Human Capital Development

Cigna’s mission is to improve the health, well-being, and peace of mind of those we serve by enabling affordable, predictable, and simple health care. A healthy and diverse global workforce is essential to executing the growth strategies that enable us to deliver that mission. We continually invest in our global workforce to support our employees’ health and well-being; further drive diversity, equity and inclusion; provide fair and market-competitive pay; and foster their growth and development. Information regarding our efforts to support our employees’ health and well-being can be found on the Our Culture and Employee Health, Safety, and Wellness pages, and information regarding our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and equitable pay can be found on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page.

Cigna recognizes that having engaged employees, skilled in critical capability areas, is essential to delivering on our mission and strategic objectives. We are investing in a variety of training, development, and upskilling programs that provide continuous learning and development opportunities for our employees so that they can grow both with and within our organization.

Cigna’s talent management organization optimizes enterprise, organizational, and individual capabilities through organizational development and team effectiveness, learning and development, leadership development and talent mobility, talent planning and solutions, and strategy and operations.

Our talent strategy, which we updated in 2021, reinforces our mission, strategy, and values and consists of four strategic pillars:

  • Focus on Critical Talent Capabilities
  • Anticipate the Workforce of the Future
  • Build a Phenomenal Career Experience for All
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The achievements that we are making in each of the four pillars have been enabled by our commitment to a healthy workforce, DEI, an effective human resources operating model, and data and analytics. Our commitment to talent contributes to our low voluntary turnover rate, which was 3.9 percent for exempt employees in the United States in 2020.

Career Management

Career management is about the future of the organization and the effective development and mobility of all employees. From an employee lens, career management requires structured planning and active management of one’s own career. Effective career management enables employees to feel connected to their work, valued for their contribution, engaged with the organization, and motivated to contribute. It provides the opportunity for an organization to align the aspirations of individual employees with current and future business needs, increasing the chances that the workforce will be willing, ready, and able to move into the roles that the organization needs them to play.

At Cigna, career management is a continuing process of investing resources to accomplish future career goals and adapting to the changing demands of our dynamic world. The career management process embraces various concepts, including: self-awareness, career development planning and exploration, life-long learning, and networking.

Cigna provides career development opportunities to employees through a variety of professional and technical career and skill building resources and workshops, learning and leadership development programs, and networking events. Some examples of career development resources that are available for employees and managers include career insights tools, career conversation guides, and tools for how to create a career plan.

We are committed to reskilling and upskilling our global workforce to help meet the emerging needs of our customers and the business. We actively solicit employee feedback on these programs through a variety of measures, including the Employee Engagement Survey.

For the career opportunities dimensions on our Employee Engagement Survey, we saw a year over year improvement in the following areas: opportunities for growth development, access to training to perform job well, and fair and open processes for promotions.

In 2020, we had nearly 2,000 employees take advantage of career webinars and over 36,000 unique users accessed the Career Management resources.

Case Study: Project Lemonade: Human Capital’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Talent Management team launched “Project Lemonade” – an initiative to respond to the challenges of COVID-19 and create positive outcomes for our workforce.
Read More

Connect for Growth

Connect for Growth, our Performance Management model, reflects our determination to continuously develop talent and foster an ongoing desire to learn. This model focuses on encouraging managers and employees to have quality conversations during which they can set expectations and define a clear path to achieve goals; review performance and employees' contributions to the organization; and align individual career aspirations with organizational priorities. Through these conversations, we strive to create an environment of collaboration, innovation, and engagement.

Our process and philosophy for Connect for Growth did not change, despite the uncertainty and challenging times of 2020 (e.g., shifting priorities, changing work environment, recognizing greater need for work flexibility). The flexibility built into Connect for Growth allowed managers and employees to adapt to a challenging year without requiring a shift in the process. The flexibility of the model actually encouraged more check-in conversations between managers and employees during COVID-19 to ensure that they remained connected and engaged. Resources for Connect for Growth include employee and manager guides, reflection tools, self-directed learning modules, and facilitated webinars. We also continue to invest in sustainment through several mechanisms. In 2020, over 7,900 employees took advantage of Performance Management learning modules. Employees using the Connect for Growth intranet site and resources increased by 72.3 percent in 2020, which reflects increased use by legacy Cigna employees as well as the model adoption by Express Scripts and eviCore employees.

Every year we focus some questions in the annual Employee Engagement Survey on performance management. In 2020, the three dimensions below saw favorable increases: manager understands strengths and opportunities for improvement, performance feedback throughout the year facilitated development and improvement, and check-in conversations were frequent enough to meet employee needs. We believe was due in part to the increased use of the Connect for Growth Performance Management model and site.

Competency Model

In 2020, we also introduced the Competency Model. Cigna's competency model has 38 competencies, of which 14 are identified as leadership competencies. Examples of competencies include Strategic Mindset, Manages Complexity, Financial Acumen, Tech Savvy, and Action Oriented. Cigna’s competencies help set clear behavior expectations at all levels of the organization. The behaviors also help employees to improve performance and development. Competencies are now leveraged for behavior-based interviews for talent recruiting. The intranet site offers resources, and over 31,000 users have taken advantage of them.

Leadership Development

Our leadership development philosophy is rooted in our mission, our values, and our purpose. We equip our leaders to deliver for our patients, customers, clients, and communities – and our team members around the world. In doing so, we aspire to provide leadership-development opportunities for colleagues at every level, which include both broad and targeted solutions that are aligned to our mission, values, and purpose. Our goal is to develop leadership capabilities, enable strategy execution, drive business results, and develop “whole-person leaders” – ensuring that Cigna is a place where our leaders want to stay, contribute, and grow their career. Our leadership-development approach provides scalable, sustainable learning and leadership solutions for all at key inflection points across the employee lifecycle. Enterprise leadership-development programs include New Leader Experience, Leading with Excellence, Transformative Leadership, Inclusive Leadership, and Leaders in Transition.

In 2020, we successfully introduced a holistic leadership model that reinforces the importance of whole-person leadership that includes key elements of who you are (Grounded and Conscious), what you do (Competencies), and how you lead (Enterprise Mindset and Inclusive Leadership), all of which connect to how you perform as a leader. The various components of the leadership model are based on a solid foundation and the constant integration of our strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

In the midst of a global pandemic, we successfully adjusted and adapted our leadership development portfolio of programs and solutions to meet the evolving needs of our business and employees around the world. In 2020, over 10,000 of our leaders attended formalized leadership-development programs and/or learning sessions in an effort to increase their knowledge, skills, and/or competencies. As part of our ongoing talent review and readiness processes, we frequently assess our leadership talent utilizing various inputs and assessments in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of strengths and areas of growth and identify successors for key leadership roles. In 2020, we also launched a monthly People Leader Forum for all people managers across the enterprise in an effort to help build and reinforce key leadership behaviors and competencies; provide an opportunity for leaders to network, speak to, and learn from each other; and build our community of people leaders. In each of the monthly sessions, two senior leaders share stories, vulnerabilities, and teachable points of view around various topics. We remain steadfast in our commitment to developing our emerging and existing leaders in an effort to deliver on our promise of affordable, predicable, and simple health care.

Learning at Cigna

In 2020, Cigna evolved the learning experience to better meet employee needs through easy, effective, meaningful, and measurable tools and strategies. We consolidated the repositories for learning by moving from three learning management systems to one – myUniversity – with the goal of one platform to measure outcomes. The integration simplifies the learning experience for employees.

myUniversity is a central resource for employee learning that rapidly mobilizes relevant learning by giving employees access to content in multiple formats that leverage formal, informal, and social learning modalities. Through the myUniversity platform, employees can assess their skills, track skills development, and receive coaching and feedback from managers and peers. 89 percent of the global Cigna employee population are active users of myUniversity. In 2020, 203,700 hours of learning were completed in myUniversity for a total of 281,200 learning items. Outside of myUniversity, there were 10,400 active courses available, with 2,031,500 completed courses and 1,964,600 completed hours of learning.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cigna was able to rapidly redesign and deploy its learning portfolio in a virtual learning format. The shift to virtual resulted in a significant increase in access to learning globally. In 2020, learning at Cigna’s facilitation team implemented more than 550 virtual sessions compared with approximately 100 courses supported in 2019, an increase of more than 600 percent. Additionally, the quality of courses and perceived value were not impacted by the shift to virtual learning. In 2020, the learner satisfaction score significantly exceeded the benchmark and industry average.

In 2020, the average Cigna employee spent 59 hours on training. Of those, 30 hours were devoted to Cigna University course training, with the remaining 29 hours devoted to specific skills training, career development, lifelong learning programs, and external learning pursuits.

We are transforming our approach to learning governance. Learning governance is a framework consisting of processes, practices, standards, and structures used to inform decision-making and enable consistent and positive learning experiences that align with the learning strategy and overall business needs. The goal for learning governance is to provide accountability and guidance for all the learning experiences, platforms, and content. Learning governance will ultimately be delivered through two major functions: oversight and execution.

In 2020, we launched the first phase of governance focused on technical governance and the learning platform experience. The launch, which coincided with the launch of myUniversity, introduced a new portfolio of governance tools, including playbooks, an intranet site, job aids, communications, and training in myUniversity. The next phase of governance expanded on the platform and learning experience, with an additional 10 playbooks focused on use, management, and experience within the LMS.

For 2021, we are expanding learning governance to create universal learning standards, processes, and best practices as well as evolve the long-term governance approach, strategy, structures, and processes. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Supporting the learning strategy and operating model.
  • Defining learning, compliance, platform, and skills standards.
  • Implementing formal governance structure, council, policies, and procedures.
  • Identifying and delivering priority core and common service offerings.
  • Continuously updating playbooks, job aids, communications, and trainings.

The planned governance initiatives aim to increase speed to learning and business impact by enabling meaningful, consistent learner experiences. Our goal is for learning governance to have a positive impact on the quality of the learning and business outcomes.

Educational Development Program

Cigna’s Educational Development Program (EDP) provides tuition reimbursement and planning guidance for external learning pursuits for full and part-time employees who meet the continuing education criteria. Cigna's EDP is one avenue that Cigna offers to attract, develop, and retain internal talent through educational pursuits. In 2020, employees participated in the program globally, with educational reimbursement increasing year-over-year.

The EDP received a comprehensive update in 2020 to fully integrate Express Scripts personnel and to provide all employees with the ability to pursue educational development opportunities via the Cigna EDP portal. This investment of $17.2 million allows the EDP to enhance the available areas of learning and development and expand access to all employees globally.

Cigna has partnered with leading universities – including the University of Hartford and the University of Missouri St. Louis – to provide affordable and competitive Master’s-level degree programs specifically designed to align with Cigna's strategic priorities. In 2020, the University of Hartford’s two-year, cohort-based Customized Accelerated Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) Program was available 100 percent online, and all costs – including tuition, books, and fees – were covered at 100 percent in accordance with Cigna’s EDP policy. In 2020, Cigna decreased the number of education partners from 39 to 34 as a result of analyzing outcomes and costs. These university partnerships provide tuition deferrals and/or discounts, and many have available grants. Beginning in 2020, Cigna also made available a personalized education concierge service through ClearDegree to guide eligible employees to an online program that fits their specific professional and personal goals.

Early Careers Program

Early Careers Mission

By leveraging our expertise with colleges, universities, and external diversity partners, we attract and develop diverse early career talent that meets Cigna’s business needs now and in the future.1

Early Career Recruitment

Cigna partners with universities across the United States in developing our early career talent pipelines. Due to COVID-19, we transitioned away from our traditional ‘on-campus’ recruitment model to a virtual candidate engagement strategy. Leveraging our university relationships and innovative technologies allowed us to continue a high-touch candidate recruitment experience. Despite the logistical challenges we faced as a result of COVID-19, we hired over 90 percent of our forecasted Early Career targets by the end of 2020.

Cigna Leadership Development Programs

Our Leadership Development Programs (LDPs) are offered to undergraduate and graduate students who are looking to gain valuable real-life experiences.1 The projects that LDPs work on have a lasting impact on the business and LDPs and put them on the path to advancement within the organization. Cigna has a variety of graduate and MBA leadership development programs as well as undergraduate leadership development programs.

Cigna Internship Program

Cigna's internship experience is designed to provide real-world job experience to college students who are rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors. These students join Cigna for a paid, 10-12-week summer internship, during which they work on projects, with real, everyday impact to the business. Cigna leverages the intern program as a true talent pipeline and achieves a year-over-year strong conversation rate, extending job offers to 71 percent of our interns; 88 percent of those offers are accepted.2, 3 

Due to COVID-19, Cigna intentionally shifted its internship program to a 100 percent virtual experience, allowing interns to complete their summer program at home, in a safe and supported environment.4 Orientation, volunteer opportunities, networking sessions, an executive speaker series, and professional development sessions were all offered virtually.5

Results of the 2020 Cigna Intern Satisfaction Survey were very positive in spite of the logistical challenges that COVID-19 presented. The survey found that 83.5 percent of interns were either satisfied or extremely satisfied with their experience, which is illustrated by the fact that they strongly identified with the statements that they grew professionally and felt connected to the Cigna team and culture.

1Early Career Recruitment supports Cigna Leadership Development Programs along with departments that hire both intern and new graduate collegiate talent. On average, 70 percent of Early Career hires funnel into leadership development programs, while the remaining 30 percent of roles cut across various Cigna departments.

2Intern conversion rate is determined by dividing the number of accepted offers by the number of conversion-eligible interns and multiplying by 100. Conversion-eligible interns are those who are in, or entering, their senior year of college.

3According to the NACE (National Association of Colleges & Employers) 2020 Intern and Co-op Survey Report, data, the average intern conversion rate was 55.5 percent. 

4According to NACE (National Association of Colleges & Employers):

  • 54.8 percent of organizations moved internship programs to a virtual format
  • 48.7 percent of organizations reduced their length of their internship programs
  • 25.1 percent of organizations reduced intern headcount
  • Overall, 90 percent of internships were changed in some capacity

5In 2020, intern hiring projections were met, without reduction in headcount or duration of internship experience.