Our employees’ strong commitment is the main driver of our company’s success. It is important to us that they feel happy, at home and able to thrive. Our relaunched principles of cooperation provide the basis for this, and these are: ‘Teamwork’, ‘Responsibility’, ‘Respect’, ‘Trust’, ‘Appreciation’ and ‘Passion’.
Communicating and participating – our most important tools
We attach great importance to engaging in dialogue as equals, sharing prompt feedback throughout the organisation and having a respectful management culture. V-ZUGconnect is central to this, providing a framework for discussing how employees are feeling as well as their performance, skills and perspectives.
We also want our employees to get involved with strategic topics. For instance, various experts work in the Sustainability Workforce to advance our sustainability commitments and to inspire employees to be sustainable at work and at home.
Diversity as a success factor
Our company is home to people with a wide range of skills, cultural backgrounds and personal circumstances. When it comes to driving innovation and motivation, we believe that a good generation mix among our employees is just as important as their skill, culture or gender mix. We cater to our employees’ individual needs, offering flexible working models such as part time, job sharing and the mobile office. At V-ZUG, we also promote a healthy work-life balance.
Making V-ZUG and our employees fit for the future
We want to use our company’s expertise to develop and guarantee future-proof skills and employability for our employees. Our training strategy follows our in-house skills model. It reflects an individual evaluation based on skills and performance. We have the V-ZUGacademy, offering in-house courses, trainee and talent support programmes in addition to executive and management training. We also provide support for external training and offer new talent the chance to join an external mentoring scheme.
Health and safety – in times of crisis and beyond
The Covid-19 pandemic has really brought the subject of health to the fore. During the crisis, V-ZUG was able to draw on its well-established occupational health and safety management, which is certified to the ISO 45001 standard. With V-ZUGvitality, we regularly draw attention to physical and mental health and offer our employees support services for specific circumstances.
“V-ZUG stands for reliability, authenticity and high quality standards, as a company and as an employer. It’s no accident that our employees are happy and our corporate culture inspires and encourages innovation – my team work hard together with managers every day to make it happen.”
Sandra Forster-Bernacchia, Director of Human Resources at V-ZUG
50 years old and 20 years with the company – what’s next?
Usually in your career, your next step follows on (seemingly) logically from the last. Many people love what they do and do it well, but who determines where they are headed? And does the direction meet their expectations? We want to motivate employees to take control of their professional development and work with V-ZUG to shape their career paths. In the context of digital transformation and globalisation, we offer targeted support to strengthen the employability of our employees. After all, employees with skills like these ensure that V-ZUG is fit for the future. As part of the ‘Career check’ pilot project with the Zug careers information centre (BIZ Zug), 38 employees from the Service team in German-speaking Switzerland took part in a review, updated their CVs and evaluated their careers. At a meeting with experts from BIZ Zug, they then discussed interesting findings and development paths. “The career check gave me the push I needed to sort out my work situation and make a conscious decision about my future – for me, that’s the path that I’ve taken with V-ZUG,” says Albert Sutter, Team Leader and Head Technician in Fabric Care, who has worked at V-ZUG for 21 years. He neatly sums up the aims of the project as making a complete career change conceivable. The emphasis, however, is on exploring where our employees are in their career and the different paths they can take so they can make an informed choice about their career path. The final evaluation by the University of Bern yielded positive results. The project will now be rolled out more widely and used for individual career planning at V-ZUG from 2021.
Employees key figures
Part-time: an increasingly popular working model
85% of our employees work full-time. The share of part-time employees rose again in 2020 to 15% (2019: 14%). Part-time work often comes up during the recruitment process, and we even receive regular requests for it internally. V-ZUG tries its best to accommodate such requests, which change depending on an employee’s personal circumstances or stage of life. This also fosters a healthy mix of generations: 18% of our employees are below the age of 30, 50% between 30 and 50, and 32% over 50. We are making a deliberate effort to employ people across the full range of ages, and we are investing specifically in the employees’ education, further training and employability.
More women at top management levels
The share of women at top management levels in V-ZUG has risen steadily over the last few years. The percentages shown relate to the total number of women on the Board of Management (BoM), Executive Board (EB) and in level 1 senior management. This places V-ZUG above the Swiss average (according to the 2021 Schilling Report, 18% of top management are women).
The share of women working at V-ZUG in total (including BoM) has stood between 20.5% and 22.0% over the last three years. In the last two years we have managed to increase women’s representation in management positions to match the proportion of women in the workforce overall. The share of women in management roles, i.e. BoM, EB, heads of department, project managers and senior management levels 1 to 3, was 17.1% in 2018 and increased to 20.3% by the end of 2020.
In addition to achieving a healthy gender mix equally distributed over all levels, equal pay for equal work is also a priority for V-ZUG. That is why we have an external body check our equal pay. The L&M-Aba-24® certificate, which is valid for four years, confirms that there is no discrimination in the pay levels of our employees. It is next due to be renewed in 2021.
With regard to the BoM figures, it should be noted that V-ZUG Holding Ltd was founded on 28 November 2019 and was entered on the commercial register on the same day. Gender balance on the Board of Management is therefore only shown for the end of 2019 and 2020.
Turnover rate fell slightly
We welcomed 246 new employees to V-ZUG in 2020. During the same period, 194 people left the company. This is equivalent to a turnover rate of 11.2% (excluding retirements and apprentices), falling 0.8% compared to 2019. We consider the slight upward long-term trend in turnover to be connected to the ongoing transformation process, which impacts the organisational structure, processes and the areas and scope of work.
Occupational accidents: a rare cause of absences
V-ZUG recorded 75 occupational accidents in the year under review. These caused around 7,000 hours to be lost and accounted for almost 7% of all hours lost, remaining unchanged from 2019. Around half of them were minor accidents (e.g. bruises and cuts requiring absences of less than three days). They occurred most frequently in production and service and usually because of negligence and stress. Occupational health and safety is therefore one of our key quality concerns. We are taking targeted measures, raising awareness and training our employees so that they are well informed about occupational hazards and better equipped to take personal responsibility.
Lower absenteeism thanks to fewer accidents occurring outside of work
The lost hours rate in 2020 was 3.5%, down 0.2% compared with the previous year. The reason that the figure fell despite an increase in employment at V-ZUG in the same period is due to the unusually low number of hours lost caused by non-occupational accidents. In 2020, 11% of accidents occurred outside of work; in 2018 and 2019, this figure was around 15%. We put this decline down to the restrictions on sporting activities during lockdowns related to Covid-19. Illness was the most frequent cause of absence, accounting for 83%. The share of illness-related absences rose by 4.5 percentage points in 2020, but this increase is put in perspective when we consider the fact that the number of employees at V-ZUG rose by around 3% in the same period.
Impact on SDG 8
Our approach to shaping working conditions, the working environment and where we create jobs means we have an impact on SDG 8. We adhere to high HR management standards and invest in secure, attractive jobs, as well as in the skills and employability of all our employees. In doing so, we aim to create exciting opportunities for them and offer first-rate apprenticeships and engaging development paths for young people in particular. We promote diversity and equal opportunities, we support social inclusion for people with disabilities and provide equal pay for equal work.