners from Marketing and the Capital Ventures group joined an L&D facilitator on stage to provide real stories of innovation at Allianz, encouraging employees to submit ideas for the company’s annual Breakthrough Innovation campaign. Allianz’s venture capital investment companies offered video clips of their CEOs discussing innovation. The session was recorded/available online for those unable to attend live. As a result, Breakthrough Innovation submissions increased 25 percent from the previous year. 

3. “Unlocking Productivity”is an online video program to recognize how Allianz has implemented productivity projects through digital advances, process improvements, and robotics. The company’s CEO introduced the program via video, and Allianz partnered with enterprise-wide business experts to provide real-life examples, including a sneak preview of a global chat-bot. Most importantly, Allianz dispelled the myth that increased productivity leads to a reduction of employees. Rather, employees learned how it could bring more customer and employee satisfaction. The digital mindset has led to enhancements to Allianz’s online application submission program, resulting in an 82 percent adoption rate—a 33 percent increase from the previous year.

Results

Last year, the Allianz Days metrics were higher than ever: 

  • 94 percent positive Level 1 (learner reaction) results
  • Level 2 results showed 92 percent of participants could explain at least two learned concepts.
  • For Level 3, 90 percent of participants could describe positive business impacts.
  • As for those business impacts, 25 percent more employees submitted innovation ideas; phishing e-mail tests improved by 67 percent; and digital applications increased dramatically.

Allianz Days has been so successful that it’s a best practice for Allianz companies worldwide. It helps drive the company’s workplace culture, influencing its #40 rank on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, #10 on the Star Tribune Top 150 Workplaces in Minnesota, and #12 on the 2018 FORTUNE Best Workplaces in Financial Services. 

Allianz Days learning programs also influence the company’s Employee Engagement Survey results, with 90 percent of employees agreeing they have to opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge. That’s 10 percent higher than the external norm.     

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