Training

Train Employees to be Leaders—on the Job and in the Community

The goal of training is always to develop employees—to work more safely, to be more productive, to act as a leader, and to be more professional. In today’s Advisor, we’ll look at how one company has made a commitment to developing its employees across the board.

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America has received recognition both for its strong commitment to employee development and to the financial literacy of youths in the Minneapolis area.

Employee development

“Allianz Life is committed to the well-being and professional development of our employees; they are the key to our success,” President and CEO Walter White said after the company was named one of the Star Tribune’s “Top 100 Workplaces in Minnesota.”

“Our employee engagement is the driving force behind our position as a leader in the retirement income market. Our recognition programs, on-site child care, fitness center, and educational programs are just a few of the things we do to tell our employees that they make a difference each time they walk in the door.”

Among other things, Allianz Life (www.allianzlife.com) offers employees career-building opportunities, tuition reimbursement, leadership development programs, and access to complimentary retirement planning tools and financial advisors, who help them plan for their own retirement.


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A strong focus on training and career development also helped Allianz Life rank 51st on Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list in one recent year.

“Employee and leadership development is a top priority at Allianz Life, so we’re committed to providing an environment where our employees have both personal and professional development opportunities,” Chief Human Resources Officer Suzanne Zeller said at the time.

Community education

In addition to providing training and development opportunities for its employees, Allianz Life offers college scholarships for local students and supports financial literacy programs in its community through monetary donations and volunteering.

“Financial education among young people is lacking, and this gap merits more attention from both business and community leaders,” said White. “Equipping young people with skills and knowledge to make informed financial decisions is essential for their success. If Allianz Life can help young people learn how to make good financial decisions early in their lives, they will be better prepared to understand the value of saving and planning to reach their goals.”

In addition to providing training and development opportunities for its employees, Allianz Life offers college scholarships for local students and supports financial literacy programs in its community through monetary donations and volunteering.


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The company has extended its financial literacy programs with BestPrep and Junior Achievement® through 2015, with each organization receiving $100,000 per year for a total of $600,000, in addition to significant volunteer hours by Allianz Life employees. “Since the programs began, more than 700 Allianz Life volunteers have worked with hundreds of K through 12 students in hands-on programs led by BestPrep and Junior Achievement in classrooms, business camps, and e-mail mentoring,” the company explained.

BestPrep is a statewide, nonprofit organization that prepares Minnesota students with business, career, and financial literacy skills. Early this year, the organization presented its Humanitarian Award to Allianz Life for the company’s outstanding community involvement and commitment.

“Allianz Life continues to be one of our strongest partners in terms of their commitment to assuring that all students will be financially capable,” said BestPrep CEO Bob Kaitz. “Its volunteer participation is exemplary and has made a profound impact on us accomplishing our mission.”

Junior Achievement focuses on equipping young people with the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. The organization also values its relationship with Allianz Life. “The collaboration leverages the strengths and expertise of both organizations to empower young people with the tools and knowledge to be financially responsible,” said Gina Blayney, president and CEO of Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest.

Why It Matters

  • Safety training is more than just the do’s and don’ts of safety processes.
  • Effective safety training creates a state of mind that extends beyond the job.
  • Companies that get this can benefit greatly by extending training opportunities and a safety commitment out to the community.