Ms Forster, you joined V-ZUG as Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) at the end of 2020. What do you enjoy the most about this role?
V-ZUG is a traditional company with a strong brand – for me this is an essential foundation that promises great potential. I’m delighted to be a part of this team and to help design a future in which employees enjoy coming to work and remain committed to boosting the company’s success. What motivates me in particular is something that we all have in common: we create products and services which provide a very concrete sense of purpose for both ourselves and our customers, and we have a strong passion for combining this purpose with great design and excellence.
Since your arrival, HR has had a seat on the Executive Committee. What kind of opportunities and challenges has this opened up for the company?
Today, topics such as corporate culture, change management, leadership and sustainability need to be taken into account in all aspects of the business. Various studies have indisputably demonstrated the positive impact these kinds of initiatives can have on business results. With the expertise and additional "people & culture" perspective gained, the Executive Committee can make its strategic decisions in a more nuanced manner and with an integrated view of the business and the normative framework conditions. An ongoing challenge here is how to demonstrate the direct and indirect benefit in a tangible way, for example via relevant key indicators or surveys.
What do you stand for personally and in your role as an Executive Committee member? In other words, what are your core values?
In my view, teamwork, fairness and authenticity are particularly important values and are essential for establishing a strong culture of trust. Regardless of the situation, I try to treat each and every person I encounter with respect and genuine interest. This goes hand in hand with acting responsibly, which involves gathering feedback from others in order to learn and continuously improve.
How would your best friends describe you?
As an approachable, dedicated and empathetic person with a great enthusiasm for working with others in pursuit of a goal. They would also say that I am very passionate and committed when it comes to promoting the issues I'm responsible for. And they’d say that experience has taught me to accept my weaknesses with humour and instead to focus on my strengths.
As Chief Human Resources Officer, you also represent an important part of our sustainability strategy. Employees form one of the four target visions in our materiality matrix. What ambitions in terms of sustainable development fall into this target vision?
Regarding sustainability, one key issue is how to provide lifelong learning opportunities in a world that is constantly evolving. How can we design an ideal working environment that promotes curiosity as well as professional and personal development through the learning of new skills and varied perspectives? To achieve this, we need to create the right conditions to qualitatively promote transformational leadership and individual development so that we can all benefit from the diversity that exists within our company.