AXA has long history of conducting an annual engagement survey because collecting and responding to employee feedback and measuring engagement has always been an important part of AXA’s culture. For over 20 years, from 1993 to 2016 AXA conducted an annual engagement survey called SCOPE.
In 2017, AXA decided to introduce a more innovative Pulsing survey approach to more closely align with its global strategy. Pulse surveys are short and focused surveys measuring a few components at a time, helping quickly identify areas of improvement. Pulse surveys are more agile than traditional long form engagement surveys due to their turnaround time (survey taken –> analysis of results) being much shorter. With this new method, AXA committed to listening to employee feedback much more frequently than it had in the past.
Employee Engagement is a critical factor of organizational performance for companies across the globe. Indeed, Engagement has a direct impact on operational performance for the AXA Group: studies have proven that a high level of employee engagement reduces employee turnover, leads to increased levels of client satisfaction and retention, plays a positive role in achieving higher sales, and leads to greater organizational efficiency. Find out more about how we measure employee engagement at AXA.
Working time and agile working environment
One of the Group's Diversity & Inclusion priorities over the recent years was to create and launch a reference framework to build the foundation for an agile working culture with the aim to attract and retain diverse talent. Group D&I, Human Resources, Real Estate Management, Group IT and Operational Excellence collaborated on this project. The framework offers a range of good practices, from both internal and external sources and a toolkit to support entities in implementing flexible work arrangements. Various initiatives are in place across many AXA entities where promoting agile working environment is a priority. It resulted in an increase in employee trust, empowerment and satisfaction, while fostering productivity, quality and efficiency at work and yielding a reduced environmental footprint.
AXA US continues to show its commitment to Work- Life Effectiveness through its support of various benefits and opportunities such as telecommuting and flextime that enable employees to successfully manage their professional and personal lives.
AXA Belgium started the journey towards the New Way of Working program ("NWOW") and will, by 2017, have all employees in Agile Working environments. Meanwhile at AXA Winterthur in Switzerland leadership positions are announced as embracing a working time option of 80%. Here, members of senior leadership are already role-modeling this approach.
Health & safety
AXA is committed to provide and maintain a safe and healthy working environment for all employees and has formalized a Health and Safety (H&S) policy at Group level.
Health and safety conditions at all of AXA's sites are compliant with local regulations. As a financial services company, the Group's health and safety risks are relatively minimal, as illustrated by our indicators in this field. Figures on health and safety aspects can be found in the Group Social Data Report. Nevertheless, each local company carries out specific initiatives in line with the priorities set under its human resources policy.
AXA promotes employee health and well-being. Work has an essential place in each person’s life, and must be a source of personal fulfillment. Concerns relating to health, safety and quality of life at work are part of the company’s responsibilities towards its employees: respecting their well-being daily is key for all to work better together.
Stress-management information and training
Mental health and wellbeing is an important priority for AXA. Several entities across AXA have implemented programs on preventing stress at work, mental health and wellbeing. These initiatives include awareness campaigns, training for managers, resilience training for senior executives or all staff. Resilience is a key competency and is included in almost all senior management development programs.
AXA France leads various trainings during the year on stress and workplace safety. Since Jan. 2018, People Managers at AXA Ireland have attended Mental Health Awareness sessions. Sessions for Employees are scheduled in October. AXA UK & Ireland offer an Employee Assistance Programme (Be supported), a free and confidential service, to assist with any difficulties employees may have in life: personal support, life management, health. AXA Group is a member of the International Labour Organization working group on mental health.
At AXA Spain, several online trainings are intended to help employees to manage stressful situations, on topics such as making efficient choices, focusing on priorities, developing self-emotional awareness, managing teams´ emotions, developing self-esteem and managing time. Mindfulness training sessions were available to all employees in Spain, Switzerland and Ireland. AXA Switzerland subsidizes lessons enabling employees to acquire techniques of relaxation that they will be able to use in their professional or personal life; massages and relaxations rooms are offered at all main locations.
Healthy working environment
AXA Life Europe (Ireland) takes care of their employees with: providing several free ‘health checks’ to staff by registered nurses: BMI, Blood glucose, cholesterol consultation on lifestyle changes to assist in healthier living; ‘Cycle to work scheme’, a Tax efficient way of buying a bike to encourage people to reduce traffic on roads and be healthy; and each Monday and Wednesday a fruit is distributed, a smoothie maker is available and healthy nutrition advise is promoted through the National Work wellbeing day website.
We globally seek to provide optimal working spaces for our employees in terms of health and wellbeing. As part of local refurbishment projects, we have improved the quality of the workspace. For instance, in the AXA Belgium’s offices, employees are provided with desks and chairs that are fully adjustable and ergonomic for optimal comfort and wellbeing. In addition, communal spaces are provided to optimize the workspace environment by providing relaxing areas for employees to change their work environment such as lounge rooms, lounge chairs, among other amenities in our Belgian and Italian offices.
At AXA Belgium, conforming with the European regulation NBN EN 12464-1, low luminescent lights have been installed in offices that automatically adapt in response to natural lighting conditions in our Belgian office.
Air quality and noise
AXA Business Services (AXA BS) India: Internal air quality and noise level test take place every 6 months. AXA BS recently moved into an IT Park with LEED (Gold building) rating, and initiated for the process for obtaining a quality certificate (such as ISO14001) for their facilities. Since 2010, AXA France is committed to have a HQE certification for their buildings. As part of the refurbishment project in our Belgian office, measure have been taken to adjust both contact and airborne noise. Carpets with acoustic felt were selected to reduce the contact noise, while in accordance with the European regulation NF S31-199 on open spaces, we meet the expected level proper noise levels with the installation of a sound masking system as advised by acousticians. Similarly, in our Italian office as part of the refurbishment program, acoustic insulation measures have been implemented into meeting rooms.
At AXA Belgium, humidity levels are maintained between 45 and 55%. Vapor humidifiers are used to maintain humidity levels during winter.
At AXA Belgium, temperature is seen as an important element in maintaining employee comfort, by regulating temperature between specific levels. Temperatures are regulated within specific ranges depending on the season (summer vs. winter) which can easily be adjusted and monitored via our BMS (building management system). In some cases the installed air conditioning system works with a radiant cooling/heating ceiling system that allows optimal temperature levels and comfort without the feeling of any air draft. In other cases, solar shading curtains have been installed along with solar films on windows to decrease the heating effect during summer periods.
AXA Switzerland has the "Move" initiative in place which includes: subsidies for Fitness subscriptions, free sports classes over lunch, company triathlon competition, "bike to work" challenge, a sports facility in Winterthur. GIE AXA, AXA France, AXA Corporate Solutions France, AXA Spain and AXA Singapore offer sport facilities/classes, fitness centers for their employees. AXA Life Invest (Ireland) offered free fitness class in partnership with a local gym center. Electric bicycles available so employees can go to work biking at AXA Spain.
Health/ nutrition provisions
AXA Switzerland, AXA Spain offer access to staff restaurants with a wide selection of healthy meals, and Movement & Nutrition seminars are organized in Switzerland. AXA Ireland launched Be Healthy in their onsite Restaurant, highlighting healthy choices with a healthy meal option provided each day. Nutrition advice is also available to employees in AXA Business Services (India) via AXA Wellness We Care. AXA Singapore organizes a yearly wellness week with activities such as staff kickboxing class, stress management training, financial wellness session on planning for the future.
Flexible working arrangements: New Ways of Working (NWOW) to empower employees
Almost all AXA entities have adopted one or more types of agile working arrangements. These include teleworking, part time work, hot desking, desk sharing, flexible hours, compressed work week, etc.
NWOW features the various aspects of our approach to create an inclusive workplace environment: “Bricks” (Real Estate), “Bytes” (IT) and “Behaviors” (Culture). Via innovative solutions, employees are empowered to adapt their working style while yielding a reduced environmental footprint. After AXA US and AXA Switzerland, NWOW has been launched across many AXA campuses in Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Hong Kong and Spain; including pilots in Japan and Philippines. AXA Greece manages a Under 1 Roof Project (all in one building) including remote working, share desking and synergies with other AXA enterprises at local level.
At AXA France, 2,662 employees were practicing teleworking while 1,037 employees were experiencing NWOW at end-of-December 2017. In Belgium, for the same period, 3,238 employees were enjoying teleworking from one to three days weekly. In AXA Spain, 50% of employees benefit from “Smart Working” models. See 2017 Annual Report page 369
Supporting working parents
In January 2017, AXA launched a global parent policy which gives all AXA employees across the 62 countries where AXA operates the same rights and opportunities when expanding their family: a minimum of 16 weeks fully paid maternity/primary parent leave and 4 weeks fully paid paternity/co-parent leave, respectively. Benefits include: the ability to have flexible working schedules -recommended for the 6 months following return to work, dedicated HR support before, during and after the leave, advice on child care options, leave to care for sick children and access to private rooms to pump milk. This policy has been rolled out with very positive feedback. AXA Spain offers a 9-extra-days paternity leave (28+9).
AXA Switzerland and AXA headquarters in Paris provide measures to reconcile work and family life: support in finding childcare facilities, subsidies to external childcare facilities, assistance with family support. AXA Spain allocates an amount of money to support employees with disability or whose children have some kind of disability.
Last year, we organized in the US a “Bring Your Child to Work Day”, bringing together dozens of sons and daughters for a day of meeting AXA leaders, learning business lessons…and selling popcorn. At our headquarters in Paris, AXA Corporate Solutions in France and AXA Spain organize a Kid’s Day, offering activities for children around a theme changing yearly.