Ideas, innovation and engagement – what our AXA Academy’s all about

posted by on 27 Jun 2017

Here at AXA, we pride ourselves not only on our technical excellence but also on our commitment to growing our people internally. Our Bolton Liability Claims Academy is the culmination of both these things – and it’s proving to be very successful. But what exactly is it and what makes it so great? We asked Senior Unit Manager, and Academy sponsor, Dan Summers to tell us all about it.

About the Academy

Why would someone want to join the Academy – and Liability Claims? It’s a line of business that is interesting, challenging, rewarding and difficult – it’s definitely not your rinse and repeat call centre type environment, it’s more niche and technical. The Academy’s open to people who aren’t yet established in the insurance world and are keen to get into it and try something new. Whether they have a bit of experience or none at all, in our Academy they’ll have the freedom to do what they want – to explore an industry that interests them.

About Liability Claims

I’m responsible for the delivery of both the operational teams in Liability Claims and the Academy that provides us skilled people for them. A career in the insurance industry can be very rewarding and fulfilling – particularly within AXA. Culturally, Liability is (in my humble opinion) the best Claims department bar none. Both the culture and the work is very different from people’s traditional view of insurance. Car insurance is probably the insurance that everybody understands; I buy an insurance product, I claim against the insurer, job done. Liability (also known as Injury or Casualty claims) is a little bit different to that in that we don’t really represent the claimant. Essentially we represent our policyholder on claims made against them for accidents either within the workplace or in public places such as shopping centres or restaurants. It’s a little more complex than that but essentially, what we do is represent our insured’s interests against their claimant.

About the training

The technical training we provide is first class. We utilise a range of support mechanisms – from our internal handlers to our panel of legal firms – who are there to share their expertise and lend a hand wherever needed. And behind the technical journey is the stuff I really try to instil in the Academy which is around the culture, particularly what we refer to as the high performance culture. We are moving away from old-school insurance techniques and moving into a much more input led environment, where you’re focusing on performance not metrics, how you do your job not what happens. By focusing on people doing the right things, in the right way – this allows the outputs to come out in the right result - that’s the key bit. Our HR team are aligned closely with us from a cultural perspective. We’re driving a lot of the cultural messages in looking at minor tweaks in performance, one degree upgrades, we call them, little increments of improved performance that deliver a much better outcome.

It’s matching the two together, you get your cultural journey and your technical journey, and ultimately that brings well-rounded handlers. My vision long term, is they will then filter into the unit - I keep calling it a cultural bleed, and that high performance mind-set will then bleed into the rest of the department. Ultimately helping those that are a little bit more ‘traditional insurance’ in approach to adapt.

About the people

Whether they’ve got zero experience or come from a financial services background, those who join our Academy have a very clear common goal; they want to develop a career within AXA, they’re passionate about working here and taking that first step into becoming case managers. Working for a great organisation was a key driver that brought them all here.

We are looking for raw talent. So it doesn’t matter if you’ve been in financial services or not. We’re after driven, ambitious, keen, engaged people that are able to come in and make a difference. What we don’t want is just 9-to-5-ers, interested in just a job.

We want people to be ambitious, we want people to excite us and be energised about this journey. If that sounds like you, make sure you apply.

Have you got the drive and determination to succeed at the Academy? Sign up for our job alerts to be the first to know when the Academy is open for applications!

categories: AXA people  Claims  Liability Claims Academy 

Another great turnout for #AXACRWeek

posted by on 12 Jun 2017

For the seventh year in a row, AXA employees around the world have united to take part in another successful Corporate Responsibility (CR) Week.

At AXA, we’re passionate about being a socially responsible organisation, where our people are encouraged to get involved with helping their local communities and chosen charities as much as possible. That’s why we have a whole week dedicated to giving back.

As the only truly global event in the AXA calendar, CR Week gives all of our people the chance to come together to work towards reducing our environmental impact and support local initiatives important to them.

From charity fundraising, volunteering and recycling, to learning about the health and wellbeing of ourselves and others, AXA people around the UK have been taking part in a multitude of activities themed around how AXA and our partners can empower ourselves, our customers and all of society to live better lives.

Here’s a snapshot of what went on:

And that’s not all! AXA has teamed up with Impact Hub to find social innovators in the areas of preventing health, safety and cyber risks. We narrowed the contenders down to three very strong and worthy projects, and our people have been voting for their favourite to win. Find out more and watch the innovators videos on axa.com.

categories: AXA and our charities  AXA and the community 

Five reasons why AXA is a great place to build a fulfilling career

posted by on 24 May 2017

Kirsty Jones joined our office in Haverhill nine years ago, straight from college. Since then, she’s progressed in a number of different roles, won awards and developed on an exciting career path. We caught up with her to find out why she’s ‘never looked back’.

1. The career progression is brilliant

I joined AXA when I was 17. At the time, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my career and a friend recommended the role at AXA to me. After six months on the team, I knew that it was the place for me. A lot of that was down to the career development opportunities here. Right from the beginning, I saw people progressing into different roles and it was clear there were a number of paths you could take. My own career path has been very varied. I went from my original role to a New Claims role and then moved into the Personal Injury team, where I was dealing with bigger clients and more complex claims. From there, I felt I’d be best suited to a people management position and my current role as Operational Process Senior is a stepping stone to becoming a Team Leader.

2. AXA really cares and the support you get is great

You’re very well supported – both professionally and personally. As part of my role, I have monthly catch-ups with people on the team to discuss how things are going and their long-term career aspirations. I then work with them to make sure they have the coaching, mentoring and support they need to progress towards their ambitions. When I decided I wanted to go travelling, AXA allowed me to take a six-month sabbatical and it didn’t hinder my career prospects at all. In fact, two weeks after I came back I went for the job as Operational Process Senior and was successful!

3. The opportunities mean you never feel stuck in a rut

With so many different teams and roles you can move into, if you want to progress, there’s always somewhere you can go. That could mean trying out a different area of the business or just taking on some additional responsibilities. For someone like me who started from college, I’ve really been able to shape my own career path and achieve my ambitions.

4. High morale, a happy team and plenty of fun!

Like every job, there are times when things can be challenging but the team spirit here is great. You have a brilliant bunch of people around you and the culture is upbeat and positive. We often get together for lunches, dinners and nights out outside of work. It helps that the office is right in the middle of the high street so there are plenty of places around us to go!

5. You’re recognised for your hard work

As well as being able to grow and develop, AXA makes the effort to recognise how much people put into their roles. We have the AXA Awards once a year where we all get together and people can vote for their peers to win different awards. I was lucky enough to win two at the last ceremony – Leader of the Year and AXA Hero. Very exciting.

If you’re looking for a career with good prospects and great people in Haverhill, you've come to the right place! Take a look at our Customer Service Claims Advisor vacancy to find out more about what we can offer you.  

categories: AXA people  Claims  Employee story  Life at AXA 

5 things you thought were true about apprenticeships

posted by on 16 May 2017

As an apprentice, you’ll just get stuck making coffee and doing the jobs that no-one else wants, right? Not at AXA. We’ve put genuine care into crafting quality apprenticeship development programmes that can be tailored to suit your individual skills and interests. But don’t just take it from us. We asked IT apprentice, Tom, to help us tackle some common misconceptions surrounding apprenticeships and tell us what life’s actually like as an AXA apprentice…

1. You don’t get to do anything exciting as an apprentice. You’re just there to make the tea and do the filing

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Tom: I actually get involved in some really exciting work here. I started in Testing where I got to experience what it’s like to be a full-time tester – that was really interesting. And I’m currently working on a project that’s like an independent investigation - we have a project goal and have to work out our own way to reach it – it’s really fun!

2. Only school-leavers do apprenticeships

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Tom: I joined AXA’s IT apprenticeship in October 2016 after completing my degree in Computer Games Design. Even though I already have a degree, what I learnt at University is very different to experiencing life as a tech professional. Here, I get to see how professional coding and testing practices actually work and gain invaluable hands-on experience whilst I learn. 

3. Apprenticeships are for people who don’t get the grades to go to university 

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Tom: I did go to University! I joined AXA’s IT Apprenticeship after graduating because it was a great way to gain further qualifications and real-life experience. Everyone leaves university and starts entry level roles, I wanted to continue to gain qualifications and get paid to do so!

4. You’ll probably get stuck doing something you hate

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Tom: AXA are keen to help you find where your interests lie by exposing you to various areas of the business. After your 1st year, you should have an understanding of which area you want to spend the next year developing your skills in. AXA enable you to pursue your passion – they want you to enjoy your work and encourage you to try new things. 

5. Apprenticeships aren’t very well paid

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Tom: My apprenticeship is actually surprisingly well-paid. I have friends from University who are earning less than me in their roles – and they’re not working towards gaining more qualifications. Don’t presume that all apprenticeships are badly paid – make sure you check the details first. 

So, there you have it – there’s more to our apprenticeships than you might expect. Intrigued? Head over to jobs.axa.co.uk/apprentices to find out more and apply.

categories: Apprentices  Life at AXA 

Kick starting your career in insurance with an Apprenticeship

posted by on 15 May 2017

At AXA, we believe that there is no better place to start your insurance career than with one of our Apprenticeship development programmes. As well as the opportunity to set your career on a well-defined path, you’ll be able to learn invaluable skills while you earn. We caught up with one of our first ever apprentices, Katie, to find out why the Apprenticeship Development Programme was the right choice for her.

University or an Apprenticeship? Making my decision

I’ve worked since I was 14, but I always found myself wanting more from where I worked. My school was really keen for me to go to university, and although I understand and appreciate the benefits of gaining a degree I was always more interested in the apprenticeship route. The opportunity to gain qualifications alongside real work experience really appealed to me but I encountered a lot of misconceptions. People assume apprenticeships are more of a vocational path but in reality, the right programme should offer personal development alongside a well-defined career. At 18, it’s very difficult to decide on what you want to do but I knew that becoming involved with such a diverse organisation would allow me to get a feel for what kind of work I enjoyed.

My Apprenticeship journey

I joined the programme as soon as I left college. A role became available 2 years after I started, so I finished my apprenticeship early and I’ve been a Business Analyst in IT for 16 months now. I was looking forward to being part of an organisation that enabled me to interact with people from different areas of the business. I’m a naturally sociable person, so I love being able to engage with people from across the country. I even get to work with people from AXA abroad! It’s all real work too – I take responsibility for my own tasks and contribute to complex and interesting projects. With that said, I am currently working on a project that will make sure our contact centres have the technology they need to run as efficiently as possible. Working with people from different areas of the business has helped me understand how different functions within our company operate and how they contribute to AXA’s success.

Supported to succeed

The professional relationships I have been able to build with AXA staff and external suppliers are so important. Thanks to the people around me investing time and effort into my development, I now have the confidence to overcome new challenges and apply what I have learnt to future projects. Due to my willingness to learn and ask questions, I’m now a valued member of the team. AXA have high expectations of their apprentices but if you work hard you can use your skills as I have to quickly become a valuable resource to the business. Without the programme, I don’t think I would have been able to gain real life experience in a fast paced commercial environment as quickly as I have – the huge support network within AXA has a large part to play in my success.

Are you considering an Apprenticeship?

If you’re looking for a new challenge with huge opportunities for your career development, then you should really consider joining AXA’s apprenticeship development programme. At 22, I already have 3 years professional experience while some of my friends have recently graduated and are struggling to start their careers. Thanks to the programme my career can take me anywhere – so if you’re interested in kick-starting your career with an apprenticeship like I have, take a look at our Apprenticeship page where you can find out more about which programmes are available in your area.

categories: Apprentices