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Performance culture

Trustworthy collaboration thanks to open dialogue and a cooperative management approach.


Essential pillars of Swiss Life’s successful performance culture are respectful interaction and trustworthy cooperation within the company, which in turn enable open dialogue among employees at all management levels. This foundation of trust makes it possible to question current practice and to develop and implement new ideas. So as to anticipate and respond to the constant flux, there is an emphasis on life-long learning plus the professional and personal development of all employees. The recognition and appreciation of performance ensure  above-average employee engagement, which benefits customers, shareholders and investors.

Newly hired employees by gender per segment

  Men in % Women in %
Switzerland 180 71.7 71 28.3
France 109 52.2 100 47.8
Germany 168 49.6 171 50.4
international 116 60.4 76 39.6
Asset Managers 157 41.9
218 58.1
Other - - 2 100
TOTAL 730 53.4 638 46.6

Departures of employees by gender per segment

  Men in % Women in %
Switzerland 205 71.7 81 28.3
France 109 52.2 100 47.8
Germany 105 45.1 128 54.9
International 107 49.8 108 50.2
Asset Managers 112 45.2 136 54.8
Other - - - -
TOTAL 638 53.6 553 46.4

The Swiss Life Group leadership priorities are as follows:

Swiss Life’s management and leadership culture is a product of its corporate values (“Support individuality”, “Create confidence” and “Prove reliability”), which are based on its brand promise; this last expresses the way employees and management at Swiss Life think, feel and act. The resulting successful management and communication style is set out in the Swiss Life Group’s leadership priorities. Proceeding from this foundation, management and communication in day-to-day work mean the creation of credibility and trust, showing direction and providing perspective, and making goals reality together. In addition, managers must set an example.

Swiss Life’s leadership priorities

  • We act as if Swiss Life were our own business
  • We communicate openly and clearly
  • We trust, motivate, empower and support people
  • We develop efficient teams across the company
  • We deliver results on time
  • We accept accountability – follow through and act consequently


Group-wide standard processes are used to provide optimal support to managers and employees.

Swiss Life’s leadership processes:

  • Performance reviews with all employees
  • Performance assessments with all employees (setting of objectives and subsequent performance assessment)
  • Professional development interviews and measures
  • Decisions on salaries and promotions
  • Strategy and value-oriented behaviour – as per the Group-wide competency model
  • Assessment and management of employee risks

The Swiss  Life  Group performs an Employee Survey every two years in cooperation with an independent research institute1. The participation rate in 2017 was above average, at 87% (+1% compared to the most recent survey, in 2015). The results remained stable at high overall values at the Swiss Life Group level. 

At 86% (+1% over 2015), Swiss Life Group employee engagement is above average, as the results of the 2017 survey demonstrate. The value is 14 percentage points over the “Financial industry in Europe” external benchmark.

  • Eighty-nine percent of employees (+1% over 2015) support their unit’s strategy and direction, a value 18 percentage points above that of the external benchmark.
  • Eighty-seven percent (+1% over 2015) of employees agree that they are encouraged to take ini-tiative in their work, 17 percentage points over the external benchmark.
  • Eighty-eight percent (+2% over 2015) of employees confirm that their direct line manager com-municates candidly and honestly, which is 14 percentage points above the external benchmark.

Despite excellent results, managers are discussing their team’s numbers with their colleagues and implementing strategic measures where called for.

1 Quelle: Global Employee Engagement Survey, IPSOS (Suisse) SA 2017

Swiss Life is not only publicly committed to promoting a “longer self-determined life”: this com-mitment also applies to its employees, for whom the company has launched the Group-wide “Actively shaping your career” initiative. The aim is to support employees as they exploit the opportunities and challenges of their professional lives throughout all phases of their career to the maximum. To this end, three success factors have been identified: “Ensuring employability through constant development”, “Valuing and exploiting diversity” and “Maintaining long-term work ability”. These three focuses will ensure that individual resources are enhanced and various operational demands and personal requirements are taken into account, and harmonised with one another, during the various phases of an employee’s professional and personal life. That is how Swiss Life meets the current and future challenges of the working world.

The following points are among the steps taken at the various locations:

“Ensuring employability through constant development”

  • Continuous training and development for employees of all ages
  • Systematic career analyses and situation reviews for all ages
  • Enabling part-time work in old age

“Valuing and exploiting diversity”

  • Flexible working hours and sites offered to all generations
  • Promoting cooperation among generations
  • Childcare offerings and support for those caring for relatives

“Maintaining long-term work ability”

  • Offering time-out models
  • Diverse range of offerings for the promotion and maintenance of health
  • Social counselling offers