In November 2012 Ageas acquired Groupama Insurance Company Limited becoming the fourth largest personal lines insurer in the UK*. A three year change programme was launched to manage the integration of the two businesses, affecting hundreds of people across the two organisations.
The programme included culture change to ensure employees feel part of a single business, and the introduction of Ageas's systems to Groupama, whilst retaining origianl Groupama products. In order to realise the benefits of the acquisition, it was vital to protect business as usual throughout the transition period by minimising the impact on existing customers. To ensure employees’ successful transition to new ways of working with minimal impact on productivity and business results, Ageas chose to partner with CMC to provide Prosci® change management interventions to key groups of individuals involved in delivering the change programme.
The Prosci® change management methodology focuses on the key activities and behaviours required by sponsors, managers and others involved in change to realise successful business transformation. Based on global best practice findings from many thousands of research participants, it includes a comprehensive toolkit of assessments and templates to assist with change programme delivery (such as the world-renowned ADKAR® model). The Prosci methodology has been adopted by 80% of Fortune 100 organisations. As Prosci’s Primary Affiliate for the UK and Ireland, CMC Partnership was ideally placed to support Ageas’s adoption of the approach.
Support provided by CMC included:
- Training key delivery teams as Prosci Change Management Certificated Practitioners
- Delivering the Prosci Coaching Programme for Managers for key HR resources
The Prosci® Practitioner Certification programme provides those managing change with a comprehensive grounding in the Prosci method. CMC trained a range of internal consultants, project managers and senior managers from across Ageas, helping them position the integration programme for success through effective management of the people side of the change. Over the three day course, participants were guided through the creation of a change management strategy for their individual projects, and shown how to apply best practice to the creation of plans covering communications, sponsorship, coaching, training, and resistance management. The CMC Instructor provided coaching and advice in relation to specific challenges, such as how to tackle resistance and engage with senior leaders.
The Prosci® Coaching Programme for Managers is a one day programme for those charged with managing employees’ transition to new ways of working. Key members of Ageas’s HR team were shown how to apply the ADKAR® model to individuals undergoing change, and supported in the development of a coaching plan for their direct reports.
Following on from the accreditation of its Prosci Practitioners, Ageas has continued to raise awareness of good change management practice and promote wider organisational capability in managing the people side of change. Project managers assess the people impact of new initiatives in order to plan accordingly at an early stage, and change management is a standing agenda item at management events to ensure progress is tracked. Dedicated change roles have been created, and change management is now a mandatory element of the corporate leadership development programme.
As a result of the attention paid to the people side of change, the acquisition has not led to an increase in employee turnover as is common for mergers and acquisitions: absence and turnover trends remained flat in the two largest operational areas affected (claims and underwriting). Furthermore, an employee survey found that people were engaged and committed to the new combined insurance business, with survey scores improving overall.
A register of key individuals to retain was created at the start of the programme, with an 80% tolerance level – retention has held at 91%.
In 2014 Ageas achieved the Institute of Customer Service accreditation for its Motor and Travel teams - an indication of the programme’s success in maintaining business as usual and excellent customer service.
* Based on internal interpretation of AM Best analysis of FSA Returns 2012 based on GWP.
'We have wholeheartedly embraced change management at Ageas, recognising that managing the people side of change is invaluable in delivering business transformation results. As our change management training partner, CMC has accredited Ageas Prosci Practitioners and coached managers in change management. The depth of experience and expertise of their Instructor, combined with the practical and holistic Prosci approach, have helped us to successfully deliver change initiatives and raise our organisational capability to manage and deliver people change.' Nicola Sutherland, Head of Learning and Development, Ageas Insurance Limited