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Professional Development

The insurance industry is developing at a fast speed and is facing changes such as digitalization and changing customer needs. Companies and their employees need to stay on top of these changes. There is a need for competent employees and good leadership.

The competition for top talent is hard, and finding the right people is crucial for companies operating in a knowledge-intensive business like the financial industry. The possibility to develop and learn enhances motivation, increases loyalty, and helps in attracting and retaining top talent.

As employers, Sampo Group companies want their personnel to be able to develop to their full potential. If people do not feel that they can develop, their motivation might drop, and the company could face a risk of losing crucial intellectual capital. Fair and rewarding remuneration for all employees is an important factor in Sampo Group's ability to enhance shareholder value in a competitive business environment, but it is an equally important determinant of success in the competition for talent. Further information on remuneration in Sampo Group can be found at section on Remuneration.


If aims to be the leading property and casualty insurance company in the Nordic and Baltic countries. To achieve this, If must have the best in-depth understanding of the customers' insurance needs and, correspondingly, the best underwriting skills. If strives to be the most service-oriented company in the industry and expects employees to be passionate about being the most skilled and competent professionals in their field of specialization.

The financial industry is changing rapidly, and If recognizes that in order to fulfill these ambitions, it is vital to ensure that the competence of its employees is up-to-date and improved continuously. Senior competence partners are working in close cooperation with business leaders in setting the competence development agenda.

During 2017, If's competence development focused on customer orientation. The business areas are driving change through strengthening the competence of both employees and leaders, especially with regard to digitalization and customer service.

In If's Business Area Private, the Private Ahead initiative has engaged nearly 100 leaders on a change journey that aims to raise the organization's problem-solving skills and customer orientation to a new level. The focus has been on creating Nordic synergies in an increasingly digital environment. In Business Area Commercial, the SEE journey (Safe, Easy, Express) challenges both managers and employees to take an intense customer focus. As such, 40 ambassadors have been appointed to take the message forward within the organization. In Business Area Industrial, the Challenger Approach aspires to increase customer orientation and teamwork around key customers.

In addition, training to support both management and leadership skills has been offered to leaders. One focus area is helping leaders to create conditions that enhance positive employee engagement. Specific training has been offered for new leaders as well as for more experienced ones. Informal leaders, such as project leaders, have been targeted.

If has invested in and is currently building a common learning platform called Workday, which will link performance and competence to development activities.


Targeted competence development for individual employees is important for all Topdanmark's employees. Therefore, Topdanmark has a comprehensive training and development program for all occupational groups.

Topdanmark places importance on management development, such as good management is key to attracting and retaining qualified employees. The company's management program targets both newly appointed and experienced managers. Newly appointed managers are offered a 6-month program with specific focus on their role as managers. Topdanmark offers experienced managers a development program in cooperation with Copenhagen Business School Executive Program, comprising both customer orientation and personal development.

For many years, Topdanmark has also focused on talent development and ran programs to encourage talented employees to use their competencies to contribute to Topdanmark's continued growth and delivery of results. On the basis of newly established cooperation with Singularity University Denmark, Topdanmark will give a group of talents a unique opportunity to acquire competence in digitalization and technological development in an innovative environment in 2018.

Topdanmark is in the middle of a transformation, with a special focus on efficiency and digitalization. Consequently, there will be a need for managers with a digital mindset. In order to support that process, a range of special development activities have been planned for 2018, for which the cooperation with Singularity University Denmark will be a source of inspiration.

Mandatum Life

Valuing expertise and developing competence are core elements of Mandatum Life's future success. Competence development at Mandatum Life is based on the 70-20-10 model. According to the model, 70 per cent of learning takes place at the workplace through interesting and challenging assignments, 20 per cent through feedback and learning from other members of the work community, and 10 per cent through training programs.

The goal is for every employee at the company to be able to develop their personal competence at work. Learning at work is encouraged by opportunities to take part in development projects and working groups that cross unit boundaries. The idea is to use internal job rotation to fill temporary open positions, such as maternity leave vacancies.

Learning through feedback is supported by, among other things, a mentoring program, which was implemented for the sixth time in 2017. A 360-degree evaluation is carried out every two years to support leadership development. Based on the survey carried out in autumn 2017, supervisory work at Mandatum Life is at a high level compared to other Finnish expert organizations. Based on the feedback, the strengths of the supervisory work are enthusiasm, customer focus, taking responsibility, leading by example, approachability, and ease of cooperation. Identified development areas include, among other things, controlled implementation of new procedures, efficiency of resources and work organization, and time management challenges. On a scale of 1–7, the weakest scores were 5.5 and the top scores were 6.5 on average. Of the personnel, 96 per cent responded to the survey.

All new Mandatum Life managers participate in the introduction training for managers as they take on their new role. In addition, in their first year of working for the company, all managers participate in the Mandatum Life Management School – a coaching program that aims to examine the role and tools of managers, as well as interaction in situations involving managerial work. The coaching provides a foundation for analyzing and developing one's own supervisory work and for managing the team's activities. The goal of the program is to maintain a consistent leadership culture at Mandatum Life. The program was arranged for the seventh time in 2017, and more than 95 per cent of the company's managers have taken part in it.

All Mandatum Life managers also receive feedback on their interaction skills through 360-degree evaluations every two years. Feedback is given by the employees who work under the manager, by colleagues, and by the manager's manager. The Great Place to Work Finland survey is also an important measure of a manager's success, as it provides not only company-specific results, but also team-level results. Team satisfaction is one of the criteria in determining the bonus for each manager.

Investments in training programs continued in 2017, especially in the field of business competence development. In collaboration with Hanken & SSE, Mandatum Life launched the Mandatum Life Business School training program, built on high-quality speeches by international experts, small group workshops, and a group project. The Business Impact Challenge organized in 2017 focused on developing business projects in small groups, with the aim of creating added value for the customer. The projects were built around current themes from Mandatum Life's business: development of group pension insurance, key employee insurance, and development of web and mobile services.

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Updated 07/05/2018