Employees - Sustainability Report 2017/2018


„Our ability to deliver premium products and services relies on highly-motivated and professional employees.“

V-ZUG employs 1,700 specialists in 20 countries across four continents, including 1,500 in Switzerland. We offer employment opportunities to people from all kinds of professional groups and with many different levels of qualification. This ranges from apprentices and unskilled employees, right through to doctoral graduates. We deliberately cover the entire range of ages, from 16 to 65.

The leadership culture of the future
2017 and 2018 were dominated by the implementation of medium-term measures (to 2022) for and with employees. 

  • The values and leadership culture is better aligned with the new work environment: our newly-launched competency model is designed to equip our employees and managers with the skills to cope with the new challenges of the World of Work 4.0.
  • Being an attractive employer: we regularly update our working conditions, most recently when the switch was made to annual working time. The V-ZUG Women's Network strengthens our female employees.
  • Nurturing and retaining employees: at the start of 2018, the internal range of training courses offered by the V-ZUGacademy was further developed and aligned with the new competency model. As part of our “Vitality” programme, we have adopted a number of initiatives designed to promote and maintain the health and safety of our employees. New forms of cross-functional cooperation and a number of open innovation projects offer novel development opportunities.


Fit for the digital transformation
Digital transformation is not only changing customers’ needs and our product range, but also the world of work and job experience of our employees and managers. Our future success hinges on our employees’ ability to respond positively to these changes and be agile in the increasingly flexible and networked world of work. Therefore, we launched our new competency model at a management event in December 2017. Our aim is to develop a common understanding of the skills and contributions required in order to be successful in this dynamic world – whether as a company or as an individual on the job market. This much is already clear: in future, personal skills such as a lifelong willingness to learn, joined-up thinking or the ability to handle complexity, uncertainties and risks will become far more important. Line managers have an important role to play here. “Our managers are called upon to lead their employees out of the stable era of industrialization and the traditional culture, into the digital transformation. That's not easy”, says Rolf Jenni, Head of Human Resources. “To provide them with the best possible support and firmly establish our forward-looking competency model within the company, since May 2018 we have been running training for all managers and teaching them the skills they need to mentor employees in a changing world.”

Mental health is not taboo
Dissatisfaction, stress or a poor work/life balance affect our well-being and, in the worst case, can even make us ill. These were the findings of a health survey of our employees in March 2017. Because of this, we have identified mental health as one of three prevention priorities. Mental stress or illness are still widely regarded as a taboo subject, which often hinders the recovery of the people affected and makes early detection harder. With the “Deine Psyche – kein Tabu” (Your mind is not a taboo) campaign, which is being run by Zug-based foundation Werner Alfred Selo Stiftung, our aim was to break this taboo. Over a ten-month period we spotlighted this issue. In November 2017, for example, we ran the mood barometer “How are you today?”, which encouraged all managers to talk more in their teams about each other's state of mind and mutual expectations. The survey conducted to evaluate the campaign produced a mixed picture: although it succeeded in highlighting the issue, the respondents felt there was also a lot of room for improvement in terms of openly addressing mental health and expectations, both with line managers and within the team. Fabian Britschgi, Head of Health Management at V-ZUG, is confident that the campaign was the first step in the right direction: “In our daily casework we are noticing that managers are responding more sensitively to signs of mental stress. Their understanding of mental illnesses has improved and there is far less prejudice.” To encourage even greater understanding of the issue, V-ZUG has incorporated mental health in its management training courses. Appraisal interviews, which have been overhauled for 2019 and will place a greater focus on each individual's state of mind and individual skills, provide an important forum for discussing mental health.  

Back to working life!

Physical impairments cannot always be prevented. That's why it is important to us that we support the people affected and work with them to find a solution. To this end, in 2017 V-ZUG further optimized its Care Management and appointed an additional specialist. Managers have an essential role to play here: together with the people affected, they discuss the ways in which they may be hindered in performing their role and identify the action that can be taken. Depending on the situation, they are supported by the HR Business Partners or Health Management. They all share a common objective: to help people return to their accustomed role. “In the vast majority of cases, we are able to do this. Sometimes adjustments are necessary, which might mean tweaking the job profile or providing training in additional skills for the people affected”, says Fabian Britschgi, Head of Health Management. Only rarely are people unable to return to their accustomed role, despite the best efforts. Experience has taught us how valuable support and reintegration are. “We have been able to reintegrate two thirds of people affected by physical impairments at V-ZUG. Of them, over 92% are in their original role, adjustments had to be made for 8% and we were able to find a solution outside the company for 6%” Britschgi sums up. 

Key figures Employees

The international V-ZUG Family is growing
In the 17/18 reporting year, 1,777 people were employed at V-ZUG (Zug, Arbon and Changzhou). The majority (84%) of our employees work ull-time at V-ZUG. In Switzerland, 18% of employees are aged under 30, 51% between 30 and 50 and 31% over 50. We deliberately cover the full range of ages from 16 to 65. Furthermore, V-ZUG is actively involved in the awareness campaign “Age has potential”, run by the Canton of Zug.

Graphic: Employees by employment contract

Women still significantly under-represented
In the last few years, the female share of the workforce has been just shy of 21%. We would like to make the professions
that are represented and taught at V-ZUG more attractive to women, by offering taster courses for school students, flexible working hours and part-time jobs. Women are also under-represented in executive roles, 16% of which are held by female employees. The aim of the V-ZUG Women’s Network is to promote and strengthen women. We arrange external audits of equal pay (most recently in 2016) and our certificate
in accordance with L&M-Aba-24® confirms the non-discriminatory remuneration of our employees.

Graphic: Number of women and men 

Low staff turnover
In 2017/18 we welcomed 167 new employees to V-ZUG and 143 people left our company in the same period. This equates to a turnover rate (excluding retirements) of 8.4%. Taking account of the extended reporting framework, turnover has risen by 2% compared with 16/17.

Grafik: Staff turnover, voluntary and involuntary (excluding retirements and fixed-term contracts)

Slight fall in work-related accidents and absenteeism rate
We recorded 98 work-related accidents at V-ZUG during the reporting period. Around 50% of those accidents counted as minor accidents, bruises, cuts etc., which entail absence of less than three days. There were also 236 leisure accidents. The absenteeism rate, i.e. hours lost as a percentage of all hours worked, was 0.18% in the reporting year (2016/2017: 0.24%). Minor accidents most commonly occur in production and service and are mainly due to carelessness or stressful situations. Occupational safety is and will remain one of our key quality concerns, as work-related accidents are a cause of both physical suffering and financial costs. Therefore, we remain committed to targeted information and training to raise awareness among our employees and encourage them to take personal responsibility

Graphic: Absenteeism rate due to work-related accidents


Slight increase in hours lost
Hours lost due to work-related and non work-related accidents as well as illness have increased only marginally in Switzerland (excluding V-ZUG Cooling Technology) by +1.6%. Including Changzhou and V-ZUG Cooling Technology, a good 80% of all hours of absence were due to illness in 2017/2018. Whilst hours lost due to illness increased compared with the last reporting year, hours lost due to leisure accidents continued to decrease, by a gratifying 24% – even allowing for the extended reporting framework.

Graphic: Absenteeism rate by cause (WRA: work-related accidents; NWRA: non work-related accidents