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sum.talk episode #58 (with Alexander Müller-Benz)

A new episode of sum.talk is here! In episode 58 we invited Alexander Müller-Benz from die Bayerische. As Head of People and Culture, he gives Ingolf and Oli insights into developments in HR and explains to us how important the company culture is to be ready for change.

Alexander Müller-Benz has been with Bayerische for more than eleven years, but his path to the insurance industry was not quite so foreseeable, unlike most of the other guests we have had in sum.talk. With the intention of becoming a Catholic priest, Alexander began studying theology until his plans changed and he added business administration and psychology to his studies.
A lot has happened in the eleven years: the HR department has grown, and not without reason. The attitude of being ready for change is not just a privilege of small, agile insurtechs, but also a medium-sized company opening itself up to it - and that only works if the employees are ready for it.

Is the industry too sluggish?

The insurance industry is often considered to be sluggish. This is not only reflected in the fact that digitization processes are not implemented quickly enough, but employees often stay on longer than, for example, young insurtechs. In principle, this is a good thing if you run a family-oriented company. On the other hand, without the right mechanisms, this can also lead to a loss of motivation to deal with new things and optimize processes.
So the right course must be set: Agile working, feedback culture, knowledge management and leadership style.

There is no single blueprint for the entire company
Agility, a word that has seen some wear and tear over the years, as interest in adapting to the rapidly changing environment has grown since the late 90s. But agility doesn't mean that all processes have to change, but to look at where agile processes come into play.

Munich location

Bayerische, with its location in Munich, has special challenges. Munich is probably one of the most competitive labor markets in Germany. In order to attract new, capable people to the company, you have to position yourself well these days. Many people, not least because of the Corona pandemic, want more flexibility in their working lives. Old full-time models and presence in the office do not attract people with an innovative spirit. But platforms like Kununu also make employers pay attention to their employees. But what do you do with the old hands? First and foremost, provide security and ensure that they have the opportunities to develop and think outside the box.

In episode 58 of sum.talk, Alexander Müller-Benz tells you exactly what Bayerische is doing in the People & Culture area and what challenges it faces.

sum.talk is an in-house production of sum.cumo Sapiens and appears every second Friday.