Corporate Social Responsibility
Here at Allianz Global Assistance, helping people is at the heart of everything we do. This ethos extends to our Corporate Social Responsibility programme Allianz4Good.
We are committed to actively engaging with our community to make a positive difference. We encourage our employees to give something back and we facilitate this by giving them three days a year, in addition to their annual leave allowance, to dedicate to voluntary work. Furthermore, we have created a supportive and dynamic working environment where you can regularly find our employees taking action for causes close to their hearts.
We are very proud that our CSR programme has been recognised by The Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For as amongst the best in the country. For two consecutive years in 2013 and 2014, we achieved 8th place in the category of ‘giving something back’ and 17th place for our overall approach to Corporate Social Responsibility.
We acknowledge that there is still room for improvement; we regularly review our CSR programme to find ways of developing and enhancing what we do in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for our community, the charities we work with, our people and the future of our company. We also take an active role in the development of CSR within the wider Allianz Group, working together with our colleagues in the UK and abroad to identify opportunities for collaboration and shared learning.
Our Corporate Social Responsibility programme is comprised of four key pillars. Keep reading to find out more about our work in each one.
The company engages in a wide variety of fundraising initiatives for charities which range from small local community groups to national charitable campaigns. We place a particularly strong emphasis on charities which are important to our employees, giving them the opportunity to nominate worthwhile causes and drive company-wide support.
Just some of our fundraising activities include:
• Children in Need call centre
Every November we hand over our call centre to national charity Children in Need on the night of their televised appeal. Over 100 staff volunteer to give up their Friday night to take calls from members of the public wishing to donate to this fantastic cause. In 2014, our call centre took over £72, 000. We also engage in our fundraising activities, including cake sales, a raffle and various other challenges.
The evening is always a highlight of the company calendar and an opportunity for employees to get to know their colleagues from different areas of the business, both on the night itself and in the preparations.
• Dress Down for a Pound
On the last Friday of every month we ‘dress down for a pound’ and donate the proceeds to a charity nominated by an employee, meaning it has touched their lives in one way or another.
• One More Gift
Every Christmas we ask our employees to buy an extra present when they do their Christmas shopping and we donate these to the very special children at St Giles School in Croydon, a school for children with disabilities and complex medical needs. The presents are handed out by Santa during their school Christmas Party.
• Employee events
We support our employees to undertake fundraising activities for charities that are important to them. These range from cake sales and coffee mornings to 10ks, marathons and bike rides.
• Croydon Commitment
We are a founding member of Croydon Commitment, a business-led charity which connects companies and voluntary organisations in Croydon. We regularly participate in their events, including most recently, a charity abseil.
- Community and Education
We strongly believe that to make a real difference, giving our time is just as valuable as giving financially. We facilitate this by giving our employees the opportunity to take up to three days a year, in addition to their annual leave allowance, for voluntary work.
This means that we are helping people in all sorts of ways; from leading employability skills and mock interview sessions with local students, to rolling up our sleeves to help with local conservation work.
Just some highlights of our work in the community include:
• The Croydon Hub
The Croydon Hub is an alliance of four local secondary schools, education charity Teach First, and Allianz Global Assistance. The aims of the Hub include:
- To improve outcomes for young people in Croydon, having identified particular local challenges such as skills gaps faced by local employers.
- To provide a support network to teachers undertaking their teaching qualifications with Teach First.
The Hub was formed in the summer of 2013 and so this initiative is developing in scope. The steering committee meets every 6 weeks to share ideas, best practice and experience. In 2014, Allianz Global Assistance funded a professional development programme for teachers from across the three schools, helping to support retention of top talent within the Hub. We also work with the schools on initiatives such as employability skills workshops and work experience days.
• The Challenge Network
Since 2013, Allianz Global Assistance has supported the Challenge Network’s summer programme, which forms part of the government’s National Citizenship Service. The programme develops key skills amongst young people such as communication skills, teamwork and independence. In 2014, we hosted 14 teams of young people over the course of a few weeks, meaning over 180 young people visited our Head Office in Croydon.
• Croydon Commitment
Allianz Global Assistance is a founding member of Croydon Commitment, a business-led charity that works hard to connect businesses and voluntary organisations in the area to meet the needs of the borough. We offer our support to the many voluntary programmes the charity runs, participate in their fundraising events and take an active role in their steering group to support the strategic development of the charity.
• My Finance Coach
Following a pilot programme in 2014, Allianz Global Assistance led the UK launch of Allianz Group initiative My Finance Coach, which aims to improve financial literacy amongst young people. The programme involved volunteers from across the wider Allianz Group in the UK, giving employees a great platform to network and make new contacts across the organisation.
- Health and Wellbeing
People are the heart of our business and we recognise that the health, happiness and motivation of our employees are the key to our success. We take our responsibility as an employer very seriously and invest heavily in initiatives which provide a great environment for our employees to work and thrive in.
A few highlights of our Health and Wellbeing programme include:
We encourage open communication throughout the business, using initiatives such as our bi-annual Communication Forums, Q&A sessions with our CEO and internal publications and digital newsletters. Our management team operates an open door policy and collaboration is central to our company culture.
• Employee rewards
We reward a job well done and our Business Incentive Scheme gives us all employees an opportunity to share in the company’s success, depending on the achievement of several personal and company-wide objectives.
• Wellbeing initiatives
We provide subsidised Yoga classes, massages and a subsidised membership scheme. Our ‘Wellness Wednesday’ workshops happen once a month and are free from all employees. These aim to improve the mental, physical and social wellbeing of our employees. Past activities have included meditation classes, pension workshops, self-defence classes and nutritional advice.
• Training and Development
Our Investors in People accreditation acknowledges our commitment to the personal and professional development of our employees. Our in-house training team is dedicated to ensuring our employees have the right skills to do their jobs and we work closely with several external bodies to support this. We currently have employees studying for a range of qualifications including Accounting, Marketing, Human Resources Sales and Insurance specific qualifications.
As part of the Allianz Group, we support their commitments to sustainability across our business activities. Allianz recognises that as a multi-faceted organization we play a number of different roles in society; as a Company, a Corporate Citizen, an Employer, an Insurer and an Investor.
Allianz has identified sustainability priorities in each of these areas and at a local level, Allianz Global Assistance takes action to support these. This includes measuring our carbon footprint and taking steps to reduce contributing factors such as business mileage, waste, paper usage and energy consumption.
At our UK Head Office we have a team of Green Champions who work hard to implement new initiatives to inspire our employees to work and live more sustainably.
Regular initiatives such as Green Week and our ‘AGA Re-made Exhibition’ ensure that environmental concerns stay at the top of our employees’ agenda. We also regularly volunteer at conservation days with City of London park rangers, to give back to our local environment and help maintain the countryside so it can be enjoyed by our community.
You can find out more about the Allianz Group’s sustainability approach by visiting their website.