Talent Management (03/01/11) Nikravan, Ladan
Zurich Financial Services is among the largest writers of commercial general liability insurance in North America, but sees employees as unique individuals whose potential can continue to grow as the company expands. “Not only does our talent management strategy allow an employee to become a niche expert in a particular field; it allows them to completely change careers as well. That’s what makes this a very exciting place,” says Brian Little, head of human resource and business partnership for Zurich North America. Little says the company’s approach to talent management is guided by its center of excellence based in Zurich, Switzerland, although each country or business division has its own talent management team that oversees efforts as well. The company’s strategy emphasizes succession management at the global and local levels in addition to long-term development. The company conducts extensive internal and external benchmarking on competency and skills, Little reveals. It also relies on an internally branded program called Zurich People Power that helps clarify the needed expertise for each position. The company also determines how a particular skill aligns with the individual from a job/family perspective to make sure employees get the appropriate training. In addition, Zurich uses an IDP (individual development plan) that helps employees find out what they need to focus on in their current job as well as jobs they would like to do in the future, according to Little. The approach integrates an individual’s competencies with the performance objectives for particular roles in order to form a suitable development plan.
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An individual development plan should be in every company as part of their talen management strategy.